Age offsets among different biogenic and lithogenic components of sediment cores revealed by numerical modeling

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Heinze, C. ; Kriest, I. ; Maier-Reimer, E. (2009)
  • Journal: PALEOCEANOGRAPHY, volume 24, issue 4, pages n/a-n/a (issn: 0883-8305)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.1029/2008PA001662

For modeled sediment cores of the open ocean, a method for predicting simultaneously the ages of four different solid sediment compounds with respect to their depositional year onto the sediment surface is presented. The simulation of time-dependent age distribution in the sediment mixed layer and the eventually accumulating sediment is a prerequisite of a proper data assimilation of marine sediment core data into predictive climate models. Through such a data assimilation, marine paleoclimate data could then be efficiently used in order to optimally determine adjustable model parameters. The age simulation is based on a passive tracer transport method taking into account varying vertical advection rates within the sediment top layers, chemical pore water reactions, and bioturbation. It turns out that different weight fractions of the modeled sediment have different ages in one horizontal geometric depth-in-core level depending on the particle rain onto the sediment and the reactivity of the material within the sediment pore waters. For simultaneous consideration of paleoclimatic tracers associated within one and the same weight fraction, e.g., for calcium carbonate, tracers such as foraminiferal δ13C, and calcium carbonate weight percentages, this may not be critical. However, for simultaneous consideration of calcium carbonate and opal weight percentages, the age difference in the observed weight fractions may have to be corrected. The age offset between CaCO3 and opal depends critically on the sediment accumulation rate. Low-accumulation sites are more strongly affected than high-accumulation sites.
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