Timescales of lateral sediment transport in the Panama Basin as revealed by radiocarbon ages of alkenones, total organic carbon and foraminifera

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Kusch, Stephanie
Eglinton, Timothy I.
Mix, Alan C.
Mollenhauer, Gesine
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Compound-specific radiocarbon dating
Lateral sediment transport
Panama Basin
Eastern Equatorial Pacific
Paired radiocarbon measurements on haptophyte biomarkers (alkenones) and on cooccurring tests of planktic foraminifera (Neogloboquadrina dutertrei and Globogerinoides sacculifer) from late glacial to Holocene sediments at core locations ME0005-24JC, Y69- 71P, and MC16 from the south-western and central Panama Basin indicate no significant addition of pre-aged alkenones by lateral advection. The strong temporal correspondence between alkenones, foraminifera and total organic carbon (TOC) also implies negligible contributions of aged terrigenous material. Considering controversial evidence for sediment redistribution in previous studies of these sites, our data imply that the laterally supplied material cannot stem from remobilization of substantially aged sediments. Transport, if any, requires syn-depositional nepheloid layer transport and redistribution of low-density or fine-grained components within decades of particle formation. Such rapid and local transport minimizes the potential for temporal decoupling of proxies residing in different grain size fractions and thus facilitates comparison of various proxies for paleoceanographic reconstructions in this study area. Anomalously old foraminiferal tests from a glacial depth interval of core Y69-71P may result from episodic spillover of fast bottom currents across the Carnegie Ridge transporting foraminiferal sands towards the north.
Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2009. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of Elsevier B.V. for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters 290 (2010): 340-350, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.030.
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