Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 56–63 | Cite as

Cold water polar aragonitic bivalve elemental composition, east Antarctica

  • C. Prasada Rao


Aragonitic bivalves and abiotic aragonite are common in cold water Antarctic environments. Aragonitic bivalves have lower Mg, Sr, Fe and Mn and higher Na concentrations than those in abiotic polar aragonite. MgCO3 values in polar aragonitic bivalves and abiotic aragonite are related to pCO2. Sr values vary with aragonite types, seawater temperature and seawater content in the fluid precipitating aragonite. Abiotic polar aragonite contains much larger concentrations of Fe and Mn than those in aragonitic polar bivalves because abiotic aragonite formed subglacially below the zone of O2 minimum at very shallow water depths. Na values in aragonitic bivalves are indicative of both salinity and rates of crystal growth, whereas Na values in abiotic aragonite decrease with decreasing salinity. The concentrations of Mn, Na and Sr indicate that aragonitic bivalves formed faster than abiotic aragonite. The abiotic aragonite forms rapidly and precipitates significant amount in less than a year. This comparative study enables an understanding of cold water polar biotic and abiotic aragonites related to environment, water temperature, ice cover, pCO2 levels, redox potential, meltwater dilution, salinity and rate of carbonate formation. These aspects are essential in understanding modern and ancient glacial sedimentation and diagenesis.


Calcite Bivalve Foraminifera Aragonite Seawater Temperature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. BUSENBERG, E. and PLUMMER, N.L., 1985, Kinetic and thermodynamic factors controlling the distribution of SO4 and Na in calcites and selected aragonites:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 56, p. 1837–1849.Google Scholar
  2. BURTON, E.A. and WALTER, L.K., 1991, The effects of pCO2 and temperature on magnesium incorporation in calcite in seawater and MgCI2-CaCl2 solutions:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 55, p. 777–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CAREY, J.S., MOSLOW, T.F., and BARRIE, J.V., 1995. Origin and distribution of Holocene temperate carbonates, Hecate Strait, westem Canada continental shelf:Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 65, p. 178–194.Google Scholar
  4. CARPENTER, S. and LOHMANN, K.C., 1992, Sr/Mg ratios of modem marine calcite: Empirical indicators of ocean chemistry and precipitation rate:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 56, p. 1837–1849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CHAVE, K.E., 1954, Aspects of the biogeochemistry of magnesium 2. Calcareous sediments and rocks.Journal of Geology, v. 62, p. 587–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. DOMACK, E.W., 1988, Biogenic facies in the Antarctic glacimarine environment: Basis for a polar glacimarine summary:Paleogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 63, p. 353–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. FERRIS, J.M. and BURTON, H.R., 1988, Annual cycle of heat content and mechanical stability of hypersaline deep lake, Vestfold Hills, Antarctica:Hydrobiologia, v. 165, p. 115–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. FRIEDMAN, G.M., 1998, Rapidity of marine carbonate cementation — implications for carbonate diagenesis and sequence stratigraphy: perspective:Sedimentary Geology, v. 119, p. 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. FUCHTBAUER, H. and HARDIE, L.A., 1976. Experimentally determined homogeneous distribution coefficients for precipitated magnesium calcite. application to marine carbonate cements: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 8, p. 877.Google Scholar
  10. HARRIS, P.T., O’BRIEN, P.E., SEDWICK, P., and TRUSWELL, E.M., 1996, Late Quaternary history of sedimentation on the Mac. Robertson Shelf, East Antarctica: problems with14C-dating of marine sediment core:Papers and Proceedings Royal Society of Tasmnia, v. 130, p. 47–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. LAND, L.S. and HOOPS, G.K., 1973. Sodium in carbonate sediments and rocks: a possible index to the salinity of diagenetic solutions:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 43, p. 614–617.Google Scholar
  12. LEES, A., 1975, Possible influence of salinity and temperature on modern shelf carbonate sedimentation:Marine Geology, v. 19, p. 159–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. LEES, A. and BULLER, A.T., 1972, Modem temperate-water and warm water shelf carbonate sediments contrasted:Marine Geology, v. 13, p. M67-M73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. LORENS, R.B., 1981, Sr, Cd, Mn and Co distribution coefficients in calcite precipitation rate:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 45, p. 553–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. MORRISON, J.O. and BRAND, U., 1987, Geochemistry of Recent marine invertebrates:Geoscience Canada, v. 13, p. 237–254.Google Scholar
  16. MORSE, J.W. and MacKENZIE, F.T., 1990, Geochemistry of Sedimentary Carbonates. Developments in Sedimentology 48, Elsevier, 707 p.Google Scholar
  17. MUCCI, A., 1987, Influence of temperature on the composition of magnesian calcite overgrowths precipitated from seawater.Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 51, p. 1977–1984.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. MUCCI, A., 1988, Manganese uptake during calcite precipitation from seawater: Conditions leading to the formation of a pseudokutnahorite:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 52, p. 1859–1868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. MUCCI, A. and MORSE, J.W., 1983, The incorporation of Mg and Sr into calcite overgrowths: influences of growth rate and solution composition:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 47, p. 217–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. NELSON, C.S., 1988, An introductory perspective on non-tropical shelf carbonates.In Nelson, C.S., ed., Non-tropical shelf carbonates-Modem and Ancient:Sedimentary Geology, v. 60, p. 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. NELSON, C.S., KEANE, S.L., and HEAD, P.S., 1988, Non-tropical carbonate deposits on the modern New Zealand shelf:Sedimentary Geology, v. 60, v. 71–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. PICKARD, J., ADAMSON, D., HARWOOD, D.M., MILLER, G.H., QUILTY, P.G., and DELL, R.K., 1984, Early Pliocene marine sediments in the Vestfold Hills, East Antarctica: Implication for coastline, ice sheet, and climate:South African Journal of Science, v. 82, p. 520–521.Google Scholar
  23. PINGITORE, N.R., EASTMAN, M.P., SANDIDGE, M., ODEN, K., and FRFEIHA, B., 1998, The co-precipitation of Managanese (II) with calcite: an experimental study:Marine Chemistry, v. 25, p. 107–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. RAO, C.P., 1981, Criteria for recognition of cold-water carbonate sedimentation: Berriedale Limestone (Lower Permian), Tasmania, Australia:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 51, p. 491–506.Google Scholar
  25. RAO, C.P., 1993, Carbonate minerals, oxygen and carbon isotopes in modem temperate bryozoa, eastem Tasmania, Australia:Sedimentary Geology, v. 88, p. 123–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. RAO, C.P., 1996, Modern Carbonates: tropical, temperate and polar-introduction to sedimentology and geochemistry, Carbonates, Hobart, 206 p.Google Scholar
  27. RAO, C.P., 1997, A Colour Illustrated Guide to Sedimentary Textures: Cold, Cool, Warm and Hot — an introduction to the interpretation of depositional, diagenetic and hydrothermal temperatures. Carbonates, Hobart, 128 p.Google Scholar
  28. RAO, C.P., 1998, Cold water polar abiotic aragonite elemental composition, East Antarctica:Sedimentary Geology (submitted).Google Scholar
  29. RAO, C.P. and GREEN, D.C., 1982, Oxygen and carbon isotopes of Early Permian cold-water carbonates, Tasmania, Australia:Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 52, p. 1111–1125.Google Scholar
  30. RAO, C.P., AMINI, Z.Z., and FRANKLIN, D., 1995, Grain-size, biota, sedimentology and oxygen and carbon isotopes of sediments, Davies Station and Prydz Bay, Antarctica: evidence for occurrence and recession of shelfice:ANARE Research News, v. 94, p. 33–34.Google Scholar
  31. RAO, C.P., AMINI, Z.Z., and FRANKLIN, D., 1996, Comparison between modem polar and temperate skeletal carbonate mineralogy and oxygen and carbon isotopes, Antarctica and Tasmania shelves.In Banks, M.R. and Brown, M.J., eds., Climatic succession and glacial history of the southern hemisphere over the last five million years.Papers and Proceedings of Royal Society of Tasmania, v. 130, p. 87–93.Google Scholar
  32. RAO, C.P., GOODWIN, I.D., and GIBSON, J.A.E., 1998, Shelf, coastal and subglacial polar carbonates, East Antarctica:Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 13, p. 174–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. WILSON, J.B., 1988, A model fortemporal changes in the faunal composition of shell gravels during a transgression on he continental shelf around British Isles:Sedimentary Geology, v. 60, p. 95–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Prasada Rao
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Earth SciencesUniversity of TasmaniaHobartAustralia

Personalised recommendations