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Geochemistry of sediments in contact with oxygen minimum zone of the eastern Arabian Sea: Proxy for palaeo-studies

Abstract

The Arabian Sea encompasses oxygen minimum zone with denitrifying conditions. For the present study, sediments were collected across three transects off Goa transect (GT), Mangalore transect (MT) and Kochi transect (KT) in contact with water column dissolved oxygen (DO) range of 1.4–118.0 µM. Sediments were investigated for texture, clay mineralogy, total organic carbon (Corg), total nitrogen, CaCO3, δ15N, δ13C, metal content to infer their distribution with changing DO and their use as possible palaeo-proxies. The Corg (0.9–8.6%) is largely marine and δ15N from GT and MT preserves signatures of higher water column denitrification. Al normalised ratios of Cu, Ni, Zn, V and Mo are GT > MT > KT. Nickel could be a productivity proxy for DO <80 µM; Cr, U could be a redox proxy for DO <20 µM; Co and Mn could be a better proxy for DO <80 µM; U/Mo vs. DO could separate sediments with DO less than and >80 µM. We observed that eastern Arabian Sea dataset does not always fall within the defined proxies of the other anoxic basins. The metal concentrations in modern day sediments from the eastern Arabian Sea may be used as a proxy to infer the ancient sediment redox conditions.

Highlights

  • Organic carbon distribution in anoxic sediments.

  • Provenance of sediments.

  • Nitrogen isotopes and geochemistry as palaeo-proxy for anoxic basins.

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taken from the Supplementary data of Sweere et al. 2016). The boundary of the box closest to zero indicates the 25th percentile, a line within the box marks the median, and the boundary of the box farthest from zero indicates the 75th percentile. Whisker (error bars) above and below the box indicate the 90th and 10th percentiles. The filled circles are outliers, y-axis is logarithmic scale and dotted line is PAAS value.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Director, CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, for the facilities and encouragement. This study is part of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research funded project ‘INDIAS IDEA (PSC 0108)’. The crew of RV Sindhu Sankalp and Ship-Cell group of the CSIR-NIO are thanked for their support on board. We acknowledge Mr G Prabu for XRD analyses, Dr P Babu for TC, IC and particle-size analyses, Ms S Karapurkar for help in C and N isotopic data. We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for the inputs that have helped improve this manuscript. This is NIO contribution no. 6837.

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All the authors have contributed to the formulation of the idea and writing. PMK, LLF, GP, SK, DMS, JNP and SV have also contributed to sample collection, analysis and generation of maps.

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Correspondence to Pratima M Kessarkar.

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Communicated by N V Chalapathi Rao

Supplementary material pertaining to this article is available on the Journal of Earth System Science website (http://www.ias.ac.in/Journals/Journal_of_Earth_System_Science).

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Kessarkar, P.M., Fernandes, L.L., Parthiban, G. et al. Geochemistry of sediments in contact with oxygen minimum zone of the eastern Arabian Sea: Proxy for palaeo-studies. J Earth Syst Sci 131, 91 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-022-01823-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-022-01823-2

Keywords

  • Surface sediment
  • proxies
  • oxygen minimum zone
  • elements
  • organic carbon
  • Arabian Sea