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Wagner, Thomas; Dupont, Lydie M (1999): Terrestrial organic matter in marine sediments of the Central Equatorial Atlantic. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Wagner, T; Dupont, LM (1999): Terrestrial Organic Matter in Marine Sediments: Analytical Approaches and Eolian-Marine Records in the Central Equatorial Atlantic. In: Fischer, G & Wefer, G (eds.), Use of Proxies in Paleoceanography - Examples from the South Atlantic, Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 547-574

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Terrestrial organic matter (OM) in pelagic sediments is discussed with regard to depositional processes and land-sea interactions in the modern and past glacial/interglacial Equatorial Atlantic. Special emphasis is placed on a critical evaluation of different analytical approaches (C/N, Rock-Eval Pyrolysis, stable carbon isotopes, palynology, organic petrology, and selected biomarkers) which are currently used for the qualitative and quantitative assessment of terrigenous organic carbon. If binary mixing equations are used to calculate terrestrial and marine proportions of organic carbon, we consider the definition of endmember values to be most critical since these values may be biased by a great number of independent controls. A combination of geochemical methods including optical studies (organic petrology and palynology) is therefore suggested to evaluate each individual proxy. Organic geochemical analyses performed on sediments from the modern and Late Quaternary Equatorial Atlantic evidence fluctuations in eolian supply of terrigenous OM related to changes in intensity of the trade winds. Quantification of this organic fraction leads to differing proportions depending on the approach applied, i.e. the organic carbon isotopic composition or maceral analyses. Modern distribution of terrigenous OM reveals a decrease in supply towards the basin contributing less than a fifth of the total OM in pelagic areas. Organic geochemical data indicate that sedimentation in the modern northeastern Brasil Basin is affected by lateral advection of reworked OM probably from southern source areas. Glacial/interglacial deposits from the pelagic Equatorial Atlantic (ODP Site 663), covering isotopic stages 12 and 11, reveal that deposition of terrigenous OM was higher under past glacial conditions, in correspondence to generally enhanced dust fluxes. Proportions of terrigenous OM, however, never exceed 50% of the total OM according to maceral analyses. Other estimates, recently proposed by Verardo and Ruddiman (1996), are considered to be too high probably for analytical reasons. Palynological records in the Equatorial Atlantic parallel dust records. Increased portions of grass pollen suggest the admixture of C4-plant material under modern and past glacial conditions. It is therefore assumed, as one possible interpetation, that C4-plant debris has an effect on sedimentary d13Corg and might explain differences between isotopic and microscopic quantitative estimates. Using the difference between these two records, we calculate that maximum supply of C4-material remains below 20% of the total OM for the deep modern and past glacial/interglacial Equatorial Atlantic.
Median Latitude: 2.168519 * Median Longitude: -11.150158 * South-bound Latitude: -7.546667 * West-bound Longitude: -28.641667 * North-bound Latitude: 11.503333 * East-bound Longitude: -2.735280
Date/Time Start: 1986-03-26T17:30:00 * Date/Time End: 1995-02-14T07:30:00
108-663A * Latitude: -1.197800 * Longitude: -11.878500 * Date/Time Start: 1986-03-26T17:30:00 * Date/Time End: 1986-03-27T13:45:00 * Elevation: -3706.0 m * Penetration: 147.2 m * Recovery: 119.05 m * Location: South Atlantic Ocean * Campaign: Leg108 * Basis: Joides Resolution * Method/Device: Drilling/drill rig (DRILL) * Comment: 16 cores; 147.2 m cored; 0 m drilled; 80.9 % recovery
108-664B * Latitude: 0.107300 * Longitude: -23.227500 * Date/Time Start: 1986-03-30T23:30:00 * Date/Time End: 1986-03-31T23:09:00 * Elevation: -3806.0 m * Penetration: 247 m * Recovery: 245.02 m * Location: North Atlantic Ocean * Campaign: Leg108 * Basis: Joides Resolution * Method/Device: Drilling/drill rig (DRILL) * Comment: 26 cores; 247 m cored; 0 m drilled; 99.2 % recovery
159-959C * Latitude: 3.627700 * Longitude: -2.735280 * Date/Time Start: 1995-01-13T03:15:00 * Date/Time End: 1995-01-14T00:00:00 * Elevation: -2091.0 m * Penetration: 179.6 m * Recovery: 187.34 m * Location: Gulf of Guinea * Campaign: Leg159 * Basis: Joides Resolution * Method/Device: Drilling/drill rig (DRILL) * Comment: 20 cores; 179.6 m cored; 0 m drilled; 104.3 % recovery
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Datasets listed in this publication series

  1. Wagner, T; Dupont, LM (1999): Analysis of organic matter in ODP Hole 159-962B.
  2. Wagner, T; Dupont, LM (1999): Analysis of organic matter in surface sediments of the equatorial Atlantic.