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Droxler, André W; Haddad, Geoffrey A; Kroon, Dick; Gartner, Stefan; Wei, Wuchang; McNeill, Donald F (1993): Late Pliocene carbonate mineralogy of ODP Hole 133-818B. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Droxler, AW et al. (1993): Late Pliocene (2.9 Ma) partial recovery of shallow carbonate banks on Queensland Plateau: signal of banktop re-entry into photic zone during lowering in sea level. In: McKenzie, JA; Davies, PJ; Palmer-Julson, A; et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results, College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), 133, 235-254,

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Shedding of shallow carbonate material toward the deep slopes and basin floors is clearly tied to the position of the carbonate bank tops relative to the photic zone. The onset of bank shedding in periplatform sediments can record either the flooding of the bank tops within the photic zone during a rise in sea level following a period of exposure, referred to in the literature as the "highstand shedding" scenario, or the reentry of the bank tops into the photic zone during a lowering of sea level following a period of drowning, referred to as the "lowstand shedding" scenario. Results from Leg 133 post-cruise research on the Pliocene sequences, drilled in six sites within different slope settings of the Queensland Plateau, seem to point out that the latter "lowstand shedding" scenario can be applied to this particular carbonate system.
At the Queensland Plateau sites, the early Pliocene (5.2-3.5 Ma) and the earliest part of the late Pliocene (3.5-2.9 Ma) age sequences were characterized, especially in the ôdeepö Sites 811 and 817, by pelagic sediments (foraminifers and coccoliths) and by typically pelagic sedimentation rates not exceeding 20 mm/k.y. The earliest part of the late Pliocene age section was characterized by well-developed hardgrounds in the "shallow" Sites 812 and 814 and by normal pelagic sediments mixed with reworked phosphatized planktonic foraminifers in Site 813. Finally, the early part of the late Pliocene (2.9-2.4 Ma) section was characterized by high sedimentation rates, related to the shedding and admixture into the pelagic sediments of bank-derived materials. These bank-derived materials consist of either diagenetically unaltered fine aragonite with traces of dolomite in Site 818 or micritic calcite resulting from seafloor and/or shallow burial alteration in the deepest Sites 817 and 811. The highest sedimentation rates (163 mm/k.y.) were recorded in Site 818, drilled nearest the modern carbonate bank of Tregrosse Reef. The sedimentation rates decrease with increasing distance from Tregrosse Reef - 120 mm/k.y. in Site 817 and 47.5 mm/k.y. in Site 811. The initial appearance of fine aragonite in Site 818, corresponding to the transition from pelagic to periplatform sedimentation rates, has been dated at 2.9 Ma. This Pliocene sediment pattern on the Queensland Plateau is different from the pattern observed in sediments from two earlier ODP legs (i.e., Leg 101 in the Bahamas and in Leg 115 in the Maldives), where aragonite-rich sediments, characterized by high periplatform sedimentation rates, were observed in the lower Pliocene section (5.2-3.5 Ma), whereas the upper Pliocene (3.5-1.6 Ma) sediments are more pelagic in nature and are characterized by low sedimentation rates or major hiatuses. These Pliocene periplatform sequences in the Bahamas and in the Maldives and late Quaternary age periplatform sequences worldwide have pointed out that "highstand shedding" was the typical response of carbonate platforms to fluctuations in sea level, just opposite to a ,,lowstand shedding" response to sea-level fluctuations, typical of siliciclastic shelves.
Assuming that the envelope of Haq et al.'s (1987) sea-level curve, showing a well-defined lowering of sea level between 3.5 and 2.9 Ma, can also be applied to the southwest Pacific Ocean, based on a high-resolution Pliocene d18O record from the Ontong Java Plateau recently published by Jansen et al. (1993, doi:10.2973/, the Pliocene periplatform sequences on the Queensland Plateau would have recorded the reentry of the bank tops into the photic zone during a general lowering of sea level, following an interval characterized by high sea level, during which the shallow carbonate system on the Queensland Plateau was drowned. The early Pliocene age (5.2-3.5 Ma) sediments deposited on the Queensland Plateau, an established interval of eustatic sea-level highstand, are typically pelagic in character. In addition, relatively cold surface temperatures (estimated to have ranged from 18° to 20°C by Isern et al. [this volume]) might have also stressed the reefs during early Pliocene time and contributed to the drowning of the Queensland Plateau carbonate system during the late Miocene and early Pliocene. Differential and relatively high subsidence rates, inferred by variations in paleodepth of water (based upon benthic foraminifer assemblages; Katz and Miller, this volume) may also have influenced the drowning of the carbonate bank tops on the Queensland Plateau during the late Miocene and early Pliocene. The sediments of early late Pliocene age (2.9-2.4 Ma), a well-established interval of lowering of sea level, are clearly periplatform and cyclic in nature. High-frequency (~40 k.y.) aragonite cycles, well-developed between 2.9 and 2.45 Ma, correlate with the planktonic high-resolution Pliocene d18O record from the Ontong Java Plateau, a good sea-level proxy (Jansen et al., in press). Contrary to late Quaternary age aragonite cycles from the Bahamas, the Nicaragua Rise, the Maldives, and the Queensland Plateau, the late Pliocene aragonite cycles in Hole 818B display high levels of aragonite during glacial stages and, therefore, lowstands of sea level. In addition, sediments deposited during the earliest part of the late Pliocene (3.5-2.9 Ma), transition between the early Pliocene highstand and the late Pliocene lowering in sea level, have recorded the first evidence of a fall in sea level, by (1) the occurrence of synchronous submarine hardgrounds in the two shallowest sites (Sites 812 and 814), (2) the deposition of reworked material from the shallower part of the slope into the intermediate Sites 813 and 818, and (3) the deposition of pelagic sediments in the deepest Sites 817 and 817. In summary, contrary to previous findings, the Pliocene periplatform sediments on the Queensland Plateau appear to have recorded a regional shedding of shallow carbonate bank tops during an interval of sea-level lowering, a good illustration of the ,,carbonate lowstand shedding" scenario, occurring during the reentry of previously drowned carbonate bank tops into the photic zone related to a decrease in sea level.
Median Latitude: -17.870578 * Median Longitude: 149.636559 * South-bound Latitude: -18.158000 * West-bound Longitude: 148.158000 * North-bound Latitude: -16.515000 * East-bound Longitude: 150.042200
Date/Time Start: 1990-08-17T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 1990-09-09T02:40:00
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