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Bostock, Helen C; Opdyke, Bradley N; Gagan, Michael K; Fifield, L Keith (2009): Late Quaternary siliciclastic/carbonate sedimentation in the Cabricorn Channel. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Bostock, HC et al. (2009): Late Quaternary siliciclastic/carbonate sedimentation model for the Capricorn Channel, southern Great Barrier Reef province, Australia. Marine Geology, 257(1-4), 107-123,

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A model is presented for hemipelagic siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentation during the last glacial-interglacial cycle in the Capricorn Channel, southern Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Stable isotope ratios, grainsize, carbonate content and mineralogy were analysed for seven cores in a depth transect from 166 to 2892 m below sea level (mbsl). Results show variations in the flux of terrigenous, neritic and pelagic sediments to the continental slope over the last sea level cycle.
During the glacial lowstand terrigenous sediment influenced all the cores down to 2000 mbsl. The percentages of quartz and feldspar in the cores decreased with water depth, while the percentage of clay increased. X-ray diffraction analysis of the glacial lowstand clay mineralogy suggests that the siliciclastic sediment was primarily sourced from the Fitzroy River, which debouched directly into the northwest sector of the Capricorn Channel at this time. The cores also show a decrease in pelagic calcite and an increase in aragonite and high magnesium calcite (HMC) during the glacial. The influx of HMC and aragonite is most likely from reworking of coral reefs exposed on the continental shelf during the glacial, and also from HMC ooids precipitated at the head of the Capricorn Channel at this time. Mass accumulation rates (MARs) are high (13.5 g/cm**/kyr) during the glacial and peak at ~20 g/cm** 3/kyr in the early transgression (16-14 ka BP). MARs then decline with further sea level rise as the Fitzroy River mouth retreats from the edge of the continental shelf after 13.5 ka BP. MARs remain low (4 g/cm**3/kyr) throughout the Holocene highstand.
Data for the Holocene highstand indicate there is a reduction in siliciclastic influx to the Capricorn Channel with little quartz and feldspar below 350 mbsl. However, fine-grained fluvial sediments, presumably from the Fitzroy River, were still accumulating on the mid slope down to 2000 mbsl. The proportion of pelagic calcite in the core tops increases with water depth, while HMC decreases, and is present only in trace amounts in cores below 1500 mbsl. The difference in the percentage of HMC in the deeper cores between the glacial and Holocene may reflect differences in supply or deepening of the HMC lysocline during the glacial.
Sediment accumulation rates also vary between cores in the Capricorn Channel and do not show the expected exponential decrease with depth. This may be due to intermediate or deep water currents reworking the sediments. It is also possible that present bathymetry data are too sparse to detect the potential role that submarine channels may play in the distribution and accumulation of sediments.
Comparison of the Capricorn Channel MARs with those for other mixed carbonate/siliciclastic provinces from the northeast margin of Australia indicates that peak MARs in the early transgression in the Capricorn Channel precede those from the central GBR and south of Fraser Island. The difference in the timing of the carbonate and siliciclastic MAR peaks along the northeast margin is primarily related to differences in the physiography and climate of the provinces. The only common trend in the MARs from the northeast margin of Australia is the near synchronicity of the carbonate and siliciclastic MAR peaks in individual sediment cores, which supports a coeval sedimentation model.
Median Latitude: -23.623809 * Median Longitude: 153.509127 * South-bound Latitude: -24.077780 * West-bound Longitude: 152.661110 * North-bound Latitude: -23.194440 * East-bound Longitude: 154.536110
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