Neodymium Isotopes in Glauconite for Palaeoceanographic Reconstructions at Continental Margins: A Preliminary Investigation From Demerara Rise

Type Article
Date 2021-04
Language English
Author(s) Giresse Pierre1, Bayon Germain2, Tallobre Cédric1, Loncke Lies1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centre de Formation et de Recherche sur les Environnements Méditerranéens (CEFREM), UMR 5110 CNRS, Université de Perpignan Via Domitia, Perpignan, France
2 : Centre de Bretagne, Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer, Marine Geosciences Unit, Plouzané, France
Source Frontiers In Earth Science (Frontiers Media), 2021-04 , Vol. 9 , N. 652501 , P. 14p.
DOI 10.3389/feart.2021.652501
Keyword(s) rare earth elements, neodymium isotopes, glauconitisation, Demerara, contourite

Contourite sediment accumulations at continental margins are related to strong bottom water circulation, where intense winnowing can result in neoformation of authigenic grains of glauconite at the seafloor. In this study, we investigated whether such glauconite grains could faithfully record ambient bottom-water neodymium (Nd) isotopic compositions, and hence be used as paleoceanographic archives. To this purpose, we measured Nd isotopic compositions (εNd) in a series of glauconitic grains, foraminiferal assemblages, leached Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide phases, and detrital clays separated from a contourite sediment record at the Demerara slope off French Guiana (IG-KSF-11; 2370 m water depth), at a location where the present-day εNd distribution along the water column is well characterised. We show that the εNd composition of core-top glauconite grains (−12.0 ± 0.5) agrees with the expected NADW-like seawater signature at the same location and water depth (−11.6 ± 0.3), while departing from measured εNd values for corresponding detrital clays (−11.3 ± 0.2), foraminiferal (−10.9 ± 0.2), and Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide fractions (−9.2 ± 0.2). This finding indicates that glauconitic grains at this particular location are probably best suited for paleoceanographic reconstructions than foraminifera and leached Fe-oxyhydroxide fractions, which appear to be influenced by sediment redistribution and the presence of terrestrial continental Fe-oxides, respectively. Using rare earth elements (REE), we tentatively propose that the acquisition of seawater Nd isotopic signatures by glauconite is controlled by the presence of authigenic REE-bearing phosphate-rich phases intertwined within clay mineral sheets, while confirming previous findings that the process of glauconitisation results in the progressive loss of REE within glauconitic grains. Preliminary paleoceanographic implications suggest strengthened bottom-water circulation of the glacial analogue of NADW at this particular location and water depth, with a εNd signature (between −10.8 and −11.5) similar to that of modern NADW.

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