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Association of sinking organic matter with various types of mineral ballast in the deep sea: Implications for the rain ratio

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62436

Klaas,  C.
Research Group Paleo-Climatology, Dr. S. P. Harrison, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Klaas, C., & Archer, D. E. (2002). Association of sinking organic matter with various types of mineral ballast in the deep sea: Implications for the rain ratio. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 16(4), 1116. doi:10.1029/2001GB001765.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-CF28-7
Abstract
[1] We compiled and standardized sediment trap data below 1000 m depth from 52 locations around the globe to infer the implications of the Armstrong et al. [2002] "ballast'' model to the ratio of organic carbon to calcium carbonate in the deep sea (the rain ratio). We distinguished three forms of mineral ballast: calcium carbonate, opal, and lithogenic material. We concur with Armstrong et al. [2002] that organic carbon sinking fluxes correlate tightly with mineral fluxes. Based on the correlations seen in the trap data, we conclude that most of the organic carbon rain in the deep sea is carried by calcium carbonate, because it is denser than opal and more abundant than terrigenous material. This analysis explains the constancy of the organic carbon to calcium carbonate rain ratio in the deep sea today, and argues against large changes in the mean value of this ratio in the past. However, sediment trap data show variability in the ratio in areas of high relative calcium carbonate export (mass CaCO3/mass ratio > 0.4), unexplainable by the model, leaving open the possibility of regional variations in the rain ratio in the past.