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Dissolution of planktonic foraminifera in the central waters of the South China Sea; a preliminary study on carbonate dissolution

, : Dissolution of planktonic foraminifera in the central waters of the South China Sea; a preliminary study on carbonate dissolution. Tropic Oceanology = Redai Haiyang 3(4): 18-23

Based on the analyses of distributional characteristics of planktonic foraminifera and CaCO (sub 3) content in the surface sediments in the central waters of the South China Sea, this area is classified into three sedimentary zones in this paper: 1. a zone where CaCO (sub 3) is slightly dissolved; 2. that where CaCO (sub 3) is seriously dissolved; and 3. that where non-foraminifera are deposited and CaCO (sub 3) content value is low. The phenomena that the amount of foraminifera decreases, the shell state of foraminifera transits from well-preserved to broken, even to disappearance, and the lustrous shell surface becomes lustreless, indicate the strengthening of carbonate dissolution with water depth. Accordingly, it is inferred that the dissolocline of the waters is at the depths of 2500-3000m, and the carbonate compensation depth is at 3000-3500m. The strengthening process of carbonate dissolution from the dissolocline to the carbonate compensation depth is a process when calcareous shells of foraminifera and the like are eroded and destroyed, and then dissolved and eventually disappear. The analysis of data shows that the carbonate compensation depth in deep seas is a boundary dividing a calcareous sediment zone and a siliceous one.

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