MARINE CARBONATE ARCHIVES:
CONTROLS ON CARBONATE PRECIPITATION AND PATHWAYS OF DIAGENETIC ALTERATION
Carbonates are arguably the most important rock type for reconstructing Earth System evolution with respect to the physical and chemical evolution of the oceans as well as changes in atmospheric composition and global climate. The evolution of the climatic and physico-chemical parameters on Earth's continents and in the oceans throughout the Phanerozoic can be obtained by analysing marine and continental carbonate archive proxies including δ13/12C, δ18/16O, δ44/40Ca, δ26/24Mg and δ88/86Sr and elemental ratios such as Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca.
Carbonates, however, whether biogenic, abiogenic or organomineralic in origin, are subject to variable degrees of post-depositional/post-mortem diagenetic alteration. Diagenesis represents the single most significant obstacle in deep-time carbonate archive research. Moreover, the interpretation of individual proxy data sets from carbonate archives requires a detailed understanding on the distribution behavior of elements and isotopes during the formation of biogenic, abiogenic and organomineralic calcium carbonate. To the present day, however, many of the principles applied are based on rather empirical and qualitative approaches and the underlying processes are insufficiently understood.
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