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Journal Article

Dynamic carbonate sedimentation on the Northern Line Islands Ridge, Palmyra Basin


Xie,  R. C.
Climate Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Lyle, M., Pockalny, R., Polissar, P., Lynch-Stieglitz, J., Bova, S., Dunlea, A. G., et al. (2016). Dynamic carbonate sedimentation on the Northern Line Islands Ridge, Palmyra Basin. Marine Geology, 379, 194-207. doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2016.06.005.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-E70B-B
The Line Islands Ridge (LIR), located south of the Hawaiian Islands between 7 degrees N and 1 degrees S, is one of the few large central Pacific regions shallower than the regional carbonate compensation depth. Thick sequences of carbonate sediments have accumulated around the LIR despite it being located in the sediment-starved central tropical Pacific. The LIR is an important source of carbonates to the surrounding region and deposition around the LIR has expanded the equatorial Pacific carbonate sediment tongue by about 5% of its total area. Furthermore, sediments on the ridge are potentially important paleoceanographic archives. A recent survey at the crest of the LIR finds evidence for high current activity, significant erosion, but overall net sediment deposition. Currents are strong enough to form sediment waves and lee drifts in the Palmyra Basin, at the northern terminus of the LIR. Sediments along the LIR are pelagic foraminiferal sands that are easily eroded and flow out into the surrounding abyssal plain in active submarine channel systems. As channels migrate, pelagic sediments fill in the abandoned channel arms. Despite significant sediment losses from the top of the ridge, 1.3 km of sediment has accumulated in the upper Palmyra Basin over basement formed 68 to 85 million years ago (Ma). Late Neogene erosion may be more extensive than earlier erosion cycles, in response to reduced sediment production as the Palmyra Basin exited the high productivity equatorial latitudes. Sediments with good stratigraphic order needed for paleoceanographic study are limited in this dynamic sedimentary environment, but can be found with proper survey. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.