Tectonically-triggered sediment and carbon export to the Hadal zone

Bao, R., Strasser, M., McNichol, A. P., Haghipour, N., McIntyre, C. , Wefer, G. and Eglinton, T. I. (2018) Tectonically-triggered sediment and carbon export to the Hadal zone. Nature Communications, 9, 121. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02504-1) (PMID:29317639) (PMCID:PMC5760703)

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Abstract

Sediments in deep ocean trenches may contain crucial information on past earthquake history and constitute important sites of carbon burial. Here we present 14C data on bulk organic carbon (OC) and its thermal decomposition fractions produced by ramped pyrolysis/oxidation for a core retrieved from the >7.5 km-deep Japan Trench. High-resolution 14C measurements, coupled with distinctive thermogram characteristics of OC, reveal hemipelagic sedimentation interrupted by episodic deposition of pre-aged OC in the trench. Low δ13C values and diverse 14C ages of thermal fractions imply that the latter material originates from the adjacent margin, and the co-occurrence of pre-aged OC with intervals corresponding to known earthquake events implies tectonically triggered, gravity-flow-driven supply. We show that 14C ages of thermal fractions can yield valuable chronological constraints on sedimentary sequences. Our findings shed new light on links between tectonically driven sedimentological processes and marine carbon cycling, with implications for carbon dynamics in hadal environments.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This study is supported by Doc. Mobility Fellowship (P1EZP2_159064) (R.B.) from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). This work is also supported by SNF “CAPS-LOCK” project 200021_140850 (T.I.E.), by SNSF grant (133481) (M.S.), and Austrian Science Foundation (P 29678-N28) (M.S.).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mcintyre, Dr Cameron
Authors: Bao, R., Strasser, M., McNichol, A. P., Haghipour, N., McIntyre, C., Wefer, G., and Eglinton, T. I.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 9: 121
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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