Foraminiferal isotope anomalies from northwestern Pacific marginal sediments

TitleForaminiferal isotope anomalies from northwestern Pacific marginal sediments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsOhkushi, K, Ahagon, N, Uchida, M, Shibata, Y
JournalGeochemistry Geophysics Geosystems
Date PublishedApr 12
ISBN Number1525-2027
Keywordsatmospheric processes : paleoclimatology, benthic foraminifera, California, carbon isotopes, corals, Foraminifera, gas-hydrate, kuril trench, marine geology and geophysics : marine sediments : processes and transport, methane hydrate, methane release, northwestern pacific ocean, sea-level record, tokachi-oki earthquake, western north pacific, Younger Dryas

[1] We evaluated the influence of methane release from methane hydrate reservoirs in the northwestern Pacific continental margin on stable isotope values. We analyzed stable isotopes of foraminifera from a piston core collected at 1066-m water depth off eastern Hokkaido, northern Japan. Carbon isotope signals indicated that planktonic and benthic foraminifera in several glacial sediment layers in the core were highly depleted in C-13; both the planktonic and benthic foraminiferal delta C-13 values ranged from about -10 parts per thousand to -2 parts per thousand. Most foraminiferal tests in these horizons were brown as a result of postdepositional alteration. Foraminiferal oxygen isotopes fluctuated abnormally in the glacial sediment layers, showing small ( about 0.5 parts per thousand) positive shifts relative to normal glacial values. We attributed the positive shifts to authigenic carbonate formation in the foraminiferal tests. The authigenic carbonates have formed when rising methane, from methane hydrate in the sediment, became oxidized as it came in contact with dissolved sulfate near the seafloor. Episodic methane-release events may be associated with great plate-boundary earthquakes with epicenters near the coring site.