The Sediment Green-Blue Color Ratio as a Proxy for Biogenic Silica Productivity Along the Chilean Margin
Li, Chen; Clementi, Vincent J.; Bova, Samantha C; Rosenthal, Yair; Childress, Laurel B.; Wright, James D.; Jian, Zhimin; Aiello, Ivano W.; Avila, Alejandro; Biggs, William; Charles, Christopher D.; Cheung, Anson H.; deLong, Kimberly; Dove, Isabel A.; Du, Xiaojing; Estes, Emily R.; Fuentes, Ursula; García-Lasanta, Cristina; Goldstein, Steven L.; Golub, Anna; Hagemann, Julia Rieke; Hatfield, Robert G; Haynes, Laura L.; Hess, Anya V.; Irvali, Nil; Kiro, Yael; Monteagudo, Minda M.; Lambert, Jonathan E.; Longo, William M.; McGrath, Sarah; Riechelson, Hailey; Robinson, Rebecca S.; Sarao, John; Sproson, Adam D.; Taylor, Shawn; Yokoyama, Yusuke; Yu, Siyao M.
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGeochemistry Geophysics Geosystems. 2022, 23 (9), e2022GC010350. 10.1029/2022GC010350
Sediment cores recently collected from the Chilean Margin during D/V JOIDES Resolution Expedition 379T (JR100) document variability in shipboard-generated records of the green/blue (G/B) ratio. These changes show a strong coherence with benthic foraminiferal δ18O, Antarctic ice core records, and sediment lithology (e.g., higher diatom abundances in greener sediment intervals), suggesting a climate-related control on the G/B. Here, we test the utility of G/B as a proxy for diatom productivity at Sites J1002 and J1007 by calibrating G/B to measured biogenic opal. Strong exponential correlations between measured opal% and the G/B were found at both sites. We use the empirical regressions to generate high-resolution records of opal contents (opal%) on the Chilean Margin. Higher productivity tends to result in more reducing sedimentary conditions. Redox-sensitive sedimentary U/Th generally co-varies with the reconstructed opal% at both sites, supporting the association between sediment color, sedimentary U/Th, and productivity. Lastly, we calculated opal mass accumulation rate (MAR) at Site J1007 over the last ∼150,000 years. The G/B-derived opal MAR record from Site J1007 largely tracks existing records derived from traditional wet-alkaline digestion from the south and eastern equatorial Pacific (EEP) Ocean, with a common opal flux peak at ∼50 ka suggesting that increased diatom productivity in the EEP was likely driven by enhanced nutrient supply from the Southern Ocean rather than dust inputs as previously suggested. Collectively, our results identify the G/B ratio as a useful tool with the potential to generate reliable, high-resolution paleoceanographic records that circumvent the traditionally laborious methodology.