Endolithic Boring Enhance the Deep-sea Carbonate Lithification on the Southwest Indian Ridge

Hengchao Xu, Xiaotong Peng, Shun Chen, Jiwei Li, Kaiwen Ta, Mengran Du
2018 Biogeosciences Discussions  
Deep-sea carbonates represent an important type of sedimentary rock due to their effect on the composition of upper oceanic crust and their contribution to deep-sea geochemical cycles. However, the lithification of deep-sea carbonates at the seafloor has remained a mystery for many years. A large lithified carbonate area, characterized by thriving benthic faunas and tremendous amount of endolithic borings, was discovered in 2008, blanketed on the seafloor of ultraslow spreading Southwest Indian
more » ... ng Southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR). Macrofaunal inhabitants including echinoids, polychaetes, gastropods as well as crustaceans, are abundant in the sample. The most readily apparent feature of the sample is the localized enhancement of density around the borings. The boring features of these carbonate rocks and factors that may enhance deep-sea carbonate lithification are reported. We suggest that active boring may trigger the dissolution of the original calcite and thus accelerate deep-sea carbonate lithification on mid-ocean ridges. Our study reports an unfamiliar phenomenon of non-burial carbonate lithification and interested by the observation that it is often associated with boring feature. These carbonate rocks may provide a novel mechanism for deep-sea carbonate lithification at the deep-sea seafloor and also illuminate the geological and biological importance of deep-sea carbonate rocks on mid-ocean ridges.
doi:10.5194/bg-2018-46 fatcat:6xlpsgv63jgxxhefkgpugr5xry