Rare earth, major and trace element composition of Leg 127 sediments

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The relative effects of paleoceanographic and paleogeographic variations, sediment lithology, and diagenetic processes on the final preserved chemistry of Japan Sea sediments are evaluated by investigating the rare earth element (REE), major element, and trace element concentrations in 59 squeeze-cake whole-round and 27 physical-property sample residues from Sites 794, 795, and 797, cored during ODP Leg 127.

The most important variation in sedimentary chemical composition is the increase in SiO2 concentration through the Pliocene diatomaceous sequences, which dilutes most other major and trace element components by various degrees. This biogenic input is largest at Site 794 (Yamato Basin), moderately developed at Site 797 (Yamato Basin), and of only minor importance at Site 795 (Japan Basin), potentially reflecting basinal contrasts in productivity with the Yamato Basin recording greater biogenic input than the Japan Basin and with the easternmost sequence of Site 794 lying beneath the most productive waters. There are few systematic changes in solid-phase chemistry resulting from the opal-A/opal-CT or opal-CT/quartz silica phase transformations. Most major and trace element concentrations are controlled by the aluminosilicate fraction of the sediment, although the effects of diagenetic silica phases and manganese carbonates are of localized importance.

REE total abundances (IREE) in the Japan Sea are strongly dependent upon the paleoceanographic position of a given site with respect to terrigenous and biogenic sources. REE concentrations at Site 794 overall correspond well to aluminosilicate chemical indices and are strongly diluted by SiO2 within the upper Miocene-Pliocene diatomaceous sequence. Eu/Eu* values at Site 794 reach a maximum through the diatomaceous interval as well, most likely suggesting an association of Eu/Eu* with the siliceous component, or reflecting slight incorporation of a detrital feldspar phase. XREE at Site 795 also is affiliated strongly with aluminosilicate phases and yet is diluted only slightly by siliceous input. At Site 797, ΣRE E is not as clearly associated with the aluminosilicate fraction, is correlated moderately to siliceous input, and may be sporadically influenced by detrital heavy minerals originating from the nearby rifted continental fragment composing the Yamato Rise.

Ce/Ce* profiles at all three sites increase essentially monotonically with depth and record progressive diagenetic LREE fractionation. The observed Ce/Ce* increases are not responding to changes in the paleoceanographic oxygenation state of the overlying water, as there is no independent evidence to suggest the proper Oceanographic conditions. Ce/Ce* correlates slightly better with depth than with age at the two Yamato Basin sites.

The downhole increase in Ce/Ce* at Sites 794 and 797 is a passive response to the diagenetic transfer of LREE (except Ce) from sediment to interstitial water. At Site 795, the overall lack of correlation between Ce/Ce* and La/Y^ suggests that other processes mask the diagenetic behavior of all LREEs. First-order calculations of the Ce budget in Japan Sea waters and sediment indicate that ~20% of the excess Ce adsorbed by settling particles is recycled within the water column and that an additional -38% is recycled at or near the seafloor. Thus, because the remaining excess Ce is only -10% of the total Ce, there is not a large source of Ce to the deeply buried sediment, further suggesting that the downhole increase in Ce/Ce* is a passive response to diagenetic behavior of the other LREEs. The REE chemistry of Japan Sea sediment therefore predicts successive downhole addition of LREEs to deeply buried interstitial waters.

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Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Rare earth, major and trace element composition of Leg 127 sediments
Volume 127/128
Issue 1
Year Published 1992
Language English
Publisher Ocean Drilling Program
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 19 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Subtype Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results
First page 677
Last page 695
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