Special Issue "Polar Marine Carbonates"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Biomineralization and Biominerals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 17 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Paolo Montagna
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Polar Sciences - National Research Council, Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Interests: carbonate geochemistry; proxy development; paleoclimate reconstructions
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Marco Taviani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Marine Sciences—National Research Council Via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Interests: paleoecology; biogenic carbonates; deep-sea geo-biology

Special Issue Information

At the 15th IAS Meeting of Sedimentology (13–15 April 1994, Ischia, Italy), the talk “Life against Thermodynamics” was presented by one of the Guest Editors (M.T.) at a special session devoted to polar carbonates. The concept recalls the basic fact that precipitation of calcium carbonate minerals in polar marine settings is profoundly disadvantaged by the ambient low temperatures (close to the freezing point). The presence of calcium carbonates under extreme polar conditions is largely trusted to the capability of organisms to invest energy in the process of biomineralization. Many important aspects of processes and products of carbonate precipitation and diagenesis in polar and subpolar latitudes have been elucidated to date; however, others remain little-known. This Special Issue welcomes contributions on all compositional (chemical, physical, biological) aspects of polar and subpolar carbonates in the marine domain, recent and past.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • mineralogy and petrography of polar carbonates;
  • geochemistry of cold water carbonates;
  • seawater carbonate chemistry;
  • high-latitude biological carbonate factories; and
  • ancient polar carbonates and paleoclimates.

Dr. Paolo Montagna
Dr. Marco Taviani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • polar carbonates
  • mineralogy
  • geochemistry
  • biomineralization
  • seawater carbonate chemistry
  • paleoclimate

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Article
Visual Imaging of Benthic Carbonate-Mixed Factories in the Ross Sea Region Marine Protected Area, Antarctica
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 833; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080833 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 596
Abstract
Marine biogenic skeletal production is the prevalent source of Ca-carbonate in today’s Antarctic seas. Most information, however, derives from the post-mortem legacy of calcifying organisms. Prior imagery and evaluation of Antarctic habitats hosting calcifying benthic organisms are poorly present in the literature, therefore, [...] Read more.
Marine biogenic skeletal production is the prevalent source of Ca-carbonate in today’s Antarctic seas. Most information, however, derives from the post-mortem legacy of calcifying organisms. Prior imagery and evaluation of Antarctic habitats hosting calcifying benthic organisms are poorly present in the literature, therefore, a Remotely Operated Vehicle survey was carried out in the Ross Sea region Marine Protected Area during the 2013–2014 austral summer. Two video surveys of the seafloor were conducted along transects between 30 and 120 m (Adelie Cove) and 230 and 260 m (Terra Nova Bay “Canyon”), respectively. We quantified the relative abundance of calcifiers vs. non-calcifiers in the macro- and mega-epibenthos. Furthermore, we considered the typology of the carbonate polymorphs represented by the skeletonized organisms. The combined evidence from the two sites reveals the widespread existence of carbonate-mixed factories in the area, with an overwhelming abundance of both low-Mg and (especially) high-Mg calcite calcifiers. Echinoids, serpulids, bryozoans, pectinid bivalves and octocorals prove to be the most abundant animal producers in terms of abundance. The shallower Adelie Cove site also showed evidence of seabed coverage by coralline algae. Our results will help in refining paleoenvironmental analyses since many of the megabenthic calcifiers occur in the Quaternary record of Antarctica. We set a baseline to monitor the future response of these polar biota in a rapidly changing ocean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Marine Carbonates)
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Article
Growth Interruptions in Arctic Rhodoliths Correspond to Water Depth and Rhodolith Morphology
Minerals 2021, 11(5), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11050538 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 619
Abstract
Coralline algae that form rhodoliths are widespread globally and their skeletal growth patterns have been used as (paleo-) environmental proxies in a variety of studies. However, growth interruptions (hiati) within their calcareous skeletons are regarded as problematic in this context. Here we investigated [...] Read more.
Coralline algae that form rhodoliths are widespread globally and their skeletal growth patterns have been used as (paleo-) environmental proxies in a variety of studies. However, growth interruptions (hiati) within their calcareous skeletons are regarded as problematic in this context. Here we investigated how hiati in the growth of Arctic rhodoliths from the Svalbard archipelago correspond to their environment and morphology. Using X-ray micro-computed tomography and stepwise model selections, we found that rhodoliths from deeper waters are subject to more frequent hiatus formation. In addition, rhodoliths with a higher sphericity (i.e., roundness) are less often affected by such growth interruptions. We conclude that these correlations are mainly regulated by hydrodynamics, because, in deeper waters, rhodoliths are not turned frequently enough to prevent a dieback of coralline algal thalli forming on the underside of the rhodolith. In this coherence, spheroidal rhodoliths are turned more easily, therefore shortening the amount of time between turnover events. Moreover, the incidence of light is more advantageous in shallower waters where rhodoliths exhibit a greater share of their surface to diffused ambient light, thus enabling thallus growth also on the down-facing surface of the rhodoliths. In consequence, information on the frequency of hiatus formation combined with rhodolith morphology might serve as a valuable proxy for (paleo-)environmental reconstructions in respect to light availability and the hydrodynamic regime. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Marine Carbonates)
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Article
Assessment of Annual Physico-Chemical Variability via High-Temporal Resolution Monitoring in an Antarctic Shallow Coastal Site (Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea)
Minerals 2021, 11(4), 374; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11040374 - 02 Apr 2021
Viewed by 753
Abstract
The Southern Ocean is an important atmospheric carbon sink, and potential changes in the carbon flux in this region will affect the ocean as a whole. Thus, to monitor the variability of its physico-chemical parameters is becoming a priority. This study provides the [...] Read more.
The Southern Ocean is an important atmospheric carbon sink, and potential changes in the carbon flux in this region will affect the ocean as a whole. Thus, to monitor the variability of its physico-chemical parameters is becoming a priority. This study provides the first high-resolution all-year-round record of observed and computed physico-chemical data from a shallow coastal site in Terra Nova Bay (Ross Sea). From November 2018 to November 2019, an underwater observatory deployed at a 25 m depth under an ice pack recorded pressure (p), temperature (t), electrical conductivity (C), dissolved oxygen (DO), pH in total scale (pHT), and illuminance (Ev). Practical salinity (SP), density (ρ), tidal constituents, carbonate system parameters (total alkalinity (TA), carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2), calcite, and aragonite (ΩCa, ΩAr)), together with sea ice concentration (SIC) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a), were derived from measured and satellite data. t, DO, and pHT displayed the lowest values between July and November (–1.95 °C, 6.61 mL L−1, 7.97) whereas the highest in January (+1.08 °C, 10.61 mL L−1, 8.35). SP had the lowest values (33.72 PSU) in February and the highest (34.87 PSU) in September. Ev peaked in March (201 lux), with the highest values (>50 lux) in correspondence to the lowest values of SIC and a delayed trend, between December and March, with respect to Chl-a values (0.2–1.1 mg m−3). ΩCa and ΩAr showed their highest average monthly values (±s.d.) in January (ΩCa: 3.41 ± 0.27; ΩAr: 2.14 ± 0.17), when DO had maximum values. The lowest Ω occurred in September (ΩCa: 2.11 ± 0.02; ΩAr: 1.32 ± 0.02), at the end of phytoplankton activity. No undersaturation for both calcite and aragonite was recorded during the study period. This study highlights that biological activities and physico-chemical variables of the investigated shallow coastal site are coupled and, in many cases, influence each other. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polar Marine Carbonates)
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