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  • Xiaoli Zhou
    Syracuse University
  • Zunli Lu
    Syracuse University
  • Rosalind E.M. Rickaby
    University of Oxford
  • Eugene W. Domack
    University of South Florida
  • Julia S. Wellner
    University of Houston
  • Hilary Kennedy
Glendonites are pseudomorphs of the mineral ikaite (CaCO3·6H2O) after loss of hydration water and occur in distinctive
euhedral crystalline forms, sometimes clustered as rosettes of up to tens of centimeters in diameter. While it
is generally accepted that organic-rich environments, methane seeps, and high phosphate levels are important for
ikaite formation, glendonite occurrences in ancient sedimentary sequences are widely considered to reflect nearfreezing
temperatures, even at high latitudes during periods of greenhouse climates. To fully understand the paleoenvironmental
significance of glendonites, a comprehensive examination of the modern ikaite setting is necessary.
Temperature is the most important parameter that has been quantitatively constrained for the presence of ikaite. Low
bottom-water temperature, while a required condition for formation of the mineral, is not adequate for its growth;
other controls are necessary to explain the absence of ikaite in many cold environments. In this study, we discuss the
control of carbonate chemistry on ikaite formation. Our compilation of geochemical data from sediment cores with
well-preserved ikaite provide further evidence for the importance of phosphate. A phosphate concentration above
∼400 mM in shallow and cold porewater may be the requisite parameter for extensive ikaite precipitation. Thus,
abundant glendonites in ancient successions mark past periods and regions of elevated porewater phosphorus concentrations,
which may also be related to high surface productivity and/or iron fertilization
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-281
JournalJournal of Geology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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