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Boron concentrations and isotopic compositions in methane-derived authigenic carbonates: Constraints and limitations in reconstructing formation conditions

Hong, Wei-Li and Lepland, Aivo and Kirsimäe, Kalle and Crémière, Antoine and Rae, James W. B. (2022) Boron concentrations and isotopic compositions in methane-derived authigenic carbonates: Constraints and limitations in reconstructing formation conditions. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 579 . Art. No. 117337. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117337.

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The boron content and isotopic composition (δ¹¹B), of marine carbonates have the potential to constrain CO₂ chemistry during carbonate growth conditions. However, obtaining and interpreting boron compositions from authigenic carbonates in geological archives present several challenges that may substantially limit their application. In particular, contamination from non-carbonate phases during sample preparation must be carefully avoided, and a variety of controls on boron composition during authigenic growth conditions must be evaluated. To advance understanding of the use and limitations of boron in authigenic carbonates, we present data and modelling results on methane-derived authigenic carbonate (MDAC), a by-product of microbially mediated anaerobic oxidation of methane, taken from three cold seep sites along the Norwegian margin. We present a novel sequential leaching method to isolate the boron signals from the micritic (Mg-calcite) and cavity-filling (aragonitic) MDAC cements in these complex multi-phase samples. This method successfully minimizes contamination from non-carbonate phases. To investigate the factors that could potentially contribute to the observed boron signals, we construct a numerical model to simulate the evolution of MDAC δ¹¹B and B/Ca ratios over its growth history. We show that diagenetic fluid composition, depths of precipitation, the physical properties of sediments (such as porosity), and mineral surface kinetics all contribute to the observed boron compositions in the different carbonate cements. While broad constraints may be placed on fluid composition, the multiple competing controls on boron in these diagenetic settings limit the ability to place unique solutions on fluid CO₂ chemistry using boron in these authigenic carbonates.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Information
Hong, Wei-Li0000-0002-7247-1827
Lepland, Aivo0000-0002-0248-1405
Kirsimäe, Kalle0000-0002-1221-3623
Crémière, Antoine0000-0001-7382-2097
Rae, James W. B.0000-0003-3904-2526
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Under a Creative Commons license - Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Received 3 February 2021, Revised 17 November 2021, Accepted 5 December 2021, Available online 23 December 2021, Version of Record 23 December 2021. The work is supported by Norwegian Research Council through the schemes PETROMAKS2-NORCRUST (grant number 255150) and Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate (CAGE grant number 223259) as well as Lundin Norway AS. We acknowledge the crews and captain from R/V ‘MARIA S. MERIAN’ as well as the MeBo team and the cruise participants during cruise MSM57-1/-2. Cruise MSM57-1/-2 was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Research Center/Excellence Cluster “The Ocean in the Earth System” at MARUM–Center for Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen and funds from CAGE. We would also like to acknowledge two anonymous reviewers for their insightful and constructive comments that significantly improve the quality of this paper. CRediT authorship contribution statement. Wei-Li Hong: Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Methodology, Software, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft. Aivo Lepland: Conceptualization, Funding acquisition, Project administration, Resources, Validation, Writing – review & editing. Kalle Kirsimäe: Investigation, Writing – review & editing. Antoine Crémière: Writing – review & editing. James W.B. Rae: Conceptualization, Methodology, Validation, Writing – review & editing. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Research Council of Norway255150
Research Council of Norway223259
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:boron; methane-derived authigenic carbonate; transport-reaction modelling; early diagenesis
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220607-425253000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Wei-Li Hong, Aivo Lepland, Kalle Kirsimäe, Antoine Crémière, James W.B. Rae, Boron concentrations and isotopic compositions in methane-derived authigenic carbonates: Constraints and limitations in reconstructing formation conditions, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 579, 2022, 117337, ISSN 0012-821X,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115053
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:08 Jun 2022 14:38
Last Modified:08 Jun 2022 14:38

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