Based on index properties measurements made on board the JOIDES Resolution, we studied porosity changes with depth in the fairly homogeneous deep-sea calcareous sediments cored during Ocean Drilling Program Leg 130 on the Ontong Java Plateau. Using Leg 130 data, we present evidence that the rate of porosity decrease with burial in calcareous oozes and chalks is related to the depth of deposition and thus probably depends on the "conditioning" of calcareous sediments by winnowing or dissolution processes during the time of deposition. The ooze-to-chalk transition is not clearly reflected in porosity profiles. In the ooze-chalk sections studied (the upper 600 mbsf), mechanical compaction is most likely the major process controlling the porosity decrease with depth of burial, whereas the chalk-limestone transition (at about 1100 mbsf at Site 807) is characterized by an intense chemical compaction leading to a drastic decrease in porosity values within 100 m. In oozes and chalks, porosity values were corrected to "original" (uncompacted) values using site-specific empirical regression equations. When plotted vs. age, corrected porosity profiles appear to correlate quite well from site to site in the sediments deposited during the last 15 m.y. This observation has considerable implications for seismic stratigraphy. Our attempt to correlate variations in porosity (or wet-bulk density) profiles with changes in carbonate content remained unsatisfactory. Index properties changes are likely caused by changes in the foraminifer content. If this is the case, we propose that large-scale porosity fluctuations that correlate from site to site are the result of changes in the surface productivity that lead to changes in the foraminifers-to-nannofossils ratio.
Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Affiliate
International Ocean Discovery Program
Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program
Bassinot, F.C., Marsters, J.C., Mayer, L.A., and Wilkens, R.H., 1993. Variations of porosity in calcareous sediments from the Ontong Java Plateau. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program: Scientific Results, vol. 130, pp. 653-661.