Authigenic weddellite in sediments from the Coral Sea Basin



Euhedral, tetragonal, dipyramidal crystals of weddellite, an authigenic calcium oxalate, occur in samples from the topmost core of Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 210 in the Coral Sea Basin. Opinions in the literature differ as to whether weddellite is formed in situ or during sample storage. Comparison of smear-slides made of samples after a 4 year storage period with shipboard smear-slides made immediately after core retrieval, indicates that weddellite was formed in situ. Possible further growth during storage is not obvious. The presence of many corroded crystals, and the absence of weddellite in deeper cores, suggest that weddellite is formed soon after deposition, but dissolves again in time and with increased burial, due to changing geochemical parameters.