Marine maceration of skeletal carbonates in the Skagerrak, North Sea



Skeletal carbonates in the sediments of the eastern Skagerrak Bay in the North Sea disintegrate into their microscopic structural elements, needles, fibres, flakes, and granules. The process, called maceration, takes place while the carbonates are exposed on the sea-floor, in contact with ambient seawater. All kinds of calcareous shells and skeletons are thus transformed into cryptic lime mud which then may be further dissolved, or redeposited elsewhere, In the area, maceration of carbonates is a major destructive agent, causing severe depletion of calcareous organisms in the fossil record. The diagenetic regime in the Skagerrak is a complete contrast to the classical warm-sea carbonate regime so extensively studied in areas like the Bahama Banks.