• B L K Somayajulu

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Age of Saurashtra miliolites by U-Th decay series methods: possible implications to their origin

      N Hussain N Bhandari K R Ramanathan B L K Somayajulu

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      The miliolite deposits of Saurashtra have been dated by234U,230Th,231Pa and14C methods. Concordant ages of 105 years using the U decay series isotopes are obtained which agree with the ages of the coral reefs of Okha-Dwaraka coast suggesting a contemporaneous origin for both. The lower14C ages (≤40,000 years) may be due to a recent influx of seawater or ground water. Quartz and clay minerals together constitute only ≤10% by weight, as such the aeolian characteristics of quartz grains may not be relevant to the origin of the miliolites.

    • Natural radionuclides in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal: Distribution and evaluation of particle scavenging processes

      M M Sarin R Rengarajan B L K Somayajulu

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      Vertical and temporal variations in the activities of234Th,210Po and210Pb have been measured, in both dissolved and paniculate phases, at several stations in the eastern Arabian Sea and north-central Bay of Bengal. A comparative study allows us to make inferences about the particle associated scavenging processes in these two seas having distinct biogeochemical properties.

      A common feature of the234Th profiles, in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, is that the dissolved as well as total (dissolved + particulate) activity of234Th is deficient in the surface 200 m with respect to its parent,238U. This gross deficiency is attributed to the preferential removal of234Th by adsorption onto settling particles which account for its net loss from the surface waters. The scavenging rates of dissolved234Th are comparable in these two basins. The temporal variations in the234Th-238U disequilibrium are significantly pronounced both in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal indicating that the scavenging rates are more influenced by the increased abundance of particles rather than their chemical make-up. In the mixed layer (0–50 m), the scavenging residence time of234Th ranges from 30 to 100 days.

      The surface and deep waters of both the seas show an enhanced deficiency of dissolved210Po relative to210Pb and that of210Pb relative to226Ra. The deficiencies of both210Po and210Pb in the dissolved phases are not balanced by their abundance in the particulate form indicating a net loss of both these nuclides from the water column. The scavenging rates of210Po and210Pb are significantly enhanced in the Bay of Bengal compared to those in the Arabian Sea. The mean dissolved210Po/210Pb and210Pb/226Ra activity ratios in deep waters of the Bay of Bengal are ∼ 0.7 and 0.1, respectively, representing some of the most pronounced disequilibria observed to date in the deep sea. The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea appear to be the regions of most intense particle moderated scavenging processes in the world oceans. This is evidenced by the gross disequilibria exhibited by the three isotope pairs used in this study.

    • Recent sedimentary records from the Arabian Sea

      B L K Somayajulu D N Yadav M M Sarin

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      An attempt is made to understand the redox conditions that prevailed in the north eastern continental margins of the Arabian Sea and in the nearby deep water regions during the past few centuries using short undisturbed sediment cores. The geochronology is accomplished using210Pb excess method and the proxy indicators chosen for productivity and associated redox changes are CaCO3, organic matter (OM), Mn and U along with major elements Fe and Al. Such changes in principle are related to high productivity in the overlying waters which in turn depend on monsoonal intensity that causes upwelling responsible for increase in productivity. Alongwith the published data on gravity cores from the same region, our measurements suggest the following:

      At ∼ 300 m water depth, south of 21°N, the sediment-water interface at depths of ∼ 300 m had been anoxic during the time span represented by the presently studied cores for approximately ∼ 700y as evidenced by low Mn/Al (< 0.7 × 10−2) and high U/Al (> 10−4) weight ratios. In some adjacent deeper regions, however, the environment turned oxic around ∼ 200 y BP. Whereas both Mn and Ra were lost to the overlying waters in the anoxic regions (depth ∼340m), the Mn that diffused from deeper sections appears to have mineralized at the sediment-water-interface. Studies of this type on long undisturbed cores from the margins of the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal, involving several proxies and geochronology by more than one method are needed to understand short term environmental (and monsoonal intensity) changes of the recent past with high resolution.

    • 10Be meltwater signal in Orca basin sediments, Gulf of Mexico

      B L K Somayajulu

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      An increase in the cosmogenic beryllium-10 content of the Orca basin sediments due to the flooding of the Gulf of Mexico (GM) by meltwaters during the late Wisconsin interglacial is reported. A strong negative correlation (γ =-0.99) betweenδ18O (in the range o f-1.5‰ to +0.5‰) and10Be/Al ratio is seen. During intense flooding reflected by a decrease in δ18O by ∼ 2‰, this correlation may not hold as some of the sediments with low10Be/Al ratio and deposited on the shelf and slope regions of the GM during the earlier glacial period would also be washed into the basin. The deposited sediment would then be a mixture with a10Be/Al ratio lower than expected from the correlation

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