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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 16 Jul 2019

Submitted as: model description paper | 16 Jul 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD).

SEAMUS (v1.0): a Δ14C-enabled, single-specimen sediment accumulation simulator

Bryan C. Lougheed1,2 Bryan C. Lougheed
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Géosciences, Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Wimereux, France

Abstract. The systematic bioturbation of single particles (such as foraminifera) within deep-sea sediment archives leads to the apparent smoothing of any temporal signal as record by the downcore, discrete-depth mean signal. This smoothing is the result of the systematic mixing of particles from a wide range of depositional ages into the same discrete depth interval. Previous sediment models that simulate bioturbation have specifically produced an output in the form of a downcore, discrete-depth mean signal. Palaeoceanographers analysing the distribution of single foraminifera specimens from sediment core intervals would be assisted by a model that specifically evaluates the effect of bioturbation upon single specimen populations. Taking advantage of recent increases in computer memory, the single-specimen SEdiment AccuMUlation Simulator (SEAMUS) was created in Matlab, whereby large arrays of single specimens are simulated. This simulation allows researchers to analyse the post-bioturbation age heterogeneity of single specimens contained within discrete-depth sediment core intervals, and how this heterogeneity is influenced by changes in sediment accumulation rate (SAR), bioturbation depth (BD) and species abundance. The simulation also assigns a realistic 14C activity to each specimen, by considering the dynamic Δ14C history of the Earth and temporal changes in reservoir age. This approach allows for the quantification of possible significant artefacts arising when 14C dating multi-specimen samples with heterogeneous 14C activity. Users may also assign additional desired carrier signals to specimens (e.g., stable isotopes, trace elements, temperature, etc.) and consider a second species with an independent abundance. Finally, the model can simulate a virtual palaeoceanographer by randomly picking whole specimens (whereby the user can set the percentage of older, broken specimens) of a prescribed sample size from discrete depths, after which virtual laboratory 14C dating and 14C calibration is carried out within the model.

Bryan C. Lougheed
Interactive discussion
Status: open (until 18 Sep 2019)
Status: open (until 18 Sep 2019)
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Bryan C. Lougheed
Model code and software

SEAMUS: a Δ14C-enabled, single-specimen sediment accumulation simulator B. C. Lougheed

Bryan C. Lougheed
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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Deep-sea sediment archives are made up of the calcareous tests of foraminifera, small sea dwelling organisms that record the Earth's past climate. Sediment cores retrieved from the sea floor contain sediment that is systematically bioturbated (mixed). The SEAMUS model of single foraminifera sedimentation and bioturbation allows users to quantify the error of bioturbation upon their foraminifera-derived climate reconstructions and radiocarbon dates.
Deep-sea sediment archives are made up of the calcareous tests of foraminifera, small sea...