Parsing the diagenetic pathways of carbonate metastable sediments on the slope of the Great Bahama Bank



Shallow-marine carbonate sediments are dominated by aragonite and high-Mg calcite. Since these minerals are metastable, they undergo substantial diagenetic (post-depositional) alterations including dissolution, recrystallization, and stabilization to more stable minerals. Each of these processes have different potential to impact the global carbon and alkalinity cycles, and reset the geochemical signatures routinely used for paleoclimate reconstructions. Despite their importance, the geochemical and sedimentological conditions that promote each of these processes are largely unknown. This study aims to investigate early diagenesis of carbonate sediments on the slope of the Great Bahama Bank using samples from Ocean Drilling Program expedition 166. The objectives are to identify the exact diagenetic processes and document the conditions responsible for their occurrence and prevalence.



Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq, I have always been naturally drawn to science, and particularly the interaction between life and the environment. My fascination with science was solidified when I first learned about the theory of evolution by natural selection in high school. At this point, I began my commitment to natural science. As an undergraduate, I studied geology at the University of Baghdad. After graduating, I worked as a geologist for Schlumberger. This position allowed me to travel the world and work on a wide variety of projects, but my passion for science and scientific research kept tugging me back to academia. I eventually decided to leave industry, and I started my Ph.D. program at Western Michigan University in 2017, where I currently study carbonate diagenesis and geochemistry with Dr. Stephen Kaczmarek. My project has allowed me to investigate all aspects of marine carbonates, from the evolution of calcifying organisms to biomineralization to the dynamic role that carbonates play in global biogeochemical cycles. My diverse interests in carbonate geochemistry, geobiology, and ocean sciences led me to the IODP. With the Schlanger Fellowship, I look forward to studying the early diagenetic processes in carbonate sediments on the slope of the Great Bahama Bank, and quantifying the impact of these processes on the global carbon and alkalinity cycles. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, biking, table tennis, learning guitar, and working with people in my community.