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John Compton

John Compton

Department of Geological Sciences
Louis Ahrens Building, Library Road
University of Cape Town
Rondebosch, 7701, RSA

Ph: # (0)21 650 2927

Website: www.geology.uct.ac.za


Prof’s Compton’s area of interest is the geochemistry of marine sediments with a focus on the origin of authigenic minerals such as francolite (phosphorite rock), dolomite, and glauconite during the early diagenesis of organic-rich sediments. He also has research interests in the carbon isotope record of the oceans and inferred variations and interactions of the global carbon and phosphorus cycles. Recent projects include the age and origin of the phosphorite on the western margin of South Africa off of the Orange River, variations in the global phosphorus cycle and the age and origin of large Miocene phosphorite deposits of the southeastern USA (Florida) and their paleoceanographic significance. Current interests are in the Miocene to Recent sediment record of early diagenetic minerals such as phosphorite, dolomite and glauconite associated with the Benguela Upwelling System off southwest Africa. Another area of interest is the Quaternary evolution of coastal environments, including evaporite pan deposits and associated authigenic dolomite, Holocene sea-level fluctuations inferred from salt marsh deposits at Langebaan Lagoon, and the dynamics of coast-parallel dunes and inland sand plumes on the west coast of South Africa. In addition to coastal environments, high-resolution Holocene records are being developed from mud belt shelf sediments and glacial-interglacial records from upper slope sediments recovered on the western margin during the R/V METEOR Expedition M57-1. Terrigenous mud delivered to the western martin is transported off the shelf during the high- amplitude sea level fluctuations of glacial/interglacial cycles and may provide an important source of nutrients such as iron to the Southern Ocean.

Professional Affiliations:

American Geophysical Union
Southern African Society for Quaternary Research (SASQUA) President 2003-2005
Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) South African National Committee member 2005-2008

Latest Five Publications:

  1. Compton, J. S. 2007 Holocene evolution of the Anichab Pan on the southwest coast of Namibia Sedimentology 54, 55-70
  2. Herbert, C. and Compton, J.S. 2007 Depositional environments of the lower Permian Dwyka diamictite and Prince Albert shale infered from the geochemistry of early diagenetic concretions, southwest Karoo Basin, South Africa Sedimentary Geology 194263-277
  3. Soderberg, K. and Compton, J.S. 2007 Dust as a nutrient source to the fynbos ecosystem, South Africa Ecosystems 10 550-561. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-007-9032-0
  4. Franceschini, G. and Compton, J.S. 2007 Abrasion of foraminifera tests along an active dune cordon, Western Cape, South Africa Palaios 22 686-690
  5. Wigley, R.A., and Compton, J.S. 2007 Oligocene to Holocene glauconite- phosphorite pellets from the Head of the Cape Canyon on the Western Margin of South Africa Deep-Sea Research II 54 1375-1395



Willem de Wet

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