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  1. Marine barite (BaSO4) is a relatively ubiquitous, though minor, component of ocean sediments. Modern studies of the accumulation of barite in ocean sediments have demonstrated a robust correlation between barite accumulation rates and carbon export to the deep ocean. This correlation has been used to develop quantitative relationships between barite accumulation rates and export production and is used to reconstruct export production in the geologic past, particularly during times of dynamic changes in the carbon cycle. We review the processes that affect the formation and preservation of marine barite, as well as those controlling the relationship between the barium (Ba) and carbon biogeochemical cycles. Additionally, we take a new approach to modeling the marine Ba cycle as a two-box model, specifically evaluating Ba utilization in the surface ocean and refining the equation describing the relationship between export production and barite formation. We compare these new results with past modeling efforts. The new model demonstrates that increases in export production can lead to sustained increases in barite accumulation in marine sediments without resulting in complete surface water Ba depletion, which is distinctly different from previous modeling results.