Dissolution methods for strontium isotope stratigraphy: guidelines for the use of bulk carbonate and phosphorite rocks

Li, Da, Shields-Zhou, Graham A., Ling, Hong-Fei, and Thirlwall, Matthew (2011) Dissolution methods for strontium isotope stratigraphy: guidelines for the use of bulk carbonate and phosphorite rocks. Chemical Geology, 290 (3-4). pp. 133-144.

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Diverse carbonate dissolution methods have been applied to bulk carbonate rocks in order to target least altered components for strontium isotope stratigraphy (SIS). This is especially important for Precambrian and Cambrian studies for which no suitable skeletal material is available. One proven method for bulk limestones involves the removal of up to a third of the powdered sample using an acid pre-leach before partial dissolution of the rest of the sample using a weak acid or acid buffer solution. We applied a similar technique to dissolve a range of lithologies (limestone, dolostone and phosphorite) and compared the strontium isotopic composition of various leaches to contemporaneous seawater. Our results vindicate this approach and allow us to conclude that some dolomitic and phosphatic rock components may retain a near-primary seawater 87Sr/86Sr composition once contaminant strontium from secondary calcite and other phases has been removed. Commonly applied trace element (e.g. Mn/Sr, Mg/Ca) and isotopic (C, O) screening cut-offs were also examined in the light of these results, and proved unreliable particularly in the case of dolostones and partially dolomitized limestones. We recommend that rigid sample selection and sequential leaching procedures be applied to all SIS studies of bulk materials and propose a general protocol for strontium isotope studies on marine authigenic rocks which may also be applicable to rare earth element and other geochemical studies of marine authigenic minerals in the future.

Item ID: 21023
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-6836
Keywords: strontium isotope stratigraphy; limestone; dolostone; phosphorite; dissolution methods
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2012 04:52
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0402 Geochemistry > 040203 Isotope Geochemistry @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040311 Stratigraphy (incl Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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