Towards reconstructing ancient seawater Mg/Ca by combining porcelaneous and hyaline foraminiferal Mg/Ca-temperature calibrations

Wit, J.C., de Nooijer, L.J., Haig, J., Jorissen, F.J., Thomas, E., and Reichart, G.-J. (2017) Towards reconstructing ancient seawater Mg/Ca by combining porcelaneous and hyaline foraminiferal Mg/Ca-temperature calibrations. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 211. pp. 341-354.

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Abstract

The temperature of the deep ocean plays a vital role in the Earth's climate system. Paleo-reconstructions of deep-sea temperatures have traditionally been based on the oxygen isotope composition of deep-sea benthic foraminiferal calcite shells, although this parameter depends upon polar ice volume as well as temperature. More recent reconstructions use Mg/Ca in these shells, with temperature calibrations based on empirical relationships observed in present-day oceans. Incorporation of Mg (DMg) into foraminiferal calcite is, however, not solely dependent on temperature, but also on seawater Mg/Ca. Due to its long oceanic residence time, Mg concentrations remained relatively constant over time scales of a few hundred thousand years, but varied significantly over longer geological time scales. Accurate reconstruction of past temperatures using foraminiferal Mg/Ca, therefore, hinges on our understanding of Mg/Ca seawater changes on geological timescales. We explore a novel, independent approach to reconstructing past seawater Mg/Ca using the temperature-dependent offset in DMg between porcelaneous (secreting intermediate-or high-Mg calcite, abbreviated as IMC or HMC, respectively) and hyaline (producing low-Mg calcite, abbreviated as LMC) benthic foraminifera. We calibrated the Mg/Ca-temperature dependence for Pyrgo spp. (one of the few common, large-sized porcelaneous taxa present in the deep-sea since the middle Miocene), and combined this with an existing calibration of hyaline Cibicidoides spp. to mathematically solve for changes in Mg/Ca seawater through time. We show that changes in Mg/Ca seawater can be reconstructed using the offset between porcelaneous and hyaline foraminifera, but absolute values are highly dependent on the species-specific offset between Mg/Ca seawater and Mg-partition coefficients.

Item ID: 50291
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9533
Keywords: Mg/Ca seawater, benthic foraminifera, temperature reconstructions, proxy calibration
Funders: Utrecht University, Darwin Centre for Geobiology, National Science Foundation (NSF)
Projects and Grants: NSF OCE-1219948
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 07:41
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040502 Chemical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences @ 100%
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