Marine Science Faculty Publications

Environmental Controls on the Geochemistry of Globorotalia truncatulinoides in the Gulf of Mexico: Implications for Paleoceanographic Reconstructions

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Globorotalia truncatulinoides, Gulf of Mexico, Laser ablation, Mg/Ca, Planktic foraminifer, Sediment trap

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Modern observations of planktic foraminifera from sediment trap studies help to constrain the regional ecology of paleoceanographically valuable species. Results from a weekly-resolved sediment trap time series (2008–2014) in the northern Gulf of Mexico demonstrate that 92% of Globorotalia truncatulinoides flux occurs in winter (January, February, and March), and that encrusted and non-encrusted individuals represent calcification in distinct depth habitats. We use individual foraminiferal analysis (IFA) of G. truncatulinoides tests to investigate differences in the elemental (Mg/Ca) and isotopic composition18O and δ13C) of the encrusted and non-encrusted ontogenetic forms of G. truncatulinoides, and to estimate their calcification depth in the northern Gulf of Mexico. We estimate that non-encrusted and encrusted G. truncatulinoides have mean calcification depths of 66 ± 9 m and 379 ± 76 m, respectively. We validate the Mg/Ca-calcification temperature relationship for G. truncatulinoides and demonstrate that the δ18O and Mg/Ca of the non-encrusted form is a suitable proxy for winter surface mixed layer conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. Care should be taken not to combine encrusted and non-encrusted individuals of G. truncatulinoides for down core paleoceanographic studies.

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Marine Micropaleontology, v. 142, p. 92-104