Marine Science Faculty Publications

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Mg/Ca paleothermometry, Krithe, Cleaning procedures, Biogenic calcium carbonate

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The Mg/Ca of calcite from the marine ostracod genus Krithe may be an important tool for reconstructing past changes in oceanic bottom water temperature (150–4000 m water depth). Rigorous cleaning procedures, routinely used to remove clays, organic matter and Fe–Mn oxyhydroxide coatings in trace element studies of foraminifera, are not regularly applied to marine ostracods despite the potential for Mg contamination. Here we apply standard oxidative and reductive foraminiferal cleaning procedures to core top Krithe pernoides valves from boxcore OCE205-50BC (26.23°N, 77.7°W, 817 m water depth) to evaluate the effects of contamination on Mg/Ca ratios and assess the impact of cleaning techniques on contaminant removal and ostracod valve chemistry. Our results show that clays and Fe–Mn oxyhydroxides influence the Mg/Ca of Krithe. Following sonication in methanol/ultrapure water, there is a 1.6 mmol/mol (11%) decrease in Mg/Ca (equivalent to a reduction in reconstructed temperature of 1.5 °C), indicating that this is a critical step in the preparation of Krithe valves for Mg/Ca analyses. Oxidation with buffered hydrogen peroxide has little effect on the Mg/Ca of valves from our site. Reductive cleaning reduces inter-valve variability from 12% to 5%, resulting in an equivalent temperature precision of ± 0.6 °C. However, reductive cleaning also decreases Mg/Ca ratios due to the partial dissolution of the valve surface. Reductive cleaning offers the potential to improve Krithe Mg/Ca paleotemperature reconstructions and should be utilised in future Krithe Mg/Ca studies. Future work should also aim to constrain the effects of partial dissolution of the valve surface.

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Chemical Geology, v. 382, p. 14-23

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