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Arctic Ocean benthic foraminifera Mg/Ca ratios and global Mg/Ca-temperature calibrations: New constraints at low temperatures

Barrientos, Natalia, Lear, Caroline ORCID:, Jakobsson, Martin, Stranne, Christian, O'Regan, Matt, Cronin, Thomas M., Gukov, Alexandr Y. and Coxall, Helen K. 2018. Arctic Ocean benthic foraminifera Mg/Ca ratios and global Mg/Ca-temperature calibrations: New constraints at low temperatures. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 236 , pp. 240-259. 10.1016/j.gca.2018.02.036

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We explore the use of Mg/Ca ratios in six Arctic Ocean benthic foraminifera species as bottom water palaeothermometers and expand published Mg/Ca-temperature calibrations to the coldest bottom temperatures (<1 °C). Foraminifera were analyzed in surface sediments at 27 sites in the Chukchi Sea, East Siberian Sea, Laptev Sea, Lomonosov Ridge and Petermann Fjord. The sites span water depths of 52–1157 m and bottom water temperatures (BWT) of −1.8 to +0.9 °C. Benthic foraminifera were alive at time of collection, determined from Rose Bengal (RB) staining. Three infaunal and three epifaunal species were abundant enough for Mg/Ca analysis. As predicted by theory and empirical evidence, cold water Arctic Ocean benthic species produce low Mg/Ca ratios, the exception being the porcelaneous species Quinqueloculina arctica. Our new data provide important constraints at the cold end (<1 °C) when added to existing global datasets. The refined calibrations based on the new and published global data appear best supported for the infaunal species Nonionella labradorica (Mg/Ca = 1.325 ± 0.01 × e^(0.065 ± 0.01 × BWT), r2 = 0.9), Cassidulina neoteretis (Mg/Ca = 1.009 ± 0.02 × e^(0.042 ± 0.01 × BWT), r2 = 0.6) and Elphidium clavatum (Mg/Ca = 0.816 ± 0.06 + 0.125 ± 0.05 × BWT, r2 = 0.4). The latter is based on the new Arctic data only. This suggests that Arctic Ocean infaunal taxa are suitable for capturing at least relative and probably semi-quantitative past changes in BWT. Arctic Oridorsalis tener Mg/Ca data are combined with existing O. umbonatus Mg/Ca data from well saturated core-tops from other regions to produce a temperature calibration with minimal influence of bottom water carbonate saturation state (Mg/Ca = 1.317 ± 0.03 × e^(0.102 ± 0.01 BWT), r2 = 0.7). The same approach for Cibicidoides wuellerstorfi yields Mg/Ca = 1.043 ± 0.03 × e^(0.118 ± 0.1 BWT), r2 = 0.4. Mg/Ca ratios of the porcelaneous epifaunal species Q. arctica show a clear positive relationship between Mg/Ca and Δ[CO32−] indicating that this species is not suitable for Mg/Ca-palaeothermometry at low temperatures, but may be useful in reconstructing carbonate system parameters through time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Meteoritical Society
ISSN: 0016-7037
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 March 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 February 2018
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 23:38

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