Assessment of seawater Nd isotope signatures extracted from foraminiferal shells and authigenic phases of Gulf of Guinea sediments.

Kraft, Steffanie, Frank, Martin , Hathorne, Ed C. and Weldeab, Syee (2013) Assessment of seawater Nd isotope signatures extracted from foraminiferal shells and authigenic phases of Gulf of Guinea sediments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 121 . pp. 414-435. DOI 10.1016/j.gca.2013.07.029.

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The radiogenic neodymium (Nd) isotope composition of foraminiferal shells provides a powerful archive to investigate past changes in sources and mixing of water masses. However, seawater Nd isotope ratios extracted from foraminiferal shells can be biased by contaminant phases such as organic matter, silicates, or ferromanganese coatings, the removal of which requires rigorous multiple step cleaning of the samples. Here we investigate the efficiency of Flow Through and batch cleaning methods to extract seawater Nd isotope compositions from planktonic foraminifera in a shelf setting in the Gulf of Guinea that is strongly influenced by riverine sediment inputs. Nd isotope analyses of reductively and oxidatively cleaned mono-specific planktonic foraminiferal samples and reductively cleaned mixed benthic foraminifera were complemented by analyses of non-reductively cleaned mono-specific planktonic foraminiferal samples, Fe–Mn coatings of de-carbonated bulk sediment leachates, and the residual detrital fraction of the same sediment. Al/Ca and Mn/Ca ratios of fully cleaned foraminiferal samples reveal indistinguishable levels of cleaning efficiency between the batch and the Flow Through methods and the Nd isotope compositions obtained from application of both methods are identical within error. Furthermore, non-reductively cleaned foraminiferal samples have the same Nd isotope composition as reductively cleaned foraminifera at our study sites. Close to the Niger River mouth the Nd isotope composition of the foraminifera agree with the seawater Nd isotope composition of nearby stations. Based on the combined extracted Nd isotope signatures and element to calcium ratios, as well as rare earth element distribution patterns, we infer that the planktonic foraminiferal Nd isotope signatures reflect bottom water/pore water signatures. The isotopic composition of the bulk de-carbonated sediment leachates (Fe–Mn coatings) differs significantly from the foraminiferal data at this site and probably reflects particles that acquired their ferromanganese/pre-formed pre-formed/ferromanganese coatings in nearby rivers. Therefore, in such river influenced shelf settings foraminiferal shells should be used to obtain unbiased bottom seawater signatures.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000325077100026
Keywords: neodymium isotopes, planktonic foraminifera, authigenic coatings, riverine supply of Nd, cleaning methods, Gulf of Guinea
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.gca.2013.07.029
ISSN: 0016-7037
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2013 07:16
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2017 12:06

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