The potential of sedimentary foraminiferal rare earth element patterns to trace water masses in the past.

Osborne, Anne Helen , Hathorne, Ed C. , Schijf, Johan, Plancherel, Yves, Böning, Philipp and Frank, Martin (2017) The potential of sedimentary foraminiferal rare earth element patterns to trace water masses in the past. Open Access Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 18 (4). pp. 1550-1568. DOI 10.1002/2016GC006782.

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Dissolved rare earth element (REE) concentration data from intermediate and deep seawater form an array characterized by higher middle REE enrichments (MREE/MREE*) in the North Atlantic and a progressive increase in heavy-to-light REE ratios (HREE/LREE) as water masses age. The REEs in foraminifera are fractionated towards higher MREE/MREE* and lower HREE/LREE relative to seawater. Calculations based on a scavenging model show that the REE patterns in uncleaned core-top foraminifera resemble those adsorbed onto calcite, particulate organic material, and hydrous ferric oxides but the full extent of the REE fractionation measured in foraminifera was not reproduced by the model. However, differences in the HREE/LREE, MREE/MREE* ratios and the cerium anomaly between ocean basins are preserved and are in agreement with the seawater REE distribution. Under oxic conditions, the HREE/LREE and MREE/MREE* compositions of uncleaned foraminifera at the sediment/seawater boundary are preserved during burial but the cerium anomaly is sensitive to burial depth. In suboxic sedimentary environments, all uncleaned foraminiferal REE concentrations are elevated relative to core-top values indicating addition of REEs from pore waters. The HREE/LREE ratio is highest when sedimentation rates were greatest [Lippold et al., 2009] and when high Fe/Ca ratios in the uncleaned foraminifera indicate that Fe was mobile. In sediments that have not experienced suboxic conditions during burial, uncleaned foraminifera preserve the seawater signal taken up at the sediment/seawater interface and are therefore suggested to be a suitable archive of changes in the REE signal of past bottom waters. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Rare Earth Elements, foraminifera, paleoceanography, proxy
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: AGU (American Geophysical Union), Wiley
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 07:42
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:16

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