Calibration of the boron isotope proxy in the planktonic foraminifera Globigerinoides ruber for use in palaeo-CO2 reconstruction

Michael J. Henehan*, James W. B. Rae, Gavin L. Foster, Jonathan Erez, Katherine C. Prentice, Michal Kucera, Helen C. Bostock, Miguel A. Martinez-Boti, J. Andy Milton, Paul A. Wilson, Brittney J. Marshall, Tim Elliott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The boron isotope-pH proxy, applied to mixed-layer planktic foraminifera, has great potential for estimating past CO2 levels, which in turn is crucial to advance our understanding of how this greenhouse gas influences Earth's climate. Previous culture experiments have shown that, although the boron isotopic compositions of various planktic foraminifera are pH dependent, they do not agree with the aqueous geochemical basis of the proxy. Here we outline the results of culture experiments on Globigerinoides ruber (white) across a range of pH (similar to 7.5-8.2) and analysed via multicollector inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS), and compare these data to core-top and sediment-trap samples to derive a robust new species-specific boron isotope-pH calibration. Consistent with earlier culture studies, we show a reduced pH dependency of the boron isotopic composition of symbiont-bearing planktonic foraminifera compared to borate ion in seawater. We also present evidence for a size fraction effect in the delta B-11 of G. ruber. Finally, we reconstruct atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the last deglacial using our new calibration at two equatorial sites, ODP Site 999A and Site GeoB1523-1. These data provide further grounding for the application of the boron isotope-pH proxy in reconstructions of past atmospheric CO2 levels. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume364
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2013

Keywords

  • pCO(2) reconstruction
  • culture calibration
  • SACCULIFER BRADY
  • ORBULINA-UNIVERSA
  • BORIC-ACID
  • CARBON-DIOXIDE CONCENTRATION
  • MARINE CARBONATES
  • boron isotopes
  • MOLECULAR-ORBITAL CALCULATIONS
  • ARABIAN SEA
  • PH PROXY
  • PALEO-PH
  • MC-ICPMS
  • Globigerinoides ruber
  • planktic foraminifera
  • SCLERACTINIAN CORALS

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