Evaluating the utility of B/Ca ratios in planktic foraminifera as a proxy for the carbonate system: A case study of Globigerinoides ruber

B/Ca ratios in foraminifera have attracted considerable scientific attention as a proxy for past ocean carbonate system. However, the carbonate system controls on B/Ca ratios are not straightforward, with Δ[ inline image] ([ inline image]in situ – [ inline image]at saturation) correlating best with B/Ca ratios in benthic foraminifera, rather than pH, inline image, or inline image (as a simple model of boron speciation in seawater and incorporation into CaCO3 would predict). Furthermore, culture experiments have shown that in planktic foraminifera properties such as salinity and [B]sw can have profound effects on B/Ca ratios beyond those predicted by simple partition coefficients. Here, we investigate the controls on B/Ca ratios in G. ruber via a combination of culture experiments and core-top measurements, and add to a growing body of evidence that suggests B/Ca ratios in symbiont-bearing foraminiferal carbonate are not a straightforward proxy for past seawater carbonate system conditions. We find that while B/Ca ratios in culture experiments covary with pH, in open ocean sediments this relationship is not seen. In fact, our B/Ca data correlate best with [ inline image] (a previously undocumented association) and in most regions, salinity. These findings might suggest a precipitation rate or crystallographic control on boron incorporation into foraminiferal calcite. Regardless, our results underscore the need for caution when attempting to interpret B/Ca records in terms of the ocean carbonate system, at the very least in the case of mixed-layer planktic foraminifera.

Henehan M. J., Foster G. L., Rae J. W. B., Prentice K. C., Erez J., Bostock H. C., Marshall B. J. & Wilson P. A., in press. Evaluating the utility of B/Ca ratios in planktic foraminifera as a proxy for the carbonate system: A case study of Globigerinoides ruber. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 16:1052–1069. Article.


  • Reset

Subscribe

OA-ICC Highlights


%d bloggers like this: