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Calibration of the carbonate 'clumped isotope' paleothermometer for otoliths

Ghosh, Prosenjit and Eiler, John and Campana, Steven E. and Feeney, Richard F. (2007) Calibration of the carbonate 'clumped isotope' paleothermometer for otoliths. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 71 (11). pp. 2736-2744. ISSN 0016-7037. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2007.03.015.

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Paleothermometry is an essential tool for understanding past changes in climate. The ‘carbonate clumped isotope thermometer’ is a temperature proxy related to ordering of ^(13)C and ^(18)O in the carbonate lattice (based on measurements of ^(13)C^(18)O^(16)O in CO_2 produced by acid digestion of carbonate). This thermometer has been previously calibrated for inorganic calcite and aragonitic corals [Ghosh P., Adkins J., Affek H., Balta B., Guo W. F., Schauble E. A., Schrag D., and Eiler J. M. (2006) C-13–O-18 bonds in carbonate minerals: a new kind of paleothermometer. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta70 (6), 1439–1456]. Here we determine the relationship between growth temperatures of aragonitic fish otoliths and abundances of ^(13)C^(18)O^(16)O produced by acid digestion of those otoliths. Our calibration is based on analyses of otoliths from six species from four genera of modern fish sampled from a latitudinal transect of the Atlantic Ocean between 54° S and 65° N, plus one species from the tropical western Pacific. The temperatures at which fish otoliths precipitated were estimated by the mean temperature in the waters in which they lived, averaged over their estimated lifetimes. Estimated growth temperatures of our samples vary between 2 and 25 °C. Our results show that the abundance of ^(13)C^(18)O^(16)O in CO_2 produced by acid digestion of fish otolith aragonite is a function of growth temperature, following the relationship: Δ_(47) = 0.0568x10^6 T^2, where Δ_(47) is the enrichment, in per mil, of ^(13)C^(18)O^(16)O in CO_2 relative to the amount expected for a stochastic (random) distribution of isotopes among all CO_2 isotopologues, and T is the temperature in Kelvin. This relationship closely approaches that previously documented for inorganic calcite and aragonitic coral (Ghosh et al., 2006).

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Additional Information:© 2007 Elsevier Ltd. Received 20 October 2006; accepted in revised form 15 March 2007; available online 27 March 2007. Associate editor: Miryam Bar-Matthews. This study was conducted in continuation of our previous study on clumped isotope technique on carbonate paleothermometry. We gratefully acknowledge Ma Chi, who helped us with XRD analyses of carbonates powders. We also thank Mr. R. Lavenberg of Los Angeles county museum for lending us otolith samples. This work made use of an instrument purchased with the help of NSF Grant EAR-0220066 and the Packard Foundation, and benefited from salary support provided by NSF Grant EAR-0345905.
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Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20121120-140429466
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Official Citation:Prosenjit Ghosh, John Eiler, Steven E. Campana, Richard F. Feeney, Calibration of the carbonate ‘clumped isotope’ paleothermometer for otoliths, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 71, Issue 11, 1 June 2007, Pages 2736-2744, ISSN 0016-7037, 10.1016/j.gca.2007.03.015. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:35578
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:20 Nov 2012 22:58
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:16

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