Planktonic foraminiferal spine versus shell carbonate Na incorporation in relation to salinity

Mezger, Eveline M.; de Nooijer, Lennart J.; Bertlich, Jacqueline; Bijma, Jelle; Nürnberg, Dirk; Reichart, Gert-Jan

Sea surface salinity is one of the most important parameters to reconstruct in paleoclimatology, reflecting amongst other things the hydrological cycle, paleodensity, ice volume, and regional and global circulation of water masses. Recent culture studies and a Red Sea field study revealed a significant positive relation between salinity and Na incorporation within benthic and planktonic foraminiferal shells. However, these studies reported varying partitioning of Na between and within the same species. The latter could be associated with ontogenetic variations, most likely spine loss. Varying Na concentrations were observed in different parts of foraminiferal shells, with spines and regions close to the primary organic sheet being especially enriched in Na. In this study, we unravel the Na composition of different components of the planktonic foraminiferal shell wall using electron probe micro-analysis (EPMA) and solution ICP-MS. A model is presented to interpret EPMA data for spines and spine bases to quantitatively assess differences in composition and contribution to whole-shell inline-formulaNa∕Ca signals. The same model can also be applied to other spatial inhomogeneities observed in foraminiferal shell chemistry, like elemental (e.g., Mg, Na, S) banding and/or hotspots. The relative contribution of shell carbonate, organic linings, spines and spine bases to whole-shell Na chemistry is considered quantitatively. This study shows that whereas the high Na areas may be susceptible to taphonomic alterations, the Na chemistry of the shell itself seems relatively robust. Comparing both shell and spine inline-formulaNa∕Ca values with salinity shows that shell chemistry records salinity, albeit with a very modest slope.



Mezger, Eveline M. / de Nooijer, Lennart J. / Bertlich, Jacqueline / et al: Planktonic foraminiferal spine versus shell carbonate Na incorporation in relation to salinity. 2019. Copernicus Publications.


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