Ion microprobe assessment of the heterogeneity of Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Mn/Ca ratios in Pecten maximus and Mytilus edulis (bivalvia) shell calcite precipitated at constant temperature

Other literature type English OPEN
Freitas, P. S. ; Clarke, L. J. ; Kennedy, H. ; Richardson, C. A. (2009)

Small-scale heterogeneity of biogenic carbonate elemental composition can be a significant source of error in the accurate use of element/Ca ratios as geochemical proxies. In this study ion microprobe (SIMS) profiles showed significant small-scale variability of Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Mn/Ca ratios in new shell calcite of the marine bivalves <i>Pecten maximus</i> and <i>Mytilus edulis</i> that was precipitated during a constant-temperature culturing experiment. Elevated Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and Mn/Ca ratios were found to be associated with the deposition of elaborate shell features, i.e. a shell surface stria in <i>P. maximus</i> and surface shell disturbance marks in both species, the latter a common occurrence in bivalve shells. In both species the observed small-scale elemental heterogeneity most likely was not controlled by variable transport of ions to the extra-pallial fluid, but by factors such as the influence of shell organic content and/or crystal size and orientation, the latter reflecting conditions at the shell crystal-solution interface. In the mid and innermost regions of the <i>P. maximus</i> shell the lack of significant small-scale variation of Mg/Ca ratios, which is consistent with growth at constant temperature, suggest a potential application as a palaeotemperature proxy. Cross-growth band element/Ca ratio profiles in the interior of bivalve shells may provide more promising palaeo-environmental tools than sampling from the outer region of bivalve shells.
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