FWF - 04-ECLIM-FP08 CASIOPEIA - Evaluation of the Ca Isotope system in carbonate Polymorphs.

Project: Research project

Project Details


We propose the investigation of the thermodynamic and paleo-oceanographic principles of calcium (Ca) isotope
fractionation (TM
44Ca) during biomineralization and inorganic precipitation of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This is
important because recent findings indicate that the Ca isotope system represents a new proxy for the reconstruction
of past seawater temperatures and for variations of the Ca seawater concentrations throughout Earth's history. Both
aspects are crucial for paleooceanography and -climatology because they interfere with the global carbon cycle
influencing the concentration of important greenhouse gases like CO2 throughout time. The concept to validate the
Ca isotopes as a paleo-proxy is to test its sensitivity to temperature calibration, the preservation of primary isotope
signals, the knowledge of inter-specific differences and of past initial isotope ratios. These requirements will be
investigated in laboratory and culturing experiments on inorganically precipitated CaCO3 and on major groups of
marine calcifying organisms previously used as proxy archives (foraminifera, bivalves, coccolithophorids). The
proposed experimental cross-calibration of the Ca isotope system to temperature sensitive metal to calcium ratios
(Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca, etc.) and other isotope systems (TM
25Mg, etc.) will be completed by field
and down-core experiments offering the unique opportunity to refine their application as paleo-proxies in a multiproxy
Effective start/end date1/07/0531/08/09


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