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High-resolution Mg/Ca ratios in a coralline red alga as a proxy for Bering Sea temperature variations from 1902 to 1967

Steffen Hetzinger, Jochen Halfar, Andreas Kronz, Robert S. Steneck, Walter Adey, Phillip A. Lebednik and Bernd R. Schoene
High-resolution Mg/Ca ratios in a coralline red alga as a proxy for Bering Sea temperature variations from 1902 to 1967
Palaios (June 2009) 24 (6): 406-412

Abstract

We present the first continuous, high-resolution record of Mg/Ca variations within an encrusting coralline red alga, Clathromorphum nereostratum, from Amchitka Island, Aleutian Islands. Mg/Ca ratios of individual growth increments were analyzed by measuring a single-point, electron-microprobe transect, yielding a resolution of approximately 15 samples/year and a 65-year record (1902-1967) of variations. Results show that Mg/Ca ratios in the high-Mg calcite algal framework display pronounced annual cyclicity and archive late spring-late fall sea-surface temperatures (SST) corresponding to the main season of algal growth. Mg/Ca values correlate well to local SST, as well as to an air temperature record from the same region. High spatial correlation to large-scale SST variability in the subarctic North Pacific is observed, with patterns of strongest correlation following the direction of major oceanographic features that play a key role in the exchange of water masses between the North Pacific and the Bering Sea. Our data correlate well with a shorter Mg/Ca record from a second site, corroborating the ability of the alga to reliably record regional environmental signals. In addition, Mg/Ca ratios relate well to a 29-year delta (super 18) O time series measured on the same sample, providing additional support for the use of Mg in coralline red algae as a paleotemperature proxy that, unlike algal-delta (super 18) O, is not influenced by salinity fluctuations. Moreover, electron microprobe-based analysis enables higher sampling resolution and faster analysis, thus providing a promising approach for future studies of longer C. nereostratum records and applications to other coralline species.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 24
Serial Issue: 6
Title: High-resolution Mg/Ca ratios in a coralline red alga as a proxy for Bering Sea temperature variations from 1902 to 1967
Affiliation: University of Toronto, Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Mississauga, ON, Canada
Pages: 406-412
Published: 200906
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 40
Accession Number: 2009-064978
Categories: PaleobotanyIsotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
N51°30'00" - N51°30'00", E179°00'00" - E179°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Goettingen, DEU, Federal Republic of GermanyUniversity of Maine, USA, United StatesSmithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, USA, United StatesLFR, USA, United StatesUniversity of Mainz, DEU, Federal Republic of Germany
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 200935
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