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Oxygen isotope composition of bivalve seasonal growth increments and ambient water in the Rivers Rhine and Meuse

Emma A. A. Versteegh, Simon R. Troelstra, Hubert B. Vonhof and Dick Kroon
Oxygen isotope composition of bivalve seasonal growth increments and ambient water in the Rivers Rhine and Meuse
Palaios (August 2009) 24 (8): 497-504

Abstract

The application of oxygen isotope ratios (delta (super 18) O) from freshwater bivalves as a proxy for river discharge conditions in the Rhine and Meuse rivers is investigated. We compared a dataset of water temperature and water delta (super 18) O values with a selection of recent shell delta (super 18) O records for two species of the genus Unio in order to establish: (1) whether differences between the rivers in water delta (super 18) O values, reflecting river discharge conditions, are recorded in unionid shells; and (2) to what extent ecological parameters influence the accuracy of bivalve shell delta (super 18) O values as proxies of seasonal, water oxygen isotope conditions in these rivers. The results show that shells from the two rivers differ significantly in delta (super 18) O values, reflecting different source waters for these two rivers. The seasonal shell delta (super 18) O records show truncated sinusoidal patterns with narrow peaks and wide troughs, caused by temperature fractionation and winter growth cessation. Interannual growth rate reconstructions show an ontogenetic growth rate decrease. Growth lines in the shell often, but not always, coincide with winter growth cessations in the delta (super 18) O record, suggesting that growth cessations in the shell delta (super 18) O records are a better age estimator than counting internal growth lines. Seasonal predicted and measured delta (super 18) O values correspond well, supporting the hypothesis that these unionids precipitate their shells in oxygen isotopic equilibrium. This means that (sub-) fossil unionids can be used to reconstruct spring-summer river discharge conditions, such as Meuse low-discharge events caused by droughts and Rhine meltwater-influx events caused by melting of snow in the Alps.


ISSN: 0883-1351
Serial Title: Palaios
Serial Volume: 24
Serial Issue: 8
Title: Oxygen isotope composition of bivalve seasonal growth increments and ambient water in the Rivers Rhine and Meuse
Affiliation: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Institute of Earth Sciences, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pages: 497-504
Published: 200908
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society for Sedimentary Geology, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 38
Accession Number: 2009-086747
Categories: Invertebrate paleontologyIsotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch map
N51°45'00" - N52°00'00", E05°00'00" - E05°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Edinburgh, GBR, United Kingdom
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: 200947
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