Abstract

Stable isotope records across annual growth increments in specimens of the surf clam Spisula solidissima from the mid-Atlantic Bight shelf from 10 m and 45 m depths reflect the changes in temperature and nutrient concentrations on the shelf over the year. The δ18O and δ13C records from clams at the two depths record well-mixed conditions in the water column during the winter months and the development of a thermocline during the summer. Spring high productivity and a transient salinity excursion in surface waters are also recorded. Reconstructing the paleoceanography of late Cenozoic temperate continental shelves may be possible using stable isotope records from fossil Spisula solidissima and other bivalves.

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