Effect of preservation state of planktonic foraminifera tests on the decrease in Mg/Ca due to reductive cleaning and on sample loss during cleaning

Heather J.H. Johnstone, William Lee, Michael Schulz

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Four species of planktic foraminifera from core-tops spanning a depth transect on the Ontong Java Plateau were prepared for Mg/Ca analysis both with (Cd-cleaning) and without (Mg-cleaning) a reductive cleaning step. Reductive cleaning caused etching of foraminiferal calcite, focused on Mg-rich inner calcite, even on tests which had already been partially dissolved at the seafloor. Despite corrosion, there was no difference in Mg/Ca of Pulleniatina obliquiloculata between cleaning methods. Reductive cleaning decreased Mg/Ca by an average (all depths) of ~4% for Globigerinoides ruber white and ~10% for Neogloboquadrina dutertrei. Mg/Ca of Globigerinoides sacculifer (above the calcite saturation horizon only) was 5% lower after reductive cleaning. The decrease in Mg/Ca due to reductive cleaning appeared insensitive to preservation state for G. ruber, N. dutertrei and P. obliquiloculata. Mg/Ca of Cd-cleaned G. sacculifer appeared less sensitive to dissolution than that of Mg-cleaned. Mg-cleaning is adequate, but SEM and contaminants (Al/Ca, Fe/Ca and Mn/Ca) show that Cd-cleaning is more effective for porous species. A second aspect of the study addressed sample loss during cleaning. Lower yield after Cd-cleaning for G. ruber, G. sacculifer and N. dutertrei confirmed this to be the more aggressive method. Strongest correlations between yield and δ[CO3 2-] in core-top samples were for Cd-cleaned G. ruber (r=0.88, p=0.020) and Cd-cleaned P. obliquiloculata (r=0.68, p=0.030). In a down-core record (WIND28K) correlation, r, between yield values >30% and dissolution index, XDX, was -0.61 (p=0.002). Where cleaning yield <30% most Mg-cleaned Mg/Ca values were biased by dissolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-36
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Geology
Early online date2 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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