We present the first continuous records from 0 to 5 Ma (in 0.333 m.y. integrated time steps) of paired boron/calcium (B/Ca) ratios and boron isotopes (??11B) in the planktonic foraminifera Globogerinoides sacculifer (without sacc) from a site in the western equatorial Pacific Ocean (Ocean Drilling Program Site 806). These measurements, the first made in conjunction with calcification temperature (magnesium/calcium ratios) and average shell mass measurements, indicate that pH is not the sole environmental variable controlling B in planktonic foraminiferal calcite. Our data are consistent with calcification temperature exerting a primary control on B concentration and isotopic composition in planktonic foraminifera. If so, calcification temperature must be taken into account if pH for past oceans and atmospheric pCO2 are to be estimated from B isotope measurements in foraminiferal calcite. Doing so will substantially increase the uncertainty of PH estimates. Although this work was designed as a temporal study, its results define new aspects of calibrating the ??11B paleo-pH tracer. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.
Additional Publication Details
Possible roles of pH, temperature, and partial dissolution in determining boron concentration and isotopic composition in planktonic foraminifera