Insights on coccolith chemistry from a new ion probe method for analysis of individually picked coccoliths
Stoll, Heather M.
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The elemental chemistry of calcareous nannofossils may provide valuable information on past ocean conditions and coccolithophorid physiology, but artifacts from noncoccolith particles and from changing nannofossil assemblages may bias geochemical records from coccolith size fractions. We describe the first method for picking individual coccoliths using a tungsten needle in micromanipulator. Epoxy-mounted individuals and populations of coccoliths can be analyzed by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). For Paleocene sediments the technique distinguishes the high Sr/Ca ratios of coccoliths (0.3 to 2.8 mmol/mol) from low ratios in abiogenic calcite blades (0.1 mmol/mol). The large heterogeneity of Sr/Ca ratios among different genera suggests that primary geochemical differences have not been homogenized by diagenetic overgrowth and the thick massive coccoliths of the late Paleocene are a primary feature of biomineralization. Sr/Ca ratios for modern genera are on average higher than those of Paleogene genera but exhibit a comparable level of variability.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems 8 (2007): Q06020, doi:10.1029/2006GC001546.
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