Core top calibration of Mg/Ca in tropical foraminifera: Refining paleotemperature estimation



[1] Optimal use of Mg/Ca as a paleotemperature proxy requires establishing calibrations for different species of foraminifera and quantifying the influence of dissolution. To achieve this goal, we have measured Mg/Ca and δ18O in a series of tropical and subtropical core tops, including four depth transects: the Ceara Rise, the Sierra Leone Rise, and the Rio Grande Plateau in the Atlantic, and the Ontong Java Plateau in the Pacific, focusing on spinose mixed layer dwelling species Globigerinoides ruber and Globigerinoides sacculifer, and nonspinose thermocline dwelling Neogloboquadrina dutertrei. Shell Mg/Ca in G. sacculifer is 5–15% lower than in G. ruber, while N. dutertrei Mg/Ca is 49–55% lower than in G. ruber. This statistically significant offset has allowed us to establish different calibrations for each species. Multilinear regression analysis was used to develop calibration equations that include a correction term for the dissolution effect on Mg/Ca in foraminiferal calcite. Presented in this paper are two sets of calibrations; one set using core depth as a dissolution correction and another using ΔCO32− as a dissolution parameter. The calibrations suggest that G. ruber is the most accurate recorder of surface temperature, while G. sacculifer records temperatures below the surface at 20–30 m. The depth habitat of N. dutertrei is more uncertain, owing to the wide range in habitat depths depending on hydrographic conditions, but on average, Mg/Ca and δ18O data suggest it is at ∼50 m. Of the three species, N. dutertrei is the most sensitive to dissolution (up to 23% decrease in shell Mg/Ca per km), while G. sacculifer is the most resistant.