Improving temperature estimates derived from Mg/Ca of planktonic foraminifera using X-ray computed tomography–based dissolution index, XDX



[1] Temperatures derived from Mg/Ca ratios of the calcite tests of planktonic foraminifera are distorted when samples are partially dissolved, and methods are required to quantify this source of inaccuracy. Here we compare a dissolution index (XDX), based on X-ray computed tomography scans, to Mg/Ca of four species of foraminifera (G. ruber (white), G. sacculifer (without sac), N. dutertrei, and P. obliquiloculata) from core top sediments from the tropical Pacific, Atlantic, and western Indian Ocean. Deepwater calcite saturation values (Δ[CO32−]) at the sites ranged from 55 to −23 μmol/kg. An estimate of ΔMg/Ca (reduction in Mg/Ca due to dissolution) was made for each sample. ΔMg/Ca decreased linearly from deepwater Δ[CO32−] values of between 10 (±4) and 15 (±5) μmol/kg. These values are minimum estimates of the threshold below which Mg/Ca is affected by dissolution, as they are limited by assumptions made in calculating ΔMg/Ca. Sensitivity of Mg/Ca to Δ[CO32−] was greatest for G. ruber, where Mg/Ca decreased by 0.102 (±0.036) mmol/mol per μmol/kg. Sensitivity was similar for G. sacculifer (0.047 ± 0.015 mmol/mol per μmol/kg), N. dutertrei (0.037 ± 0.010 mmol/mol per μmol/kg), and P. obliquiloculata (0.040 ± 0.008 mmol/mol per μmol/kg). Sensitivity was similar at all sites for each species, excepting an apparently greater response for N. dutertrei from the Caribbean compared to other sites. Calibrations between XDX and ΔMg/Ca provide a means to estimate dissolution bias on Mg/Ca. Poor correlation between XDX and δ18O suggests that, for the small sample size typical for analysis, variability in initial δ18O overwhelms dissolution effects.