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Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios and their kinetic effects in biogenic and non-biogenic carbonates

, : Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios and their kinetic effects in biogenic and non-biogenic carbonates. Chikyukagaku (Tokyo 1967) = Geochemistry (Tokyo

In this review, we examined the signal-recording ability of hermatipic corals, together with speleothem, by analyzing their fluctuations of oxygen and carbon isotope ratios (delta (super 18) O and delta (super 13) C) and controlling factors. Corals provide high-resolution climate and environmental records for the tropical shallow waters. The coral delta (super 18) O reflects to changes in the sea surface temperature and delta (super 18) O of the ambient seawater (which is related to salinity). The observed offset of the coral delta (super 18) O-temperature relationship from isotope equilibrium, which is known as the "vital effect", is apparently caused by growth-rate related kinetic isotope effects. Skeletal delta (super 18) O and delta (super 13) C showed out-of-phase annual fluctuations in shallow waters, faster-growing corals from Sekisei Reef of the Ryukyu Islands. In contrast, in deep waters, slower growing corals, delta (super 18) O and delta (super 13) C fluctuations were in phase, which was identified as a pattern influenced by kinetic isotope effects. A temperature-controlled tank experiment revealed that the observed large variation ( approximately 1 per mil) in delta (super 18) O values was attributable to growth-rate-related kinetic isotope effects. Because such large influences from kinetic isotope effects were observed in coral skeletal records, careful examination is needed for attributing these offsets to possible environmental causes. Similar story can be seen in isotopic records of speleothem, which is a unique archive of past climate on land. Calcite precipitated in disequilibrated condition may not record proper environmental signals due to strong influences of kinetic isotope effects. So-called "Hendy test" can serve as a useful tool for excluding speleothem records unsuitable for paleoclimate reconstruction.


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