Determination of the Mg/Mn ratio in foraminiferal coatings: An approach to correct Mg/Ca temperatures for Mn-rich contaminant phases

Hasenfratz, Adam P.; Martinez-García, Alfredo; Jaccard, Samuel; Vance, Derek; Wälle, Markus; Greaves, Mervyn; Haug, Gerald (2017). Determination of the Mg/Mn ratio in foraminiferal coatings: An approach to correct Mg/Ca temperatures for Mn-rich contaminant phases. Earth and planetary science letters, 457, pp. 335-347. Elsevier 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.10.004

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The occurrence of manganese-rich coatings on foraminifera can have a significant effect on their bulk Mg/Ca ratios thereby biasing seawater temperature reconstructions. The removal of this Mn phase requires a reductive cleaning step, but this has been suggested to preferentially dissolve Mg-rich biogenic carbonate, potentially introducing an analytical bias in paleotemperature estimates. In this study, the geochemical composition of foraminifera tests from Mn-rich sediments from the Antarctic Southern Ocean (ODP Site 1094) was investigated using solution-based and laser ablation ICP-MS in order to determine the amount of Mg incorporated into the coatings. The analysis of planktonic and benthic foraminifera revealed a nearly constant Mg/Mn ratio in the Mn coating of ∼0.2mol/mol. Consequently, the coating Mg/Mn ratio can be used to correct for the Mg incorporated into the Mn phase by using the down core Mn/Ca values of samples that have not been reductively cleaned. The consistency of the coating Mg/Mn ratio obtained in this study, as well as that found in samples from the Panama Basin, suggests that spatial variation of Mg/Mn in foraminiferal Mn overgrowths may be smaller than expected from Mn nodules and Mn–Ca carbonates. However, a site-specific assessment of the Mg/Mn ratio in foraminiferal coatings is recommended to improve the accuracy of the correction.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Jaccard, Samuel


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Samuel Jaccard

Date Deposited:

05 Dec 2016 11:00

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 20:12

Publisher DOI:





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