New technique for study on isotopic fractionation between sea water and foraminiferal growing processes

  • Cang Shuxi
  • N. J. Shackleton


The stable isotopic δ18O and δ13C composition of foraminiferal shell calcite varies as a function of many factors including temperature and salinity. In order to understand and interpret the variations in the isotopic composition of foraminiferal shell calcite, research has been recently focused on the role of the “vital effects”. Our examination of the lamella structure of several recent planktonic foraminifera indicates that the secretion of sequential lamellae results in multiple lamillae on earlier chambers and a single lamella on the final chamber. We used a very simple procedure to separate the individual whole test of foraminifera into several chambers and measured the isotopic composition of each growth stage chamber. The results indicate that the stable isotopic composition (carbon and oxygen), particularly that of the last two chambers, of the foraminiferal test varies as a function of the individual growing process.


Isotopic Composition Foraminifera Isotopic Fractionation Okinawa Trough Stable Isotopic Composition 
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Copyright information

© Science Press 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cang Shuxi
    • 1
  • N. J. Shackleton
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of OceanologyAcademia SinicaQingdaoChina
  2. 2.The Godwin LaboratoryFree School LaneCambridgeEngland

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