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Geological Sciences colloquium: The quest for a reliable paleotemperature proxy in marine calcifiers

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 4:00PM - 5:00PM


Tom Marchitto



Benson Earth Science building room 180


Paleoceanographers have used the trace element content of biogenic calcium carbonates (e.g., strontium in corals, magnesium in foraminifera) as paleothermometers since the 1990s. While these proxies have some basis in thermodynamics, they are known to be heavily overprinted by biological effects, resulting in considerable uncertainties in their application. I will discuss a new paleothermometer, the ratio between lithium and magnesium in bio-aragonite, which I will suggest is relatively immune to three separate biological effects. I will use observations from core top calibrations, abiotic laboratory experiments, and down-core applications to demonstrate the promise of this new tool.

Social hour

Join us for a social hour after the colloquim, in Benson 1B75 or 185.