Mg and Ca isotope fractionation during CaCO 3 biomineralisation

Veronica T.C. Chang, R. J.P. Williams, Akio Makishima, Nick S. Belshawl, R. Keith O'Nions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


The natural variation of Mg and Ca stable isotopes of carbonates has been determined in carbonate skeletons of perforate foraminifera and reef coral together with Mg/Ca ratios to assess the influence of biomineralisation processes. The results for coral aragonite suggest its formation, in terms of stable isotope behaviour, approximates to inorganic precipitation from a seawater reservoir. In contrast, results for foraminifera calcite suggest a marked biological control on Mg isotope ratios presumably related to its low Mg content compared with seawater. The bearing of these observations on the use of Mg and Ca isotopes as proxies in paleoceanography is considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 8 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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