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《Geochimica》 2015-01
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High resolution boron isotopic compositions of a coral from the northern South China Sea and their implications for reconstruction of seawater p H

KE Ting;WEI Gang-jian;LIU Ying;XIE Lu-hua;DENG Wen-feng;WANG Gui-qin;XU Ji-feng;State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences;University of Chinese Academy of Sciences;Key Laboratory of Marginal Sea Geology, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences;  
Coral is a good medium for the study of high resolution climate changes in tropical oceans. In this paper, we analyzed the C, O, B isotopic compositions of 49 samples from a living Porites lutea coral, SY10, from Sanya Bay, south of Hainan Island. The result shows that, the δ13C, δ18O and δ11B values of the SY10 coral range from –3.32‰ to –1.76‰, from –6.13‰ to –4.78‰ and from 23.51‰ to 26.23‰, respectively. They all exhibited obvious seasonal fluctuations. A significant positive correlation occurs between the reconstructed seawater pH and δ18O, which is converse to the temperature effect for the solubility of CO2 in seawater that low temperature favors the dissolution of CO2 and hence decreases seawater pH. Our observation that higher pH values tend to appear in low temperature seasons suggests that seawater pH on coral reefs should be largely controlled by biological activities rather than changes in CO2 solubility. Meanwhile, the reconstructed seawater pH values range from 7.77 to 8.37, with seasonal fluctuations similar to that of the δ11B. Furthermore, the substantial periodic fluctuations of reconstructed pH are in consistent with the variability of observed seawater pH records on the same coral reef, and agree with the seawater pH changes in Xisha Islands mentioned by Dai et al.(2009). We therefore conclude that it is feasible to reconstruct high resolution seawater pH by using boron isotopic composition of corals.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金(41076025);; 中国科学院广州地球化学研究所135项目(Y234091001)
【CateGory Index】: P734;P737.2
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