The original stable isotopic composition of low-Mg calcitic planktic foraminifer tests is preserved in Pleistocene shallow-marine carbonates (in the Ryukyu Group; Okinawa, Japan) that have been altered by meteoric diagenesis. Whole-rock analyses indicate depleted isotopic values for both δ13C (-1.9 to -5.4‰) and δ18O (-2.9 to -5.2‰), as well as carbonate mineralogy exclusively composed of low-Mg calcite. However, analysis of carefully-extracted planktic foraminifer tests (Globigerinoides sacculifer) that were separated from these whole-rock samples yield heavier δ13C values (-0.4 to 1.9‰) and δ18O values (-3.2 to -1.0‰). The foraminiferal values themselves and comparison of values of various components suggest that the low-Mg calcite tests preserve the original stable isotopic values. Subsequently, the downcore δ18O change of planktic foraminifers recorded in the Ryukyu Group results from middle Pleistocene glacial - interglacial change. By comparison, isotopic measurements based on whole-rock samples can be obtained diagenetic environmental signals, but misleading with regard to paleoclimatic inferences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology