Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An empirical re-evaluation of the boron isotope/pH proxy in marine carbonates
by Klochko, Kateryna, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, 2009, 156; 3372972
Abstract (Summary)

The boron isotopic composition measured in marine carbonates is considered to be a tracer of seawater pH. However, an accurate application of this proxy has been hampered by our lack of intimate understanding of chemical kinetics and thermodynamic isotope exchange between the two dominant boron-bearing species in seawater: boric acid B(OH)3o and borate ions B(OH)4-, as well as their subsequent partitioning into a carbonate lattice. In this dissertation I have taken on a task of a systematic empirical re-evaluation of the fundamental parameters and assumptions on which the boron isotope paleo-pH proxy is based. As a result of this research strikingly different values of the boron isotope exchange constant in solution (Klochko et al., 2006) and boron speciation and partitioning in carbonates (Klochko et al., 2009) were determined, suggesting that the most parameters and assumptions that were believed to be previously constrained and have been widely applied to the δ11B-pH reconstructions were incorrect.

Recognizing that both biological and inorganic processes may potentially affect boron speciation and isotopic composition in carbonates, to isolate purely inorganic effects on the boron isotope co-precipitation with carbonates, we have designed a series of pH-controlled δ11B calibration experiments of inorganic calcite and inorganic aragonite. Results to date reveal that precipitates from our experiments at pH = 8.7 fall exactly along the borate ion δ11B curve predicted by our empirically determined boron isotope fractionation factor (Byrne et al., 2005; Klochko et al., 2006).

Extending these experiments to wider range of pH conditions will provide the necessary inorganic baseline for paleo-studies of inorganic carbonate and future investigations of the purely biological effects on the boron isotope distributions in carbonates.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kaufman, Alan J.
Commitee: Evans, Michael, McDonough, William F., Shirey, Steven, Tossell, John A.
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Department: Geology
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-B 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Chemical Oceanography, Geochemistry
Keywords: Boron, Carbonates, Isotopes, Marine carbonates, Seawater pH
Publication Number: 3372972
ISBN: 9781109383379
Copyright © 2019 ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy Cookie Policy
ProQuest