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Type: Journal article
Title: Post-mortem oxygen isotope exchange within cultured diatom silica
Author: Tyler, J.
Sloane, H.
Rickaby, R.
Cox, E.
Leng, M.
Citation: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2017; 31(20):1749-1760
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0951-4198
Statement of
Jonathan J. Tyler, Hilary J. Sloane, Rosalind E.M. Rickaby, Eileen J. Cox, Melanie J. Leng
Abstract: Rationale: Potential post-mortem alteration to the oxygen isotope composition of biogenic silica is critical to the validity of palaeoclimate reconstructions based on oxygen isotope ratios (δ¹⁸O values) from sedimentary silica. We calculate the degree of oxygen isotope alteration within freshly cultured diatom biogenic silica in response to heating and storing in the laboratory. Methods: The experiments used freshly cultured diatom silica. Silica samples were either stored in water or dried at temperatures between 20 °C and 80 °C. The mass of affected oxygen and the associated silica-water isotope fractionation during alteration were calculated by conducting parallel experiments using endmember waters with δ¹⁸O values of -6.3 to -5.9 ‰ and -36.3 to -35.0 ‰. Dehydroxylation and subsequent oxygen liberation were achieved by stepwise fluorination with BrF5 . The ¹⁸O/¹⁶O ratios were measured using a ThermoFinnigan MAT 253 isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Results: Significant alterations in silica δ¹⁸O values were observed, most notably an increase in the δ¹⁸O values following drying at 40-80 °C. Storage in water for 7 days between 20 and 80 °C also led to significant alteration in δ¹⁸O values. Mass balance calculations suggest that the amount of affected oxygen is positively correlated with temperature. The estimated oxygen isotope fractionation during alteration is an inverse function of temperature, consistent with the extrapolation of models for high-temperature silica-water oxygen isotope fractionation. Conclusions: Routinely used preparatory methods may impart significant alterations to the δ¹⁸O values of biogenic silica, particularly when dealing with modern cultured or field-collected material. The significance of such processes within natural aquatic environments is uncertain; however, there is potential that similar processes also affect sedimentary diatoms, with implications for the interpretation of biogenic silica-hosted δ¹⁸O palaeoclimate records.
Keywords: Diatoms
Oxygen Isotopes
Silicon Dioxide
Mass Spectrometry
Hot Temperature
Rights: © 2017 The Authors. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
DOI: 10.1002/rcm.7954
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