The principles and practice of reconstruction of concentrations of dissolved CO2 from carbon isotopic compositions of contemporaneous, coeval marine organic matter and carbonates are summarized here. Techniques for determination of the isotopic fractionation accompanying photosynthetic fixation of carbon are exemplified by three oceanic case histories. The northern Gulf of Mexico during the late Quaternary represents an environment with near-equilibrium distribution of CO2 between the atmosphere and ocean surface, whereas non-equilibrium conditions prevail in the central equatorial Pacific. The Black Sea, with surface waters buffered strongly by high concentrations of dissolved CO2 at depth, represents an exotic PCO2 environment. Consideration of a preliminary water-column model focussed on the loci of production of biogenic phases used for reconstruction of paleoceanic PCO2 illuminates some of the major issues to be considered as this technique is refined.
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- Reconstruction of Paleoceanic PCO2 Levels from Carbon Isotopic Compositions of Sedimentary Biogenic Components
John P. Jasper
J. M. Hayes
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg