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Biogeochemical Controls on Palaeoceanographic Environmental Proxies

Product Code: SP303
Series: GSL Special Publications - print copy
Author/Editor: Edited by W E N Austin and R H James
Publication Date: 25 September 2008
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Most of our information about the evolution of Earth’s ocean–climate system comes from the analysis of sediments laid down in the past. For example, the microfossil assemblage reflects the temperature, salinity and nutrient abundance of the water in which the organisms lived, while the chemical and isotopic composition of biogenic carbonates may be used to reconstruct past variations in the operation of the carbon cycle, as well as changes in ocean circulation.

Nevertheless, understanding the link between these sediment variables (or ‘proxies’) and environmental conditions is not straightforward. This volume adopts a novel approach by bringing together palaeontologists, geochemists and palaeoceanographers, who contribute evidence that is required to better constrain these proxies. Topics include: (i) processes of biomineralization, and their effect on the chemical and isotopic composition of different organisms; (ii) proxy validation, including field, laboratory and theoretical studies; (iii) the links between modern and fossil organisms.

Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-86239-257-1
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 200
Weight: 0.80 kg


  • Biogeochemical controls on palaeoceanographic environmental proxies: an introduction, W E N Austin & R H James
  • Biogeochemical controls on palaeoceanographic environmental proxies: a review, R H James & W E N Austin
  • Some fundamental features of biomineralization, R J P Williams
  • Vital effects and beyond: a modelling perspective on developing palaeoceanographic proxy relationships in foraminifera, R E Zeebe, J Bijma, B Hönisch, A Sanyal, H J Spero, & D A Wolf-Gladrow
  • Foraminifer test preservation and diagenesis: comparison of high latitute Eocene sites, P N Pearson & C E Burgess
  • The influences of growth rates on planktic foraminifers as proxies for palaeostudies – a review, D N Schmidt, T Elliott & S A Kasemann
  • Fine-scale growth patterns in coral skeletons: biochemical control over crystallization of aragonite fibres and assessment of early diagenesis, J P Cuif, Y Dauphin, A Meibom, C Rollion-Bard, M Salomé, J Susini & C T Williams
  • Modern deep-sea benthic foraminifera: a brief review of their morphology-based biodiversity and trophic diversity, A J Gooday, H Nomaki & H Kitazato
  • The use of benthic foraminiferal d13C in palaeoceanography: constraints from primary proxy relationships, A Mackensen
  • The carbon and oxygen stable isotopic compostion of cultured benthic foraminifera, D Mccorkle, J M Bernhard, C J Hintz, J K Blanks, G T Chandler & T J Shaw
  • Seasonal dynamics of coastal water masses in a Scottish fjord and their potential influence on benthic foraminiferal shell geochemistry, A G Cage & W E N Austin
  • Isotopic variability in the intertidal acorn barnacle Semibalanus balanoides: a potentially novel sea-level proxy indicator, K F Craven, M I Bird, W E N Austin & J Wynn
  • Index


Colin V. Murray-Wallace University of Wollongong

In summary, this volume provides a valuable set of papers that will engender a more cautious and reflective approach to the sampling of paleoenvironmental proxies in the marine and coastal realms. I highly recommend the work.

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