Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca Paleothermometry from Calcareous Marine Fossils

Y. Rosenthal, B. Linsley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Due to its large heat storage capacity and importance in equator-to-pole heat transport, the ocean plays a fundamental role in the evolution of Earth's climate. Accordingly, the distribution of sea surface and bottom water temperature (BWT) and salinity is perhaps the best representation of the state of the climate system, both past and present. This article discusses four important paleotemperature proxies, namely Mg/Ca in planktonic foraminifera and Sr/Ca in corals as recorders of sea surface temperatures and Mg/Ca in benthic foraminifera and ostracodes as proxies of BWTs. A clear advantage of these carbonate-based thermometers is that coupling δ18O and Mg/Ca measurements in foraminifera or Sr/Ca in corals provides a novel way to adjust for the temperature dependency of δ18O and isolate the record of δ18Osw. This can then be used to reconstruct local changes in the evaporation-precipitation balance (and by inference salinity) or the advection of water of different δ18Osw and provide valuable information about changes in continental ice volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Quaternary Science
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780444536433
ISBN (Print)9780444536426
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • Aragonite
  • Calcite
  • Corals
  • Foraminifera
  • Magnesium
  • Ostracodes
  • Paleotemperature
  • Strontium


Dive into the research topics of 'Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca Paleothermometry from Calcareous Marine Fossils'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this