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Biomineralization and past climate change: The ion microprobe revolution

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Funding Year: 2004

Research Areas: Climate, Oceans

Regions: South America

Reef-building corals and other carbonate-producing organisms are used extensively as proxies for past variations in global climate based on the elemental and isotopic composition of their skeletons and shells. Typically, biological processes offset the composition of the skeleton from thermodynamic equilibrium with seawater. It is therefore of wide interest to understand the degree to which biological versus inorganic processes control the chemistry of the coral skeleton. We will study the trace element and isotopic manifestations of biological processes in the coral skeletal mineralization process using state-of-the-art ion microprobe analytical equipment that has never before been applied to this important problem.

Learn more about the Environmental Venture Projects grant program and other funded projects.

Principal Investigators:

Anders Meibom

Rob Dunbar, W.M. Keck Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment

Brent Constantz

Art Owen, Professor of Statistics

Joe Wooden