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Article

An Improved Cleaning Protocol for Foraminiferal Calcite from Unconsolidated Core Sediments: HyPerCal—A New Practice for Micropaleontological and Paleoclimatic Proxies

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
2
Department of Historical Geology-Paleontology, Faculty of Geology & Geoenvironment, School of Earth Sciences, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, 157 84 Athens, Greece
3
Diamond Light Source, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxford OX11 0DE, UK
4
Canadian Light Source, Spectromicroscopy (SM) Beamline, Saskatoon, SK S7N 2V3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(12), 998; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8120998
Received: 11 November 2020 / Revised: 24 November 2020 / Accepted: 1 December 2020 / Published: 7 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Marine Geological Dynamics)
Paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic studies routinely rely on the usage of foraminiferal calcite through faunal, morphometric and physico-chemical proxies. The application of such proxies presupposes the extraction and cleaning of these biomineralized components from ocean sediments in the most efficient way, a process which is often labor intensive and time consuming. In this respect, in this study we performed a systematic experiment for planktonic foraminiferal specimen cleaning using different chemical treatments and evaluated the resulting data of a Late Quaternary gravity core sample from the Aegean Sea. All cleaning procedures adopted here were made on the basis of their minimum potential bias upon foraminiferal proxies, such as the faunal assemblages, degree of fragmentation, stable isotope composition (δ18O and δ13C) and/or Mg/Ca ratios that are frequently used as proxies for surface-ocean climate parameters (e.g., sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity). Six different protocols were tested, involving washing, sieving, and chemical treatment of the samples with hydrogen peroxide and/or sodium hexametaphosphate (Calgon®). Single species foraminifera shell weighing was combined with high-resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and synchrotron X-ray microtomography (SμCT) of the material processed by each of the cleaning protocols, in order to assess the decontamination degree of specimen’s ultrastructure and interior. It appeared that a good compromise between time and cleaning efficiency is the simultaneous treatment of samples with a mixed hydrogen peroxide and Calgon solution, while the most effective way to almost completely decontaminate the calcareous components from undesirable sedimentary material is a two-step treatment—initially with hydrogen peroxide and subsequently with Calgon solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: cleaning protocol; unconsolidated core sediments; shell weight; climate reconstruction; synchrotron X-ray microtomography (SμCT); foraminiferal-based proxies cleaning protocol; unconsolidated core sediments; shell weight; climate reconstruction; synchrotron X-ray microtomography (SμCT); foraminiferal-based proxies
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zarkogiannis, S.D.; Kontakiotis, G.; Gkaniatsa, G.; Kuppili, V.S.C.; Marathe, S.; Wanelik, K.; Lianou, V.; Besiou, E.; Makri, P.; Antonarakou, A. An Improved Cleaning Protocol for Foraminiferal Calcite from Unconsolidated Core Sediments: HyPerCal—A New Practice for Micropaleontological and Paleoclimatic Proxies. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 998. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8120998

AMA Style

Zarkogiannis SD, Kontakiotis G, Gkaniatsa G, Kuppili VSC, Marathe S, Wanelik K, Lianou V, Besiou E, Makri P, Antonarakou A. An Improved Cleaning Protocol for Foraminiferal Calcite from Unconsolidated Core Sediments: HyPerCal—A New Practice for Micropaleontological and Paleoclimatic Proxies. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2020; 8(12):998. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8120998

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zarkogiannis, Stergios D., George Kontakiotis, Georgia Gkaniatsa, Venkata S.C. Kuppili, Shashidhara Marathe, Kazimir Wanelik, Vasiliki Lianou, Evanggelia Besiou, Panayiota Makri, and Assimina Antonarakou. 2020. "An Improved Cleaning Protocol for Foraminiferal Calcite from Unconsolidated Core Sediments: HyPerCal—A New Practice for Micropaleontological and Paleoclimatic Proxies" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 8, no. 12: 998. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8120998

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