Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesThe Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Lecturer in Climate Change and the Environment



+44 (0)20 7594 1034y.plancherel




Sherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Osborne, AH and Hathorne, EC and Schijf, J and Plancherel, Y and Boening, P and Frank, M},
doi = {10.1002/2016GC006782},
journal = {Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems},
pages = {1550--1568},
title = {The potential of sedimentary foraminiferal rare earth element patterns to trace water masses in the past},
url = {},
volume = {18},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Dissolved rare earth element (REE) concentration data from intermediate and deep seawater form an array characterized by higher middleREE enrichments (MREE/MREE) in the North Atlantic and a progressive increase in heavytolight REE ratios (HREE/LREE) as water masses age. The REEs in foraminifera are fractionated toward higher MREE/MREE and lower HREE/LREE relative to seawater. Calculations based on a scavenging model show that the REE patterns in uncleaned coretop foraminifera resemble those adsorbed onto calcite, particulate organic material, and hydrous ferric oxides but the full extent of the REE fractionation measured in foraminifera was not reproduced by the model. However, differences in the HREE/LREE and MREE/MREE ratios and the cerium anomaly between ocean basins are preserved and are in agreement with the seawater REE distribution. Under oxic conditions, the HREE/LREE and MREE/MREE compositions of uncleaned foraminifera at the sediment/seawater boundary are preserved during burial but the cerium anomaly is sensitive to burial depth. In suboxic sedimentary environments, all uncleaned foraminiferal REE concentrations are elevated relative to coretop values indicating addition of REEs from pore waters. The HREE/LREE ratio is highest when sedimentation rates were greatest and when high Fe/Ca ratios in the uncleaned foraminifera indicate that Fe was mobile. In sediments that have not experienced suboxic conditions during burial, uncleaned foraminifera preserve the seawater signal taken up at the sediment/seawater interface and are therefore suggested to be a suitable archive of changes in the REE signal of past bottom waters.
AU - Osborne,AH
AU - Hathorne,EC
AU - Schijf,J
AU - Plancherel,Y
AU - Boening,P
AU - Frank,M
DO - 10.1002/2016GC006782
EP - 1568
PY - 2017///
SN - 1525-2027
SP - 1550
TI - The potential of sedimentary foraminiferal rare earth element patterns to trace water masses in the past
T2 - Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 18
ER -