Oxygen Isotope Composition of Subglacially Precipitated Calcite: Possible Paleoclimatic Implications

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Science  16 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4347, pp. 1267-1270
DOI: 10.1126/science.200.4347.1267


Isotopic analyses of subglacially precipitated calcite from near a modern temperate glacier show that the δ18O (= 18O/16O relative to standard mean ocean water) of the calcite records the δ18O of the ice from that glacier. It may therefore be possible to determine the δ18O of Pleistocene ice sheets on the basis of isotopic analyses of calcite formed under that ancient ice. This, in turn, would allow estimation of the δ18O of Pleistocene oceans and correction of the paleotemperature scale based on foraminiferal oxygen isotopic analyses.