Oxygen-18 Enrichment of Planktonic Foraminifera Due to Gametogenic Calcification Below the Euphotic Zone

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Science  11 Sep 1981:
Vol. 213, Issue 4513, pp. 1247-1250
DOI: 10.1126/science.213.4513.1247


Empty shells of spinose planktonic foraminifera on the seabed are significantly enriched in oxygen-18 as compared with the shells of their living counterparts in surface waters. This enrichment is due to gametogenic calcification, which extracts calcium carbonate from deeper and colder waters as the shell sinks below the euphotic zone. JEAN-CLAUDE DUPLESSY