Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Fractionation in Laboratory-Precipitated, Inorganic Calcite
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Carbon and oxygen isotopes in calcite crystals provide a record of the environmental conditions under which the crystals formed. To investigate the influence of temperature, pH, and growth rate on isotope discrimination by calcite, we measured carbon and oxygen isotope fractionation through a series of calcite precipitation experiments at T = 25C and pH = 7.5 - 9.3. We observe that neither the carbon nor oxygen isotope compositions correspond to the theoretical equilibrium isotope fractionation between calcite and solution. We also demonstrate that the fractionation of oxygen isotopes between calcite and water decreases with increasing pH, consistent with available data from experiments in which the enzyme carbonic anhydrase was used. Finally, we compare the carbon and oxygen isotopes of our calcite crystals to those of biogenic carbonates. This thesis includes previously unpublished co-authored material.