Stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of mollusc shells from Britain and New Zealand

Mitchell, L., Fallick, A.E. and Curry, G.B. (1994) Stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of mollusc shells from Britain and New Zealand. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 111(3-4), pp. 207-216. (doi: 10.1016/0031-0182(94)90063-9)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Stable carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of the carbonate shells of two fossil mollusc species from the Plio-Pleistocene of New Zealand and two Recent species from the west coast of Scotland has revealed an unexpectedly high degree of variability for each species and a positive correlation between δ13C and δ18O in each case. This phenomenon may be due to kinetic isotope effects which are inherent in fastgrowing shells or areas of shell. If this is the case then equilibrium isotope partitioning may not have had time to occur before the completion of calcite precipitation. Kinetic effects would tend to favour the lighter isotopes of both carbon and oxygen; it is therefore the highest δ13C and δ18O values that are most likely to reflect equilibrium with the environment. Very small carbonate particles often give particularly low δ13C and δ18O values. These results have implications for the use of isotopic data in environmental reconstruction based on fast growing shells and may also be applicable to other carbonate precipitating organisms

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Curry, Professor Gordon and Fallick, Professor Anthony
Authors: Mitchell, L., Fallick, A.E., and Curry, G.B.
Subjects:Q Science > QE Geology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Publisher:Elsevier BV
ISSN (Online):1872-616X
Published Online:04 April 2003

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record