A calibration equation between Δ48 values of carbonate and temperature

Peter K. Swart*, Chaojin Lu, Evan W. Moore, Megan E. Smith, Sean T. Murray, Philip T. Staudigel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Rationale: Information on the temperature of formation or alteration of carbonate minerals can be obtained by measuring the abundance of the isotopologues 47 and 48 (Δ47 and Δ48 values) of CO2 released during acid dissolution. The combination of these two proxies can potentially provide a greater insight into the temperature of formation, particularly if the carbonate minerals form by non-equilibrium processes.

Methods: We have precipitated calcium carbonates at seven temperatures between 5 and 65°C and measured their δ48 values using a Thermo-253 plus isotope ratio mass spectrometer. The values were transformed to Δ48 values in the conventional manner and then converted to the carbon dioxide equilibrium scale.

Results: Using the Δ48 values, we have established an empirical calibration between temperature and Δ48 values: (Formula presented.)

Conclusions: The calibration line produced allows the determination of the temperature of natural carbonates using the Δ48 values and agrees with the measurements of the Δ47 and Δ48 values of some carbonates assumed to have formed under equilibrium conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9147
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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