79,037 research outputs found

    Robustness of fossil fish teeth for seawater neodymium isotope reconstructions under variable redox conditions in an ancient shallow marine setting

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    Fossil fish teeth from pelagic open ocean settings are considered a robust archive for preserving the neodymium (Nd) isotopic composition of ancient seawater. However, using fossil fish teeth as an archive to reconstruct seawater Nd isotopic compositions in different sedimentary redox environments and in terrigenous‐dominated, shallow marine settings is less proven. To address these uncertainties, fish tooth and sediment samples from a middle Eocene section deposited proximal to the East Antarctic margin at Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Site U1356 were analyzed for major and trace element geochemistry, and Nd isotopes. Major and trace element analyses of the sediments reveal changing redox conditions throughout deposition in a shallow marine environment. However, variations in the Nd isotopic composition and rare earth element (REE) patterns of the associated fish teeth do not correspond to redox changes in the sediments. REE patterns in fish teeth at Site U1356 carry a typical mid‐REE‐enriched signature. However, a consistently positive Ce anomaly marks a deviation from a pure authigenic origin of REEs to the fish tooth. Neodymium isotopic compositions of cleaned and uncleaned fish teeth fall between modern seawater and local sediments and hence could be authigenic in nature, but could also be influenced by sedimentary fluxes. We conclude that the fossil fish tooth Nd isotope proxy is not sensitive to moderate changes in pore water oxygenation. However, combined studies on sediments, pore waters, fish teeth, and seawater are needed to fully understand processes driving the reconstructed signature from shallow marine sections in proximity to continental sources

    Chemical composition of modern and fossil Hippopotamid teeth and implications for paleoenvironmental reconstructions and enamel formation: 1. major and minor element variation [Discussion paper]

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    Bioapatite in mammalian teeth is readily preserved in continental sediments and represents a very important archive for reconstructions of environment and climate evolution. This project intends to provide a detailed data base of major, minor and trace element and isotope tracers for tooth apatite using a variety of microanalytical techniques. The aim is to identify specific sedimentary environments and to improve our understanding on the interaction between internal metabolic processes during tooth formation and external nutritional control and secondary alteration effects. Here, we use the electron microprobe, to determine the major and minor element contents of fossil and modern molar enamel, cement and dentin from hippopotamids. Most of the studied specimens are from different ecosystems in Eastern Africa, representing modern and fossil lakustrine (Lake Kikorongo, Lake Albert, and Lake Malawi) and modern fluvial environments of the Nile River system. Secondary alteration effects in particular FeO, MnO, SO3 and F concentrations, which are 2 to 10 times higher in fossil than in modern enamel; secondary enrichments in fossil dentin and cement are even higher. In modern and fossil enamel, along sections perpendicular to the enamel-dentin junction (EDJ) or along cervix-apex profiles, P2O5 and CaO contents and the CaO/P2O5 ratios are very constant (StdDev ~1 %). Linear regression analysis reveals very tight control of the MgO (R2∼0.6), Na2O and Cl variation (for both R2>0.84) along EDJ-outer enamel rim profiles, despite large concentration variations (40 % to 300 %) across the enamel. These minor elements show well defined distribution patterns in enamel, similar in all specimens regardless of their age and origin, as the concentration of MgO and Na2O decrease from the enamel-dentin junction (EDJ) towards the outer rim, whereas Cl displays the opposite variation. Fossil enamel from hippopotamids which lived in the saline Lake Kikorongo have a much higher MgO/Na2O ratio (∼1.11) than those from the Neogene fossils of Lake Albert (MgO/Na2O∼0.4), which was a large fresh water lake like those in the western Branch of the East African Rift System today. Similarly, the MgO/Na2O ratio in modern enamel from the White Nile River (∼0.36), which has a Precambrian catchment of dominantly granite and gneisses and passes through several saline zones, is higher than that from the Blue Nile River, whose catchment is the Neogene volcanic Ethiopian Highland (MgO/Na2O∼0.22). Thus, particularly MgO/Na2O might be a sensitive fingerprint for environments where river and lake water have suffered strong evaporation. Enamel formation in mammals takes place at successive mineralization fronts within a confined chamber where ion and molecule transport is controlled by the surrounding enamel organ. During the secretion and maturation phases the epithelium generates different fluid composition, which in principle, should determine the final composition of enamel apatite. This is supported by co-linear relationships between MgO, Cl and Na2O which can be interpreted as binary mixing lines. However, if maturation starts after secretion is completed the observed element distribution can only be explained by recrystallization of existing and addition of new apatite during maturation. Perhaps the initial enamel crystallites precipitating during secretion and the newly formed bioapatite crystals during maturation equilibrate with a continuously evolving fluid. During crystallization of bioapatite the enamel fluid becomes continuously depleted in MgO and Na2O, but enriched in Cl which results in the formation of MgO, and Na2O-rich, but Cl-poor bioapatite near the EDJ and MgO- and Na2O-poor, but Cl-rich bioapatite at the outer enamel rim. The linkage between lake and river water composition, bioavailability of elements for plants, animal nutrition and tooth formation is complex and multifaceted. The quality and limits of the MgO/Na2O and other proxies have to be established with systematic investigations relating chemical distribution patterns to sedimentary environment and to growth structures developing as secretion and maturation proceed during tooth formation

    Tracing fetal and childhood exposure to lead using isotope analysis of deciduous teeth

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    We report progress in using the isotopic composition and concentration of Pb in the dentine and enamel of deciduous teeth to provide a high resolution time frame of exposure to Pb during fetal development and early childhood. Isotope measurements (total Pb and 208Pb/206Pb, 207Pb/206Pb ratios) were acquired by laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry at contiguous 100 micron intervals across thin sections of the teeth; from the outer enamel surface to the pulp cavity. Teeth samples (n=10) were selected from two cohorts of children, aged 5–8 years, living in NE England. By integrating the isotope data with histological analysis of the teeth, using the daily incremental lines in dentine, we were able to assign true estimated ages to each ablation point (first 2–3 years for molars, first 1–2 years for incisors+pre-natal growth). Significant differences were observed in the isotope composition and concentration of Pb between children, reflecting differences in the timing and sources of exposure during early childhood. Those born in 2000, after the withdrawal of leaded petrol in 1999, have the lowest dentine Pb levels (0.4 µgPb/g) with 208Pb/206Pb (mean ±2σ: 2.145–2.117) 208Pb/206Pb (mean ±2σ: 0.898–0.882) ratios that can be modelled as a binary mix between industrial aerosols and leaded petrol emissions. Short duration, high intensity exposure events (1–2 months) were readily identified, together with evidence that dentine provides a good proxy for childhood changes in the isotope composition of blood Pb. Our pilot study confirms that laser ablation Pb isotope analysis of deciduous teeth, when carried out in conjunction with histological analysis, permits a reconstruction of the timing, duration and source of exposure to Pb during early childhood. With further development, this approach has the potential to study larger cohorts and appraise environments where the levels of exposure to Pb are much higher

    The application of amino acid racemization in the acid soluble fraction of enamel to the estimation of the age of human teeth

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    Estimation of age-at-death for skeletonised forensic remains is one of the most significant problems in forensic anthropology. The majority of existing morphological and histological techniques are highly inaccurate, and show a bias towards underestimating the age of older individuals. One technique which has been successful in forensic age estimation is amino acid racemization in dentine. However, this method cannot be used on remains where the post-mortem interval is greater than 20 years. An alternative approach is to measure amino acid racemization in dental enamel, which is believed to be more resistant to change post-mortem. The extent of amino acid racemization in the acid soluble fraction of the enamel proteins was determined for modem known age teeth. A strong correlation was observed between the age of the tooth and the extent of racemization. No systematic bias in the direction of age estimation errors was detected. For the majority of teeth analyzed, the presence of dental caries did not affect the results obtained. In a minority of cases, carious teeth showed a higher level of racemization than would be expected given the age of the individual. These results indicate that amino acid racemization in enamel has the potential to be used in age estimation of skeletal remains. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved

    Oxygen Isotope Analysis of Human Bone Phosphate Evidences Weaning Age in Archaeological Populations

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    Acknowledgements With special thanks to Jean-Jacques Hublin and the MPI-EVA; to Annabell Reiner (MPI-EVA) and Bernd Steinhilber (Universitat Tubingen) for technical support;and to the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst for financial support to KB during this project (ref: A0970923). This research was funded by the Max Planck Society. TT was financed by the DFG Emmy Noether Program and acknowledges funding by the grant TU 148/2-1 for the Emmy Noether Group Bone Geochemistry. Thanks also tothe University of Aberdeen for support during the preparation of this manuscript.Peer reviewedPostprin

    A survey of Trace Metals Determination in Hospital Waste Incinerator in Lucknow City, India

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    Information on the elemental content of incinerator burning of human organ, animal and medical waste is scanty in India Nineteen trace elements were analyzed in the incinerator ash from four major hospitals, one municipal waste incinerator and two R & D laboratories engaged in animal experiment in Lucknow city. Concentrations of Zinc and Lead were found to be very high in comparison to other metals due to burning of plastic products. The source of Ca, P and K are mainly bone, teeth and other animal organs. A wide variation in trace concentration of several toxic elements have been seen due to variation in initial waste composition, design of the incinerator and operating conditions

    Formation of iddingsite veins in the martian crust by centripetal replacement of olivine: evidence from the nakhlite meteorite Lafayette

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    The Lafayette meteorite is an olivine clinopyroxenite that crystallized on Mars ∼1300 million years ago within a lava flow or shallow sill. Liquid water entered this igneous rock ∼700 million years later to produce a suite of secondary minerals, collectively called ‘iddingsite’, that occur as veins within grains of augite and olivine. The deuterium/hydrogen ratio of water within these secondary minerals shows that the aqueous solutions were sourced from one or more near-surface reservoirs. Several petrographically distinct types of veins can be recognised by differences in their width, shape, and crystallographic orientation. Augite and olivine both contain veins of a very fine grained hydrous Fe- and Mg-rich silicate that are ∼1-2 micrometres in width and lack any preferred crystallographic orientation. These narrow veins formed by cementation of pore spaces that had been opened by fracturing and probably in response to shock. The subset of olivine-hosted veins whose axes lie parallel to (001) have serrated walls, and formed by widening of the narrow veins by interface coupled dissolution-precipitation. Widening started by replacement of the walls of the narrow precursor veins by Fe-Mg silicate, and a crystallographic control on the trajectory of the dissolution-precipitation front created micrometre-scale {111} serrations. The walls of many of the finely serrated veins were subsequently replaced by siderite, and the solutions responsible for carbonation of olivine also partially recrystallized the Fe-Mg silicate. Smectite was the last mineral to form and grew by replacement of siderite. This mineralization sequence shows that Lafayette was exposed to two discrete pulses of aqueous solutions, the first of which formed the Fe-Mg silicate, and the second mediated replacement of vein walls by siderite and smectite. The similarity in size, shape and crystallographic orientation of iddingsite veins in the Lafayette meteorite and in terrestrial basalts demonstrates a common microstructural control on water-mineral interaction between Mars and Earth, and indicates that prior shock deformation was not a prerequisite for aqueous alteration of the martian crust
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