The solubility of fish-produced high magnesium calcite in seawater

Ryan J. Woosley, Frank J Millero, Martin Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fish have been shown to produce high (10 to 48mol %) magnesium calcite as part of the physiological mechanisms responsible for maintaining salt and water balance. The importance of this source to the marine carbon cycle is only now being considered. In this paper, we report the first measurements of the solubility of this CaCO3 in seawater. The resulting solubility (pK*sp=5.89±0.09) is approximately two times higher than aragonite and similar to the high magnesium calcite generated on the Bahamas Banks (pK*sp=5.90). This high solubility of fish-produced CaCO3 is a result of the high magnesium content and not a product of micro-environments created by microbial activity. This material is soluble in near surface waters, contributing to the input of carbonate to surface ocean waters, and may at least partially explain the observed increase in total alkalinity above the aragonite saturation horizon.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberC04018
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Volume117
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

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Calcium Carbonate
fishes
calcite
Seawater
Fish
Magnesium
magnesium
aragonite
solubility
Solubility
seawater
fish
Bahamas
water balance
carbon cycle
alkalinity
ocean surface
surface water
microbial activity
horizon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Oceanography

Cite this

The solubility of fish-produced high magnesium calcite in seawater. / Woosley, Ryan J.; Millero, Frank J; Grosell, Martin.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, Vol. 117, No. 4, C04018, 01.01.2012.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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