Kinetic isotope effect in CO2 degassing: Insight from clumped and oxygen isotopes in laboratory precipitation experiments

Hagit P. Affek*, Shikma Zaarur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Laboratory precipitation experiments provide the basis for the common calibration of both the oxygen isotope and the clumped isotope thermometers. These focus on CaCO3 crystals that form deep in the bulk of the solution, often by the bubbling of N2(g) through a saturated Ca(HCO3)2 solution, following the classic experiments on McCrea (1950). Here we examine oxygen and clumped isotopes in CaCO3 that was precipitated at the surface of a solution that undergoes passive CO2 degassing. This CaCO3 is affected by enhanced disequilibrium that is associated with degassing, and has therefore higher δ18O and lower δ47 values than those of the accepted thermometer calibrations. These offsets from the common thermometers calibrations increase with decreasing temperature for δ47 but decrease with decreasing temperature for δ18O. The δ4718O co-variance is therefore strongly temperature dependent, in contrast to theoretical predictions. This suggests an influence of additional fractionation in fast growing minerals, between DIC and calcite, that affects δ18O and counteracts some of the degassing related enrichment. This effect seems not to influence δ47. The physical setup of CaCO3 minerals growing at the solution surface is analogous to the degassing and precipitation processes that occur in stalagmites, such that these laboratory experiments may help shed light on the isotopic disequilibrium that is observed in speleothems.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)319-330
Number of pages12
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


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