Goldschmidt 2002 Special Symposium on Biogenic Skeletons

Anne Cohen acohen at
Sat Feb 16 15:53:50 EST 2002

Dear All

I want to draw your attention to a special symposium at this year's
Goldschmidt conference to be held in Davos, Switzerland 18th-23rd
(  The session is
entitled "The Geochemistry of Biogenic Minerals" and focuses on the
nature, magnitude and mechanisms by which biological processes impact
the chemistry and structure of biogenic skeletons and skeletal
accretions.  We are also interested in non biogenic accretions,
including stalagmites, so we might learn about disequilibrium processes
that are non biological in origin.  The session will be of interest to
those working on biomineralization and those who use biological archives
as environmental proxies.  The session description is posted below this
message and you will find it also at the conference web site by clicking
on "symposia".  Ours is #S49.  Please feel free to contact me if you'd
like feedback on topics. Information about abstract submission,
deadlines and circulars is posted on the conference website.

Thank you
Anne Cohen and Nobu Shimizu.

Dr A.L. Cohen
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Geology and Geophysics, ms#23
Woods Hole MA 02543

T: 508 289 2958
F: 508 457 2175

The Geochemistry of Biogenic Minerals

Session Convenors: Anne Cohen and Nobuchimi Shimizu

The isotope and elemental  compositions of accretionary skeletons (fish
otoliths, corals, shells of molluscs and terrestrial snails,
speleotherms and foraminifera) are used as tracers in such broad
applications as identification of natal spawning grounds, estimation of
paleotemperatures and tracing volcanic eruptions on the ocean floor. The
assumption underlying these applications is that skeletal chemistry
reflects the external environment, offset by predictable and consistent
fractionation factors or partition coefficients that can be determined
through laboratory experiments or thermodynamic calculations. In reality
however, controls on the chemical composition of biogenic skeletons are
usually a mix of exogenous and endogenous factors, the latter tied to
some aspect of organism metabolism. In the past few years, recognition
of the impact of biological processes on geochemical proxies has led to
a focused attempt at elucidating "vital effects", with progress in the
interpretation and accuracy of tracer applications. This session invites
contributions from researchers with interest in the nature, magnitude
and mechanisms by which biological processes impact skeletal structure
and chemistry. The session is not exclusive to carbonates or biological
skeletons, but will focus on accretionary structures. Theorists,
modellers and geochemical analysts are encouraged to submit abstracts to
this session.

Potential topics include: Calcification mechanisms and their influence
on isotope and trace element geochemistry of aquatic skeletons; The
relationship between fish physiology, endolymph composition and the
chemistry of fish otoliths; Do stalagmites obey the laws of
thermodynamics? Kinetic disequilibria, surface enrichment and
equilibrium controls on mineral composition in low temperature
environments; How do algal symbionts affect the structure and chemistry
of the host skeleton?

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