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Weidman, Christopher R; Jones, Glenn A (1994): Temperatures, salinity, and stable oxygen isotope values of bottom water and of the mollusc shell Arctica islandica from Nantucket Shoals [dataset]. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Weidman, Christopher R; Jones, Glenn A; Kyger (1994): The long-lived mollusc Arctica islandica: A new paleoceanographic tool for the reconstruction of bottom temperatures for the continental shelves of the northern North Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 99(C9), 18305-18314,

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The carbonate shell of the bivalve Arctica islandica has been recognized, for more than a decade, as a potentially important marine geochemical biorecorder owing to this species' great longevity (200+ years) and wide geographic distribution throughout the northern North Atlantic Ocean, a region vital to global climate and ocean circulation. However, until now this potential has not been realized owing to the difficulty of precisely sampling the shell of this slow growing species. Using newly available automated microsampling techniques combined with micromass stable isotope mass spectrometry, a stable oxygen isotope record (1956-1957 and 1961-1970) has been obtained from a live-captured, 38-year-old A. islandica specimen collected near the former position of the Nantucket Shoals Lightship (41°N. 69°W). The shell's delta18O signal is compared with an expected signal derived from ambient bottom temperature and salinity data recorded at the lightship for the same period. The results show that A islandica's delta18O record (1) is in phase with its growth banding, confirming the annual periodicity of this species' growth bands, (2) is in oxygen isotopic equilibrium with the ambient seawater, (3) shows a consistent shell growth shutdown temperature of ~6°C. which translates into an ~8-month (May–December) shell growth period at this location, and (4) records the ambient bottom temperature with a precision of ~ +/-1.2°C. These results add important information on the life history of this commercially important shellfish species and demonstrate that A. islandica shells can be used to reconstruct inter- and intra-annual records of the continental shelf bottom temperature.
Latitude: 41.285000 * Longitude: -70.096700
Date/Time Start: 1965-01-01T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2001-12-31T00:00:00
Nantucket * Latitude: 41.285000 * Longitude: -70.096700 * Date/Time Start: 1965-01-01T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2001-12-31T00:00:00 * Campaign: SeaLevel * Method/Device: Tide gauge station (TGS)
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethod/DeviceComment
1AGEAgeka BPGeocode
2AgeAgea AD/CEWeidman, Christopher RCountingcounting growth bands in thin sections (100 µm)
3SalinitySalWeidman, Christopher RMeasuredat Nantucket Shoals Lightship
4Temperature, waterTemp°CWeidman, Christopher RMeasuredat Nantucket Shoals Lightship
5Arctica islandica, δ18OA. islandica δ18O‰ PDBWeidman, Christopher RIsotope ratio mass spectrometry
6δ18O, waterδ18O H2O‰ SMOWWeidman, Christopher RCalculatedestimated monthly d18O-water based on salinity and Fairbanks (1982) relationship
505 data points

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