Stable oxygen and carbon isotopic ratios in modern and archaeological estuarine mollusc shells, Polymesoda radiata, change in accordance with seasonal salinity fluctuations in the Acapetahua estuary located on the Pacific coast of southern Mexico. This region receives −3000 mm of precipitation annually, most during a wet season between April and October. The changing flux of fresh water and organic detritus into the estuary causes large changes in the oxygen and carbon isotopic composition of the estuarine waters and in the carbonate precipitated by P. radiata. Oxygen isotopic ratios in the shells of molluscs collected by late Archaic period populations (5000–4000 BP) in this region indicate that patterns of rainfall were similar to today. Modern shells, however, exhibit much more negative carbon isotopic values than observed in prehistoric shells. This change may be associated with the input of modern fertilizers into the estuary.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Feb 1995|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes