We report here hourly variations of Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, and Ba/Ca ratios in a Mediterranean mussel shell (Mytilus galloprovincialis) collected at the Otsuchi bay, on the Pacific coast of northeastern Japan. This bivalve was living in the intertidal zone, where such organisms are known to form a daily or bidaily growth line comprised of abundant organic matter. Mg/Ca ratios of the inner surface of the outer shell layer, corresponding to the most recent date, show cyclic changes at 25–90 μm intervals, while no interpretable variations are observed in Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca ratios. High Mg/Ca ratios were probably established by (1) cessation of the external supply of Ca and organic layer forming when the shell is closed at low tide, and (2) the strong binding of Mg to the organic layer, but not of Sr and Ba. Immediately following the great tsunami induced by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, Mg/Ca enrichment occurred, up to 10 times that of normal low tide, while apparent Ba/Ca enrichment was observed for only a few days following the event, therefore serving a proxy of the past tsunami. Following the tsunami, periodic peaks and troughs in Mg/Ca continued, perhaps due to a biological memory effect as an endogenous clock.
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