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Reconstruction of deglacial sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific from selective analysis of a fossil coral

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Author(s)

N Allison, A A Finch, A W Tudhope, M Newville, S R Sutton, R M Ellam

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Abstract

The Sr/Ca of coral skeletons demonstrates potential as an indicator of sea surface temperatures (SSTs). However, the glacial-interglacial SST ranges predicted from Sr/Ca of fossil corals are usually higher than from other marine proxies. We observed infilling of secondary aragonite, characterised by high Sr/Ca ratios, along intraskeletal pores of a fossil coral from Papua New Guinea that grew during the penultimate deglaciation (130 +/- 2 ka). Selective microanalysis of unaltered areas of the fossil coral indicates that SSTs at similar to 130 ka were <= 1 degrees C cooler than at present in contrast with bulk measurements ( combining infilled and unaltered areas) which indicate a difference of 6-7 degrees C. The analysis of unaltered areas of fossil skeletons by microprobe techniques may offer a route to more accurate reconstruction of past SSTs.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L17609
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume32
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2005

    Research areas

  • SR COORDINATION, PALEOTEMPERATURE PROXY, SYMBIOTIC CORAL, X-RAY, ARAGONITE, DIAGENESIS, STRONTIUM, RECORDS, SR/CA, CONSEQUENCES

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