Coral Sr-U thermometry
DeCarlo, Thomas M.
Cohen, Anne L.
Foster, Gavin L.
Stewart, Joseph A.
MetadataShow full item record
Coral skeletons archive past climate variability with unrivaled temporal resolution. However, extraction of accurate temperature information from coral skeletons has been limited by “vital effects,” which confound, and sometimes override, the temperature dependence of geochemical proxies. We present a new approach to coral paleothermometry based on results of abiogenic precipitation experiments interpreted within a framework provided by a quantitative model of the coral biomineralization process. DeCarlo et al. (2015a) investigated temperature and carbonate chemistry controls on abiogenic partitioning of Sr/Ca and U/Ca between aragonite and seawater and modeled the sensitivity of skeletal composition to processes occurring at the site of calcification. The model predicts that temperature can be accurately reconstructed from coral skeleton by combining Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios into a new proxy, which we refer to hereafter as the Sr-U thermometer. Here we test the model predictions with measured Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios of 14 Porites sp. corals collected from the tropical Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea, with a subset also analyzed using the boron isotope (δ11B) pH proxy. Observed relationships among Sr/Ca, U/Ca, and δ11B agree with model predictions, indicating that the model accounts for the key features of the coral biomineralization process. By calibrating to instrumental temperature records, we show that Sr-U captures 93% of mean annual temperature variability (26–30°C) and has a standard deviation of prediction of 0.5°C, compared to 1°C using Sr/Ca alone. The Sr-U thermometer may offer significantly improved reliability for reconstructing past ocean temperatures from coral skeletons.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2016. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Paleoceanography 31 (2016): 626–638, doi:10.1002/2015PA002908.
The publisher requires that this item be embargoed until 2016-12-11. Please check back after 2016-12-11.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Coral biomineralization, climate proxies and the sensitivity of coral reefs to CO2-driven climate change DeCarlo, Thomas M. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-02)Scleractinian corals extract calcium (Ca2+) and carbonate (CO2−3) ions from seawater to construct their calcium carbonate (CaCO3) skeletons. Key to the coral biomineralization process is the active elevation of the CO2−3 ...
Bromage, Erin; Carpenter, Lawrence; Kaattari, Stephen; Patterson, Mark (Inter-Research, 2009-02-11)The induction and regulation of heat shock proteins (hsps) is a significant defense mechanism that can preserve metabolic function and foster recovery from short-term stress events. Present coral sampling methodologies ...
Comment on "Radiocarbon calibration curve spanning 0 to 50,000 years BP based on paired 230Th/234U/238U and 14C dates on pristine corals" by R.G. Fairbanks et al. (Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 1781-1796), and "Extending the radiocarbon calibration beyond 26,000 years before present using fossil corals" by T.-C. Chiu et al. (Quaternary Science Reviews 24 (2005) 1797-1808). Reimer, Paula J.; Baillie, Mike G. L.; Bard, Edouard; Beck, J. Warren; Blackwell, Paul G.; Buck, Caitlin E.; Burr, George S.; Edwards, R. Lawrence; Friedrich, Michael; Guilderson, Thomas P.; Hogg, Alan G.; Hughen, Konrad A.; Kromer, Bernd; McCormac, Gerry; Manning, Sturt; Reimer, Ron W.; Southon, John R.; Stuiver, Minze; van der Plicht, Johannes; Weyhenmeyer, Constanze E. (2006-02)A recently published radiocarbon calibration curve extending to 50,000 cal BP (Fairbanks et al. 2005) is purportedly superior to that generated by the IntCal working group beyond the end of the tree-ring data at 12,400 ...