Cobb Kim M.

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Kim M.

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  • Article
    Interlaboratory study for coral Sr/Ca and other element/Ca ratio measurements
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-09-23) Hathorne, Ed C. ; Gagnon, Alexander C. ; Felis, Thomas ; Adkins, Jess F. ; Asami, Ryuji ; Boer, Wim ; Caillon, Nicolas ; Case, David H. ; Cobb, Kim M. ; Douville, Eric ; deMenocal, Peter B. ; Eisenhauer, Anton ; Garbe-Schonberg, Dieter ; Geibert, Walter ; Goldstein, Steven L. ; Hughen, Konrad A. ; Inoue, Mayuri ; Kawahata, Hodaka ; Kolling, Martin ; Cornec, Florence L. ; Linsley, Braddock K. ; McGregor, Helen V. ; Montagna, Paolo ; Nurhati, Intan S. ; Quinn, Terrence M. ; Raddatz, Jacek ; Rebaubier, Helene ; Robinson, Laura F. ; Sadekov, Aleksey ; Sherrell, Robert M. ; Sinclair, Dan ; Tudhope, Alexander W. ; Wei, Gangjian ; Wong, Henri ; Wu, Henry C. ; You, Chen-Feng
    The Sr/Ca ratio of coral aragonite is used to reconstruct past sea surface temperature (SST). Twenty-one laboratories took part in an interlaboratory study of coral Sr/Ca measurements. Results show interlaboratory bias can be significant, and in the extreme case could result in a range in SST estimates of 7°C. However, most of the data fall within a narrower range and the Porites coral reference material JCp-1 is now characterized well enough to have a certified Sr/Ca value of 8.838 mmol/mol with an expanded uncertainty of 0.089 mmol/mol following International Association of Geoanalysts (IAG) guidelines. This uncertainty, at the 95% confidence level, equates to 1.5°C for SST estimates using Porites, so is approaching fitness for purpose. The comparable median within laboratory error is <0.5°C. This difference in uncertainties illustrates the interlaboratory bias component that should be reduced through the use of reference materials like the JCp-1. There are many potential sources contributing to biases in comparative methods but traces of Sr in Ca standards and uncertainties in reference solution composition can account for half of the combined uncertainty. Consensus values that fulfil the requirements to be certified values were also obtained for Mg/Ca in JCp-1 and for Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios in the JCt-1 giant clam reference material. Reference values with variable fitness for purpose have also been obtained for Li/Ca, B/Ca, Ba/Ca, and U/Ca in both reference materials. In future, studies reporting coral element/Ca data should also report the average value obtained for a reference material such as the JCp-1.
  • Article
    Accuracy and reproducibility of coral Sr/Ca SIMS timeseries in modern and fossil corals
    (American Geophysical Union, 2022-08-17) Sayani, Hussein R. ; Cobb, Kim M. ; Monteleone, Brian D. ; Bridges, Heather
    Coral strontium-to-calcium ratios (Sr/Ca) provide quantitative estimates of past sea surface temperatures (SST) that allow for the reconstruction of changes in the mean state and climate variations, such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, through time. However, coral Sr/Ca ratios are highly susceptible to diagenesis, which can impart artifacts of 1–2°C that are typically on par with the tropical climate signals of interest. Microscale sampling via Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) for the sampling of primary skeletal material in altered fossil corals, providing much-needed checks on fossil coral Sr/Ca-based paleotemperature estimates. In this study, we employ a set modern and fossil corals from Palmyra Atoll, in the central tropical Pacific, to quantify the accuracy and reproducibility of SIMS Sr/Ca analyses relative to bulk Sr/Ca analyses. In three overlapping modern coral samples, we reproduce bulk Sr/Ca estimates within ±0.3% (1σ). We demonstrate high fidelity between 3-month smoothed SIMS coral Sr/Ca timeseries and SST (R = −0.5 to −0.8; p < 0.5). For lightly-altered sections of a young fossil coral from the early-20th century, SIMS Sr/Ca timeseries reproduce bulk Sr/Ca timeseries, in line with our results from modern corals. Across a moderately-altered section of the same fossil coral, where diagenesis yields bulk Sr/Ca estimates that are 0.6 mmol too high (roughly equivalent to −6°C artifacts in SST), SIMS Sr/Ca timeseries track instrumental SST timeseries. We conclude that 3–4 SIMS analyses per month of coral growth can provide a much-needed quantitative check on the accuracy of fossil coral Sr/Ca-derived estimates of paleotemperature, even in moderately altered samples.