Coral Reefs

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 23–29

Influence of seawater Sr content on coral Sr/Ca and Sr thermometry

Report

Abstract

The Ca content of a Porites coral from Xisha, South China Sea is quite uniform along its 18-year growth axis. A comparison with previously published data shows that the Ca content of corals from different sites varies by only 0.4%. This is much smaller than the variation of Ca in seawater (2.2%), indicating that Ca variations in seawater do not significantly affect the Ca compositions of coral skeletons. The variation in skeletal Ca contents results in only ±0.6°C of uncertainty in SST calculations, which is much smaller than the large disparities observed for previously established coral Sr/Ca thermometers. In contrast, Sr in tropical seawater varies spatially by as much as 2.4%, corresponding to ~4°C offset for coral Sr/Ca calibrations. The effect of seawater Sr variations on coral Sr/Ca thermometers is evaluated and we demonstrate that the content of seawater Sr is the major factor responsible for disparities in these coral Sr/Ca thermometers. The disparities can be significantly reduced when seawater Sr contents are included in the Sr/Ca thermometers.

Keywords

Coral Sr/Ca thermometry Sea-surface temperature Coral Ca content Seawater Sr concentration 

References

  1. Alibert C, McCulloch MT (1997) Strontium/calcium ratios in modern Porites corals from the Great Barrier Reef as a proxy for sea surface temperature: calibration of the thermometer and monitoring of ENSO. Paleoceanography 12:345–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison N (1996) Comparative determinations of trace and minor elements in coral aragonite by ion microprobe analysis, with preliminary results from Phuket, southern Thailand. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60:3457–3470CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Allison N, Finch AA, Sutton SR, Newville M (2001) Strontium heterogeneity and speciation in coral aragonite: implications for the strontium paleothermometer. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65:2669–2676CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barnes DJ, Lough JM (1993) On the nature and causes of density banding in massive coral skeletons. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 167:91–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beck JW (1994) Errata to Beck et al. (1992) Science 264:891Google Scholar
  6. Beck JW, Edwards RL, Ito E, Taylor FW, Recy J, Rougerie F, Joannot P, Henin C (1992) Sea-surface temperature from coral skeletal strontium/calcium ratios. Science 257:644–647Google Scholar
  7. Beck JW, Recy J, Taylor F, Edwards RL, Cabioch G (1997) Abrupt changes in early Holocene tropical sea surface temperature derived from coral records. Nature 385:705–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cardinal D, Hamelin B, Bard E, Pätzold J (2001) Sr/Ca, U/Ca and δ18O records in recent massive corals from Mermuda: relationships with sea surface temperature. Chem Geol 176:213–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cohen AL, Layne GD, Hart SR (2001) Kinetic control of skeletal Sr/Ca in a symbiotic coral: implications for the paleotemperature proxy. Paleoceanography 16:20–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cross TS, Cross BW (1983) U, Sr, and Mg in Holocene and Pleistocene corals A. palmata and M. annularis. J Sed Petrol 53:587–594Google Scholar
  11. Crowley TJ (2000) CLIMAP SSTs re-revisited. Clim Dyn 16:241–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Enmar R, Stein M, Bar-Matthews M, Sass E, Katz A, Lazar B (2000) Diagenesis in live corals from the Gulf of Aqaba. I. The effect on paleo-oceanography tracers. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 64:3123–3132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fairbanks RG, Evans MN, Rubenstone JL, Mortlock RA, Broad MD, Charles CD (1997) Evaluating climate indices and their geochemical proxies measured in corals. Coral Reefs 16:S93–S100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fallon SJ, White JM, McCulloch MT (2002) Porites corals as recorders of mining and environmental impacts: Misima Island, Papua New Guinea. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 66:45–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gagan MK, Ayliffe LK, Hopley D, Cali JA, Mortimer GE, Chappell J, McCulloch MT, Head MJ (1998) Temperature and surface-ocean water balance of the Mid-Holocene tropical western Pacific. Science 279:1014–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gagan MK, Ayliffe LK, Beck JW, Cole JE, Druffel ERM, Dunbar RB, Schrag DP (2000) New views of tropical paleoclimates from corals. Q Sci Rev 19:45–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greegor RB, Pingitore JNEP, Lytle FW (1997) Strontianite in coral skeletal aragonite. Science 275:1452–1454CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guilderson TP, Fairbanks RG, Rubenstone JL (1994) Tropical temperature variations since 20,000 years ago: modulating interhemispheric climate change. Science 263:663–665Google Scholar
  19. Hart SR, Cohen AL (1996) An ion probe study of annual cycles of Sr/Ca and other trace elements in corals. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60: 3075–3084CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Klein RT, Lohmann KC, Thayer WC (1996) Sr/Ca and 13C/12C in ratios in skeletal calcite of Mytilus trossulus: covariation with metabolic rate, salinity, and carbon isotopic composition of seawater. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60:4207–4221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McCulloch MT, Esat T (2000) The coral record of last interglacial sea levels and sea surface temperatures. Chem Geol 169:107–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McCulloch M, Mortimer G, Esat T, Li X, Pillans B, Chappell J (1996) High resolution windows into early Holocene climate: Sr/Ca coral records from the Huon Peninsula. Earth Planet Sci Lett 138:169–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McCulloch MT, Tudhope AW, Esat TW, Mortimer GE, Chappell J, Pillans B, Chivas AR, Omura A (1999) Coral record of equatorial sea-surface temperature during the penultimate deglaciation at Huon Peninsula. Science 283:202–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Min GR, Edwards RL, Taylor FW, Recy J, Gallup CD, Beck JW (1995) Annual cycles of U/Ca in coral skeletons and U/Ca thermometry. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:2025–2042CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mitsuguchi T, Matsumoto E, Abe O, Uchida T, Isdale PJ (1996) Mg/Ca thermometry in coral skeletons. Science 274:961–963CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Shen C-C (1996) High precision analysis of Sr/Ca ratio and its environmental application. PhD Thesis, Tsing Hwa UniversityGoogle Scholar
  27. Shen GT, Boyle EA (1988) Determination of lead, cadmium and other trace metals in annually-banded corals. Chem Geol 67:47–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shen GT, Dunbar RB (1995) Environmental controls on uranium in reef corals. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:2009–2024CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shen C-C, Lee T, Chen C-Y, Wang C-H, Dai C-F, Li L-A (1996) The calibration of D[Sr/Ca] versus sea surface temperature relationship for Porites corals. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 60:3849–3858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sinclair DJ, Kinsley LPJ, McCulloch MT (1998) High resolution analysis of trace elements in corals by laser ablation ICP-MS. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 62:1889–1901CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Sholkovitz E, Shen GT (1995) The incorporation of rare earth elements in modern coral. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 59:2749--2756Google Scholar
  32. Smith SV, Buddemeier RW, Redalje RC, Houck JE (1979) Strontium-calcium thermometry in coral skeletons. Science 204:404–406Google Scholar
  33. Stoll HM, Schrag DP (1998) Effects of Quaternary sea level cycles on strontium in seawater. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 62:1107–1118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sun M, Chiu C-H, Shen C-C, Lee T (1999) Sr thermometer for Porites corals: little need to measure Ca? Geochem J 33:351–354Google Scholar
  35. Sun Y, Sun M, Wei G, Lee T, Nie B (2004) Strontium contents of a Porites coral from the Xisha Island, South China Sea: a proxy for sea surface temperature of the 20th century. Paleoceanography 19:1--10Google Scholar
  36. Swart PK (1981) The strontium, magnesium and sodium composition of recent scleractinian coral skeletons as standard for paleoenvironmental analysis. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 34:115–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Swart PK, Hubbard JAEB (1982) Uranium in scleractinian coral skeletons. Coral Reefs 1:13–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. de Villiers S (1999) Seawater strontium and Sr/Ca variability in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Earth Planet Sci Lett 171:623–634CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. de Villiers S, Shen GT, Nelson BK (1994) The Sr/Ca-temperature relationship in coralline aragonite: influence of variability in (Sr/Ca) seawater and skeletal growth parameters. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 58:197–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. de Villiers S, Nelson BK, Chivas AR (1995) Biological controls on coral Sr/Ca and δ18O reconstructions of sea surface temperature. Science 269:1247–1249Google Scholar
  41. Weber JN (1973) Incorporation of strontium into reef coral skeletal carbonate. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 37:2173–2190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wei G, Sun M, Li X, Nie B (2000) Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca and U/Ca ratios of a Porites coral from Sanya Bay, Hainan Island, South China Sea and their relationships to sea surface temperature. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 162:59–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.Institute of Earth SciencesAcademia SinicaTaipeiTaiwan
  3. 3.South China Sea Institute of OceanographyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina

Personalised recommendations