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Posted by / 02-Jun-2016 17:38

Fossil coral dating

Our dated Bahamas stratigraphy confirms that at least one sea-level oscillation interrupted the last interglacial highstand. provided the geochronology, including mass spectrometry and age interpretations, and wrote the manuscript. Further oscillations, as suggested by reconstructions from the Red Sea W. With monthly-resolution and a large menu of environmentally-sensitive geochemistries to choose from, corals hold immense potential to significantly reduce the uncertainties associated with future tropical climate and environmental change. We use so-called “modern” corals, drilled from large living colonies underwater, to calibrate our coral oxygen isotope proxy against instrumental climate data, and to reconstruct the evolution of 20th century climate. We use so-called “fossil corals”, drilled or collected from long-dead colonies scattered along beaches at our sites, to reconstruct climate of the more distant past (back 7,000 yrs so far).

As tropical Pacific temperature variations have ripple effects all over the globe, as witnessed during El Nino and La Nina events, better constraints on tropical Pacific climate projections would increase the accuracy of regional climate projections in many areas of the world. In my lab, we generate records of past tropical Pacific climate from corals, working across a broad-range of timescales that are relevant to anthropogenic climate change. By measuring the oxygen isotopic (δ18O) content of the coral skeletal aragonite every 1mm down-core, we obtain timeseries that reflect changes in past ocean temperature and/or changes in the oxygen isotopic content of the seawater (the latter linearly related to salinity, and thereby used as a proxy for hydrological balance). Our long-term sites in the central equatorial Pacific are extremely sensitive to temperature and rainfall changes associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), so corals from these sites provide exceptional archives of past ENSO activity. contributed detailed mapping and stratigraphic interpretations.

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participated in the fieldwork and sampling of the Great Inagua and San Salvador field sites.