Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Student Research Presentations

Calibration of modern coral climate signals to ensure accuracy of paleoclimate determinations in Anegada, British Virgin Islands

Year: 

2014

Authors: 

Pearson, S. P., K. H. Kilbourne and Y. Xu

Source: 

Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii

Abstract: 

Three modern Diploria strigosa corals from Anegada, British Virgin Islands were analyzed for Sr/Ca ratios over their lifetime to create a modern calibration between Sr/Ca and sea surface temperature (SST) for use in climate reconstructions of subfossil coral specimens from the same site. Average mean Sr/Ca among the three corals was 9.03 mmol/mol with a range of 0.15 mmol/mol. The combined Sr/Ca-SST relationship for the three corals using ordinary least squares regression was -0.047 ±0.001 mmol/mol/°C with a standard error of regression of ±0.6°C using the monthly Sr/Ca from corals and gridded temperature from the ERSST 3b data set (Smith et al., 2008), which agrees with previous Sr/Ca-temperature calibrations using this species. The Sr/Ca-SST relationship for the three corals using reduced major axis regression was -0.058 ±0.001 mmol/mol/°C with a standard error of regression of ±0.4°C, whereas the Sr/Ca-SST relationship was -0.107 ±0.004 mmol/mol/°C with a standard error of regression of ±0.2°C based on the monthly anomalies. This calibration informs further work reconstructing Medieval climate data from subfossil corals at this site.

Mentors: 

Halimeda Kilbourne, Ph.D.

Students: 

Sean Pearson, Gettysburg College

 
The REU students are indicated with an asterisk (*).