Coral record of equatorial sea-surface temperatures during the penultimate deglaciation at Huon Peninsula

M. T. McCulloch, Alexander Tudhope, T. M. Esat, G. E. Mortimer, J. Chappell, B. Pillans, A. R. Chivas, A. Omura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Uplifted coral terraces at Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea, preserve a record of sea level, sea-surface temperature, and salinity from the penultimate deglaciation. Remnants have been found of a shallow-water reef that formed during a pause, similar to the Younger Dryas, in the penultimate deglaciation at 130,000 ± 2000 years ago, when sea level was 60 to 80 meters lower than it is today.Porites coral, which grew during this period, has oxygen isotopic values and strontium/calcium ratios that indicate that sea-surface temperatures were much cooler (22° ± 2°C) than either Last Interglacial or present-day tropical temperatures (29° ± 1°C). These observations provide further evidence for a major cooling of the equatorial western Pacific followed by an extremely rapid rise in sea level during the latter stages of Termination II.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-204
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume283
Issue number5399
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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