The Sr/Ca of coral skeletons demonstrates potential as an indicator of sea surface temperatures (SSTs). However, the glacial-interglacial SST ranges predicted from Sr/Ca of fossil corals are usually higher than from other marine proxies. We observed infilling of secondary aragonite, characterised by high Sr/Ca ratios, along intraskeletal pores of a fossil coral from Papua New Guinea that grew during the penultimate deglaciation (130 ± 2 ka). Selective microanalysis of unaltered areas of the fossil coral indicates that SSTs at ∼130 ka were ≤1°C cooler than at present in contrast with bulk measurements (combining infilled and unaltered areas) which indicate a difference of 6–7°C. The analysis of unaltered areas of fossil skeletons by microprobe techniques may offer a route to more accurate reconstruction of past SSTs.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Geophysical Research Letters|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sep 2005|