Hathorne, Ed C., Felis, Thomas, James, Rachael H. and Thomas, Alex
Laser ablation ICP-MS screening of corals for diagenetically affected areas applied to Tahiti corals from the last deglaciation
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, (6), . (doi:10.1016/j.gca.2010.12.011).
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Fossil corals are unique archives of past seasonal climate variability, providing vital information about seasonal climate phenomena such as ENSO and monsoons. However, submarine diagenetic processes can potentially obscure the original climate signals and lead to false interpretations. Here we demonstrate the potential of laser ablation ICP-MS to rapidly detect secondary aragonite precipitates in fossil Porites colonies recovered by Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 310 from submerged deglacial reefs off Tahiti. High resolution (100 ?m) measurements of coralline B/Ca, Mg/Ca, S/Ca, and U/Ca ratios are used to distinguish areas of pristine skeleton from those afflicted with secondary aragonite. Measurements of coralline Sr/Ca, U/Ca and oxygen isotope ratios, from areas identified as pristine, reveal that the seasonal range of sea surface temperature in the tropical south Pacific during the last deglaciation (14.7 and 11 ka) was similar to that of today.
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