Coralline algae are global palaeothermometers with bi-weekly resolution

Kamenos, N. , Cusack, M. and Moore, P.G. (2008) Coralline algae are global palaeothermometers with bi-weekly resolution. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 72(3), pp. 771-779. (doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2007.11.019)

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High resolution palaeoclimate data are required for the Holocene to resolve differences recorded by current proxies. The pole to pole distribution of rhodoliths (coralline algae) with their annual and sub-annual calcite bands make these attractive candidates for such a role. These bands contain climate information in the form of elemental traces. In situ temperature (IST) was recorded at two rhodolith beds for 1.5 years. The concentrations of MgCO3 and SrCO3 (mol %) deposited in Lithothamion glaciale and Phymatolithon calcareum over this 18- month period were determined using electron and ion microprobes. Highly significant linear relationships exist between Mg, Sr and IST as well as sea surface temperature. Calibration between Mg concentration and IST was used to obtain a 2-year temperature profile from a subfossil rhodolith thallus indicating half the seasonal peak-to-peak temperature amplitude earlier during the Holocene than the present day. Both slow-growing species (<200 μm year−1) allowed sampling resolutions of 23 year−1 which is equivalent to 1 reading every 2 weeks. Sub-monthly Mg and Sr records in rhodoliths make them unique globally distributed palaeothermometers which may help refine regional climate histories during the Holocene.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kamenos, Professor Nick and Cusack, Professor Maggie
Authors: Kamenos, N., Cusack, M., and Moore, P.G.
Subjects:Q Science > QH Natural history
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
ISSN (Online):1872-9533
Published Online:29 November 2007

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