Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa mass and 210Pb-226Ra chronology, Røst Reef, Norway, 2011, supplement to: Sabatier, Pierre; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Colin, C; Frank, Norbert; Tisnérat-Laborde, Nadine; Bordier, Louise; Douville, Eric (2012): 210Pb-226Ra chronology reveals rapid growth rate of Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa on world's largest cold-water coral reef. Biogeosciences, 9(3), 1253-1265


Here we show the use of the 210Pb-226Ra excess method to determine the growth rate of corals from one of the world's largest known cold-water coral reef, the Røst Reef off Norway. Two large branching framework-forming cold-water coral specimens, one Lophelia pertusa and one Madrepora oculata were collected alive at 350 m water depth from the Røst Reef at ~67° N and ~9° E. Pb and Ra isotopes were measured along the major growth axis of both specimens using low level alpha and gamma spectrometry and the corals trace element compositions were studied using ICP-QMS. Due to the different chemical behaviors of Pb and Ra in the marine environment, 210Pb and 226Ra were not incorporated the same way into the aragonite skeleton of those two cold-water corals. Thus to assess of the growth rates of both specimens we have here taken in consideration the exponential decrease of initially incorporated 210Pb as well as the ingrowth of 210Pb from the decay of 226Ra. Moreover a~post-depositional 210Pb incorporation is found in relation to the Mn-Fe coatings that could not be entirely removed from the oldest parts of the skeletons. The 226Ra activities in both corals were fairly constant, then assuming constant uptake of 210Pb through time the 210Pb-226Ra chronology can be applied to calculate linear growth rate. The 45.5 cm long branch of M. oculata reveals an age of 31 yr and a~linear growth rate of 14.4 ± 1.1 mm yr-1, i.e. 2.6 polyps per year. However, a correction regarding a remaining post-depositional Mn-Fe oxide coating is needed for the base of the specimen. The corrected age tend to confirm the radiocarbon derived basal age of 40 yr (using 14C bomb peak) with a mean growth rate of 2 polyps yr-1. This rate is similar to the one obtained in Aquaria experiments under optimal growth conditions. For the 80 cm-long specimen of L. pertusa a remaining contamination of metal-oxides is observed for the middle and basal part of the coral skeleton, inhibiting similar accurate age and growth rate estimates. However, the youngest branch was free of Mn enrichment and this 15 cm section reveals a growth rate of 8 mm yr-1 (~1 polyp every two to three years). However, the 210Pb growth rate estimate is within the lowermost ranges of previous growth rate estimates and may thus reflect that the coral was not developing at optimal growth conditions. Overall, 210Pb-226Ra dating can be successfully applied to determine the age and growth rate of framework-forming cold-water corals, however, removal of post-depositional Mn-Fe oxide deposits is a prerequisite. If successful, large branching M. oculata and L. pertusa coral skeletons provide unique oceanographic archive for studies of intermediate water environmentals with an up to annual time resolution and spanning over many decades.

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Metadata Access
Creator Sabatier, Pierre; Reyss, Jean-Louis; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Colin, Christophe; Frank, Norbert; Tisnérat-Laborde, Nadine; Bordier, Louise; Douville, Eric
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2011
Funding Reference Seventh Framework Programme, 211384
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 598 data points
Discipline Earth System Research