Stable oxygen isotope record from a high-latitude reef off Western Australia


A core from a coral colony of Porites lutea was analysed for stable oxygen isotopic composition*. A 200-year proxy record of sea surface temperatures from the Houtman Abrolhos Islands off west Australia was obtained from coral delta18O. At 29°S, the Houtman Abrolhos are the southernmost major reef complex of the Indian Ocean. They are located on the path of the Leeuwin Current, a southward flow of warm, tropical water, which is coupled to Indonesian throughflow. Coral delta18O primarily reflects local oceanographic and climatic variability, which is largely determined by spatial variability of the Leeuwin Current. However, coherence between coral delta18O and the current strength itself is relatively weak. Evolutionary spectral and singular spectrum analyses of coral delta18O demonstrate a high variability in spectral composition through time. Oscillations in the 5-7-y, 14-15-y, and quasi-biennial bands reflect teleconnections of local sea surface temperature (SST) to tropical Pacific climate variability. Deviations between local (coral-based) and regional (instrument) SST contain a cyclic component with a period of 15 y. Coral delta18O suggests a rise in SST by 0.6°C since AD 1944, consistent with available instrumental SST records. A long-term warming by 1.4°C since AD 1795 is inferred from the coral record.

Supplement to: Kuhnert, Henning; Pätzold, Jürgen; Hatcher, B G; Wyrwoll, K-H; Eisenhauer, Anton; Collins, L B; Zhu, Z R; Wefer, Gerold (1999): A 200-year coral stable oxygen isotope record from a high-latitude reef off Western Australia. Coral Reefs, 18(1), 1-12

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Creator Kuhnert, Henning ORCID logo; Pätzold, Jürgen ORCID logo; Hatcher, B G; Wyrwoll, K-H; Eisenhauer, Anton ORCID logo; Collins, L B ORCID logo; Zhu, Z R; Wefer, Gerold ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 1999
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Publication Series of Datasets; Collection
Format application/zip
Size 2 datasets
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (113.768 LON, -28.462 LAT); Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Wallabi Group