A multicoral calibration method to approximate a universal equation relating Sr/Ca and growth rate to sea surface temperature Academic Article uri icon


  • [1] Combining strontium-to-calcium ratios (Sr/Ca) with mean annual growth rates in Bermuda Diploria labyrinthiformis (brain corals) is shown to improve sea surface temperature (SST) calibrations relative to instrumental data. Growth-corrected Sr/Ca-SST calibrations based on single-coral colonies over the same calibration interval, however, are found to be poorly suited for application to data from different coral colonies. This raises concerns about the accuracy of SST reconstructions from fossil coral measurements that involve extrapolation beyond the range of values seen during the calibration period. Here we pursue a novel approach to this problem by incorporating data from multiple coral colonies into a single growth-corrected Sr/Ca-SST calibration equation, effectively expanding the range of modern values constraining the model. The use of a multiple-colony calibration model for reconstructing SST yields greater precision and accuracy relative to instrumental data than single-colony models, providing greater confidence for applications to fossil coral samples.

publication date

  • March 2007