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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 3
Clim. Past, 11, 523–532, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-523-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Clim. Past, 11, 523–532, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-11-523-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 24 Mar 2015

Research article | 24 Mar 2015

Evidence for the non-influence of salinity variability on the Porites coral Sr/Ca palaeothermometer

M. Moreau1, T. Corrège1, E. P. Dassié2, and F. Le Cornec3 M. Moreau et al.
  • 1Université de Bordeaux, UMR-CNRS 5805 EPOC, 33400 Talence, France
  • 2Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, P.O. Box 1000, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 3IRD-Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Univ Paris 06)-CNRS-MNHN, LOCEAN Laboratory, IRD France-Nord, 32, Avenue Henri Varagnat, 93143 Bondy, France

Abstract. Porites coral-based sea surface temperature (SST) reconstructions are obtained from the measurement of skeleton Sr/Ca ratio. However, the influence of salinity in the incorporation of these trace elements in the Porites aragonitic skeleton is still poorly documented. Laboratory experiments indicate that in three different coral species (not including the widely used Porites genus), salinity does not influence the Sr/Ca thermometer. In this study, we test the salinity effect on Porites Sr/Ca-based SST reconstructions at monthly and interannual timescales in open-ocean environmental conditions. We use a large spatial compilation of published Porites data from the Red Sea and Pacific and Indian oceans. Additionally to those published records, we add a new eastern Pacific coral Sr/Ca record from Clipperton Atoll.

Using two different salinity products (Simple Ocean Data Assimilation (SODA) SSS reanalyses version 2.2.4, Carton and Giese, 2008; and instrumental SSS from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France (IRD) Delcroix et al., 2011), we find no evidence of salinity bias on the Sr/Ca SST proxy at monthly and interannual timescales. We conclude that Porites Sr/Ca is a reliable palaeothermometer that is not influenced by salinity variability.

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The influence of salinity on the Porites Sr/Ca palaeothermometer is still poorly documented. We test the salinity effect on Porites Sr/Ca-based SST reconstructions using a large spatial compilation of published Porites data from the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea. We find no evidence of a salinity bias in the Sr/Ca SST proxy at monthly and interannual timescales using two different salinity products. This result is in agreement with laboratory experiments on coral species.
The influence of salinity on the Porites Sr/Ca palaeothermometer is still poorly documented. We...
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