Skeletal P/Ca tracks upwelling in Gulf of Panamá coral: Evidence for a new seawater phosphate proxy.

LaVigne, Michèle, Field, M. Paul, Anagnostou, Eleni , Grottoli, Andréa G., Wellington, Gerard M. and Sherrell, Robert M. (2008) Skeletal P/Ca tracks upwelling in Gulf of Panamá coral: Evidence for a new seawater phosphate proxy. Geophysical Research Letters, 35 (5). L05604. DOI 10.1029/2007GL031926.

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Abstract

The supply of limiting nutrients to the low latitude ocean is controlled by physical processes linked to climate variations, but methods for reconstructing past nutrient concentrations in the surface ocean are few and indirect. Here, we present laser ablation mass spectrometry results that reveal annual cycles of P/Ca in a 4-year record from the scleractinian coral Pavona gigantea (mean P/Ca = 118 μmol mol−1). The P/Ca cycles track variations in past seawater phosphate concentration synchronously with skeletal Sr/Ca-derived temperature variations associated with seasonal upwelling in the Gulf of Panamá. Skeletal P/Ca varies seasonally by 2–3 fold, reflecting the timing and magnitude of dissolved phosphate variations. Solution cleaning experiments on drilled coral powders show that over 60% of skeletal P occurs in intracrystalline organic phases. Coral skeleton P/Ca holds promise as a proxy record of nutrient availability on time scales of decades to millennia.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: tropical coral, P/Ca, seawater phosphate, upwelling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
DOI etc.: 10.1029/2007GL031926
ISSN: 0094-8276
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 08:08
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2018 08:08
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/41306

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