Document Type


Publication Date



coral, ENSO, climate

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


We have generated monthly resolved, stable isotope (δ18O and δ13C) and Sr/Ca time series from a massive Porites coral from Rabaul (4°S, 152°E): a site located in the warmest sector of the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP). The coral δ18O and Sr/Ca time series are well correlated to each other and positive excursions in both records coincide with times of ENSO warm phase events. These time series contain abundant interannual variability that exhibits the well‐recognized pattern of low amplitude ENSO variation between ∼1920–1960 and high amplitude ENSO variation between 1880–1920 and 1960–1997. The ENSO‐filtered coral δ18O and Sr/Ca time series are well matched to each other (r = 0.73) and to similarly filtered coral δ18O records from Papua New Guinea (r > 0.56). There is no long‐term trend in the coral δ18O record, but there is a long‐term trend of increasing coral Sr/Ca from 1867 to 1997. This trend in coral Sr/Ca suggests a cooling of ∼0.7°C, which is rather unlikely and implies that factors other than SST may be influencing the coral Sr/Ca record. The trend in coral Sr/Ca is not an analytical artifact, nor a product of time varying riverine input, nor a product of skeletal diagenesis, nor the results of kinetic effects, but may reflect surface‐water variability in Sr/Ca. Despite the presence of a nonclimatic trend in coral Sr/Ca, the Rabaul coral records contain abundant interannual‐ to multidecadal‐scale variability, much of which is coherent with other proxy records from the WPWP and with instrumental records of ENSO variability.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 111, no. C11, art. C11006

Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.