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Growth rates of the deep-sea scleractinia Desmophyllum cristagalli and Enallopsammia rostrata

Adkins, J. F. and Henderson, G. M. and Wang, S.-L. and O'Shea, S. and Mokadem, F. (2004) Growth rates of the deep-sea scleractinia Desmophyllum cristagalli and Enallopsammia rostrata. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 227 (3-4). pp. 481-490. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2004.08.022.

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With uranium rich skeletons and density bands similar to their surface coral counterparts, deep-sea scleractinia are a promising archive of past climate. To improve the utility of fossil samples as monitors of deep ocean variability, we have measured ^(210)Pb and ^(226)Ra activities in a variety of modern specimens to constrain the range of growth rates. Mechanical and chemical cleaning of each sample are required to isolate the radionuclides trapped in the coral skeleton from surface contaminants. However, in many cases mechanically cleaned samples show the same overall growth rate as parallel transects of samples subjected to the full chemical and mechanical cleaning but with much higher overall activities. Three samples of Desmophyllum cristagalli show a range of vertical extension rates from 0.5 mm/yr to 2 mm/yr, consistent with previous estimates. A single Enallopsammia rostrata from the North Atlantic is over 100 years old. Its average radial growth rate is 0.07 mm/yr, and the clear banding in this direction is not consistent with annual periodicity. A minimum vertical extension rate of 5 mm/yr is estimated from the ^(210)Pb data. Both of these species are found in the fossil record and, with the growth rates determined here, can record about 100 years of climate change. The growth rates will allow the reconstruction of climate at subdecadal resolution in D. cristagalli and even higher resolution in E. rostrata.

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Adkins, J. F.0000-0002-3174-5190
Additional Information:© 2004 Elsevier B.V. Received 15 March 2004; received in revised form 6 August 2004; accepted 30 August 2004. Editor: E. Bard. We thank Will Berelson and T.L. Ku at USC for their help with the ^(209)Po spike. Marty Fleisher at LDEO alpha counted our silver disks and helped interpret the energy spectra. JFA and JSLW were supported by NSF grant OCE-0096373. We also thank the WHOI Alvin group and the crew of the Atlantis for recovering sample ALV 3701-8.
Group:UNSPECIFIED, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences
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Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120828-085352790
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Official Citation:J.F. Adkins, G.M. Henderson, S.-L. Wang, S. O'Shea, F. Mokadem, Growth rates of the deep-sea scleractinia Desmophyllum cristagalli and Enallopsammia rostrata, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 227, Issues 3–4, 15 November 2004, Pages 481-490, ISSN 0012-821X, 10.1016/j.epsl.2004.08.022. (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:33593
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:28 Aug 2012 16:32
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 21:35

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