Giant bivalves (Tridacna gigas) as recorders of ENSO variability

Welsh, Kevin, Elliot, Mary, Tudhope, Alexander, Ayling, Bridget and Chappell, John (2011) Giant bivalves (Tridacna gigas) as recorders of ENSO variability. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 307 3-4: 266-270. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2011.05.032

Author Welsh, Kevin
Elliot, Mary
Tudhope, Alexander
Ayling, Bridget
Chappell, John
Title Giant bivalves (Tridacna gigas) as recorders of ENSO variability
Formatted title
Giant bivalves (Tridacna gigas) as recorders of ENSO variability
Journal name Earth and Planetary Science Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0012-821X
Publication date 2011-07-15
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2011.05.032
Volume 307
Issue 3-4
Start page 266
End page 270
Total pages 5
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We compare monthly resolved oxygen isotope records derived from a giant bivalve shell, Tridacna gigas and massive Porites corals collected along the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. This intercomparison study demonstrates that δ18O profiles obtained from these different aragonite-secreting organisms collected from within a 30 km range are correlated in great detail and record the timing and amplitude of seasonal and interannual (ENSO-related) variations in sea surface temperature (SST) and water isotopic composition which is closely related to rainfall. Furthermore, the T. gigas record is shown to be close to isotopic equilibrium with the local sea-water, in contrast to the corals which are approximately − 4‰ offset. These results reveal that living and fossil T. gigas clam shells have the potential to yield reliable records of past changes in seasonality and ENSO variability, as well as mean climate conditions. In particular, since the non-porous shells are generally more resistant to diagenesis than coral skeletons, they may provide robust estimates of past tropical climate for periods and locations where unaltered corals are absent.
Keyword ENSO
Oxygen isotopes
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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