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Decadal Timescale Shift in the 14C Record of a Central Equatorial Pacific Coral

  • A G Grottoli (a1), S T Gille (a2), E R M Druffel (a3) and R B Dunbar (a4)

Abstract

Coral skeletal radiocarbon records reflect seawater ∆14C and are useful for reconstructing the history of water mass movement and ventilation in the tropical oceans. Here, we reconstructed the inter-annual variability in central equatorial Pacific surface water ∆14C from 1922–1956 using near-monthly 14C measurements in a Porites sp. coral skeleton (FI5A) from the windward side of Fanning Island (3°54′32′′N, 159°18'88′′W). The most pronounced feature in this record is a large, positive shift in the ∆14C between 1947 and 1956 that coincides with the switch of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from a positive to a negative phase in the mid-1940s. Although the absolute ∆14C values from 1950–1955 in FI5A differ from the ∆14C values of another coral core collected from the opposite side of the island, both records show a large, positive shift in their ∆14C records at that time. The relative increase in the ∆14C of each record is consistent with the premise that a common mechanism is controlling the ∆14C records within each coral record. Overall, the Fanning ∆14C data support the notion that a significant amount of subtropical seawater is arriving at the Equator, but does not allow us to determine the mechanism for its transport.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Email: grottoli@sas.upenn.edu.

References

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Decadal Timescale Shift in the 14C Record of a Central Equatorial Pacific Coral

  • A G Grottoli (a1), S T Gille (a2), E R M Druffel (a3) and R B Dunbar (a4)

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