High Indian native Zinke

Core/Site name:

Ifaty Reef


Southwest Madagascar






Porites lobata

Proxy measurement:

12C/13C, 18O/16O, Sr/Ca

Sampling resolution:



1659 AD


1995 AD


The Ifaty coral record from off SW Madagascar provide a 336-year coral oxygen isotope record that is used to investigate the natural variability of the western Indian Ocean subtropical SST dipole and ENSO. The coral oxygen isotope record primarily reflects past sea-surface temperature (SST) variability on seasonal to multidecadal scales. To validate the SST reconstructions derived from oxygen isotopes, Sr/Ca ratios were obtained for selected time windows (1973–1995, 1863–1910, 1784–1809, 1688–1710). The period 1675–1760 was found to be the coolest period of the entire record with anomalies of 0.3–0.5 °C that includes the Late Maunder Minimum (1675–1710). The warmest periods, as indicated by our data, occur between 1880 and 1900 and the upper part of the Ifaty record (1973–1995).We generated a time series of coral δ18O for different seasons of the year to investigate austral winter and summer SST variability that influences rainfall intensity over southern Africa. Winter coral δ18O is coherent with winter SST on decadal and multidecadal time scales between 1854 and 1995. We suggest that the Ifaty winter time series provides a record of winter SST variability over the Mozambique Channel/Agulhas Current region over 336 years.Strong Indian Ocean subtropical dipole events, occurring during austral summer, are displayed in the Ifaty record. The austral summer coral δ18O is coherent and in phase with ENSO indices on interannual time scales (2–4 years) between 1880–1920, 1930–1940 and after 1970. Our data indicate that the impact of ENSO on SW Indian Ocean SST and atmospheric circulation was also strong between 1680–1720 and 1760–1790, in agreement with other studies. We show evidence that these variations are caused by changes in the regional hydrologic balance. The results demonstrate that the impact of ENSO cycles in the region of the SW Indian Ocean has changed significantly since 1970 and relate to a warming of southwestern Indian Ocean surface waters altering the spatial signature of ENSO.

Data entered by name:

Paniagua, Juan F.

Data entered by email:

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Main reference(s):

Zinke, J., W.-C. Dullo, G.A. Heiss, and A. Eisenhauer. 2004. ENSO and Indian Ocean subtropical dipole variability is recorded in a coral record off southwest Madagascar for the period 1659 to 1995. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 228(1-2):177-194

Link to reference 1:


Data storage link 1:


Data storage link 2:


Current dating method:

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Annual snow acc rate:

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Category: Ocean2k