High Pacific native Calvo

Core/Site name:

Flinders Reef









Proxy measurement:

Sr/Ca, d18O

Sampling resolution:



1708 AD


1988 AD


5-yr interval Flinders Reef Sr/Ca and d18O data. Reconstruction of SSTs and salinity for 1708 to 1988. A 4.2 m long core of Porites sp. coral was analyzed from Flinders Reef, an offshore reef on the Queensland Plateau in the Coral Sea, ~250 km from the north-east coast of Australia. The coral core was cut lengthwise into 7mm thick slices and X-rayed to reveal annual density bands, which were used to establish the coral chronology. Samples were milled in continuous 5-year intervals down the full length of the core along major coral growth axes for the period 1988 to 1708 AD.ABSTRACT: Low resolution (5-year) Sr/Ca and d18O samples, extending back to 1708 A.D., were analysed from a Porites coral core collected from Flinders Reef, an offshore reef on the Queensland Plateau in the western Coral Sea (17.5° S, 148.3° E). Using the Sr/Ca ratio as a proxy for sea surface temperature (SST), we deconvolved a salinity record by subtracting the SST signal from the d18O record. Decadal variability in the reconstructed salinity record is closely paralleled by changes in SST, with cooler (warmer) temperatures recorded during wetter (drier) periods. This relationship differs from the conventional view often described for tropical areas, where warm temperatures are associated with wet periods and cool temperatures with dry periods. The anti-correlation between reconstructed SST and salinity observed at Flinders Reef, however, matches the climatic effects expected from variations in the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO), a recurrent pattern of SST variability over the Pacific Ocean which is known to modulate Australia's climate, in particular the impact of ENSO events on decadal time scales. On longer timescales, salinity seems to have remained almost constant for the last two centuries after a progressive freshening of surface waters that culminated around 1800 A.D. Conversely, SSTs show a warming trend towards the late 20th century.

Data entered by name:

Will Carpenter

Data entered by email:

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Main reference(s):

Calvo, E., J.F. Marshall, C. Pelejero, M.T. McCulloch, M.K. Gagan, and J.M. Lough. 2007. Interdecadal climate variability in the Coral Sea since 1708 A.D. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, Vol. 248, Issues 1-2, pp. 190-201, 14 May 2007, doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2006.12.003.

Link to reference 1:


Data storage link 1:


Current dating method:

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Annual snow acc rate:

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Category: Ocean2k