high Pacific reconstructed Isdale

Core/Site name:

Pandora Reef, Havannah Island






Porites spp.

Proxy measurement:

fluor/river runoff

Sampling resolution:



1644 AD


1986 AD


Massive, long-lived corals in inshore waters of the Great Barrier Reef contain yellow-green fluorescentbands. These bands are due to terrestrial humic and fulvic compounds incorporated into the coral skeletonduring high river flow events. Fluorescence measurements are presented for two colonies of Porites spp. from locations in the path of the Burdekin River floodwaters - the major river in north Queensland draining into the Coral Sea. The records extend from AD 1737 to 1980 and 1644 to 1986, respectively. The two independent coral records show a high degree of similarity. The two series are combined and used to reconstruct BurdekinRiver runoff for the period AD 1644 to 1980. The regression model accounts for 83%X of the annual (water year) variability of Burdekin River flow and is verified over independent data. The 337-year reconstruction thus increases by threefold the length of record for considering interannual to decadal climate variations in northeast Australia. Instrumental and reconstructed Burdekin River runoff are closely related to an index of summer monsoon rainfall in Queensland. Thus, the reconstruction provides insights into the behaviour over the past three centuries of both a major tropical river system and the highly variable summer monsoon rainfall in northeast Australia. The reconstructed series shows wetter conditions (higher runoff) in the late-seventeenth to mid-eighteenth centuries and in the late-nineteenth century. Drier conditions (lower runoff) are reconstructed in the late-eighteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries and in the mid-twentieth century.

Data entered by name:

Filipsson, Helena

Data entered by email:

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Main reference(s):

Isdale, P.J., B.J. Stewart, K.S. Tickle, and J.M. Lough. 1998. Palaeohydrological variation in a tropical river catchment: a reconstruction using fluorescent bands in corals of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The Holocene 8:1-8.

Link to reference 1:


Data storage link 1:



Two cores:North-bound Latitude: -18.82 * South-bound Latitude: -18.85West-bound Longitude: 146.43 * East-bound Longitude: 146.55 I was unsure whether to include this record or not.

Current dating method:

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Annual snow acc rate:

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Category: Ocean2k