Paleoclimate data from a few coral reefs around the world

Following is a map showing a distribution of paleoclimate records around the world. You can observe coral records from any of the three regions (Kenya, Tarawa, Urvina Bay) by clicking the corresponding label on the map or by scrolling down to view all of the records. You can also access other paleoclimate data by clicking on the proxy of choice in the map legend.

Map courtesy of Dr. Robert Dunbar, Stanford University .


Galápagos Coral Records

Photo by Dr. Gerard Wellington, University of Houston.

An uplifted Pavona clavus coral colony from Urvina Bay, Galápagos


Photo from Dr. Robert Dunbar, Stanford University.

This is a segment of a coral core obtained from Urvina Bay, Galápagos. The black lines represent annual bands, while the blue and red lines subdivide the year into quarters.







Graphic produced as a 5-year moving average to filter out high frequency variability using data from Dunbar et al. (1994).

A 350-year record of sea surface temperature obtained from a coral core from Urvina Bay, Galápagos

Photo from Dr. Gerard Wellington, University of Houston.

A positive x-radiograph collage of a coral sample collected from the Pavona clavus colony, Urvina Bay, Galápagos



Graphic produced by Thomas Andrews using data from Shen et al. (1992).

This graph illustrates the close correspondence between a record of delta 18O from coral cores from Punta Pitt, Galápagos and instrumental records of sea surface temperature from Puerto Chicama, Peru. Delta 18 O is often used as a proxy for sea surface temperature and in some locations, fresh water influx and precipitation.


Tarawa Coral Records

Figure courtesy of Cole, Fairbanks, and Shen (1993).

A comparison of an instrumental rainfall record to delta 18O records from two different coral sites, Tarawa and Galapagos (above), illustrates the accuracy and utility of coral records. Also notice the close correspondence between the Tarawa and the Galapagos records.

These figures show both short- and long-term delta 18O records obtained from Tarawa. The long-term record is plotted against a history of ENSO events with their intensities.

Figures courtesy of Dr. Julie Cole, University of Colorado.


Kenya Coral Records

Photos courtesy of Dr. Robert Dunbar, Stanford University.

Shown above is a UV Fluorescence (left) and an x-ray (right) of a coral core (Porites lutea) collected in Malindi Marine Park, Kenya.

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Coral Paleoclimatology website by Heather Benway, NOAA Office of Global Programs, hosted by the NOAA Paleoclimatology Program. Please contact us if you have any comments and/or suggestions.