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Paleo Slide Set: Coral Paleoclimatology:Natural Record of Climate change for High School Student
Two sections of a core of (Pavona clavus) from Urvina Bay, Galápagos (0°, 91°W).
Would you be convinced that scientists could get an accurate portrayal of what the climate was like by looking at just the ring data? The bands can tell them the age and growth rate, but not what caused the increase or decrease in growth. The chemistry of the coral closely reflects the surrounding environmental conditions when that part of the coral formed, so scientists examine the chemistry to determine what caused a specific growth rate.

After the core has been x-rayed, bands are drawn with black lines representing annual bands, and blue and red lines divide the year into quarters.

Photo Credits:
Rob Dunbar
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Rice University

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Last Modified: 12 October 2001

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