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Felis, Thomas; Loya, Yossi; Wefer, Gerold (1998): Stable isotope analysis of Porites coral core EILAT-1. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Felis, Thomas; Pätzold, Jürgen; Loya, Yossi; Wefer, Gerold (1998): Vertical water mass mixing and plankton blooms recorded in skeletal stable carbon isotopes of a Red Sea coral. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 103(C13), 30731-30740,

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The environmental interpretation of the 13C/12C variations in the skeletons of massive corals is still a matter of debate. A 19-year seasonal skeletal 13C/12C record of a shallow-water Pontes coral from the northern Red Sea (Gulf of Aqaba) documents interannual events of extraordinarily large plankton blooms, indicated by anomalous 13C depletions in the coral skeleton. These blooms are caused by deep vertical water mass mixing, convectively driven in colder winters, which results in increased supplies of nutrients to the surface waters. The deep vertical mixings can sometimes be driven by the cooling occurring throughout the Middle East after large tropical volcanic eruptions. We therefore have evidence in our coral skeletal 13C/12C record for an indirect volcanic signal of the eruptions of El Chichón (1982) and Mount Pinatubo (1991). Deep mixing induced 13C/12C variations of the dissolved inorganic carbon in the surface waters can be neglected at this location. We therefore suggest that the 13C skeletal depletions can be best explained by changes in the coral's autotrophy-heterotrophy diet, through increased heterotrophic feeding on Zooplankton during the blooms. Increased feeding on 13C-depleted Zooplankton or increased heterotrophy at the expense of autotrophy can both result in a 13C-depleted coral skeleton. However, this suggestion requires more testing. If our conclusions are substantiated, seasonal skeletal 13C/12C records of corals which change from autotrophy under normal conditions to increased heterotrophy during bloom events may be used as indicators of ocean paleoproductivity at interannual resolution, available from no other source.
Related to:
Felis, Thomas (1999): Climate and ocean variability reconstructed from stable isotope records of modern subtropical corals (Northern Red Sea). Berichte aus dem Fachbereich Geowissenschaften der Universität Bremen, 133, 111 pp, urn:nbn:de:gbv:46-ep000102514
Latitude: 29.504000 * Longitude: 34.919200
Date/Time Start: 1993-05-24T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 1993-05-24T00:00:00
Minimum DISTANCE: 0.050 cm * Maximum DISTANCE: 15.725 cm
EILAT-1 * Latitude: 29.504000 * Longitude: 34.919200 * Date/Time: 1993-05-24T00:00:00 * Elevation: -4.0 m * Location: Northern Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat/Israel, Red Sea) * Campaign: DifferentSites * Method/Device: Drill, hydraulic (DRILLHY)
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethod/DeviceComment
2AGEAgeka BPGeocode
3AgeAgea ADFelis, ThomasCalculated
4Porites sp., δ13CPorites sp. δ13C‰ PDBFelis, ThomasMass spectrometer Finnigan MAT 251
5Porites sp., δ18OPorites sp. δ18O‰ PDBFelis, ThomasMass spectrometer Finnigan MAT 251
449 data points

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