Anastasios Stathakopoulos (Oceanographer) and Lauren Toth (Research Oceanographer) published a new article titled “A revised Holocene coral sea-level database from the Florida reef tract, USA.”
Protocols for improving sea-level reconstructions in the western Atlantic
Sea-level reconstruction is a valuable method used by researchers for understanding past sea-level changes. It also provides critical baseline information for projections of future sea-level rise. In the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic, reef-building corals are commonly used as indicators for tracking past sea level.
This collaborative study builds upon nearly 50 years of research conducted by USGS scientists and others by compiling and examining Holocene (the last ~11,700 years) coral-reef core records collected from over 30 locations throughout the south-Florida region (https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8350).
The publication characterizes the core records to a new level of detail that is more useful for sea-level reconstruction. It provides new data-screening protocols that can be applied to filter out poor-quality or questionable coral sea-level data, allowing researchers to only incorporate the highest-quality data in their coral-based sea-level reconstruction.
Furthermore, this publication provides a framework for researchers to evaluate coral data-selection criteria and thus increase the robustness of sea-level models from coral-reef locations throughout the western Atlantic.