Published Data Library (PDL)

Coral indicators of past sea-level change


Coral indicators of past sea-level change: a global repository of U-series dated benchmarks.

Author(s) Hibbert F.D. (1); Rohling E.J. (1); Dutton A. (2); Williams F.H. (3); Chutcharavan P.M. (2); Tamisiea M. (4)

(1) Australian National University Research School of Earth Sciences; (2) University of Florida Department of Geological Sciences; (3) University of Southampton School of Ocean and Earth Science; (4) National Oceanography Centre, Liverpool

Subject elevation, biota, oceans, environment

This dataset is an internally consistent, global database of fossil coral, sea-level U-series dated benchmarks from previously published literature that includes full consideration of all (known) uncertainties. Coral benchmarks provide valuable data for reconstructing past sea levels, as they are often well preserved in the fossil record, can be dated with U-series methods and are widely distributed with the tropical/subtropical regions. Our compilation ensures all fields are internally consistent (e.g., we recalculate uplift/subsidence rates for each locations using the same assumptions and ensure that this is consistently applied to all sites in that location; we recalculate age using the same decay constants etc.), and gives full consideration to all uncertainties (e.g., our recalculated age uncertainties are reported with and without the decay constant uncertainty included). The database also contains extensive metadata (e.g., detailed information on sample context, and inclusion of species-specific, depth-distributions, derived from a synthesis of modern observations). The combination of (i) consistent treatment of data, (ii) full consideration of all known uncertainties, (iii) extensive metadata, and (iv) the incorporation of modern species-specific, depth-distributions, enables the fossil coral sample to be evaluated in a manner that spans all major geological and ecological aspects affecting their use as markers of past sea levels. This effort is needed to address current questions within Quaternary Science (e.g., the relationship between sea level, ice sheets and changes in climate; the rates and magnitude of sea- level change) which cannot be thoroughly addressed by looking at a single, or a handful of studies, in isolation. The database will be of interest to both the data and modelling communities. Fossil coral ages in the dataset span from modern to approx. 855,000 years before present. In detail, the dataset contains following information: sample ID; location; tectonic setting (including uplift/subsidence rate); elevation (including how derived and uncertainty); stratigraphic, facies and outcrop information; species information (including new modern coral depth distributions and palaeo-water depth interpretation); full dating information (includes instrument, decay constants and spike calibration of the original publication; reported measured ratios; recalculated ratios using decay constants of Cheng et al., 2013; recalculated ages and delta234Uinitial and uncertainties, with and without the decay constant error, assuming a closed system and the decay constants of Cheng et al., 2013); calculation of corrected coral position (Zcp) and sea level probability maximum (PRSL).

Temporal coverage 1990 - 2012
Spatial coverage World
File format Delimited, Documents
Language English
Discovery metadata record Link to the related European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED) record
Publisher British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council, UK
Publication date 12 May 2016
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) doi:10.5285/32056c4c-fef8-29c4-e053-6c86abc06cd4
Short DOI doi:10/bhfr
Citation text Hibbert F.D.; Rohling E.J.; Dutton A.; Williams F.H.; Chutcharavan P.M.; Tamisiea M. (2016). Coral indicators of past sea-level change: a global repository of U-series dated benchmarks. British Oceanographic Data Centre - Natural Environment Research Council, UK. doi:10/bhfr.

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