Twentieth century sea surface temperature and salinity variations at Timor inferred from paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca measurements

Cahyarini, Sri Yudawati, Pfeiffer, Miriam, Nurhati, Intan Suci, Aldrian, Edvin, Dullo, Wolf-Christian and Hetzinger, Steffen (2014) Twentieth century sea surface temperature and salinity variations at Timor inferred from paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca measurements Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 119 (7). pp. 4593-4604. DOI 10.1002/2013JC009594.

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The Indonesian Throughflow (ITF), which represents the global ocean circulation connecting the Pacific Warm Pool to the Indian Ocean, strongly influences the Indo-Pacific climate. ITF monitoring since the late 1990s using mooring buoys have provided insights on seasonal and interannual time scales. However, the absence of longer records limits our perspective on its evolution over the past century. Here, we present sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS) proxy records from Timor Island located at the ITF exit passage via paired coral δ18O and Sr/Ca measurements spanning the period 1914–2004. These high-resolution proxy based climate data of the last century highlights improvements and cautions when interpreting paleoclimate records of the Indonesian region. If the seasonality of SST and SSS is not perfectly in phase, the application of coral Sr/Ca thermometry improves SST reconstructions compared to estimates based on coral δ18O only. Our records also underline the importance of ocean advection besides rainfall on local SSS in the region. Although the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) causes larger anomalies relative to the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), Timor coral-based SST and SSS records robustly correlate with IOD on interannual time scales, whereas ENSO only modifies Timor SST. Similarly, Timor SST and SSS are strongly linked to Indian Ocean decadal-scale variations that appear to lead Timor oceanographic conditions by about 1.6–2 years. Our study sheds new light on the complex signatures of Indo-Pacific climate modes on SST and SSS dynamics of the ITF.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000340415500035
Keywords: coral; trace elements; stable isotope; sea surface temperature; salinity; ITF
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1002/2013JC009594
ISSN: 2169-9275
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2014 10:32
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2018 07:54

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