Strontium-Calcium Thermometry in Coral Skeletons

Science  27 Apr 1979:
Vol. 204, Issue 4391, pp. 404-407
DOI: 10.1126/science.204.4391.404


The strontium to calcium ratio of skeletal aragonite in three genera of reef-building corals varies as a simple function of temperature and the strontium to calcium ratio of the incubation water. The strontiumlcalcium distribution coefficients of coral aragonite apparently differ from the corresponding coefficient of inorganically precipitated aragonite. With some care, coral skeletons can be used as recording thermometers.