Glacial cold-water coral: ages, isotope concentrations and ratios


A set of 40 Uranium-series datings obtained on the reef-forming scleractinian cold-water corals Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata revealed that during the past 400 kyr their occurrence in the Gulf of Cádiz (GoC) was almost exclusively restricted to glacial periods. This result strengthens the outcomes of former studies that coral growth in the temperate NE Atlantic encompassing the French, Iberian and Moroccan margins dominated during glacial periods, whereas in the higher latitudes (Irish and Norwegian margins) extended coral growth prevailed during interglacial periods. Thus it appears that the biogeographical limits for sustained cold-water coral growth along the NE Atlantic margin are strongly related to climate change. By focussing on the last glacial-interglacial cycle, this study shows that palaeo-productivity was increased during the last glacial. This was likely driven by the fertilisation effect of an increased input of aeolian dust and locally intensified upwelling. After the Younger Dryas cold event, the input of aeolian dust and productivity significantly decreased concurrent with an increase in water temperatures in the GoC. This primarily resulted in reduced food availability and caused a widespread demise of the formerly thriving coral ecosystems. Moreover, these climate induced changes most likely caused a latitudinal shift of areas withoptimum coral growth conditions towards the northern NE Atlantic where more suitable environmental conditions established with the onset of the Holocene.

Supplement to: Wienberg, Claudia; Frank, Norbert; Mertens, Kenneth Neil; Stuut, Jan-Berend W; Marchant, Margarita; Fietzke, Jan; Mienis, Furu; Hebbeln, Dierk (2010): Glacial cold-water corals growth in the Gulf of Cádiz: Implications of increased palaeo-productivity. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 298, 405-416

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Metadata Access
Creator Wienberg, Claudia ORCID logo; Frank, Norbert ORCID logo; Mertens, Kenneth Neil ORCID logo; Stuut, Jan-Berend W ORCID logo; Marchant, Margarita ORCID logo; Fietzke, Jan ORCID logo; Mienis, Furu ORCID logo; Hebbeln, Dierk ORCID logo
Publisher PANGAEA
Publication Year 2011
Funding Reference Seventh Framework Programme Crossref Funder ID 226354 Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Mans Impact On European Seas
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported;
OpenAccess true
Resource Type Supplementary Dataset; Dataset
Format text/tab-separated-values
Size 356 data points
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (-7.404W, 34.992S, -6.788E, 36.183N); Hesperides mud volcano; Faro/Almazan mud volcano; Belgica area off Morocco; Gulf of Cádiz, Atlantic Ocean
Temporal Coverage Begin 2003-12-02T08:30:00Z
Temporal Coverage End 2006-05-14T16:36:00Z