High-resolution Sr/Ca records in sclerosponges calibrated to temperature in situ

Brad E. Rosenheim, Peter K. Swart, Simon R. Thorrold, Philippe Willenz, Lorraine Berry, Christopher Latkoczy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Ratios of strontium to calcium have been analyzed by laserablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) in a skeletal section of the sclerosponge Ceratoporella nicholsoni. The growth period, representative of 3 yr, was stained in the skeleton with a fluorochrome (calcein). Temperatures were recorded at 2 h intervals within the shallow, cryptic reef enclosure that the sclerosponge inhabited on the northern coast of Jamaica, allowing the formulation of a direct empirical relationship between Sr/Ca and temperature. To verify this calibration, Sr/Ca ratios of two sclerosponges of the same species from depths of 67 m and 136 m in Exuma Sound, Bahamas, were analyzed by LA-ICP-MS and compared to the temperatures from these depths over a decade prior to collection. The result is an independently verified, highresolution empirical calibration for the temperature sensitivity of Sr/Ca ratios in the aragonite skeletons of sclerosponges from Jamaica and the Bahamas. The calibration is a first for C. nicholsoni and indicates that sclerosponges are more sensitive temperature recorders than zooxanthellate corals. It represents an important step in establishing skeletal geochemistry of sclerosponges as a proxy of temperature in the upper 250 m of the ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-148
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Calibration
  • Ceratoporella nicholsoni
  • Ocean temperature
  • Paleoceanography
  • Sclerosponge
  • Sr/Ca ratios

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'High-resolution Sr/Ca records in sclerosponges calibrated to temperature in situ'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this