Corals can be dated using U-Th analysis up to 500,000 years before present. Corals have been shown to gain and lose 234U, 230Th and 234Th, generating a bias towards older ages (Andersen et al. 2009); yet, systematic corrections can be applied using a screening approach (e.g. Thompson et al., 2003). The reconstruction of environmental changes through time requires a robust chronology. U-Th dating of corals provides reliable ages beyond the 14C range. These samples can be further analyzed to provide many paleoenvironmental reconstructions, including: wet/dry phases (Yehudai et al. 2017), mortality/recovery of coral reef systems (Clark et al. 2017), seawater temperature (DeCarlo et al. 2016) and pH (Stewart et al. 2016; Pauly et al. 2015).
Andersen, M. B., et al. “U-series dating of fossil coral reefs: consensus and controversy.” Pages News 17 (2009): 54-56.
Thompson, William G., et al. “An open-system model for U-series age determinations of fossil corals.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters 210.1-2 (2003): 365-381.
Yehudai, Maayan, et al. “U–Th dating of calcite corals from the Gulf of Aqaba.” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 198 (2017): 285-298.
Clark, Tara R., et al. “U-Th dating reveals regional-scale decline of branching Acropora corals on the Great Barrier Reef over the past century.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114.39 (2017): 10350-10355.
DeCarlo, Thomas M., et al. “Coral Sr‐U thermometry.” Paleoceanography 31.6 (2016): 626-638.
Stewart, Joseph A., Eleni Anagnostou, and Gavin L. Foster. “An improved boron isotope pH proxy calibration for the deep-sea coral Desmophyllum dianthus through sub-sampling of fibrous aragonite.” Chemical Geology 447 (2016): 148-160.
Pauly, Maren, et al. “Coralline algal Mg-O bond strength as a marine p CO2 proxy.” Geology 43.3 (2015): 267-270.