[Coral-List] Corals in the Anthropocene Workshop at ICRS 2021

Jens Zinke jens.zinke at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 13:32:01 UTC 2020

Dear Coral Lister's,

Please consider attending our Workshop: "Can coral skeletal proxies serve
as potential Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP) candidates
and ecostratigraphic tools for the Anthropocene?"

Covened by: Nicolas Duprey (MPI Mainz); Reinhold Leinfelder (FU Berlin),
Georg Heiss (FU Berlin); Jens Zinke (University of Leicester);


The selection of a GSSP candidate section for the Anthropocene Series
(along with potential auxiliary stratotypes) is a requirement in seeking
formalisation of the term as a potential new unit of the International
Chronostratigraphic Chart. The sites are chosen to be geographically
widespread and in diverse environments that will best preserve the
extensive range of proxies, mostly anthropogenic or
anthropogenically-influenced, to be analysed across the prospective
Holocene–Anthropocene transition. All sections will be in borehole/drill
cores, most showing annually resolved laminations that can be independently
dated radiometrically to confirm a complete succession extending back to
pre-Industrial times. Airborne signals provide the most geographically
widespread and near-isochronous proxies, applicable across most of these
environments, which are expected to provide distinctive markers at around
the mid-20th century, the preferred start/base of the Anthropocene.

Coral skeletal proxy archives are a prime GSSP boundary candidate from the
tropical oceans due to their yearly growth banding providing highly precise
age control over several centuries locking a suite of geochemical
information into their skeleton (Waters et al., 2018). Corals have been
shown to record climatic and environmental change over several decades to
centuries related to natural processes. Furthermore, coral provide
invaluable records of anthropogenic activity, *e.g.* CO2 uptake by the
oceans (Suess effect; Swart et al., 2010), radiocarbon bomb spikes,
radionuclide distributions, heavy metal discharge and eutrophication. In
addition, the need to better understand the spatial and temporal ecopattern
for the entire spectrum of recent and subrecent reefs, including
“atavistic” reefs (such as mesotrophic, mesophotic and heat-tolerant
reefs), is a prerequisite to better understand the development of reefs in
the future Anthropocene (Leinfelder, 2019).

In this workshop we like to bring the coral paleoclimate and
ecostratigraphic community together to discuss the suitability of corals
and reefs to define the start of the Anthropocene, to better understand
resilience and adaptability of reefs and to develop scenarios for the
future of reefs.  We like to encourage critical discussions on most
suitable sites, proxy systems, techniques  and modeling approaches to be
used, and the best definition of a GSSP boundary for the Anthropocene.


Leinfelder, R.R. (2019 in press) In: The Anthropocene as a Geological Time
Unit. A Guide to the Scientific Evidence and Current Debate, Cambridge
University Press.

Swart, P.K., et al. 2010. Geophys. Res. Lett. 37, L05604.

Waters, C. N., et al. 2018 Earth Science Reviews, 178, 379-429.


*Jens Zinke    Professor in Palaeobiology*

*Royal Society Wolfson Fellow*

School of Geography, Geology and the Environment

Bennett Building

University of Leicester,
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

More information about the Coral-List mailing list