Extending Instrumental Sea-Level Records Using Coral Microatolls, an Example From Southeast Asia

J. M. Majewski, A. J. Meltzner, A. D. Switzer, T. A. Shaw, T. Li, S. Bradley, J. S. Walker, R. E. Kopp, D. Samanta, D. H. Natawidjaja, B. W. Suwargadi, B. P. Horton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The small number of reliable long-term (i.e., >50 yrs) tide gauges in tropical locations is a major source of uncertainty in modern sea-level change. Coral microatolls record relative sea-level (RSL) change over their lifetimes and have the potential to extend the instrumental record. Here, we examined a 20th and 21st century RSL record from two living coral microatolls from Mapur Island, Indonesia, which produced 16 sea-level index points. We validated and combined the living coral microatoll data with tide gauge data to show RSL at Mapur Island was 0.0 ± 1.6 mm/yr (2σ) from 1915 to 1990 and 1.0 ± 2.1 mm/yr (2σ) from 1990 to 2019. Through the addition of microatoll RSL data we extended the record of modern sea-level change by over 50 years and reduced its uncertainty by ∼50%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021GL095710
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 28 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • Singapore
  • coral microatolls
  • sea-level change
  • sea-level index points
  • tide gauges

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