Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-159
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2024-159
07 May 2024
 | 07 May 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Coral Skeletal Proxy Records Database for the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Ariella Kathleen Arzey, Helen V. McGregor, Tara R. Clark, Jody M. Webster, Stephen E. Lewis, Jennie Mallela, Nicholas P. McKay, Hugo W. Fahey, Supriyo Chakraborty, Tries B. Razak, and Matt J. Fischer

Abstract. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia has a long history of palaeoenvironmental coral research. However, it can be logistically difficult to find the relevant research and records, which are often unpublished or exist as ‘grey literature’. This hinders researchers’ ability to efficiently assess the current state of coral core studies on the GBR and thus identify any key knowledge gaps. This study presents the Great Barrier Reef Coral Skeletal Records Database (GBRCD), which compiles 208 records from coral skeletal research conducted since the early 1990s. The database includes records from the Holocene, from ~8,000 years ago, to the present day; from the northern, central, and southern GBR from inshore and offshore locations. Massive Porites spp. coral records comprise the majority (92.5 %) of the database, and the remaining records are from Acropora, Isopora or Cyphastrea spp. The database includes 78 variables, with Sr/Ca, U/Ca and Ba/Ca the most frequently measured. Most records measure data over 10 or more years and are at monthly or lower resolution. The GBRCD is machine readable and easily searchable so users can find records relevant to their research, for example, by filtering for site names, time period, or coral type. It is publicly available as comma-separated values (CSV) data and metadata files with entries linked by the unique record ID and as Linked Paleo Data (LiPD) files. The GBRCD is publicly available from the NOAA National Center for Environmental Information’s Paleoclimate Data Archive at https://doi.org/10.25921/hqxk-8h74 (Arzey et al. 2024). The collection and curation of existing GBR coral research provides researchers with the ability to analyse common proxies such as Sr/Ca across multiple locations and/or examine regional to reef scale trends. The database is also suitable for multi-proxy comparisons and combination or composite analyses to determine overarching changes recorded by the proxies. This database represents the first comprehensive compilation of coral records from the GBR. It enables the investigation of multiple environmental factors via various proxy systems for the GBR, northeastern Australia and potentially the broader Indo-Pacific. 

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Ariella Kathleen Arzey, Helen V. McGregor, Tara R. Clark, Jody M. Webster, Stephen E. Lewis, Jennie Mallela, Nicholas P. McKay, Hugo W. Fahey, Supriyo Chakraborty, Tries B. Razak, and Matt J. Fischer

Status: open (until 03 Jul 2024)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on essd-2024-159', Niels de Winter, 21 May 2024 reply
Ariella Kathleen Arzey, Helen V. McGregor, Tara R. Clark, Jody M. Webster, Stephen E. Lewis, Jennie Mallela, Nicholas P. McKay, Hugo W. Fahey, Supriyo Chakraborty, Tries B. Razak, and Matt J. Fischer

Data sets

The Great Barrier Reef Coral Skeletal Records Database (GBRCD) A. K. Arzey et al. https://doi.org/10.25921/hqxk-8h74

Interactive computing environment

GBR-Coral-Skeletal-Records-Database Github Repository A. K. Arzey and H. W. Fahey https://github.com/arzeyak/GBR-Coral-Skeletal-Records-Database

Ariella Kathleen Arzey, Helen V. McGregor, Tara R. Clark, Jody M. Webster, Stephen E. Lewis, Jennie Mallela, Nicholas P. McKay, Hugo W. Fahey, Supriyo Chakraborty, Tries B. Razak, and Matt J. Fischer

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Short summary
Coral skeletal records from the iconic Great Barrier Reef (GBR) provide vital data on climate and environmental change. Presented here is the Great Barrier Reef Coral Skeletal Records Database, an extensive compilation of GBR coral records. The database includes key metadata, primary data, and access instructions, and enhances research on past, present and future climate and environmental variability of the GBR. The database will assist with contextualising present-day threats to reefs globally.
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