Coral records of Mid-Holocene sea-level highstands and climate responses in the northern South China Sea

Yuanfu Yue Lichao Tang Kefu Yu Rongyong Huang

Yuanfu Yue, Lichao Tang, Kefu Yu, Rongyong Huang. Coral records of Mid-Holocene sea-level highstands and climate responses in the northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2264-9
Citation: Yuanfu Yue, Lichao Tang, Kefu Yu, Rongyong Huang. Coral records of Mid-Holocene sea-level highstands and climate responses in the northern South China Sea[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica. doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2264-9

doi: 10.1007/s13131-023-2264-9

Coral records of Mid-Holocene sea-level highstands and climate responses in the northern South China Sea

Funds: The National Natural Science Foundation of China under contract Nos 42366002 and 41702182; the National Key R&D Program of China under contract No. 2017YFA0603300; the Guangxi Scientific Projects under contract No. 2018GXNSFAA281293.
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  • Figure  1.  A geographic map of South China Sea, showing the location of Hainan Island. a. Surface-ocean circulation patterns in the South China Sea during the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM) and b. the East Asian winter monsoon (EAWM), modified after Yu and Liu (1993) and Morton and Blackmore (2001). c. Coral reefs are distributed along the coast of Lei-Qiong and d. The elevation survey and sampling during the field investigation from Wenchang southward to Qionghai along the east coastal Hainan Island in July 2020.

    Figure  2.  Cross-section sketches showing distribution of biological-geomorphological zones of typical fringing coral reefs based on our field investigation in July 2020 on the eastern coast of Hainan in the northern SCS.

    Figure  3.  Precise height measurement results of the top surface elevation of the 27 live Porites corals from Tongguling along the coast of Wenchang, Hainan Island. It showed that the upper surface elevations of those live Porites corals were 146.09 cm below the MTL on average. The depth range of live Porites corals heights is relative to 1985 National Elevation Benchmarks and the predicted tidal levels at Qinlan Port tide gauge. The mean tide level (MTL) lies 103 cm above 1985 National Elevation Benchmarks, the mean low water (MLW) is 58 cm, the mean high water (MHW) is 147 cm, the highest high water (HHW) is 315 cm, the lowest low water (LLW) is −28 cm, the mean tidal range is 89 cm, and the maximum tidal range is 255 cm (China Nave Hydrographic Office, 2022).

    Figure  4.  Left images showing macro-structures and preservation status of Holocene fossil Porites corals on the east coastal Hainan in the northern SCS. The diameters in Images a, b and c are 101.5 cm, 253 cm, and 191 cm, respectively.

    Figure  5.  Distribution of the δ 234U (T) variations (a), the U concentrations (b) and U-Th ages (c) for the 276 in-situ dead Porites, Porites microatolls and coral-related debris from the northern SCS. Episodes of corals growth from the northern SCS during the Holocene based on the U-Th ages order and its’ two standard deviations (50-year interval) of the age determination errors (±2σ) (d).

    Figure  6.  U-Th age-elevation data for our 6 new SLIPs and 19 recalculated SLIPs from east costal Hainan Island in the northern SCS. Vertical uncertainties are uniformly ±9.8 cm (±2σ).

    Figure  7.  Comparison of Mid-Holocene RSL data (a) with the predictions of the ICE-4G model (Wang et al., 2012) and the outputs of the final ice-volume equivalent sea-level model from Bradley et al. (2016), coral U-Th ages distribution pattern (c, d) derived from the in situ dead corals on the coast of northern SCS, storm records from Lingyang Reef (Yue et al., 2019) (b), the reconstructed temperature (relative to the present) from China (Wang and Gong, 2000) (e), subtropical evergreen broadleaved percentage (Yue et al., 2012) (f), the sea surface temperatures (SSTs) of Core MZ01 from the continental shelf of the East China Sea (Pan et al., 2020) (g, h), reconstruction of El Niño occurrences from Laguna Pallcocha, Ecuador (Moy et al., 2002) (i), δ 18O records (‰, VSMOW) from the stalagmite of Dongge Cave (Wang et al., 2005) (j), and the 65°N summer insolation in July in the Northern Hemisphere (Berger and Loutre, 1991) (k).

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  • 收稿日期:  2023-07-14
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