Climate Research and Development

Climate and Environmental Change in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean

Map of research areas: Yellow is the area of Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico; pink dots show core locations for climate history studies; yellow inverted triangle shows the location of the sediment trap for the calibration study.
Map of research areas: Yellow is the area of Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico; pink dots show core locations for climate history studies; yellow inverted triangle shows the location of the sediment trap for the calibration study.

This project will establish detailed records of paleoceaonographic, climatic, and environmental change of the Gulf of Mexico and the surrounding coastal areas of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana. Paleorecords are used to establish cycles of natural climate variability and environmental change. The primary time interval studied is the Holocene (last 10,000 years) with focus on the last few thousand years. Specific objectives of this project include: 1) developing and refining proxy indicators of past conditions, 2) quantifying the rate and magnitude of past changes, 3) linking marine records with environmental changes on adjacent lands, and 4) providing well-dated, and replicated, time-series of climate and environmental data that can be used to identify and test possible forcing of natural climate variability (sea-level rise and storm frequency). Resolution of records ranges from sub annual (corals) to multidecadal (sediment cores).

Why is this research important?

Information on natural climatic variability is needed to establish possible causes of climatic variability on human timescales and helps to discriminate between natural variability and any anthropogenic changes. Better understanding of the frequency and magnitude of natural climate variability during the Holocene, especially the last few thousand years, will lead to better models for coastal change including sea level and storm impacts and ultimately better forecasts of future change and its societal impact.

Project Leads:
Lisa E. Osterman, Julie N. Richey
Project Team:
J. Flannery, C. Reynolds, A. Sosnowski, K. Roberts, C. Spencer
Project Website

13 publications matching the specified parameters were found.

Flannery, J.A., Richey, J.N., Thirumalai, K., Poore, R.Z. and DeLong, K.L., 2017, Multi-species coral Sr/Ca-based sea-surface temperature reconstruction using Orbicella faveolata and Siderastrea siderea from the Florida Straits, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 466, p.100-109.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.10.022

DeLong, K.L., Maupin, C.R., Flannery, J.A., Quinn, T.M. and Shen, C.C., 2016, Refining temperature reconstructions with the Atlantic coral Siderastrea siderea, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 462, p. 1-15.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.08.028

Jonkers, L., Reynolds, C., Richey, J., and Hall, I., 2014, Lunar periodicity in the shell flux of some planktonic foraminifera in the Gulf of Mexico: Biogeosciences Discussions, v. 11, no. 12, p. 17187-17205.

Marot, M.E., Adams, C.S., Richwine, K.A, Smith, C.G., Osterman, L.E., and Bernier, J.C., 2014, Temporal changes in lithology and radiochemistry from the back-barrier environments along the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana - March 2012-July 2013: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1079.

Richey, J.N., Reynolds, C.E., Tappa, E., and Thunell, R., 2014, Weekly resolution particulate flux from a sediment trap in the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008-2012: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1035, 9 .

Thirumalai, K., Richey, J.N., Quinn, T.M., and Poore, R.Z., 2014, Globigerinoides ruber morphotypes in the Gulf of Mexico: A test of null hypothesis: Scientific reports, v. 4, no. 6018, p. 1-7.

Flannery, J.A. and Poore, R.Z., 2013, Sr/Ca proxy sea-surface temperature reconstructions from modern and Holocene Montastraea faveolata specimens from the Dry Tortugas National Park, in Brock, J.C., Barras, J.A., and Williams, S.J.,eds., Understanding and Predicting Change in the Coastal Ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No .63, p. 20-31.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/SI63-003.1

Muslic, A., Flannery J.A., Reich, C.D., Umberger, D.K., Smoak, J.M., and Poore, R.Z., 2013, Linear extension rates of massive corals from the Dry Tortugas National Park (DRTO), Florida: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1121, 22 p.
Available at: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1121/

Poore, R.Z., Tedesco, K.A., and Spear, J.W., 2013, Seasonal Flux and Assemblage Composition of Planktic Foraminifers From a Sediment Trap Study in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, in Brock, J.C., Barras, J.A., and Williams, S.J.,eds., Understanding and Predicting Change in the Coastal Ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico: Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No .63, p. 6-19.
Available at: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2112/SI63-002.1

Reynolds, C.E., and Poore, R.Z., 2013, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008-11: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1158, 14 p.
Available at: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1158/

Reynolds, C.E., Richey, J.N., and Poore, R.Z., 2013, Seasonal flux and assemblage composition of planktic foraminifera from the northern Gulf of Mexico, 2008-2012: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013-1243. 13 p.
Available at: http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2013/1243/

Richey, J.N., Poore, R.Z., Flower, B.P., and Hollander, D.H., 2012, Ecological controls on the shell geochemistry of pink and white Globigerinoides ruber in the northern Gulf of Mexico: Implications for paleoceanographic reconstruction: Marine Micropaleontology, v. 82, p. 28-37.
Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marmicro.2011.10.002

Richwine, K.A., and Osterman, L.E., 2012, Benthic foraminiferal Census data from Mobile Bay, Alabama: Counts of surface samples and boxcores. U.S.G.S. data series D-740.
Available at: http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ds704

Gulf of Mexico Climate Variability

This project is establishing detailed records of paleoceaonographic, climatic, and environmental change in the Gulf of Mexico and its coastal areas. The primary time interval studied is the Holocene (last 10,000 years) with a focus on the last few thousand years. Climate and environmental proxies from sediment cores are used to document cycles of natural climate variability and environmental change. Specific objectives include developing and refining proxy indicators of past conditions, quantifying the rate and magnitude of past changes, linking marine records with environmental changes on adjacent lands, and providing well-dated, and replicated, time-series of climate and environmental data that can be used to identify and test possible forcing of natural climate variability. Resolution of records ranges from sub annual (corals) to multidecadal (sediment cores).