Hot off the Press! Hyperspectral imaging of fossil coral reefs for environmental and climate reconstructions

Pages from Murphy_et_al-2017-Geochemistry,_Geophysics,_Geosystems.jpg

Hyperspectral results showing intensity of Aragonite and Calcite in a geological core from One Tree Reef in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. A change in Aragonite and Calcite intensity is seen at the boundary of the Pleistocene-Holocene reefs.

In a new paper just published we present novel research showing for the first time how hyperspectral analysis (analysing waves beyond the visible light spectrum) can be used to effectively and non-destructively map out minerals within fossil coral samples from different locations around the world and features cores from the GRG’s favorite One Tree Reef, in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. This process has proven to be a useful tool to geochemically estimate not only how altered the original coral skeleton is but also to determine whether terrigenous (i.e. land-derived) clays are present. Among other uses, these measurements are crucial to ensure accurate dating of the reef, allowing us to know at what time in the geologic past these corals were growing. These analyses were undertaken by Dr Richard Murphy from the Centre of Field Robotics at the University of Sydney in collaboration with researchers at the Geocoastal Research Group, the University of Queensland, Queensland University and other institutions. It is part of a larger ongoing project that seeks to understand how reefs evolved during previous climate change.

It’s a very interesting read, check out the paper in this link !

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