EP19R001-01 TAAF France
April 2019 – Ongoing
Our proposed research program aims to provide solid environmental and climatic baseline data for the Eparses Islands on seasonal, interannual and decadal time scales from natural biogenic archives (massive corals). The aim is to fill an important data gap in meteorological and oceanographic processes through retrospective monitoring of climate and sea-level variability/long-term change from modern and fossil coral geochemistry and calcification records.
These data will serve as a guide for managers to identify key threats for future maintenance of biophysical conditions across the Eparses Islands. Our research will also address the affect of climate change and variability and oceanographic processes on the maintenance of coral growth and calcification in a low human footprint context of the Eparses.
We will target Tromelin, Glorieuse, Juan de Nova, Bassas da India and Europa Island where our French team members have GPS identified sites with highest potential for drilling living massive Porites sp. and Diploastrea sp. and Last Millenium/Holocene boulders from storm deposits. All sites are located along the climatologically important South Equatorial Current and Mozambique Channel ocean gateway, one of the crucial global surface ocean thermohaline circulation pathways.
We aim to provide a first comprehensive dataset on the marine climate history, recent sea-level change and coral calcification across the Eparses Islands, an ocean warming hotspot, for the Common Era and the Holocene.