Assessment of marine pollution in tropical and subtropical region using trace elements in coral skeletons

Mayuri Inoue, Atsushi Suzuki, Masato Nohara, Hodaka Kawahata

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


This study uses an annually banded coral, which constructs skeletons composed of CaCO3, and has been suggested to be useful for reconstructing marine environments including those affected by marine pollution. However, a coral reference material, which is essential for comparison of analytical data, has not been provided until now. Recently, Geological Survey of Japan (GSJ) prepared carbonate reference materials coral JCp-1 in addition to giant clam JCt-1 and provisional data of minor and trace elements on both materials were presented in this study. Then, seven trace elements (V, Mn, Cu, Sn, Ba, Pb and U) were determined in coral samples (Porites spp.) collected from several sites in the western Pacific and the Jakarta Bay. Each elemental content varied among the samples collected from different sea areas, suggesting that these elements in a coral skeleton could represent characteristics of the local marine environment. Temporal variation of Sn and Cu in a coral core from Ponpei Island, Micronesia, reflected historical change of use of antifouling paint containing TBT. Additionally, based on a stepwise pretreatment experiment, Sn and Cu outside the aragonite lattice of the coral skeleton showed potential as proxies for marine pollution. Furthermore, Pb contents in a coral core collected from Ogasawara Islands, Japan, have gradually increased during last 108 years, probably reflecting emissions of anthropogenic Pb mainly from Asian countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCoral Reefs
Subtitle of host publicationBiology, Threats and Restoration
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9781606921043
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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