Concept

Sclerochronology

Summary
Sclerochronology is the study of periodic physical and chemical features in the hard tissues of animals that grow by accretion, including invertebrates and coralline red algae, and the temporal context in which they formed. It is particularly useful in the study of marine paleoclimatology. The term was coined in 1974 following pioneering work on nuclear test atolls by Knutson and Buddemeier and comes from the three Greek words skleros (hard), chronos (time) and logos (science), which together refer to the use of the hard parts of living organisms to order events in time. It is, therefore, a form of stratigraphy. Sclerochronology focuses primarily upon growth patterns reflecting annual, monthly, fortnightly, tidal, daily, and sub-daily (ultradian) increments of time. The regular time increments are controlled by biological clocks, which, in turn, are caused by environmental and astronomical pacemakers. Familiar examples include: *annual bandings in reef coral skeletons
  • annual,
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