Deriving coral skeletal density from computer tomography (CT): effects of scan and reconstruction settings

1:10 pm 18 Dec 2017

Published 21 July, 2017


Thomas M DeCarlo



Department of Earth Sciences, Oceans Institute, and ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, The University of WesternAustralia



Computed tomography (CT) scanning of coral skeletons provides critical information about coral growth and sensitivity to environmental change. Accurately deriving skeletal density from CT depends on careful calibration and may be sensitive to instrument settings, scanresolution, orspecies effects. Here, Ievaluate the influence softhese factors on deriving bulk coral skeletal densities from CT scans. The results show that instrument settings have important effects on derived densities. Increasing the beam hardening correction and decreasing scanning voltage had large effects, increasing derived density by 44% and 39%, respectively. Conversely, the effects of changing sample thickness and scan resolution by factors of two were smaller (<10% difference in derived density), though still important. There were no apparent differences between two genera (Porites sp. and Pocillopora sp.), but this should be validated with further investigations.

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