Late Pliocene climatic change and the global extinction of the discoasters; an independent assessment using oxygen isotope records

Author(s): Chapman, Mark R.; Chepstow-Lusty, Alex
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of Cambridge, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Volume Title: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Source: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 134(1-4), p.109-125. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0031-0182 CODEN: PPPYAB
Note: In English; illus.
Summary: High-resolution records (2-7kyr) of Upper Pliocene Discoaster abundances obtained from six ODP/DSDP sites are assessed independently using oxygen isotope stratigraphy. Four Atlantic Ocean sites (DSDP Sites 552 and 607, and ODP Sites 659 and 662) comprise a transect from 56°N to 1°S and provide a record of latitudinal variations in Discoaster biogeography. Low-latitude sites in the Atlantic (ODP Site 662), Pacific (ODP Site 677), and Indian (ODP Site 709) oceans provide additional information about variability in Discoaster abundance patterns within the equatorial region. A common chronology, based on the astronomical time scale developed for ODP Site 677, has been established for all the sites. By integrating oxygen isotope data and Discoaster abundance records at each site we are able to independently evaluate the temporal and spatial distribution of D. brouweri and D. triradiatus in the 500 kyr prior to the extinction of the discoasters near the base of the Olduvai subchron. Major decreases in abundance are evident during some of the more intense late Pliocene glacial events. In particular, glacial isotope stages 82, 96, 98 and 100 are associated with distinct abundance minima. At these times, large-scale changes in surface hydrographic conditions appear to have suppressed Discoaster numbers on a global scale. The increase in abundance of D. triradiatus, which precedes the extinction of the discoasters by around 200kyr, may also be related to the intensification of environmental pressures that accompanied the build-up of Northern Hemisphere ice sheets during the late Pliocene. In spite of contrasting geographic and oceanographic settings, the various D. brouweri and D. triradiatus records are remarkably similar. This demonstrates that the acme and extinction events are excellent biostratigraphic datums. The simultaneous extinction of D. brouweri and D. triradiatus at 1.95Ma were synchronous events at both a regional scale within the Atlantic, and on a global scale between the three major oceans. However, the start of the D. triradiatus acme appears to have been diachronous, occurring some 40kyr earlier in the Atlantic than in the Indo-Pacific, and hence the stratigraphic usefulness of this datum is regional rather than global.
Year of Publication: 1997
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
IPOD International Phase of Ocean Drilling
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Algae; Atlantic Ocean; Biostratigraphy; Cenozoic; Chemostratigraphy; DSDP Site 552; DSDP Site 607; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Discoasteridae; Glacial environment; Glaciation; IPOD; Indian Ocean; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Leg 108; Leg 111; Leg 115; Leg 81; Leg 94; Mass extinctions; Microfossils; Nannofossils; Neogene; Northern Hemisphere; O-18/O-16; ODP Site 659; ODP Site 662; ODP Site 677; ODP Site 709; Ocean Drilling Program; Oxygen; Pacific Ocean; Paleo-oceanography; Paleoclimatology; Plantae; Pliocene; Spatial distribution; Stable isotopes; Temporal distribution; Tertiary; Thallophytes; Upper Pliocene
Coordinates: S012325 N211954 W0114421 W0231630
N011203 N011400 W0834000 W0834500
S131002 N050454 E0734953 E0590100
N560233 N563342 W0204655 W0233142
N371724 N534600 W0180000 W0351154
Record ID: 1997064757
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2017 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands