Widespread and synchronous change in deep-ocean circulation in the North and South Atlantic during the late Cretaceous

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doi: 10.1029/2011PA002240
Author(s): Robinson, Stuart A.; Vance, Derek
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University College London, Department of Earth Sciences, London, United Kingdom
University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Volume Title: Paleoceanography
Source: Paleoceanography, 27(1). Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0883-8305 CODEN: POCGEP
Note: In English. 39 refs.; illus., incl. sketch map
Summary: Modern thermohaline circulation plays a role in latitudinal heat transport and in deep-ocean ventilation, yet ocean circulation may have functioned differently during past periods of extreme warmth, such as the Cretaceous. The Late Cretaceous (100-65 Ma) was an important period in the evolution of the North Atlantic Ocean, characterized by opening ocean gateways, long-term climatic cooling and the cessation of intermittent periods of anoxia (oceanic anoxic events, OAEs). However, how these phenomena relate to deep-water circulation is unclear. We use a proxy for deep-water mass composition (neodymium isotopes; εNd) to show that, at North Atlantic ODP Site 1276, deep waters shifted in the early Campanian (∼78-83 Ma) from εNd values of ∼-7 to values of ∼-9, consistent with a change in the style of deep-ocean circulation but >10 Myr after a change in bottom water oxygenation conditions. A similar, but more poorly dated, trend exists in εNd data from DSDP Site 386. The Campanian εNd transition observed in the North Atlantic records is also seen in the South Atlantic and proto-Indian Ocean, implying a widespread and synchronous change in deep-ocean circulation. Although a unique explanation does not exist for the change at present, we favor an interpretation that invokes Late Cretaceous climatic cooling as a driver for the formation of Southern Component Water, which flowed northward from the Southern Ocean and into the North Atlantic and proto-Indian Oceans.
Year of Publication: 2012
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 02 Geochemistry; 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Abyssal plains; Atlantic Ocean; Benthic taxa; Bermuda Rise; Biochemistry; Chemical composition; Chordata; Climate change; Cretaceous; DSDP Site 386; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Deep-sea environment; Foraminifera; Indian Ocean; Invertebrata; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Leg 210; Leg 43; Marine environment; Mesozoic; Metals; Microfossils; Nd-144/Nd-143; Neodymium; North Atlantic; Northwest Atlantic; ODP Site 1276; Ocean Drilling Program; Ocean circulation; Ocean floors; Paleo-oceanography; Paleoclimatology; Paleoenvironment; Pisces; Protista; Rare earths; Shelf environment; Shells; South Atlantic; Stable isotopes; Teeth; Thermohaline circulation; Tracers; Upper Cretaceous; Vertebrata
Coordinates: N452400 N452400 W0444700 W0444700
Record ID: 2013008068
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