A cool temperate climate on the Antarctic Peninsula through the latest Cretaceous to early Paleogene

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doi: 10.1130/G35512.1
Author(s): Kemp, David B.; Robinson, Stuart A.; Crame, J. Alistair; Francis, Jane E.; Ineson, Jon; Whittle, Rowan J.; Bowman, Vanessa; O'Brien, Charlotte
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Open University, Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Other:
University of Oxford, United Kingdom
British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom
Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Denmark
Volume Title: Geology (Boulder)
Source: Geology (Boulder), 42(7), p.583-586. Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 0091-7613 CODEN: GLGYBA
Note: In English. GSA Data Repository item 2014205. 27 refs.; illus., incl. geol. sketch map
Summary: Constraining past fluctuations in global temperatures is central to our understanding of the Earth's climatic evolution. Marine proxies dominate records of past temperature reconstructions, whereas our understanding of continental climate is relatively poor, particularly in high-latitude areas such as Antarctica. The recently developed MBT/CBT (methylation index of branched tetraethers/cyclization ratio of branched tetraethers) paleothermometer offers an opportunity to quantify ancient continental climates at temporal resolutions typically not afforded by terrestrial macrofloral proxies. Here, we have extended the application of the MBT/CBT proxy into the Cretaceous by presenting paleotemperatures through an expanded sedimentary succession from Seymour Island, Antarctica, spanning the latest Maastrichtian and Paleocene. Our data indicate the existence of a relatively stable, persistently cool temperate climate on the Antarctic Peninsula across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. These new data help elucidate the climatic evolution of Antarctica across one of the Earth's most pronounced biotic reorganizations at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, prior to major ice-sheet development in the late Paleogene. Our work emphasizes the likely existence of temporal and/or spatial heterogeneities in climate of the southern high latitudes during the early Paleogene.
Year of Publication: 2014
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Antarctic Peninsula; Antarctica; Cenozoic; Cretaceous; K-T boundary; Lithostratigraphy; Lopez de Bertodano Formation; Lower Paleocene; Mesozoic; Paleocene; Paleoclimatology; Paleogene; Paleotemperature; Reconstruction; Sedimentary rocks; Seymour Island; Sobral Formation; Stratigraphic boundary; Tertiary; Upper Cretaceous
Coordinates: S770000 S630000 W0563000 W0773000
Record ID: 2014104608
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