Cretaceous sea-surface temperature evolution; constraints from TEX86 and planktonic foraminiferal oxygen isotopes

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doi: 10.1016/j.earscirev.2017.07.012
Author(s): O'Brien, Charlotte L.; Robinson, Stuart A.; Pancost, Richard D.; Sinninghe Damste, Jaap S.; Schouten, Stefan; Lunt, Daniel J.; Alsenz, Heiko; Bornemann, André; Bottini, Cinzia; Brassell, Simon C.; Farnsworth, Alexander; Forster, Astrid; Huber, Brian T.; Inglis, Gordon N.; Jenkyns, Hugh C.; Linnert, Christian; Littler, Kate; Markwick, Paul; McAnena, Alison; Mutterlose, Jörg; Naafs, B. David A.; Püttmann, Wilhelm; Sluijs, Appy; van Helmond, Niels A. G. M.; Vellekoop, Johan; Wagner, Thomas; Wrobel, Neil E.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
University of Oxford, Department of Earth Sciences, Oxford, United Kingdom
University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research (NIOZ), Netherlands
Utrecht University, Netherlands
Goethe University, Germany
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, United States
Universität Leipzig, Germany
Universita di Milano, Italy
Indiana University, United States
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, United States
University College London, United Kingdom
Getech, United Kingdom
Newcastle University, United Kingdom
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
Volume Title: Earth-Science Reviews
Source: Earth-Science Reviews, Vol.172, p.224-247. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0012-8252 CODEN: ESREBW
Note: In English. Includes appendices. 231 refs.; illus., incl. 3 tables
Summary: It is well established that greenhouse conditions prevailed during the Cretaceous Period (≈ 145-66 Ma). Determining the exact nature of the greenhouse-gas forcing, climatic warming and climate sensitivity remains, however, an active topic of research. Quantitative and qualitative geochemical and palaeontological proxies provide valuable observational constraints on Cretaceous climate. In particular, reconstructions of Cretaceous sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) have been revolutionised firstly by the recognition that clay-rich sequences can host exceptionally preserved planktonic foraminifera allowing for reliable oxygen-isotope analyses and, secondly by the development of the organic palaeothermometer TEX86, based on the distribution of marine archaeal membrane lipids. Here we provide a new compilation and synthesis of available planktonic foraminiferal δ18O (δ18Opl) and TEX86-SST proxy data for almost the entire Cretaceous Period. The compilation uses SSTs recalculated from published raw data, allowing examination of the sensitivity of each proxy to the calculation method (e.g., choice of calibration) and places all data on a common timescale. Overall, the compilation shows many similarities with trends present in individual records of Cretaceous climate change. For example, both SST proxies and benthic foraminiferal δ18O records indicate maximum warmth in the Cenomanian-Turonian interval. Our reconstruction of the evolution of latitudinal temperature gradients (low, <±30°, minus higher, >±48°, palaeolatitudes) reveals temporal changes. In the Valanginian-Aptian, the low-to-higher mid-latitudinal temperature gradient was weak (decreasing from ∼10-17°C in the Valanginian, to ∼3-5°C in the Aptian, based on TEX86-SSTs). In the Cenomanian-Santonian, reconstructed latitudinal temperature contrasts are also small relative to modern (<14°C, based on low-latitude TEX86 and δ18Opl SSTs minus higher latitude δ18Opl SSTs, compared with ∼20°C for the modern). In the mid-Campanian to end-Maastrichtian, latitudinal temperature gradients strengthened (∼19-21°C, based on low-latitude TEX86 and δ18Opl SSTs minus higher latitude δ18Opl SSTs), with cooling occurring at low-, middle- and higher palaeolatitude sites, implying global surface-ocean cooling and/or changes in ocean heat transport in the Late Cretaceous. These reconstructed long-term trends are resilient, regardless of the choice of proxy (TEX86 or δ18Opl) or calibration. This new Cretaceous SST synthesis provides an up-to-date target for modelling studies investigating the mechanics of extreme climates.
Year of Publication: 2017
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 02 Geochemistry; 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Atlantic Ocean; Biochemistry; Calibration; Clastic sediments; Clay; Climate change; Climate forcing; Cretaceous; DSDP Site 249; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Foraminifera; Global change; Global warming; Glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers; Greenhouse gases; Indian Ocean; Invertebrates; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Leg 210; Leg 25; Marine environment; Marine sediments; Mesozoic; Microfossils; Models; Newfoundland Basin; North Atlantic; Northwest Atlantic; O-18/O-16; ODP Site 1276; Ocean Drilling Program; Organic compounds; Oxygen; Paleoclimatology; Paleoenvironment; Paleogeography; Paleolatitude; Paleotemperature; Planktonic taxa; Protists; Reconstruction; Sea-surface temperature; Sediments; Stable isotopes
Coordinates: S295700 S295659 E0360438 E0360437
Record ID: 2019041269
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands