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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 12, issue 2 | Copyright
Clim. Past, 12, 429-438, 2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 24 Feb 2016

Research article | 24 Feb 2016

Late Cretaceous (late Campanian–Maastrichtian) sea-surface temperature record of the Boreal Chalk Sea

Nicolas Thibault1, Rikke Harlou1, Niels H. Schovsbo2, Lars Stemmerik3, and Finn Surlyk1 Nicolas Thibault et al.
  • 1Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, Øster Voldgade 10, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 3Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5–7, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark

Abstract. The last 8Myr of the Cretaceous greenhouse interval were characterized by a progressive global cooling with superimposed cool/warm fluctuations. The mechanisms responsible for these climatic fluctuations remain a source of debate that can only be resolved through multi-disciplinary studies and better time constraints. For the first time, we present a record of very high-resolution (ca. 4.5kyr) sea-surface temperature (SST) changes from the Boreal epicontinental Chalk Sea (Stevns-1 core, Denmark), tied to an astronomical timescale of the late Campanian–Maastrichtian (74 to 66Ma). Well-preserved bulk stable isotope trends and calcareous nannofossil palaeoecological patterns from the fully cored Stevns-1 borehole show marked changes in SSTs. These variations correlate with deep-water records of climate change from the tropical South Atlantic and Pacific oceans but differ greatly from the climate variations of the North Atlantic. We demonstrate that the onset and end of the early Maastrichtian cooling and of the large negative Campanian–Maastrichtian boundary carbon isotope excursion are coincident in the Chalk Sea. The direct link between SSTs and δ13C variations in the Chalk Sea reassesses long-term glacio-eustasy as the potential driver of carbon isotope and climatic variations in the Maastrichtian.

Publications Copernicus
Short summary
We present here for the first time a very high-resolution record of sea-surface temperature changes in the Boreal Chalk Sea for the last 8 million years of the Cretaceous. This record was obtained from 1932 bulk oxygen isotope measurements, and their interpretation into temperature trends is validated by similar trends observed from changes in phytoplankton assemblages.
We present here for the first time a very high-resolution record of sea-surface temperature...