Isotopic record across the Aptian/Albian boundary of ODP Hole 171-1049C, supplement to: Huber, Brian T; MacLeod, Kenneth G; Gröcke, Darren R; Kucera, Michal (2011): Paleotemperature and paleosalinity inferences and chemostratigraphy across the Aptian/Albian boundary in the subtropical North Atlantic. Paleoceanography, 26(4), PA4221


Geochemical analyses of extraordinarily well preserved late Aptian-early Albian foraminifera from Blake Nose (Ocean Drilling Program Site 1049) reveal rapid shifts of d18O, d13C, and 87Sr/88Sr in the subtropical North Atlantic that may be linked to a major planktic foraminifer extinction event across the Aptian/Albian boundary. The abruptness of the observed geochemical shifts and their coincidence with a sharp lithologic contact is explained as an artifact of a previously undetected hiatus of 0.8-1.4 million years at the boundary contact, but the values before and after the hiatus indicate that major oceanographic changes occurred at this time. 87Sr/88Sr increase by ~0.000200, d13C values decrease by 1.5 per mil to 2.2 per mil, and d18O values decrease by ~1.0 per mil (planktics) to 0.5 per mil (benthics) across the hiatus. Further, both 87Sr/88Sr ratios and d18O values during the Albian are anomalously high. The 87Sr/88Sr values deviate from known patterns to such a degree that an explanation requires either the presence of inter-basin differences in seawater 87Sr/88Sr during the Albian or revision of the seawater curve. For d18O, planktic values in some Aptian samples likely reflect a diagenetic overprint, but preservation is excellent in the rest of the section. In well preserved material, benthic foraminiferal values are largely between 0.5 and 0.0 per mil and planktic samples are largely between 0.0 per mil to -1.0 per mil, with a brief excursion to -2.0 per mil during OAE 1b. Using standard assumptions for Cretaceous isotopic paleotemperature calculations, the d18O values suggest bottom water temperatures (at ~1000 -1500 m) of 8-10°C and surface temperatures of 10-14°C, which are 4-6°C and 10-16°C cooler, respectively, than present-day conditions at the same latitude. The cool subtropical sea surface temperature estimates are especially problematic because other paleoclimate proxy data for the mid-Cretaceous and climate model predictions suggest that subtropical sea surface temperatures should have been the same as or warmer than at present. Because of their exquisite preservation, whole scale alteration of the analyzed foraminifera is an untenable explanation. Our proposed solution is a high evaporative fractionation factor in the early Albian North Atlantic that resulted in surface waters with higher d18O values at elevated salinities than commonly cited in Cretaceous studies. A high fractionation factor is consistent with high rates of vapor export and a vigorous hydrological cycle and, like the Sr isotopes, implies limited connectivity among the individual basins of the Early Cretaceous proto-Atlantic ocean.

Metadata Access
Creator Gröcke, Darren R;Kucera, Michal;Huber, Brian T;MacLeod, Kenneth G
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2011
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC-BY)
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets
Format application/zip
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (30N,76W)
Temporal Point 1997-01-16T11:59:59Z