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

David B. Kemp*, Stuart A. Robinson, J. Alistair Crame, Jane E. Francis, Jon Ineson, Rowan J. Whittle, Vanessa Bowman, Charlotte O'Brien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Constraining past fl uctuations 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 macrofl oral 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 icesheet 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-586
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume42
Issue number7
Early online date22 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

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