A new high-resolution chronology for the late Maastrichtian warming event: establishing robust temporal links with the onset of Deccan volcanism

James S. K. Barnet, Kate Littler, Dick Kroon, Melanie J. Leng, Thomas Westerhold, Ursula Röhl, James C. Zachos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

The late Maastrichtian warming event was defined by a global temperature
increase of ~2.5–5 °C that occurred ~150–300 k.y. before the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction. This transient warming event has traditionally been associated with a major pulse of Deccan Traps (west-central India) volcanism; however, large uncertainties associated with radiogenic dating methods have long hampered a definitive correlation. Here we present a new high-resolution, single species, benthic stable isotope record from the South Atlantic, calibrated to an updated orbitally tuned age model, to provide a revised
chronology of the event, which we then correlate to the latest radiogenic dates of the main Deccan Traps eruption phases. Our data reveal that the initiation of deep-sea warming coincides, within uncertainty, with the onset of the main phase of Deccan volcanism, strongly suggesting a causal link. The onset of deep-sea warming is synchronous with a 405 k.y. eccentricity minimum, excluding a control by orbital forcing alone, although amplified carbon cycle sensitivity to orbital precession is evident during the greenhouse warming. A more precise unnderstanding of Deccan-induced climate change paves the way for future work focusing on the fundamental role of these precursor climate shifts in the K-Pg mass extinction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-150
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume46
Issue number2
Early online date12 Dec 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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