A new high-resolution chronology for the late Maastrichtian warming event: Establishing robust temporal links with the onset of Deccan volcanism
Geological Society of America
© 2017 The Authors. Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY license.
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 understanding 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.
Financial support for this research was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) to Ursula Röhl and Thomas Westerhold.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Geological Society of America via the DOI in this record.
Published online 12 December 2017