Evidence from Svalbard for near-freezing temperatures and climate oscillations in the Arctic during the Paleocene and Eocene

Spielhagen, R. F. and Tripati, A. K. (2009) Evidence from Svalbard for near-freezing temperatures and climate oscillations in the Arctic during the Paleocene and Eocene. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology, 278 (1-4). pp. 48-56. ISSN 00310182 DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.04.012

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.04.012

Abstract

Until recently, the Arctic was assumed to be characterised by relatively warm conditions throughout the Early Cenozoic. However, recent investigations on deep-sea drilling cores from northern high latitudes, including the Arctic Ocean, give apparently contradicting results. Here we report the intermittent occurrence of certain temperature indicators in the Early Tertiary sedimentary sequence on Svalbard, which may represent the first direct northern high-latitude record of cold water temperatures for the early Cenozoic. Glendonites (calcite pseudomorphs after calcium carbonate hexahydrate) and erratics in otherwise fine-grained sediments require near-freezing temperatures and the presence of at least seasonal sea ice. This succession also contains coal seams and other warm climate indicators, but not on the same stratigraphical levels. These results imply the occurrence of cooling phases episodically during the warm background climate of the Paleocene and Eocene, suggesting that Arctic temperature variability was much greater than previously recognized.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 08AREP, IA58
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology
Volume: 278
Page Range: pp. 48-56
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.04.012
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2009 17:24
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:55
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1090

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