Abstract

Detailed multitaxon stable isotope (δ18O and δ13C) data from Blake Nose (western North Atlantic) argue against a mid-Cenomanian glaciation event during the mid-Cretaceous greenhouse. Results generated are precisely correlated to sea-level changes inferred from European sequence stratigraphy using the twin δ13C excursions mid-Cenomanian event (MCE) Ia and MCE Ib. Microfossils analyzed (surface-dwelling to deep-dwelling planktonic foraminifera, benthic foraminifera, coccoliths) show remarkably consistent intertaxon δ18O and δ13C offsets; comparative scanning electron microscope and Sr/Ca analyses allow some δ18O data to be eliminated because of selective diagenesis. Across MCE Ia, the proposed interval of major glacioeustatic regression, the planktonic δ18O values are constant for each taxon. The absence of a mean seawater δ18O shift contradicts predictions for the mid-Cenomanian glaciation episode. The benthic δ18O records show significant fluctuations during MCE I, implying short-term variability in North Atlantic intermediate-water and deep-water circulation patterns and/or sources at that time.

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