Abstract

Oxygen and carbon isotope data from Cretaceous (Valanginian) glendonites and belemnites from Arctic Svalbard are presented. Oxygen isotope data from well-preserved glendonites, in conjunction with the ikaite to glendonite pseudomorph transition temperature, are used to provide an estimate of the oxygen isotope composition of ambient seawater. Calculation of such a factor is essential for robust paleotemperature estimates. Using this methodology, our paleotemperatures calculated from the oxygen isotope compositions of coexisting belemnites yield cool temperatures (4–7 °C) consistent with transient glacial polar conditions during the Cretaceous greenhouse. Cool polar temperatures during the Cretaceous help reconcile geologic data with the simulations of general circulation models. Nevertheless, beyond this postulated and transient cool event within the Valanginian, the remainder of the isotope data are interpretable in terms of warm polar conditions during the Cretaceous greenhouse.

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