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Late Cretaceous winter sea ice in Antarctica?

Vanessa C. Bowman, Jane E. Francis and James B. Riding
Late Cretaceous winter sea ice in Antarctica?
Geology (Boulder) (October 2013) 41 (12): 1227-1230


The Late Cretaceous is considered to have been a time of greenhouse climates, although evidence from Maastrichtian sediments for rapid and significant sea-level changes suggests that ice sheets were growing and decaying on Antarctica at that time. There is no direct geological evidence for glaciation, but we present palynomorph records from Seymour Island, Antarctica, that may suggest Maastrichtian sea ice. The dinoflagellate cyst Impletosphaeridium clavus is dominant. We propose that its profusion may signify the accumulation of resting cysts from dinoflagellate blooms related to winter sea ice decay. Prior to the Cretaceous-Paleogene transition, I. clavus decreased dramatically in abundance; we link this with climate warming. Terrestrial conditions inferred from pollen and spore data are consistent with our climate interpretations based on I. clavus together with delta (super 18) O values from macrofossils. These data and our interpretation support the presence of ephemeral ice sheets on Antarctica during the latest Cretaceous, highlighting the extreme sensitivity of this region to global climate change.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 41
Serial Issue: 12
Title: Late Cretaceous winter sea ice in Antarctica?
Affiliation: University of Leeds, School of Earth and Environment, Leeds, United Kingdom
Pages: 1227-1230
Published: 20131016
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 35
Accession Number: 2013-084969
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2013345
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch map
S64°19'00" - S64°19'00", W56°43'60" - W56°43'60"
Secondary Affiliation: British Geological Survey, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201350
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