An expanded succession of organic-rich marlstones and limestones deposited in the Tarfaya Basin provides an outstanding opportunity to closely retrace climate evolution and sea-level changes during the Cretaceous greenhouse period. We present high-resolution X-ray fluorescence (XRF) scanning and bulk carbon- and oxygen-isotope records from two newly drilled sediment cores in the Tarfaya Atlantic coastal basin, which recovered a continuous Upper Turonian to Campanian succession of ∼290 m thickness. The XRF core scanning records reveal three long-term oscillations in the abundance of terrigenous elements (increase of Al, Ti, K, Si, and Fe normalized against Ca), which correspond to progressive transgressive phases followed by rapid regressions during the Coniacian and early Santonian. Sea-level highstands during this interval corresponding to the Coniacian–Santonian oceanic anoxic event 3 (OAE 3) are characterized by overall oxygen-depleted to anoxic conditions at the seafloor (indicated by the high organic carbon content, the presence of laminations, and low log[Mn/S], high log[V/Ca], and high log[Br/Ca]). The upper Santonian interval marks the transition from anoxic to oxic bottom-water conditions, prevalent through the early Campanian. The composite bulk carbonate δ13C curve exhibits strong similarities to the global stacked δ13C reference curve, characterized by negative excursions in the early Coniacian (Navigation and East Cliff events) and late Santonian (bracketed by the Haven Brow and Buckle events) and by positive excursions in the latest Turonian (Hitchwood event), middle Coniacian (Wight Fall event), and at the Santonian-Campanian boundary. During the early Campanian, enhanced accumulation of fine-grained carbonate and clay-rich hemipelagic sediments, increasing bulk carbonate δ18O, and low log(Br/Ca) and log(V/Ca) values indicate climate cooling, associated with a substantial improvement in bottom-water ventilation. Two long-term δ13C cycles of ∼2 m.y. duration, probably related to variations in Earth’s orbital eccentricity, are associated with the long-term cooling trend initiating the Campanian–Maastrichtian climate transition toward a cool greenhouse state.

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