The δ18O values of phosphatic microfossils recovered from NW Ireland are used to determine the timing and magnitude of cooling associated with the onset of the Carboniferous glaciation. Microfossil fish δ18Oapatite demonstrates a +2.4‰ (V-SMOW) shift, which, once corrected for δ18Oseawater changes owing to evolving ice volumes, equates to an approximate 4.5 °C reduction in equatorial sea surface temperature between the earliest Asbian and the mid-Brigantian (late Visean). Both conodont and microfossil fish δ18Oapatite indicate stabilization of an ‘icehouse’ climate during the Brigantian and into the Serpukhovian. Substantial late Visean cooling identified herein is in good agreement with global glacioeustatic records.
Further information on the palaeogeography, lithostratigraphy and palaeoenvironments of the sections examined as well as the sample composition and analytical methods of oxygen isotope analyses is available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18511.