Abstract

Although there is an emerging consensus about global climate patterns during the Cretaceous, details about the climate in Australia at this time are poorly resolved, and estimates for terrestrial climate are scarce. Using Climate Leaf Analysis Multivariate Program (CLAMP) and Bioclimatic Analysis (BA) on plant fossils from the mid- to Upper Cretaceous Winton Formation, central-western Queensland, and working within the context of global paleoclimatic reconstructions and the vertebrate fauna from this unit, we have improved the temporal and geographic resolution of Australia's Cretaceous climate. During the time that the Cenomanian–Turonian portion of the Winton Formation was deposited, the climate in central-western Queensland was warm, wet, and relatively equable. Frost would have been extremely uncommon, if it occurred at all, and much of the year would have been favorable for plant growth. These results are consistent with both previous isotope records for northern Australia, and the fauna of the Winton Formation, and are in keeping with current reconstructions of global Cretaceous climates.

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