Tracing the Biotic Response to Tropical Climate Change in An Evolving Ice House: A Pennsylvanian DETELO
Pennsylvanian sediments accumulated during an ice-house interval and reflect Milankovitch band glacial advance and retreat. Treated as high-frequency sequences delineated by a detailed microfossil database (conodonts, fusulinids, palynomorphs), marine and terrestrial records can be linked for detailed analyses of the biotic response to fluctuating sea-levels and changes in tropical climate. Many Pennsylvanian marine shales have authigenic apatite nodules, potentially amenable to radiometric age dating using the uranium-lead isotope system. There are few, if any, absolute ages on these North American sediments, and new age constraints will aid in the development of accurate global correlations. Pennsylvanian ice sheet volume changed over time; during some intervals it may have disappeared. Size changes in the ice sheet probably drove changes in paleotropical rainfall, from relatively dry (mid-Moscovian) to wet (late Moscovian) back to relatively dry (Kasimovian). This DETELO will explore the response of tropical Pennsylvanian biotas to climate change driven by changes in polar ice volume. How did fluctuations in tropical rainfall affect terrestrial decomposition, organic carbon accumulation, nutrient supply to marine shelves and organic carbon burial in marine environments? How did Pennsylvanian marine fauna respond?