North-Central Section - 49th Annual Meeting (19-20 May 2015)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM


JONES, Matthew M., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Technological Institute, Rm. F374, Evanston, IL 60202, SAGEMAN, Bradley B., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Rd, Evanston, IL 60208, MA, Chao, Department of Geosience, University of Wisconsin Madison, Weeks Hall, 1215 W Dayton St, Madison, WI 53706 and MEYERS, Stephen R., Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin, 1215 West Dayton St, Madison, WI 53076,

Floating astronomical time scales (ATS), based on periodic variation in Earth’s orbital and rotational parameters (Milankovitch Cycles), provide precise durations for climatic, geochemical, and biotic events in Mesozoic strata, potentially with smaller uncertainty than radioisotopic geochronology. However, cyclostratigraphic analyses are limited to depositional environments where sediment geochemistry and/or lithological properties fluctuate in response to Milankovitch forcing. Many sequences of interest are therefore precluded from cyclostratigraphic analysis, and other quantitative stratigraphic techniques must be employed to develop chronostratigraphic frameworks. This research couples an ATS derived from cyclostratigraphic analysis with a high-resolution carbon isotope chemostratigraphy (δ13C) of the rhythmically bedded Turonian Stage at Demerara Rise (Tropical N. Atlantic ODP Leg 207 - Sites 1259 & 1261). Bulk organic carbon isotope (δ13Corg) and carbonate carbon isotope (δ13Ccarb) chemostratigraphies are presented for the Turonian, and durations between excursions are quantified. Combining both δ13Ccarb and δ13Corg chemostratigraphies aides in the construction of a δ13C reference curve that more accurately tracks δ13C of marine dissolved inorganic carbon, as divergence between the two records can indicate diagenesis or local overprinting. Additionally, the floating astronomical time scale is anchored to the refined Cenomanian-Turonian Boundary age (93.9±0.15 Ma) from the GSSP, and numerical ages are calculated for named Turonian δ13C excursions. Excursions in δ13C records can serve as correlative time horizons to develop robust chronostratigraphic frameworks in basins distant from the tropical reference site.

By coupling δ13C with cyclostratigraphy at suitable sites, durations between δ13C excursions can be assigned and time control can be exported globally. This approach provides geologists with the ability to confidently compare geographically separated sites that are coeval, and also yields better constraint on rates of change during important events in Earth history. Astronomically tuned δ13C stratigraphy is particularly suited for application in the Late Cretaceous due to δ13C fluctuations driven by intervals of accelerated organic carbon burial.