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Mediterranean Late Cenozoic Stable Isotope Record: Stratigraphic and Paleoclimatic Implications

  • Colette Vergnaud-Grazzini

Abstract

Ocean evolution during the past 100 million years (m.y.) has involved the replacement of warm Cretaceous oceans and seas by cold Neogene oceans, the closure of the Tethys, a major circum-tropical ocean, and the development of a circum-polar ocean and a north-south axis linking the Arctic with a southern ocean. The response of the Tethys (then the Mesogean and subsequently the Mediterranean) to this global climatic evolution would likely have been a specific one. Information on this climatic history is obtained by comparing the evolution of geochemical parameters, as recorded in deep-sea sediments, in the Tethys—or Mediterranean—and in the Atlantic. Among others, carbon and oxygen isotopes in marine carbonates have proved to be an indispensable tool for climatic reconstruction. Additional characteristic isotopic events have been identified that are synchronous on a world-wide scale and can serve as stratigraphie markers. These isotopic events are generally linked with paleoclimatic or hydrologie changes. The δ18O variations are controlled by temperature changes and/or ice formation on land and at the poles; among the important factors affecting the distribution of δ13C of the total dissolved inorganic carbon in the world ocean is the apparent oxygen utilization (related to the progressive oxidation of organic matter). In deep waters, longer residence time favors the addition of δ13C-depleted carbon to the dissolved bicarbonate by the oxidation of organic matter and accounts for the relation between the residence time of deep water masses and the δ13C values of the ΣCO2 (the greater the residence time, the lower the δ13C of the ΣCO2).

Keywords

Oxygen Isotope Carbon Isotopic Composition Benthic Foraminifera Oxygen Isotopic Composition Planktonic Foraminifera 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colette Vergnaud-Grazzini
    • 1
  1. 1.Département de Géologie DynamiqueUniversité Pierre et Marie CurieParisFrance

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