New insights into Cenomanian paleoceanography and climate evolution from the Tarfaya Basin, southern Morocco.

Beil, Sebastian, Kuhnt, Wolfgang, Holbourn, Ann E., Aquit, Mohamed, Flögel, Sascha, Chellai, El Hassane and Jabour, Haddou (2018) New insights into Cenomanian paleoceanography and climate evolution from the Tarfaya Basin, southern Morocco. Open Access Cretaceous Research, 84 . pp. 451-473. DOI 10.1016/j.cretres.2017.11.006.

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Supplementary data:



• Complete upper Albian to early Turonian climate archive in drilled core from Tarfaya Basin.
• Eccentricity pacing of mid Cretaceous OAE isotope excursions.
• MCE and OAE2 associated with climate cooling and sea level fall.


A 325 m long continuous succession of uppermost Albian to lower Turonian pelagic (outer shelf) deposits was recovered from a new drill site in the central part of the Tarfaya Basin (southern Morocco). Natural gamma ray wireline logging, carbonate and organic carbon content, bulk carbonate and organic carbon stable isotopes and X-ray fluorescence (XRF)-scanner derived elemental distribution data in combination with planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy indicate complete recovery of the Cenomanian Stage. This exceptional sediment archive allows to identify orbitally driven cyclic sedimentation patterns and to evaluate the pacing of climatic events and regional environmental change across the Albian-Cenomanian boundary (ACB), the mid-Cenomanian Event (MCE) and Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2) in the latest Cenomanian. The deposition of organic-rich sediments in the Tarfaya Basin, likely driven by upwelling of nutrient-rich water masses, started during the latest Albian and intensified in two major steps following the MCE and the onset of OAE2. The duration and structure of the MCE and OAE2 carbon isotope excursions exhibit striking similarities, suggesting common driving mechanisms and climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. Both events were also associated with eustatic sea level falls, expressed as prominent sequence boundaries in the Tarfaya Basin. Based on the 405 kyr signal imprinted on the Natural Gamma Ray (NGR) and XRF-scanner derived Log(Zr/Rb) records, we estimate the duration of the Cenomanian Stage to be 4.8 ± 0.2 Myr.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2), mid-Cenomanian Event (MCE), Cenomanian, Cyclostratigraphy, Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ)
Research affiliation: OceanRep > SFB 754 > A7
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-MG Marine Geosystems
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
OceanRep > SFB 754
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
Publisher: Elsevier
Projects: SFB754, Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 12:04
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 07:36

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