skip to main content

Attention:

The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.


Title: Expedition 369 Scientific Prospectus: Australia Cretaceous Climate and Tectonics
The unique tectonic and paleoceanographic setting of the Naturaliste Plateau (NP) and Mentelle Basin (MB) offers an outstanding opportunity to investigate a range of scientific issues of global importance with particular relevance to climate change. Previous spot-core drilling at Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 258 in the western MB demonstrates the presence of an expanded upper Albian–lower Campanian chalk, marl, and claystone sequence that is nearly complete stratigraphically and yields calcareous microfossils that are mostly well preserved. This sediment package and the underlying Albian volcanic claystone unit extend across most of the MB and are targeted at the primary sites, located between 850 and 3900 m water depth. Coring the Cretaceous MB sequence at different paleodepths will allow recovery of material suitable for generating paleotemperature and biotic records that span the rise and collapse of the Cretaceous hothouse (including oceanic anoxic Events [OAEs] 1d and 2), providing insight to resultant changes in deep-water and surface water circulation that can be used to test predictions from earth system models. The high-paleolatitude (60°–62°S) location of the sites is especially important because of the enhanced sensitivity to changes in vertical gradients and surface water temperatures. Paleotemperature proxies and other data will reveal the timing, magnitude, and duration of peak hothouse temperatures and whether there were any cold snaps that would have allowed growth of a polar ice sheet. The sites are also well-positioned to monitor the mid-Eocene–early Oligocene opening of the Tasman Gateway and the Miocene–Pliocene restriction of the Indonesian Gateway; both passages have important effects on global oceanography and climate. Comparison of the Cenomanian–Turonian OAE 2 interval that will be cored on the Great Australian Bight will establish whether significant changes in ocean circulation were coincident with OAE 2, and over what depth ranges, and whether OAE 2 in the high-latitude Southern Hemisphere was coincident with major changes in sea-surface temperature. Understanding the paleoceanographic changes in a regional context will provide a global test on models of Cenomanian–Turonian oceanographic and climatic evolution related both to extreme Turonian warmth and the evolution of OAE 2. Drilling of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks and underlying Jurassic(?) sediments in different parts of the MB will provide information on the timing of different stages of the Gondwana breakup and the nature of the various phases of volcanism, which will lead to an improved understanding of the evolution of the NP and MB.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1326927
NSF-PAR ID:
10230616
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Scientific prospectus
Volume:
369
ISSN:
2332-1385
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    The tectonic and paleoceanographic setting of the Great Australian Bight (GAB) and the Mentelle Basin (MB; adjacent to Naturaliste Plateau) offered an outstanding opportunity to investigate Cretaceous and Cenozoic climate change and ocean dynamics during the last phase of breakup among remnant Gondwana continents. Sediment recovered from sites in both regions during International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369 will provide a new perspective on Earth’s temperature variation at sub-polar latitudes (60°–62°S) across the extremes of the mid-Cretaceous hot greenhouse climate and the cooling that followed. The primary goals of the expedition were to • Investigate the timing and causes for the rise and collapse of the Cretaceous hot greenhouse climate and how this climate mode affected the climate-ocean system and oceanic biota; • Determine the relative roles of productivity, ocean temperature, and ocean circulation at high southern latitudes during Cretaceous oceanic anoxic events (OAEs); • Identify the main source regions for deep-water and intermediate-water masses in the southeast Indian Ocean and how these changed during Gondwana breakup; • Characterize how oceanographic conditions at the MB changed during the Cenozoic opening of the Tasman Passage and restriction of the Indonesian Gateway; • Resolve questions on the volcanic and sedimentary origins of the Australo-Antarctic Gulf and Mentelle Basin and provide stratigraphic control on the age and nature of the prebreakup successions. Hole U1512A in the GAB recovered a 691 m thick sequence of black claystone ranging from the early Turonian to the early Campanian. Age control is primarily based on calcareous nannofossils, but the presence of other microfossil groups provided consistent but low-resolution control. Despite the lithologic uniformity, long- and short-term variations in natural gamma ray and magnetic susceptibility intensities show cyclic alternations that suggest an orbital control of sediment deposition that will be useful for developing an astrochronology for the sequence. Sites U1513–U1516 were drilled between 850 and 3900 m water depth in the MB and penetrated 774, 517, 517, and 542 meters below seafloor (mbsf), respectively. Under a thin layer of Pleistocene–upper Miocene sediment, Site U1513 cored a succession of Cretaceous units from the Campanian to the Valanginian. Site U1514 sampled an expanded Pleistocene–Eocene sequence and terminated in the upper Albian. The Cenomanian–Turonian interval at Site U1514 recovered deformed sedimentary rocks that probably represent a detachment zone. Site U1515 is located on the west Australian margin at 850 m water depth and was the most challenging site to core because much of the upper 350 m was either chert or poorly consolidated sand. However, the prebreakup Jurassic(?) sediments interpreted from the seismic profiles were successfully recovered. Site U1516 cored an expanded Pleistocene, Neogene, and Paleogene section and recovered a complete Cenomanian/Turonian boundary interval containing five layers with high total organic carbon content. Recovery of well-preserved calcareous microfossil assemblages from different paleodepths will enable generation of paleotemperature and biotic records that span the rise and collapse of the Cretaceous hot greenhouse (including OAEs 1d and 2), providing insight to resultant changes in deep-water and surface water circulation that can be used to test predictions from earth system models. Paleotemperature proxies and other data will reveal the timing, magnitude, and duration of peak hothouse temperatures and any cold snaps that could have allowed growth of a polar ice sheet. The sites will also record the mid-Eocene–early Oligocene opening of the Tasman Gateway and the Miocene–Pliocene restriction of the Indonesian Gateway; both passages have important effects on global oceanography and climate. Understanding the paleoceanographic changes in a regional context provides a global test on models of Cenomanian–Turonian oceanographic and climatic evolution related both to extreme Turonian warmth and the evolution of OAE 2. The Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks and underlying Jurassic(?) sediments cored in different parts of the MB provide information on the timing of different stages of the Gondwana breakup. The recovered cores provide sufficient new age constraints to underpin a reevaluation of the basin-wide seismic stratigraphy and tectonic models for the region. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    The tectonic and paleoceanographic setting of the Great Australian Bight (GAB) and the Mentelle Basin (adjacent to Naturaliste Plateau) offered an opportunity to investigate Cretaceous and Cenozoic climate change and ocean dynamics during the last phase of breakup among remnant Gondwana continents. Sediment recovered from sites in both regions during International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 369 will provide a new perspective on Earth’s temperature variation at subpolar latitudes (60°–62°S) across the extremes of the mid-Cretaceous hot greenhouse climate and the cooling that followed. Basalts and prebreakup sediments were also recovered and will provide constraints regarding the type and age of the Mentelle Basin basement and processes operating during the break up of Gondwana. The primary goals of the expedition were to 1. Investigate the timing and causes for the rise and collapse of the Cretaceous hot greenhouse climate and how this climate mode affected the climate–ocean system and oceanic biota; 2. Determine the relative roles of productivity, ocean temperature, and ocean circulation at high southern latitudes during Cretaceous oceanic anoxic events (OAEs); 3. Investigate potential source regions for deep-water and intermediate-water masses in the southeast Indian Ocean and how these changed during Gondwana breakup; 4. Characterize how oceanographic conditions at the Mentelle Basin changed during the Cenozoic opening of the Tasman Gateway and restriction of the Indonesian Gateway; and 5. Resolve questions on the volcanic and sedimentary origins of the Australo-Antarctic Gulf and Mentelle Basin and provide stratigraphic control on the age and nature of the prebreakup successions. Hole U1512A in the GAB recovered a 691 m thick sequence of black claystone ranging from the lower Turonian to the lower Campanian. Age control is primarily based on calcareous nannofossils, but the presence of other microfossil groups provided consistent low-resolution control. Despite the lithologic uniformity, long- and short-term variations in natural gamma radiation and magnetic susceptibility show cyclic alternations that suggest an orbital control of sediment deposition, which will be useful for developing an astrochronology for the sequence. Sites U1513, U1514, U1515, and U1516 were drilled in water depths between 850 and 3900 m in the Mentelle Basin and penetrated 774, 517, 517, and 542 meters below seafloor, respectively. Under a thin layer of Pleistocene to upper Miocene sediment, Site U1513 cored a succession of Cretaceous units from the Campanian to the Valanginian, as well as a succession of basalts. Site U1514 sampled an expanded Pleistocene to Eocene sequence and terminated in the upper Albian. The Cenomanian to Turonian interval at Site U1514 is represented by deformed sedimentary rocks that probably represent a detachment zone. Site U1515 is located on the west Australian margin at 850 m water depth and was the most challenging site to core because much of the upper 350 m was either chert or poorly consolidated sand. However, the prebreakup Jurassic(?) sediments interpreted from the seismic profiles were successfully recovered. Site U1516 cored an expanded Pleistocene, Neogene, and Paleogene section and recovered a complete Cenomanian/Turonian boundary interval containing five layers with high organic carbon content. Study of the well-preserved calcareous microfossil assemblages from different paleodepths will enable generation of paleotemperature and biotic records that span the rise and collapse of the Cretaceous hot greenhouse (including OAEs 1d and 2), providing insight to resultant changes in deep-water and surface water circulation that can be used to test predictions from earth system models. Measurements of paleotemperature proxies and other data will reveal the timing, magnitude, and duration of peak hothouse conditions and any cold snaps that could have allowed growth of a polar ice sheet. The sites contain a record of the mid-Eocene to early Oligocene opening of the Tasman Gateway and the Miocene to Pliocene restriction of the Indonesian Gateway; both passages have important effects on global oceanography and climate. Advancing understanding of the paleoceanographic changes in a regional context will provide a global test on models of Cenomanian to Turonian oceanographic and climatic evolution related both to extreme Turonian warmth and the evolution of OAE 2. The Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks and underlying Jurassic(?) sediments cored in different parts of the Mentelle Basin provide information on the timing of different stages of the Gondwana breakup. The recovered cores provide sufficient new age constraints to underpin a reevaluation of the basin-wide seismic stratigraphy and tectonic models for the region. 
    more » « less
  3. International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 369 recovered pelagic sediments spanning the Albian to Pleistocene at Sites U1513, U1514, and U1516. The cores provide an opportunity to determine paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic dynamics from a hitherto poorly sampled mid-high-latitude location across an ~110 My interval, beginning during the Cretaceous supergreenhouse when eastern Gondwana was still largely assembled and ending during the modern icehouse climate after the final breakup of Gondwana. Here we present ~650 bulk carbonate carbon and oxygen stable isotope data points and plot them alongside shipboard data sets to present a first broad documentation of chemostratigraphic data that reveal the stratigraphic position of key climatic transitions and events at Sites U1513, U1514, and U1516. These records show a pronounced long-term δ13C decrease and δ18O increase from the Albian/Cenomanian through the Pleistocene. Superimposed on this long-term trend are transient δ13C and δ18O events correlated with Oceanic Anoxic Event 2, peak Cretaceous warmth during the Turonian, Santonian to Maastrichtian cooling, the Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum, the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum, the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum, and the Eocene–Oligocene transition. Recognizing these isotopic events confirms and refines shipboard interpretations and, more importantly, demonstrates the suitability of Sites U1513, U1514, and U1516 for future high-resolution paleoceanographic works aimed at illuminating the links between tectonic and oceanographic dynamics and global versus local environmental changes. 
    more » « less
  4. Jacobson, A. (Ed.)
    Ocean anoxic events (OAE) are characterized by increased organic content of marine sediment on a global scale with accompanying positive excursions in sedimentary organic and inorganic d 13C values. To sustain the increased C exports and burial required to explain the C isotope excursion, increased supplies of nutrients to the oceans are often invoked during ocean anoxic events. The potential source of nutrients in these events is investigated in this study for Oceanic Anoxic Event 2, which spans the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. Massive eruptions of one or more Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are the proposed trigger for OAE 2. The global warming associated with volcanogenic loading of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has been associated with increased continental weathering rates during OAE 2, and by extension, enhanced nutrient supplies to the oceans. Seawater interactions with hot basalts at LIP eruption sites can further deliver ferrous iron and other reduced metals to seawater that can stimulate increased productivity in surface waters and increased oxygen demand in deep waters. The relative importance of continental and submarine weathering drivers of expanding ocean anoxia during OAE 2 are difficult to disentangle. In this paper, a box model of the marine Sr cycle is used to constrain the timing and relative magnitudes of changes in the continental weathering and hydrothermal Sr fluxes to the oceans during OAE 2 using a new high-resolution record of seawater 87Sr/86Sr ratios preserved in a marl-limestone succession from the Iona-1 core collected from the Eagle Ford Formation in Texas. The results show that seawater 87Sr/86Sr ratios change synchronously with Os isotope evidence for the onset of massive LIP volcanism 60 kyr before the positive C isotope excursion that traditionally marks the onset of OAE 2. The higher temporal resolution of the seawater Sr isotope record presented in this study warrants a detailed quantitative analysis of the changes in continental weathering and hydrothermal Sr inputs to the oceans during OAE 2. Using an ocean Sr box model, it is found that increasing the continental weathering Sr flux by  1.8-times captures the change in seawater 87Sr/86Sr recorded in the Iona-1 core. The increase in the continental weathering flux is smaller than the threefold increase estimated by studies of seawater Ca isotope changes during OAE 2, suggesting that hydrothermal forcing may have played a larger role in the development of ocean anoxic events than previously considered. 
    more » « less
  5. Jacobson, A. (Ed.)
    Ocean anoxic events (OAE) are characterized by increased organic content of marine sediment on a global scale with accompanying positive excursions in sedimentary organic and inorganic d 13C values. To sustain the increased C exports and burial required to explain the C isotope excursion, increased supplies of nutrients to the oceans are often invoked during ocean anoxic events. The potential source of nutrients in these events is investigated in this study for Oceanic Anoxic Event 2, which spans the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. Massive eruptions of one or more Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) are the proposed trigger for OAE 2. The global warming associated with volcanogenic loading of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere has been associated with increased continental weathering rates during OAE 2, and by extension, enhanced nutrient supplies to the oceans. Seawater interactions with hot basalts at LIP eruption sites can further deliver ferrous iron and other reduced metals to seawater that can stimulate increased productivity in surface waters and increased oxygen demand in deep waters. The relative importance of continental and submarine weathering drivers of expanding ocean anoxia during OAE 2 are difficult to disentangle. In this paper, a box model of the marine Sr cycle is used to constrain the timing and relative magnitudes of changes in the continental weathering and hydrothermal Sr fluxes to the oceans during OAE 2 using a new high-resolution record of seawater 87Sr/86Sr ratios preserved in a marl-limestone succession from the Iona-1 core collected from the Eagle Ford Formation in Texas. The results show that seawater 87Sr/86Sr ratios change synchronously with Os isotope evidence for the onset of massive LIP volcanism 60 kyr before the positive C isotope excursion that traditionally marks the onset of OAE 2. The higher temporal resolution of the seawater Sr isotope record presented in this study warrants a detailed quantitative analysis of the changes in continental weathering and hydrothermal Sr inputs to the oceans during OAE 2. Using an ocean Sr box model, it is found that increasing the continental weathering Sr flux by 1.8-times captures the change in seawater 87Sr/86Sr recorded in the Iona-1 core. The increase in the continental weathering flux is smaller than the threefold increase estimated by studies of seawater Ca isotope changes during OAE 2, suggesting that hydrothermal forcing may have played a larger role in the development of ocean anoxic events than previously considered. 
    more » « less