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TitleResponse of terrestrial climate to Cretaceous OAE2 observed in a sequence of Canadian Pacific coast
AuthorMuta, S; Hasegawa, T; Haggart, J
SourceJapan Geoscience Union Meeting 2015, abstracts; 2015 p. 1
Year2015
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20140562
PublisherJapan Geoscience Union
MeetingJapan Geoscience Union Meeting 2015; Chiba; JP; May 24-28, 2015
Lang.English
Mediapaper
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS103B/03; 103B/05; 103B/06; 103B/12; 103B/13; 103C/09; 103C/16; 103F/01; 103F/02; 103F/07; 103F/08; 103F/09; 103F/10; 103F/14; 103F/15; 103F/16; 103G/04; 103G/12; 103G/13; 103J/04; 103K/01; 103K/02; 103K/03
AreaQueen Charlotte Islands; Haida Gwaii; Kunghit Island; Kunga Island; Maude Island; Skidegate Inlet; Kennecott Point; Graham Island
Lat/Long WENS-133.5000 -130.7500 54.2500 52.0000
Subjectsenvironmental geology; climate; climatic fluctuations; carbon; Mesozoic; Cretaceous
ProgramFrontier basin analysis, Geoscience for New Energy Supply (GNES)
AbstractAcross the Cretaceous Cenomanian / Turonian (C/T) boundary interval, a short-term event characterized by sediments rich in organic matter dominated over extended area of various oceanic setting around the world. This pronounced oceanic event is called Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2). Considerable disturbance of global surface carbon circulation has been suggested during the event. Across the OAE2 interval, carbon isotope ratios of sedimentary organic carbon and carbonates show unique positive excursions, which are identified throughout the world. On the other hand, influence on the terrestrial environment during the event associated with the carbon cycle disturbance has been less discussed.
To understand the possible terrestrial climatic response related to this carbon cycle perturbation, Haida Gwaii, Pacific coast of western Canada, was studied. Limited macrofossils and carbon isotope stratigraphy well indicate the OAE2 interval through the section. Concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through continuous sequence in Haida Gwaii was evaluated as proxies for the terrestrial environment in the period of OAE2. Likely origin of PAHs in the sedimentary rocks is wildfire; terrestrial vegetation and/or soils can be the source. On the other hand, they can potentially be generated from thermal maturation. In the studied section, gradual increase of PAHs (pyrene, benzo(e)pyrene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene and benzo(ghi)perylene) content was observed within the OAE2 interval. Based on comparison of this increasing pattern with other thermal maturation indices (MPI-1, CPI), wildfire is concluded as the main origin of the PAHs. Increase of PAHs associated with OAE2 suggests the climate of the North American Pacific coast gradually turned into condition that is prone to induce frequent wildfire during the period of OAE2.
Haida Gwaii, presumably located around 35oN during the period of OAE2 (Ward et al., 1997) was dominated by the prevailing westerlies (Upchurch et al., 1999) whereas the latitude is seasonally controlled by subtropical high pressure belt (SHPB) at present. Hasegawa et al. (2013) suggested expansion-shrinkage oscillation of Hadley Cell associated with global climate during Cretaceous. Haida Gwaii located near the northern edge of SHPB could be a region sensitive to such Hadley Cell oscillation. Our observation of PAHs from the studied section could provide important information for discussion on Hadley Cell expansion under declining trend of climate associated with OAE2.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This is an abstract of a presentation to be made at an international scientific conference. The authors have studied the geochemistry of Cretaceous (about 100 million years old) organic-rich sedimentary rocks preserved on Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, and have identified geochemical patterns in the rock record there which can be correlated with global events associated with oceanic anoxia, or loss of dissolved oxygen. Global anoxia is often associated with accumulation of abundant organic matter on the ocean seafloors, which serves as the raw ingredient for petroleum. The authors suggest that the types of organic geochemical molecules present in the Cretaceous rocks of Haida Gwaii can be attributed to formation by large-scale wildfires on the adjacent continental landmass. Such organic-rich rocks are important to Canada's petroleum resource base.
GEOSCAN ID296227