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Journal Article

Terrestrial climate in mid-latitude East Asia from the latest Cretaceous to the earliest Paleogene: A multiproxy record from the Songliao Basin in northeastern China


Caves Rugenstein,  Jeremy K.
Global Vegetation Modelling, The Land in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Gao, Y., Ibarra, D. E., Caves Rugenstein, J. K., Chen, J., Kukla, T., Methner, K., et al. (2021). Terrestrial climate in mid-latitude East Asia from the latest Cretaceous to the earliest Paleogene: A multiproxy record from the Songliao Basin in northeastern China. Earth-Science Reviews, 216: 103572. doi:10.1016/j.earscirev.2021.103572.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-7C99-1
From the latest Cretaceous (late Campanian to Maastrichtian, -75?66 Ma) to the earliest Paleogene, fluctuations in greenhouse climate, inferred primarily from marine sediments, have been linked to volcanism, the Chicxulub asteroid impact, and the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) mass extinction. In this paper, we summarize terrestrial climate records in mid-latitude East Asia during the latest Cretaceous and across the K-Pg boundary, based on a multi-proxy approach from the geochronologically well-constrained Sifangtai and Mingshui formations (SMF), accessed by scientific drilling of the Songliao Basin in northeastern China. Evolution of sedimentary environments is characterized by five depositional units of fluvial-deltaic-lacustrine facies. Development of four types of paleosols, including Inceptisols, Aridisols, Vertisols and Alfisols, is interpreted to primarily reflect climatic changes. Correlations among sedimentary facies, paleosol features, illite chemistry index, chemical index of alteration, as well as stable and clumped isotopes of pedogenic carbonates and clay minerals of the SMF validate their reliability for paleoclimate reconstruction, and indicate significant fluctuations in terrestrial climate and sedimentary environment. During global warming intervals possibly triggered by volcanism (e.g. -69.5?68.5 Ma), the Songliao Basin experienced a warmer and wetter climate with stronger terrestrial chemical weathering and more monsoon-derived moisture sourced from the Pacific. In contrast, during global cooling intervals (e.g. -70.5?69.5 Ma and - 68.5?66.5 Ma), the SMF record a cooler and drier climate with less intensive chemical weathering and more westerlies-derived moisture. Across the K-Pg boundary, dramatic changes in land temperatures and hydroclimate correspond to the latest Maastrichtian warming episode (-66.4?66.1 Ma), the transient cooling preceding the K-Pg boundary (-66.1?66.0 Ma), and the earliest Paleogene warming interval (-66.0?65.7 Ma). Temporal correlation of weathering index changes with the Deccan Traps volcanism suggests that volcanism and subsequent intensified weathering played a major role for climatic changes across the K-Pg boundary. The integrated records of sedimentological and geochemical datasets from the Songliao Basin robustly demonstrate that the terrestrial climate of mid-latitude East Asia responded strongly to greenhouse climate changes and to the catastrophic geological events from the latest Cretaceous to the earliest Paleogene.