A “Strangelove” Ocean in the Earliest Tertiary

  1. E.T. Sundquist and
  2. W.S. Broecker
  1. Kenneth J. Hsü and
  2. Judith A. Mckenzie

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM032p0487

The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present

The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present

How to Cite

Hsü, K. J. and Mckenzie, J. A. (1985) A “Strangelove” Ocean in the Earliest Tertiary, in The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO: Natural Variations Archean to Present (eds E.T. Sundquist and W.S. Broecker), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM032p0487

Author Information

  1. Geological Institute, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, CH-8092 Zürich

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1985

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900605

Online ISBN: 9781118664322

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Keywords:

  • Carbon cycle (Biogeochemistry)—Congresses;
  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide—Congresses;
  • Geological time—Congresses;
  • Paleothermometry—Congresses;
  • Geology, Stratigraphic—Congresses

Summary

A decrease of up to 3°/oo in the δ13 C values of planktic skeletons has been systematically observed across the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary; the benthic skeletons show no corresponding changes. We interpret this decrease as a manifestation of the elimination of the surface-to-bottom carbon isotope gradient in ocean waters at a time when carbon fractionation by a photosynthesis-respiration mechanism became ineffective. A concurrent release of excess CO2 from a nearly barren ocean to the atmosphere could have caused global warming.