Late Cretaceous paleosols as paleoclimate proxies of high-latitude Southern Hemisphere: Mata Amarilla Formation, Patagonia, Argentina

Augusto N. Varela, M. Sol Raigemborn, Sebastián Richiano, Tim White, Daniel G. Poiré, Sabrina Lizzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although there is general consensus that a global greenhouse climate characterized the mid-Cretaceous, details of the climate state of the mid-Cretaceous Southern Hemisphere are less clearly understood. In particular, continental paleoclimate reconstructions are scarce and exclusively derived from paleontological records. Using paleosol-derived climofunction studies of the mid- to Upper Cretaceous Mata Amarilla Formation, southern Patagonia, Argentina, we present a reconstruction of the mid-Cretaceous climate of southern South America. Our results indicate that at ~ 60° south paleolatitude during the Cenomanian–Santonian stages, the climate was subtropical temperate–warm (12 °C ± 2.1 °C) and humid (1404 ± 108 mm/yr) with marked rainfall seasonality. These results are consistent with both previous estimations from the fossil floras of the Mata Amarilla Formation and other units of the Southern Hemisphere, and with the previous observations of the displacement of tropical and subtropical floras towards the poles in both hemispheres. The data presented here show a more marked seasonality and slightly lower mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature values than those recorded at the same paleolatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalSedimentary Geology
Volume363
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy

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