Sclerochronological evidence of pronounced seasonality from the late Pliocene of the southern North Sea basin and its implications.

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From: Climate of the Past(Vol. 18, Issue 5)
Publisher: Copernicus GmbH
Document Type: Article
Length: 433 words

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Abstract :

Oxygen isotope ([delta].sup.18 O) sclerochronology of benthic marine molluscs provides a means of reconstructing the seasonal range in seafloor temperature, subject to use of an appropriate equation relating shell [delta].sup.18 O to temperature and water [delta].sup.18 O, a reasonably accurate estimation of water [delta].sup.18 O, and due consideration of growth-rate effects. Taking these factors into account, [delta].sup.18 O data from late Pliocene bivalves of the southern North Sea basin (Belgium and the Netherlands) indicate a seasonal seafloor range a little smaller than now in the area. Microgrowth-increment data from Aequipecten opercularis, together with the species composition of the bivalve assemblage and aspects of preservation, suggest a setting below the summer thermocline for all but the latest material investigated. This implies a higher summer temperature at the surface than on the seafloor and consequently a greater seasonal range. A reasonable (3 .sup." C) estimate of the difference between maximum seafloor and surface temperature under circumstances of summer stratification points to seasonal surface ranges in excess of the present value (12.4 .sup." C nearby). Using a model-derived estimate of water [delta].sup.18 O (0.0 0/00), summer surface temperature was initially in the cool temperate range (

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A705453146