South Atlantic paleobathymetry since early Cretaceous

Lucia Perez Diaz, Graeme Eagles

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We present early Cretaceous to present paleobathymetric reconstructions and quantitative uncertainty estimates for the South Atlantic, offering a strong basis for studies of paleocirculation, paleoclimate and paleobiogeography. Circulation in an initially salty and anoxic ocean, restricted by the topography of the Falkland Plateau, Rio Grande Ridge and Walvis Rise, favoured deposition of thick evaporites in shallow water of the Brazilian-Angolan margins. This ceased as seafloor spreading propagated northwards, opening an equatorial gateway to shallow and intermediate circulation. This gateway, together with subsiding volcano-tectonic barriers would have played a key role in Late Cretaceous climate changes. Later deepening and widening of the South Atlantic, together with gateway opening at Drake Passage would lead, by mid-Miocene (∼15 Ma) to the establishment of modern-style thermohaline circulation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11819
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2017

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