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Temperature curves of the upper Cretaceous in Europe


, : Temperature curves of the upper Cretaceous in Europe. Geologische Rundschau 54(1): 270-317

The curve constructed for the temperatures of the upper Cretaceous seas (Lowenstam & Epstein 1954; Bowen 1961) based on the (super 16) O: (super 18) O ratios shows a temperature optimum in Coniacian-Santonian time, but lower temperatures in Cenomanian and upper Maastrichtian time. These climatic changes ought to be visible in the faunistic composition within the different stages of the upper Cretaceous too. Strangely, however, judging from the distribution of mediterranean faunal elements in the boreal and central European faunal provinces respectively, this seems not to be the case. Larger foraminifera, reef corals, rudistids, and other inhabitants of warm water are most widespread outside of the Tethys during Cenomanian and upper Maastrichtian time. The distribution of Globotruncana gives no uniform picture, but the former conception of their gradual retreat towards the south from Coniacian-Santonian to upper Maastrichtian time must be revised.

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