Late Cretaceous Precessional Cycles in Double Time: A Warm-Earth Milankovitch Response

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Science  10 Sep 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5127, pp. 1431-1434
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5127.1431


Late Cretaceous climatic cycles are reflected in lithological and magnetic variations in carbonate sediments from South Atlantic Deep-Sea Drilling Project site 516F at a paleolatitude of roughly 30°S. Magnetic susceptibility cycles 20 to 60 centimeters in length appear to be controlled by the precession of the equinoxes. Cyclicity is particularly robust within a 24-meter interval in the lower Campanian, where overtone spectral peaks are observed as well as secondary susceptibility maxima within individual precession cycles. One model for this behavior is that sedimentation in the narrow Cretaceous South Atlantic was controlled by equatorial climate dynamics, with the precessional insolation signal rectified by the large land masses surrounding the ocean basin.