Upper Cretaceous calcareous nannofossil assemblage changes and events evaluated on a Milankovitch cycle resolution

Supervisor: Michael Wagreich (Department of Geology)

Funding Situation: supervisor has secured funding

Project outline: The Upper Cretaceous witnessed maximum chalk deposition with the proliferation of calcareous nannoplankton such as coccoliths. This study aims at looking on distinct palaeoclimate and palaeoceanographic events like oceanic anoxic event 2 (OAE2, late Cenomanian-early Turonian), the mysterious oceanic anoxic event 3 (OAE3, Coniacian-Santonian), and other secondary carbon cycle events like the Santonian Campanian Boundary Event (SCBE) and the Late Campanian Event (LCE) at selected cyclic sections including deep sea drilling cores and pelagic land sections of the Tethys. The aim is to quantify, evaluate and interpret changes in nannofossil assemblages at a basic Milankovitch-scale resolution (precession/obliquity/short eccentricity cycles) during events from an ice-free mid-Cretaceous hothouse to normal greenhouse conditions with possible ice sheets. A quantitative nannofossil settling method and microscope counting will be used. In doing this task, taxonomic work on certain genera is needed including both light microscope and SEM analyses. In addition, isotope data will be analysed for the documentation and interpretation of palaeoenvironments, ice-induced salinity and palaeotemperature changes, and possible ocean currents turnover during these severe greenhouse climate events.