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Title: Cretaceous polar climates

Abstract

The Cretaceous, like most Phanerozooic periods, was characterized by ice-free poles. Some still argue that the glacier and sea ice were there, and that the tillites, etc, have been eroded or remain undiscovered. However, diverse floras, dense forests, coal-forming cypress swamps, and dinosaurs, crocodilians, and lungfish are known from areas that were certainly at 75/sup 0/-80/sup 0/ north and south paleolatitude in the Cretaceous, implying that the coastal basins did not experience hard freezes. No deep marine connections to the North Pole existed in the Cretaceous, so oceanic polar heat transport can be discounted. However, the five north-south trending epeiric or rift-related seaways that connected or nearly connected the Tethys to the Arctic would have dampened the seasonal temperature cycle, bringing maritime climates deep into the North American and Eurasian continents and, more importantly, would have served as an energy source and channel for winter storms, much as the Gulf Stream does today. Cyclones have a natural tendency to move poleward, because of the increase in the Coriolis Paramteter, and they transport both sensible and latent heat. The coastal regions of the relatively warm polar ocean in the Cretaceous would have received continuous precipitation during the winter because cyclones wouldmore » be entering from as many as five directions. Coastal rainfall would also have been abundant in the summer but for a different reason; the land-sea temperature profile would reverse, with the warm land surface drawing in moisture, while clear ice-free conditions over the ocean would allow for solar warming.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
6144655
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6144655
Report Number(s):
CONF-880301-
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Houston, TX, USA, 20 Mar 1988
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 03 NATURAL GAS; NATURAL GAS DEPOSITS; GEOLOGIC HISTORY; PETROLEUM DEPOSITS; CLIMATES; COASTAL REGIONS; CRETACEOUS PERIOD; EXPLORATION; PALEONTOLOGY; PETROLEUM GEOLOGY; POLAR REGIONS; SEDIMENTARY BASINS; GEOLOGIC AGES; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES; GEOLOGY; MESOZOIC ERA; MINERAL RESOURCES; RESOURCES 020200* -- Petroleum-- Reserves, Geology, & Exploration; 030200 -- Natural Gas-- Reserves, Geology, & Exploration

Citation Formats

Ziegler, A.M., Horrell, M.A., Lottes, A.L., and Gierlowski, T.C. Cretaceous polar climates. United States: N. p., 1988. Web.
Ziegler, A.M., Horrell, M.A., Lottes, A.L., & Gierlowski, T.C. Cretaceous polar climates. United States.
Ziegler, A.M., Horrell, M.A., Lottes, A.L., and Gierlowski, T.C. Fri . "Cretaceous polar climates". United States.
@article{osti_6144655,
title = {Cretaceous polar climates},
author = {Ziegler, A.M. and Horrell, M.A. and Lottes, A.L. and Gierlowski, T.C.},
abstractNote = {The Cretaceous, like most Phanerozooic periods, was characterized by ice-free poles. Some still argue that the glacier and sea ice were there, and that the tillites, etc, have been eroded or remain undiscovered. However, diverse floras, dense forests, coal-forming cypress swamps, and dinosaurs, crocodilians, and lungfish are known from areas that were certainly at 75/sup 0/-80/sup 0/ north and south paleolatitude in the Cretaceous, implying that the coastal basins did not experience hard freezes. No deep marine connections to the North Pole existed in the Cretaceous, so oceanic polar heat transport can be discounted. However, the five north-south trending epeiric or rift-related seaways that connected or nearly connected the Tethys to the Arctic would have dampened the seasonal temperature cycle, bringing maritime climates deep into the North American and Eurasian continents and, more importantly, would have served as an energy source and channel for winter storms, much as the Gulf Stream does today. Cyclones have a natural tendency to move poleward, because of the increase in the Coriolis Paramteter, and they transport both sensible and latent heat. The coastal regions of the relatively warm polar ocean in the Cretaceous would have received continuous precipitation during the winter because cyclones would be entering from as many as five directions. Coastal rainfall would also have been abundant in the summer but for a different reason; the land-sea temperature profile would reverse, with the warm land surface drawing in moisture, while clear ice-free conditions over the ocean would allow for solar warming.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1988},
month = {1}
}

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