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The orbital record in stratigraphyOrbital signals are being discovered in pre-Pleistocene sediments. Due to their hierarchical nature these cycle patterns are complex, and the imprecision of geochronology generally makes the assignment of stratigraphic cycles to specific orbital cycles uncertain, but in sequences such as the limnic Newark Group under study by Olsen and pelagic Cretaceous sequence worked on by our Italo-American group the relative frequencies yield a definitive match to the Milankovitch hierarchy. Due to the multiple ways in which climate impinges on depositional systems, the orbital signals are recorded in a multiplicity of parameters, and affect different sedimentary facies in different ways. In platform carbonates, for example, the chief effect is via sea-level variations (possibly tied to fluctuating ice volume), resulting in cycles of emergence and submergence. In limnic systems it finds its most dramatic expression in alternations of lake and playa conditions. Biogenic pelagic oozes such as chalks and the limestones derived from them display variations in the carbonate supplied by planktonic organisms such as coccolithophores and foraminifera, and also record variations in the aeration of bottom waters. Whereas early studies of stratigraphic cyclicity relied mainly on bedding variations visible in the field, present studies are supplementing these with instrumental scans of geochemical, paleontological, and geophysical parameters which yield quantitative curves amenable to time-series analysis; such analysis is, however, limited by problems of distorted time-scales. My own work has been largely concentrated on pelagic systems. In these, the sensitivity of pelagic organisms to climatic-oceanic changes, combined with the sensitivity of botton life to changes in oxygen availability (commonly much more restricted in the Past than now) has left cyclic patterns related to orbital forcing. These systems are further attractive because (1) they tend to offer depositional continuity, and (2) presence of abundant microfossils yields close ties to geochronology. A tantalizing possibility that stratigraphy may yield a record of orbital signals unrelated to climate has turned up in magnetic studies of our Cretaceous core. Magnetic secular variations here carry a strong 39 ka periodicity, corresponding to the theoretical obliquity period of that time - Does the obliquity cycle perhaps have some direct influence on the magnetic field?
Document ID
19930009785
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Fischer, Alfred G. (California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
December 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Goddard Space Flight Center, Orbital, Rotational and Climatic Interactions
Subject Category
GEOPHYSICS
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle19930009773Analytic PrimaryOrbital, Rotational, and Climatic Interactions