Devonian climate and reef evolution

insights from oxygen isotopes in apatite

M. M. Joachimski*, S. Breisig, W. Buggisch, J. A. Talent, R. Mawson, M. Gereke, J. R. Morrow, J. Day, K. Weddige

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    264 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Conodonts, microfossils composed of carbonate-fluor apatite, are abundant in Palaeozoic-Triassic sediments and have a high potential to preserve primary oxygen isotope signals. In order to reconstruct the palaeotemperature history of the Devonian, the oxygen isotope composition of apatite phosphate was measured on 639 conodont samples from sequences in Europe, North America and Australia. The Early Devonian (Lochkovian; 416-411 Myr) was characterized by warm tropical temperatures of around 30 °C. A cooling trend started in the Pragian (410 Myr) with intermediate temperatures around 23 to 25 °C reconstructed for the Middle Devonian (397-385 Myr). During the Frasnian (383-375 Myr), temperatures increased again with temperatures to 30 °C calculated for the Frasnian-Famennian transition (375 Myr). During the Famennian (375-359 Myr), surface water temperatures slightly decreased. Reconstructed Devonian palaeotemperatures do not support earlier views suggesting the Middle Devonian was a supergreenhouse interval, an interpretation based partly on the development of extensive tropical coral-stromatoporoid communities during the Middle Devonian. Instead, the Devonian palaeotemperature record suggests that Middle Devonian coral-stromatoporoid reefs flourished during cooler time intervals whereas microbial reefs dominated during the warm to very warm Early and Late Devonian.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)599-609
    Number of pages11
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Volume284
    Issue number3-4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2009

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Devonian climate and reef evolution: insights from oxygen isotopes in apatite'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this