Global Cenozoic Paleobathymetry with a focus on the Northern Hemisphere Oceanic Gateways
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionGondwana Research. 2020, 86, 126-143 10.1016/j.gr.2020.05.011
The evolution of the Northern Hemisphere oceanic gateways has facilitated ocean circulation changes and may have influenced climatic variations in the Cenozoic time (66 Ma–0 Ma). However, the timing of these oceanic gateway events is poorly constrained and is often neglected in global paleobathymetric reconstructions. We have therefore re-evaluated the evolution of the Northern hemisphere oceanic gateways (i.e. the Fram Strait, Greenland–Scotland Ridge, the Central American Seaway, and the Tethys Seaway) and embedded their tectonic histories in a new global paleobathymetry and topography model for the Cenozoic time. Our new paleobathymetry model incorporates Northeast Atlantic paleobathymetric variations due to Iceland mantle plume activity, updated regional plate kinematics, and models for the oceanic lithospheric age, sediment thickness, and reconstructed oceanic plateaus and microcontinents. We also provide a global paleotopography model based on new and previously published regional models. In particular, the new model documents important bathymetric changes in the Northeast Atlantic and in the Tethys Seaway near the Eocene–Oligocene transition (~34 Ma), the time of the first glaciations of Antarctica, believed to be triggered by the opening of the Southern Ocean gateways (i.e. the Drake Passage and the Tasman Gateway) and subsequent Antarctic Circumpolar Current initiation. Our new model can be used to test whether the Northern Hemisphere gateways could have also played an important role modulating ocean circulation and climate at that time. In addition, we provide a set of realistic global bathymetric and topographic reconstructions for the Cenozoic time at one million-year interval for further use in paleo-ocean circulation and climate models.