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Cyclostratigraphy and eccentricity tuning of the early Oligocene through early Miocene (30.1–17.1 Ma): Cibicides mundulus stable oxygen and carbon isotope records from Walvis Ridge Site 1264

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Diederik Liebrand
  • Helen M. Beddow
  • Lucas J. Lourens
  • Heiko Palike
  • Isabella Raffi
  • Steven M. Bohaty
  • Frederik J. Hilgen
  • Mischa J. M. Saes
  • Paul A. Wilson
  • Arnold E. Van Dijk
  • David A. Hodell
  • Dick Kroon
  • Claire E. Huck
  • Sietske J. Batenburg

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392–405
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Early online date30 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2016


Few astronomically calibrated high-resolution (5 kyr) climate records exist that span the Oligocene-Miocene time interval. Notably, available proxy records show responses varying in amplitude at frequencies related to astronomical forcing, and the main pacemakers of global change on astronomical time-scales remain debated. Here we present newly generated X-ray fluorescence core scanning and benthic foraminiferal stable oxygen and carbon isotope records from Ocean Drilling Program Site 1264 (Walvis Ridge, southeastern Atlantic Ocean). Complemented by data from nearby Site 1265, the Site 1264 benthic stable isotope records span a continuous ~13-Myr interval of the Oligo-Miocene (30.1–17.1 Ma) at high resolution (~3.0 kyr). Spectral analyses in the stratigraphic depth domain indicate that the largest amplitude variability of all proxy records is associated with periods of ~3.4 m and ~0.9 m, which correspond to 405- and ~110-kyr eccentricity using a magnetobiostratigraphic age model. The phase relation between the ~110-kyr cycles and eccentricity is evident with maxima in CaCO3 content, 18O and 13C corresponding to eccentricity minima. The strong expression of these cycles in combination with the weakness of the precession- and obliquity-related signals allow construction of an astronomical age model that is solely based on tuning to the nominal (La2011_ecc3L) eccentricity solution. Very long-period eccentricity maxima (~2.4-Myr) are marked by recurrent episodes of high-amplitude ~110-kyr 18O cycles at Walvis Ridge, indicating greater sensitivity of the climate/cryosphere system to short eccentricity modulation of climatic precession. In contrast, the responses of the global (high-latitude) climate system, cryosphere and carbon cycle, to the 405-kyr cycle, as expressed in benthic 18O and especially 13C signals, are more pronounced during ~2.4-Myr minima. The relationship between the recurrent episodes of high-amplitude ~110-kyr 18O cycles and the ~1.2-Myr amplitude modulation of obliquity is not consistent through the Oligo-Miocene time interval. Identification of these recurrent episodes at Walvis Ridge, and their pacing by the ~2.4-Myr eccentricity cycle, revises the current understanding of the main climate events of the Oligo-Miocene.

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