Preliminary reconstruction of the salinity of the ocean in the Cenozoic and Mesozoic

Hay, William W. and Wold, Christopher N. (1997) Preliminary reconstruction of the salinity of the ocean in the Cenozoic and Mesozoic Freiberger Forschungsheft: C, Paläontologie, Stratigraphie, Fazies (468 ). pp. 119-127.

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Abstract

The salinity of the ocean in the past can be reconstructed by using knowledge of the existing evaporite deposits on land and in the offshore. We assume that evaporites on land follow the same rates of sedimentary cycling as other sedimentary materials to determine the flux of salts to the sea. However, the salt can be stored in the ocean until conditions appropriate for deposition occur. We assume that salt removals into the deep offshore, continental margin and marginal sea deposits, are not yet part of the recycling system. We conclude that during most of the Cenozoic salinities have been higher than they are today. Each of the major salt extractions into the offshore has caused a rapid decrease of oceanic salinity by a few per mille. In the Early Cretaceous mean ocean salinities ranged between 38 and 42‰, and the Jurassic and Triassic they were between 43 and 53‰.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Sedimentary cycling, Evaporites, Paleosalinity
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-P-OZ Paleo-Oceanography
Refereed: No
ISSN: 0071-9404
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 10:00
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 12:46
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/34933

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