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< Hydrologic and Climatologic Studies of Cretaceous

Red ball iconHydrologic and Climatologic Studies of Cretaceous "Greenhouse World"

The mid-Cretaceous, an interval of geologic time lasting from about 110 to 90 million years ago, represents what is perhaps the warmest climatic episode of Earth History that readily lends itself to detailed environmental reconstruction. This time period has been of special interest to the community of climate modelers charged with responsibility for developing reliable computer models to forecast the results of expected future global greenhouse warming. In order to retune existing climate models for conditions very different from those of today, modelers are performing calibration experiments through hindcasting of well-studied past "greenhouse worlds. " The mid-Cretaceous is also a very important time in the history of life on this planet. The organisms that dominate our modern terrestrial ecosystems, the flowering plants, birds, and mammals, underwent explosive growth in genetic diversity in the mid-Cretaceous hothouse.

A team of geologists from The University of Iowa and the Geological Survey Bureau is engaged in a project to develop quantitative paleohydrologic and paleoclimatologic data that will be used for validation of computer climate model simulations of the Cretaceous interior of North America. This project is being supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, The University of Iowa Carver Scientific Research Initiative, and The University of Iowa Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research. Earlier funding support came from the Iowa Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society.

Project Personnel:
Robert L. Brenner, The University of Iowa, Principal Investigator
Luis A. GonzŠlez, The University of Iowa, Co-Principal Investigator
Greg A. Ludvigson, Geogical Survey Bureau, Co-Principal Investigator
Brian J. Witzke, Geological Survey Bureau, Co-Principal Investigator
Timothy S. White, The University of Iowa, Post-Doctoral Associate

Graduate Students:
P. Lee Phillips (M.S., UNC Wilmington)
David Ufnar (M.S., Vanderbilt)
Mary Ellis (B.A., Cornell College, IA)
Leah Young (B.S., The University of Iowa)

Outside Collaborators:
Robert L. Ravn, ∆on Biostratigraphic Services, Anchorage, Alaska
Robert M. Joeckel, Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska
Erik P. Kvale, Indiana Geological Survey
Dale A. Leckie, Wascana Energy, Calgary, Alberta
Paul J. McCarthy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario


Global Climate Change and the Cretaceous Greenhouse World (Iowa Geology, 1999)

Oxygen isotopic composition of freshwater runoff to the North American Cretaceous Western Interior Basin (Abstract)

Meteoric sphaerosiderite lines: a tool for the study of paleohydrology and paleoclimates in humid continental environments (Abstract)

Palynostratigraphic framework for mid-Cretaceous strata, eastern margin of Western Interior Basin (Abstract)

Aggradation of fluvial gravels in response to late Albian marine transgression, eastern margin, Western Interior Basin (Abstract)

Mid-Cretaceous shorelines of the cratonic margin, Western Interior Basin: Where have all the deltas gone? (Abstract)

Contrasting oxygen isotopic compositions of Albian local vs. regional recharge, cratonic margin, Western Interior Basin (Poster)

Oxygen isotopic compositions of local vs. regional recharge on Albian coastal plains, proximal foreland basin, western Canada (Abstract)

Meteoric sphaerosiderite lines and their use for paleohydrology and paleoclimatology (Abstract)

Calcite-siderite oxygen isotopic paleotemperature estimates from the uppermost Swan River Formation, Late Albian, Cratonic Margin, Western Interior Basin (Abstract)

Marine-influenced sedimentation in the Dakota Fm, Cretaceous (Albian-Cenomanian), central U.S.; implications for sequence stratigraphy and paleogeography in the Western Interior (Abstract)

Sphaerosiderite d18O composition:  a proxy for paleoprecipitation, Cenomanian Dunvegan Formation, Alberta and B.C., Canada (Abstract)

High resolution chemostratigraphic correlation of amalgamated paleosols and coeval marine units:  the Dakota Fm. of Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa (Abstract)

Carbon isotopic evidence of anaerobic microbial processes involved in the formation of sphaerosiderites in paleosols of the Cretaceous Dakota Formation (Abstract)

Calcite-siderite oxygen isotope-based paleotemperature estimates, examples from Mid-Upper Albian and Middle Turonian deposits along the margin of the Western Interior Basin (Abstract)

Evidence for an Albian Hudson arm connection between the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway of North America and the Labrador Sea (Abstract)

Link to page at the Nebraska Conservation and Survey Division website.