Chalk Thomas B.

No Thumbnail Available
Last Name
First Name
Thomas B.

Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Article
    A record of Neogene seawater δ11B reconstructed from paired δ11B analyses on benthic and planktic foraminifera
    (Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union, 2017-02-24) Greenop, Rosanna ; Hain, Mathis P. ; Sosdian, Sindia M. ; Oliver, Kevin I. C. ; Goodwin, Philip ; Chalk, Thomas B. ; Lear, Caroline H. ; Wilson, Paul A. ; Foster, Gavin L.
    The boron isotope composition (δ11B) of foraminiferal calcite reflects the pH and the boron isotope composition of the seawater the foraminifer grew in. For pH reconstructions, the δ11B of seawater must therefore be known, but information on this parameter is limited. Here we reconstruct Neogene seawater δ11B based on the δ11B difference between paired measurements of planktic and benthic foraminifera and an estimate of the coeval water column pH gradient from their δ13C values. Carbon cycle model simulations underscore that the ΔpH–Δδ13C relationship is relatively insensitive to ocean and carbon cycle changes, validating our approach. Our reconstructions suggest that δ11Bsw was  ∼  37.5 ‰ during the early and middle Miocene (roughly 23–12 Ma) and rapidly increased during the late Miocene (between 12 and 5 Ma) towards the modern value of 39.61 ‰. Strikingly, this pattern is similar to the evolution of the seawater isotope composition of Mg, Li and Ca, suggesting a common forcing mechanism. Based on the observed direction of change, we hypothesize that an increase in secondary mineral formation during continental weathering affected the isotope composition of riverine input to the ocean since 14 Ma.
  • Article
    Insensitivity of alkenone carbon isotopes to atmospheric CO2 at low to moderate CO2 levels
    (European Geosciences Union, 2019-03-27) Badger, Marcus P. S. ; Chalk, Thomas B. ; Foster, Gavin L. ; Bown, Paul R. ; Gibbs, Samantha J. ; Sexton, Philip F. ; Schmidt, Daniela N. ; Pälike, Heiko ; Mackensen, Andreas ; Pancost, Richard D.
    Atmospheric pCO2 is a critical component of the global carbon system and is considered to be the major control of Earth's past, present, and future climate. Accurate and precise reconstructions of its concentration through geological time are therefore crucial to our understanding of the Earth system. Ice core records document pCO2 for the past 800 kyr, but at no point during this interval were CO2 levels higher than today. Interpretation of older pCO2 has been hampered by discrepancies during some time intervals between two of the main ocean-based proxy methods used to reconstruct pCO2: the carbon isotope fractionation that occurs during photosynthesis as recorded by haptophyte biomarkers (alkenones) and the boron isotope composition (δ11B) of foraminifer shells. Here, we present alkenone and δ11B-based pCO2 reconstructions generated from the same samples from the Pliocene and across a Pleistocene glacial–interglacial cycle at Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 999. We find a muted response to pCO2 in the alkenone record compared to contemporaneous ice core and δ11B records, suggesting caution in the interpretation of alkenone-based records at low pCO2 levels. This is possibly caused by the physiology of CO2 uptake in the haptophytes. Our new understanding resolves some of the inconsistencies between the proxies and highlights that caution may be required when interpreting alkenone-based reconstructions of pCO2.
  • Preprint
    Precession-driven changes in Iceland–Scotland Overflow Water penetration and bottom water circulation on Gardar Drift since ~ 200 ka
    ( 2015-09-21) Elmore, Aurora C. ; Wright, James D. ; Chalk, Thomas B.
    Benthic foraminiferal stable isotopic records from a transect of sediment cores south of the Iceland-Scotland Ridge reveal that the penetration depth of Iceland-Scotland Overflow Water (ISOW) varied on orbital timescales with precessional pacing over the past ~ 200 kyr. Similar, higher benthic foraminiferal δ13 C values (~ 1.0 ‰) were recorded at all transect sites downstream of the Iceland-Scotland Ridge during interglacial periods (Marine Isotope Chrons 5 and 1), indicating a deeply penetrating ISOW. During glacial periods (Marine Isotope Chrons 6, 4, and 2), benthic foraminiferal δ13C values from the deeper (2700-3300 m), southern sites within this transect were significantly lower (~ 0.5 ‰) than values from the northern (shallower) portion of the transect (~ 1.0 ‰), reflecting a shoaling of ISOW and greater influence of glacial Southern Component Water (SCW) in the deep Northeast Atlantic. Particularly during intermediate climate states, ISOW strength is driven by precesional cycles, superimposed on the large-scale glacial-interglacial ISOW variability. Millennial-scale variability in the penetration of ISOW, likely caused by high-frequency Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger Events, is most pronounced during intermediate climate states.
  • Article
    Causes of ice age intensification across the Mid-Pleistocene Transition
    (National Academy of Sciences, 2017-11-27) Chalk, Thomas B. ; Hain, Mathis P. ; Foster, Gavin L. ; Rohling, Eelco J. ; Sexton, Philip F. ; Badger, Marcus P. S. ; Cherry, Soraya G. ; Hasenfratz, Adam P. ; Haug, Gerald H. ; Jaccard, Samuel L. ; Martínez-García, Alfredo ; Pälike, Heiko ; Pancost, Richard D. ; Wilson, Paul A.
    During the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT; 1,200–800 kya), Earth’s orbitally paced ice age cycles intensified, lengthened from ∼40,000 (∼40 ky) to ∼100 ky, and became distinctly asymmetrical. Testing hypotheses that implicate changing atmospheric CO2 levels as a driver of the MPT has proven difficult with available observations. Here, we use orbitally resolved, boron isotope CO2 data to show that the glacial to interglacial CO2 difference increased from ∼43 to ∼75 μatm across the MPT, mainly because of lower glacial CO2 levels. Through carbon cycle modeling, we attribute this decline primarily to the initiation of substantive dust-borne iron fertilization of the Southern Ocean during peak glacial stages. We also observe a twofold steepening of the relationship between sea level and CO2-related climate forcing that is suggestive of a change in the dynamics that govern ice sheet stability, such as that expected from the removal of subglacial regolith or interhemispheric ice sheet phase-locking. We argue that neither ice sheet dynamics nor CO2 change in isolation can explain the MPT. Instead, we infer that the MPT was initiated by a change in ice sheet dynamics and that longer and deeper post-MPT ice ages were sustained by carbon cycle feedbacks related to dust fertilization of the Southern Ocean as a consequence of larger ice sheets.