Nature Communications: Deep-sea hiatus record reveals orbital pacing by 2.4 Myr eccentricity grand cycles

Astronomical forcing of Earth’s climate is embedded in the rhythms of stratigraphic records, most famously as short-period (10^4–10^5 year) Milankovitch cycles. Astronomical grand cycles with periods of millions of years also modulate climate variability but have been detected in relatively few proxy records. Here, we apply spectral analysis to a dataset of Cenozoic deep-sea hiatuses to reveal a ~2.4 Myr eccentricity signal, disrupted by episodes of major tectonic forcing. We propose that maxima in the hiatus cycles correspond to orbitally- forced intensification of deep-water circulation and erosive bottom current activity, linked to eccentricity maxima and peaks in insolation and seasonality. A prominent episode of cyclicity disturbance coincides with the Paleocene- Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) at ~56 Myr ago, and correlates with a chaotic orbital transition in the Solar System evident in several astronomical solutions. This hints at a potential intriguing coupling between the PETM and Solar System chaos.

Dutkiewicz, A., Boulila, S. & Dietmar Müller, R. Deep-sea hiatus record reveals orbital pacing by 2.4 Myr eccentricity grand cycles. Nat Commun15, 1998 (2024).

Photo Essay Summary:

Time-series analysis of global hiatus-frequency data. Read the paper for more details.

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