EGU21-6638, updated on 04 Mar 2021
EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Strong inclination pacing of climate in Late Triassic low latitudes revealed by the Earth-Saturn tilt cycle

Miranda Margulis-Ohnuma1, Jessica Whiteside2, and Paul Olsen3
Miranda Margulis-Ohnuma et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (
  • 2Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, SO14 3ZH Southampton, United Kingdom
  • 3Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10968

Gravitational interactions among masses in the solar system are recorded in Earth’s paleoclimate history because variations in the geometry of Earth’s orbit and axial orientation modulate solar insolation. However, astronomical models prior to ca. 60 Ma are unreliable due to the unpredictable nature of orbital chaos in the solar system, and therefore such models must be constrained using geological data. Here, we use natural gamma radioactivity and other environmental proxies from paleo-tropical Late Triassic lake deposits of the Newark Rift Basin of eastern North America, previously shown to be paced by variations in axial precession and orbital eccentricity and stratigraphically constrained by U-Pb dating, to explore hitherto undescribed strong variations in orbital inclination in the 201–206 Ma interval (lacustrine, upper Passaic Formation), where lake level variations are particularly muted. We identify the Earth-Saturn 173 kyr orbital inclination cycle and use it to tune the sequence because it exhibits high theoretical stability and metronomic behavior due to the very large mass of Saturn. We tune separately to long-eccentricity as well, with similar effect. Slight, complimentary offsets in the other inclination and eccentricity periods revealed by the Earth-Saturn (s3-s6) and Venus-Jupiter (g2-g5) tunings are apparent that may be due to chaotic variations of the secular fundamental frequencies in the nodal and perihelion orbital precessions of Earth and Venus, respectively. The surprising strength of the inclination cycles in this specific sequence suggest an additional modulating effect of the Earth System on expression of the components of orbital pacing of climate, as well a mechanism to more fully constrain the secular fundamental frequencies of the solar system beyond the ca. 60 Myr limit of predictability that chaos imposes on astronomical solutions.

How to cite: Margulis-Ohnuma, M., Whiteside, J., and Olsen, P.: Strong inclination pacing of climate in Late Triassic low latitudes revealed by the Earth-Saturn tilt cycle, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-6638,, 2021.