Paleotemperature record of the Middle Devonian Kačák Episode
The Middle Devonian Epoch, ~ 393-383 million years ago, is known for a peak in diversity and highest latitudinal distribution of coral and stromatoporoid reefs. About 388 million years ago, during the late Eifelian and earliest Givetian, climax conditions were interrupted by the polyphased Kacak Episode, a short-lived period of marine dys-/anoxia associated with climate warming that lasted less than 500 kyr. Reconstruction of the seawater temperature contributes to a better understanding of the climate conditions marine biota were exposed to during the event interval. To date, conodont apatite-based paleotemperatures across the Eifelian-Givetian boundary interval have been published from Belarus, France, Germany and North America (10-36° S paleolatitude). Here we provide new δ18Oapatite data from the Carnic Alps (Austria, Italy) and the Prague Synform (Czech Republic). For better approximation of the paleotemperature record across the Kacak Episode, a latitude-dependent correction for Middle Devonian seawater δ18O is applied. Because δ18Oapatite data from shallow marine sections are influenced by regional salinity variations, calculated mean sea surface temperatures (SST) are restricted to more open marine settings (22-34° S paleolatitude). Water temperatures reach ~ 34 °C in the Prague Synform and ~ 33 °C in the Carnic Alps and suggest that SSTs of the southern hemisphere low latitudes were ~ 6 °C higher than previously assumed for this time interval.