Cenozoic records of Tl isotope compositions recorded by ferromanganese (Fe-Mn) crusts have been obtained. Such records are of interest because recent growth surfaces of Fe-Mn crusts display a nearly constant Tl isotope fractionation relative to seawater. The time-series data are complemented by results for bulk samples and leachates of various marine sediments. Oxic pelagic sediments and anoxic marine deposits can be distinguished by their Tl isotope compositions. Both pelagic clays and biogenic oozes are typically characterized by ??205Tl greater than +2.5, whereas anoxic sediments have ??205Tl of less than -1.5 (??205Tl is the deviation of the 205Tl/203Tl isotope ratio of a sample from NIST SRM 997 Tl in parts per 104). Leaching experiments indicate that the high ??205Tl values of oxic sediments probably reflect authigenic Fe-Mn oxyhydroxides. Time-resolved Tl isotope compositions were obtained from six Fe-Mn crusts from the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans and a number of observations indicate that these records were not biased by diagenetic alteration. Over the last 25 Myr, the data do not show isotopic variations that significantly exceed the range of Tl isotope compositions observed for surface layers of Fe-Mn crusts distributed globally (??205 Tl=+12.8??1.2). This indicates that variations in deep-ocean temperature were not recorded by Tl isotopes. The results most likely reflect a constant Tl isotope composition for seawater. The growth layers of three Fe-Mn crusts that are older than 25 Ma show a systematic increase of ??205Tl with decreasing age, from about +6 at 60-50 Ma to about +12 at 25 Ma. These trends are thought to be due to variations in the Tl isotope composition of seawater, which requires that the oceans of the early Cenozoic either had smaller output fluxes or received larger input fluxes of Tl with low ??205Tl. Larger inputs of isotopically light Tl may have been supplied by benthic fluxes from reducing sediments, rivers, and/or volcanic emanations. Alternatively, the Tl isotope trends may reflect the increasing importance of Tl fluxes to altered ocean crust through time. ?? 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.