Synchronizing early Eocene deep-sea and continental records - Cyclostratigraphic age models for the Bighorn Basin Coring Project drill cores

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Abstract

A consistent chronostratigraphic framework is required to understand the effect of major paleoclimate perturbations on both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Transient global warming events in the early Eocene, at 56-54g Ma, show the impact of large-scale carbon input into the ocean-atmosphere system. Here we provide the first timescale synchronization of continental and marine deposits spanning the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and the interval just prior to the Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (ETM-2). Cyclic variations in geochemical data come from continental drill cores of the Bighorn Basin Coring Project (BBCP, Wyoming, USA) and from marine deep-sea drilling deposits retrieved by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). Both are dominated by eccentricity-modulated precession cycles used to construct a common cyclostratigraphic framework. Integration of age models results in a revised astrochronology for the PETM in deep-sea records that is now generally consistent with independent 3He age models. The duration of the PETM is estimated at ĝ1/4 200g kyr for the carbon isotope excursion and ĝ1/4 120g kyr for the associated pelagic clay layer. A common terrestrial and marine age model shows a concurrent major change in marine and terrestrial biota ĝ1/4 200g kyr before ETM-2. In the Bighorn Basin, the change is referred to as Biohorizon B and represents a period of significant mammalian turnover and immigration, separating the upper Haplomylus-Ectocion Range Zone from the Bunophorus Interval Zone and approximating the Wa-4-Wa-5 land mammal zone boundary. In sediments from ODP Site 1262 (Walvis Ridge), major changes in the biota at this time are documented by the radiation of a "second generation" of apical spine-bearing sphenolith species (e.g., S. radians and S. editus), the emergence of T. orthostylus, and the marked decline of D. multiradiatus.

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Westerhold, T., Röhl, U., Wilkens, R. H., Gingerich, P. D., Clyde, W. C., Wing, S. L., … Kraus, M. J. (2018). Synchronizing early Eocene deep-sea and continental records - Cyclostratigraphic age models for the Bighorn Basin Coring Project drill cores. Climate of the Past, 14(3), 303–319. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-14-303-2018

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