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Large-amplitude variations in carbon cycling and terrestrial weathering during the latest Paleocene and earliest Eocene: The record at Mead Stream, New Zealand
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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2012 (English)In: Journal of Geology, ISSN 0022-1376, Vol. 120, no 5, 487-505 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The late Paleocene to early Eocene was marked by major changes in Earth surface temperature and carbon cycling. This included at least two, and probably more, geologically brief (<200-k.yr.) intervals of extreme warming, the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) and the Eocene thermal maximum-2 (ETM-2). The long-term rise in warmth and short-term "hyperthermal" events have been linked to massive injections of 13C-depleted carbon into the ocean-atmosphere system and intense global climate change. However, the causes, environmental impact, and relationships remain uncertain because detailed and coupled proxy records do not extend across the entire interval of interest; we are still recognizing the exact character of the hyperthermals and developing models to explain their occurrence. Here we present lithologic and carbon isotope records for a 200-m-thick sequence of latest Paleocene- earliest Eocene upper slope limestone exposed along Mead Stream, New Zealand. New carbon isotope and lithologic analyses combined with previous work on this expanded section shows that the PETM and ETM-2, the suspected H-2, I-1, I-2, and K/X hyperthermals, and several other horizons are marked by pronounced negative carbon isotope excursions and clay-rich horizons. Generally, the late Paleocene-early Eocene lithologic and δ 13C records at Mead Stream are similar to records recovered from deep-sea sites, with an important exception: lows in δ 13C and carbonate content consistently span intervals of relatively high sedimentation (terrigenous dilution) rather than intervals of relatively low sedimentation (carbonate dissolution). These findings indicate that, over ~6 m.yr., there was a series of short-termclimate perturbations, each characterized by massive input of carbon and greater continentalweathering. The suspected link involves global warming, elevated greenhouse-gas concentrations, and enhanced seasonal precipitation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 120, no 5, 487-505 p.
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-86419OAI: diva2:586927

Source: Scopus

Available from: 2013-01-13 Created: 2013-01-13 Last updated: 2013-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Dickens, G. R.
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Department of Geological Sciences
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