Latest Paleocene benthic extinction event on the southern Tethyan shelf (Egypt): Foraminiferal stable isotopic (δ 13 C, δ 18 O) records

B. Schmitz, R. P. Speijer, Marie-Pierre Aubry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dramatic global extinction of 35%-50% of benthic foraminifera species in the deep sea in the latest Paleocene and associated negative excursions in δ 13 C and δ 18 O may be related to spreading of warm, saline bottom water from subtropical Tethyan shallow regions over the sea floor worldwide. Our study of neritic sections in Egypt shows that in the southern shallow Tethys, a prominent long-term change in bottom-water chemistry, sedimentation, and benthic foraminifera fauna was initiated at the time when the deep-sea benthic extinction event (BEE) took place. Bottom-water δ 13 C values on the Tethyan shelf show a sudden 3.0‰ negative shift at this event; however, contrary to the deep sea, in which the δ 13 C excursion was of short duration, Tethyan δ 13 C values did not fully return to preboundary values, but remained depressed by ∼1.5‰ for at least 1 m.y. The δ 13 C values at the Egyptian shelf during the BEE are much lower than would be expected if this was a source region for global deep water. The δ 18 O values indicate no significant change in bottom-water salinity or temperature at the BEE. The long-lasting environmental changes that began on the Egyptian shelf at the BEE may be related to, for example, gateway reorganization along the Tethyan seaway. Paleogeographic changes possibly also triggered a change in the loci of global deep-water formation; however, these loci must be sought in another part of the Tethys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Paleocene
extinction
bottom water
deep sea
benthic foraminifera
Tethys
deep water formation
long-term change
water chemistry
environmental change
water temperature
seafloor
deep water
sedimentation
fauna

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

Cite this

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title = "Latest Paleocene benthic extinction event on the southern Tethyan shelf (Egypt): Foraminiferal stable isotopic (δ 13 C, δ 18 O) records",
abstract = "The dramatic global extinction of 35{\%}-50{\%} of benthic foraminifera species in the deep sea in the latest Paleocene and associated negative excursions in δ 13 C and δ 18 O may be related to spreading of warm, saline bottom water from subtropical Tethyan shallow regions over the sea floor worldwide. Our study of neritic sections in Egypt shows that in the southern shallow Tethys, a prominent long-term change in bottom-water chemistry, sedimentation, and benthic foraminifera fauna was initiated at the time when the deep-sea benthic extinction event (BEE) took place. Bottom-water δ 13 C values on the Tethyan shelf show a sudden 3.0‰ negative shift at this event; however, contrary to the deep sea, in which the δ 13 C excursion was of short duration, Tethyan δ 13 C values did not fully return to preboundary values, but remained depressed by ∼1.5‰ for at least 1 m.y. The δ 13 C values at the Egyptian shelf during the BEE are much lower than would be expected if this was a source region for global deep water. The δ 18 O values indicate no significant change in bottom-water salinity or temperature at the BEE. The long-lasting environmental changes that began on the Egyptian shelf at the BEE may be related to, for example, gateway reorganization along the Tethyan seaway. Paleogeographic changes possibly also triggered a change in the loci of global deep-water formation; however, these loci must be sought in another part of the Tethys.",
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Latest Paleocene benthic extinction event on the southern Tethyan shelf (Egypt) : Foraminiferal stable isotopic (δ 13 C, δ 18 O) records. / Schmitz, B.; Speijer, R. P.; Aubry, Marie-Pierre.

In: Geology, Vol. 24, No. 4, 01.01.1996, p. 347-350.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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