The upper Paleocene-lower Eocene stratigraphic record and the Paleocene-Eocene boundary carbon isotope excursion: Implications for geochronology

Marie Pierre Aubry, William A. Berggren, Lowell Stott, Ashish Sinha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

The late Paleocene carbon isotope excursion which was first identified at ODP Site 690, is cun'ently regarded as the best means for an exact corrrelation at a specific point in space and time between deep sea and continental stratigraphies. Yet its position relative to biostratigraphic datums in several outcrop and deep sea sections is apparently inconsistent. Based on the integration of magnetostratigraphic, biostratigraphic (calcareous nannofossils and planktonic foraminifera) and carbon isotopic data from the North (DSDP Sites 549 and 550) and South (ODP Site 690) Atlantic Ocean, we show that in order to understand the temporal relationships and sequence of late Paleocene to early Eocene biotic and isotopic events, it is necessary to construct a composite reference section. We infer from this that in addition to the well documented 'classic' carbon isotope excursion which occurs in mid-Biozone NP9, a younger isotopic excursion, yet undocumented, occurs in lower Biozone NP10. The 55 Ma age estimate in Chron C24r (0.66) used as a calibration in the construction of the latest geomagnetic polarity time scale in DSDP Hole 550 lies at an unconformity (separating stratigraphic levels low in Zone NP9 from low in Zone NP10) with the result that the position of the NP9/NP10 zonal/chronal boundary is higher/younger in Chron 24r. Because the sections recovered from DSDP Sites 550 and 690 probably do not overlap over the upper NP9-lower NP10 zonal interval, and because the former section is unconformable at the NP9/NP10 zonal boundary, there is currently no means of establishing satisfactorily a numerical chronology for Chron C24r, which means that the age estimates for the upper Paleocene to lowermost Eocene biostratigraphic and isotopic events await documentation of bio-, magneto-, and isotopic stratigraphy in continuous stratigraphic section(s).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-380
Number of pages28
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Volume101
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Geology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The upper Paleocene-lower Eocene stratigraphic record and the Paleocene-Eocene boundary carbon isotope excursion: Implications for geochronology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this