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Impact of dissolution on the sedimentary record of the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum

Bralower, Timothy J. and Kelly, D. Clay and Gibbs, Samantha and Farley, Kenneth and Eccles, Laurie and Lindemann, T. Logan and Smith, Gregory J. (2014) Impact of dissolution on the sedimentary record of the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 401 . pp. 70-82. ISSN 0012-821X.

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The input of massive amounts of carbon to the atmosphere and ocean at the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM; ∼55.53 Ma) resulted in pervasive carbonate dissolution at the seafloor. At many sites this dissolution also penetrated into the underlying sediment column. The magnitude of dissolution at and below the seafloor, a process known as chemical erosion, and its effect on the stratigraphy of the PETM, are notoriously difficult to constrain. Here, we illuminate the impact of dissolution by analyzing the complete spectrum of sedimentological grain sizes across the PETM at three deep-sea sites characterized by a range of bottom water dissolution intensity. We show that the grain size spectrum provides a measure of the sediment fraction lost during dissolution. We compare these data with dissolution and other proxy records, electron micrograph observations of samples and lithology. The complete data set indicates that the two sites with slower carbonate accumulation, and less active bioturbation, are characterized by significant chemical erosion. At the third site, higher carbonate accumulation rates, more active bioturbation, and possibly winnowing have limited the impacts of dissolution. However, grain size data suggest that bioturbation and winnowing were not sufficiently intense to diminish the fidelity of isotopic and microfossil assemblage records.

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Farley, Kenneth0000-0002-7846-7546
Additional Information:© 2014 Elsevier B.V. Received 23 October 2013; Received in revised form 10 May 2014; Accepted 27 May 2014; Available online 19 June 2014; Editor: G.M. Henderson. We thank Jenny Norman of the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, University of New South Wales for assistance with electron microscopy. We thank Lee Kump, Andy Ridgwell and Sandra Kirtland Turner for insightful discussions, Thomas Westerhold for stratigraphic information, and Jerry Dickens and two anonymous reviews for very constructive and extremely helpful critique and advice. This research used samples provided by the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Research funded by the National Science Foundation (EAR06-28394) to Bralower and (OCE-1060877C) to Farley.
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Subject Keywords:dissolution; chemical erosion; nannofossils; planktonic foraminifera; Paleocene Eocene thermal maximum
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140925-105050473
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Official Citation:Timothy J. Bralower, D. Clay Kelly, Samantha Gibbs, Kenneth Farley, Laurie Eccles, T. Logan Lindemann, Gregory J. Smith, Impact of dissolution on the sedimentary record of the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 401, 1 September 2014, Pages 70-82, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50028
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Sep 2014 18:58
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

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