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Magnitude and profile of organic carbon isotope records from the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum: Evidence from northern Spain

Magnitude and profile of organic carbon isotope records from the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum: Evidence from northern Spain
Magnitude and profile of organic carbon isotope records from the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum: Evidence from northern Spain
The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a hyperthermal event that occurred ca. 56 Ma, has been attributed to the release of substantial amounts of carbon, affecting the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans. Current issues with respect to our understanding of the PETM include the amount of carbon released, the duration of carbon release, and the mechanism(s) of release, all of which are related to the magnitude and profile of the associated Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE). High-resolution organic carbon profiles (?13C?13C) of six PETM sections in northern Spain are presented that span a transect from continental to marine environments. These data represent the highest-resolution isotope records for these sections and allow a comparison of the magnitude of the excursion, the shape of the vertical ?13C?13C profile during the PETM episode, and the relative timing of the onset of the excursion across a linked sediment routing system. Previous studies using carbonate ?13C?13C data have suggested that the continental Claret Conglomerate, found in this region, formed synchronously with a marine clay-rich siliciclastic unit, with these key lithological changes interpreted to be driven by increased seasonal rainfall-runoff in the warmer PETM climate. Our data suggest that deposition of these units did not immediately follow the CIE onset, indicating that there may be a temporal lag between the onset of the PETM warming and the response of the depositional systems in northern Spain. No systematic variation in the magnitude of the CIE between different depositional environments was found; the marine CIE magnitudes are at the higher end of those previously described (3.7±1.4‰3.7±1.4‰), and the continental ranges are lower (3.1±1.3‰3.1±1.3‰).
carbon isotopes, Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum, CIE, Northern Spain
0012-821X
220-230
Manners, Hayley R.
3f515c77-e9d4-4374-ac4e-71df19507876
Grimes, Stephen T.
480c4083-423f-41b1-8c40-24188c5bf827
Sutton, Paul A.
b9a9d1cf-1a82-4054-a47f-6be9674b9c75
Domingo, Laura
c16e21c4-6191-4070-a920-c3ce50b49a2b
Leng, Melanie J.
71755042-2b5f-44a6-8420-019f13a4a946
Twitchett, Richard J.
9467b049-4603-415b-8790-50344ca65948
Hart, Malcolm B.
1ed16a38-3047-4ed5-b8a4-8f426c3d2023
Dunkley Jones, Tom
f4025985-97e2-46c7-bff5-aaa45f9f8289
Pancost, Richard D.
5914e19e-7777-4304-9fd8-86e2e9cfe8a1
Duller, Robert
7e10b763-94e9-4395-ae33-cc29cdc2d87d
Lopez-Martinez, Nieves
4e37332e-7060-46ab-bacc-aef4f8695120
Manners, Hayley R.
3f515c77-e9d4-4374-ac4e-71df19507876
Grimes, Stephen T.
480c4083-423f-41b1-8c40-24188c5bf827
Sutton, Paul A.
b9a9d1cf-1a82-4054-a47f-6be9674b9c75
Domingo, Laura
c16e21c4-6191-4070-a920-c3ce50b49a2b
Leng, Melanie J.
71755042-2b5f-44a6-8420-019f13a4a946
Twitchett, Richard J.
9467b049-4603-415b-8790-50344ca65948
Hart, Malcolm B.
1ed16a38-3047-4ed5-b8a4-8f426c3d2023
Dunkley Jones, Tom
f4025985-97e2-46c7-bff5-aaa45f9f8289
Pancost, Richard D.
5914e19e-7777-4304-9fd8-86e2e9cfe8a1
Duller, Robert
7e10b763-94e9-4395-ae33-cc29cdc2d87d
Lopez-Martinez, Nieves
4e37332e-7060-46ab-bacc-aef4f8695120

Manners, Hayley R., Grimes, Stephen T., Sutton, Paul A., Domingo, Laura, Leng, Melanie J., Twitchett, Richard J., Hart, Malcolm B., Dunkley Jones, Tom, Pancost, Richard D., Duller, Robert and Lopez-Martinez, Nieves (2013) Magnitude and profile of organic carbon isotope records from the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum: Evidence from northern Spain. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 376, 220-230. (doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.06.016).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a hyperthermal event that occurred ca. 56 Ma, has been attributed to the release of substantial amounts of carbon, affecting the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans. Current issues with respect to our understanding of the PETM include the amount of carbon released, the duration of carbon release, and the mechanism(s) of release, all of which are related to the magnitude and profile of the associated Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE). High-resolution organic carbon profiles (?13C?13C) of six PETM sections in northern Spain are presented that span a transect from continental to marine environments. These data represent the highest-resolution isotope records for these sections and allow a comparison of the magnitude of the excursion, the shape of the vertical ?13C?13C profile during the PETM episode, and the relative timing of the onset of the excursion across a linked sediment routing system. Previous studies using carbonate ?13C?13C data have suggested that the continental Claret Conglomerate, found in this region, formed synchronously with a marine clay-rich siliciclastic unit, with these key lithological changes interpreted to be driven by increased seasonal rainfall-runoff in the warmer PETM climate. Our data suggest that deposition of these units did not immediately follow the CIE onset, indicating that there may be a temporal lag between the onset of the PETM warming and the response of the depositional systems in northern Spain. No systematic variation in the magnitude of the CIE between different depositional environments was found; the marine CIE magnitudes are at the higher end of those previously described (3.7±1.4‰3.7±1.4‰), and the continental ranges are lower (3.1±1.3‰3.1±1.3‰).

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More information

Published date: 15 August 2013
Keywords: carbon isotopes, Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum, CIE, Northern Spain
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 366317
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/366317
ISSN: 0012-821X
PURE UUID: 5e130f8b-aed5-415d-9958-3d624c0bd992

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Date deposited: 24 Jun 2014 12:57
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 06:16

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Contributors

Author: Hayley R. Manners
Author: Stephen T. Grimes
Author: Paul A. Sutton
Author: Laura Domingo
Author: Melanie J. Leng
Author: Richard J. Twitchett
Author: Malcolm B. Hart
Author: Tom Dunkley Jones
Author: Richard D. Pancost
Author: Robert Duller
Author: Nieves Lopez-Martinez

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