Long-term (105) or short-term (103) δ13C excursion near the Palaeocene-Eocene transition: Evidence from the Tethys

Gangyi Lu, Gerta Keller, Thierry Adatte, Nieves Ortiz, Eustoquio Molina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Expanded sedimentary records from the Tethys reveal unique faunal and isotopic changes across the Palaeocene-Eocene (P-E) transition. Unlike in the open oceans, the Tethys exhibits a gradual decrease of 1.5‰ in δ13C values prior to the rapid δ13C excursion. Associated with the δ13C excursion is a decrease in calcite burial, increase in detrital content and appearance of a unique opportunistic planktic foraminiferal assemblage (e.g. compressed acarininids). The existence of a prelude decrease in δ13C values in the Tethys suggests that the P-E δ13C excursion may have occurred in two steps and over a few hundred thousand years, rather than as one step over a few thousand years as previously suggested. This slower excursion rate is readily explained by changing organic carbon weathering or burial rates and avoids the need of invoking ad hoc scenarios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalTerra Nova
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term (10<sup>5</sup>) or short-term (10<sup>3</sup>) δ<sup>13</sup>C excursion near the Palaeocene-Eocene transition: Evidence from the Tethys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this