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 language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Jul 1 1996|
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