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The magnetostratigraphy susceptibility technique is used to establish high-resolution correlation among Paleocene–Eocene boundary sequences in Egypt, Spain, and the U.S.A. This work initially focuses on the Global boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP), defining the base of the Ypresian Stage (lowest Eocene), located in the Dababiya Quarry near Luxor in Upper Egypt. The base of the Eocene represents the beginning of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) identified by a negative carbon isotope (δ13C) excursion. While onset of the CIE is somewhat gradual in most reported Paleocene–Eocene (P–E) sections, at the GSSP it is very abrupt and begins immediately after an unusual lithologic change that magnetic susceptibility (MS) and other data indicate represents a short erosional or nondepositional hiatus. Comparison of MS zones from five well-studied marine sequences (the Dababiya Quarry GSSP, Jebal El Qreiya, also in Upper Egypt, Zumaia in northern Spain, Alamedilla in southern Spain, and the MGS-1 Harrell Core from southeastern Mississippi, U.S.A.) with that from the GSSP site shows a period of reduced sedimentation and nondeposition through the boundary interval in the GSSP. This interval, estimated to have lasted for ~ 10,000 years, is less than the biostratigraphic resolution for the site. Due to the hiatus in the GSSP, we have chosen the P–E section in Zumaia as the MS reference section for the P–E boundary interval. Because the correlation between the Zumaia section in Spain and the MGS-1 Core from the U.S.A. is excellent, and because the MGS-1 data set represents a longer interval of time than does the Zumaia data set, we use the MS data from the MGS-1 Core to extend the MS zones from Zumaia and establish a MS composite reference section (MS CRS) for the P–E boundary interval sampled. Orbital-forcing frequencies for the Zumaia reference section are then identified, via spectral analysis. Extending the MS zones into the MS CRS allows age assignment to MS zones for all five sections with a resolution of ~ 26,000 years.

Application of Modern Stratigraphic Techniques: Theory and Case Histories

SEPM Special Publication No. 94, Copyright © 2010

SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), ISBN 978-1-56576-199-5, p. 167–179.

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