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Lower Eocene to Oligocene microfossil-rich hemipelagic sediments in ODP Hole 647A, southern Labrador Sea, provide a strategic section for resolving the early history of high North Atlantic climates and ocean circulation, and for correlating with carbonate-poor lower Cenozoic sediments in the Arctic and Nordic seas. Our new, integrated palaeomagneto- and multigroup biostratigraphy (63 dinoflagellate cyst, calcareous nannofossil, planktonic foraminifer and diatom datums) significantly improves Site 647 chronostratigraphy and provides a framework for future studies. This new age model, coupled with provisional δ18O analyses, provides greater confidence in the location of significant ocean-climate events at this site, including the Eocene–Oligocene transition and the Middle Eocene Climatic Optimum. Early Eocene hyperthermals may also be present near the base of the section. Palaeomagnetic age control is significantly improved in the Eocene, but not in the Oligocene. Revised estimates of sedimentation and biogenic flux indicate changes in supply and preservation that may be climatically controlled. A Lower to Middle Eocene hiatus is more precisely constrained, with a c. 4 million year duration. Age and depth errors quantify the age uncertainties throughout the section. Our revised age model will play an important role in stratigraphic correlation between very high latitude and lower latitude sites.

Supplementary material:

All tables with ages and age-derived calculations based on the Gradstein et al. (2004) timescale used herein are reproduced as supplementary tables using both the Gradstein et al. (2004) and the Cande & Kent (1995) timescales (Tables DS1–DS6). Discrete sample and shipboard pass-through cryomagnetometer palaeomagnetic data, planktonic foraminifer and fine fraction (<20 µm) stable isotope data, raw and processed core GRA density data, and specifications and results of GRA density spectral analyses are also provided as supplementary tables (Tables DS7–DS11). These tables are available at

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