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Book Chapter

Evidence for subtropical warmth in the Canadian Arctic (Beaufort-Mackenzie, Northwest Territories, Canada) during the early Eocene

By
Marie Salpin
Marie Salpin
Sorbonne Université, UMR 7193, Institut des sciences de la Terre Paris (ISTeP), 75005, Paris, France
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Johann Schnyder
Johann Schnyder
Sorbonne Université, UMR 7193, Institut des sciences de la Terre Paris (ISTeP), 75005, Paris, France
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François Baudin
François Baudin
Sorbonne Université, UMR 7193, Institut des sciences de la Terre Paris (ISTeP), 75005, Paris, France
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Guillaume Suan
Guillaume Suan
Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 1, ENS-Lyon, CNRS, UMR 5276 LGL-TPE, F-69622, Villeurbanne, France
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Jean-Pierre Suc
Jean-Pierre Suc
Sorbonne Université, UMR 7193, Institut des sciences de la Terre Paris (ISTeP), 75005, Paris, France
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Speranta-Maria Popescu
Speranta-Maria Popescu
GeoBioStratData Consulting, 385 Route du Mas Rillier, 69140 Rillieux la Pape, France
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Séverine Fauquette
Séverine Fauquette
Institut des Sciences de l’Évolution, Université de Montpellier, CNRS 5554, IRD, Place Eugène Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier cedex 5, France
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Lutz Reinhardt
Lutz Reinhardt
Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Stilleweg 2, 30655 Hannover, Germany
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Mark D. Schmitz
Mark D. Schmitz
Isotope Geology Laboratory, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, Idaho 83725-1535, USA
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Loïc Labrousse
Loïc Labrousse
Sorbonne Université, UMR 7193, Institut des sciences de la Terre Paris (ISTeP), 75005, Paris, France
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Publication history
08 October 201805 February 2019

ABSTRACT

During the Paleocene–Eocene, the Earth experienced the warmest conditions of the Cenozoic and reduced equator-to-pole temperature gradients. Compared to low- and mid-latitude sites, Paleogene environmental changes are less documented in Arctic regions, although such high latitude areas constitute a critical domain to constrain global climate changes. Floral and faunal assemblages indicative of exceptionally warm and humid conditions during the late Paleocene–early Eocene have been reported in several localities around the Arctic Ocean. Additional studies are required to ascertain the effects of Paleocene–Eocene global environmental changes on western Arctic regions. Here we present multiproxy data from early Eocene deltaic plain sediments of the Mackenzie Delta (Canada). This environment is characterized by littoral forest, including swamp, showing that the mangrove Avicennia grew in Arctic Canada near 75°N under air temperatures averaging 21–22 °C annually and 10–14 °C in winter and with precipitation of 1200–1400 mm/yr. Kaolinite contents are high (up to 75% of clay assemblages), as under a modern subtropical climate. The Avicennia pollens recently found in the New Siberian Islands and in Arctic Canada imply that warm and wet conditions were widespread along the Arctic coast during the early Eocene. It also suggests a marine connection between the Arctic Basin and the mid-latitude oceans. We propose that an oceanic current must have connected the Arctic Basin to the Atlantic and/or Pacific and that an internal current developed in the Arctic Basin since the early Eocene.

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Contents

Circum-Arctic Structural Events: Tectonic Evolution of the Arctic Margins and Trans-Arctic Links with Adjacent Orogens

Geological Society of America
Volume
541
ISBN electronic:
9780813795416

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