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Four different types of paleosols are recognized in the late Eocene–earliest Oligocene Solent Group (Isle of Wight, UK), representing a patchwork of ecosystems. Weakly developed marsh paleosols (Entisol-like; histic Inceptisol-like) are the most common, and there are relatively fewer, slightly elevated Inceptisol-like and Alfisol-like paleosols present as well. The more developed paleosols allow for a quantitative paleoclimatic reconstruction. The Eocene-Oligocene transition is associated globally with the Oi-1 glaciation event. Some nonmarine sequences show long-term cooling and aridification associated with the glaciation. Reconstructed paleoclimatic conditions using Solent Group paleosols do not; instead, they reflect steady mean annual temperatures and gradually increasing mean annual precipitation. This result is consistent with previous evaluations of floral assemblages, which indicate consistent vegetative covering and niche floral elements spanning the Eocene-Oligocene transition. In contrast, there is a significant change in the mammalian faunas found throughout western Europe (Grande Coupure). The evidence for relatively static climatic conditions is not consistent with the scenario of a climatically driven turnover event for the Grande Coupure, although the impact of increased seasonality cannot be ignored.

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