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Eocene-Oligocene transition paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental record from the Isle of Wight (UK)

By
Nathan D Sheldon
Nathan D Sheldon
Geology Department, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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Ria L Mitchell
Ria L Mitchell
Geology Department, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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Margaret E Collinson
Margaret E Collinson
Geology Department, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, UK
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Jerry J Hooker
Jerry J Hooker
Palaeontology Department, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
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Published:
April 01, 2009

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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GSA Special Papers

The Late Eocene Earth—Hothouse, Icehouse, and Impacts

Christian Koeberl
Christian Koeberl
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Alessandro Montanari
Alessandro Montanari
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Geological Society of America
Volume
452
ISBN print:
9780813724522
Publication date:
April 01, 2009

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