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The Paleocene–early Eocene interval is punctuated by a series of transient warming events known as hyperthermals that have been associated with changes in the carbon isotope composition of the ocean-atmosphere system. Here we present and discuss a detailed record of calcareous nannofossil and foraminiferal assemblages coupled with high-resolution geochemical, isotopic, and environmental magnetic records across the middle Ypresian at the Contessa Road section (Gubbio, Italy). This allows characterization of the Eocene Thermal Maximum 3 (ETM3, K or X) and recognition of four minor (I1, I2, J, L) hyperthermals. At the Contessa Road section, the ETM3 is marked by short-lived negative excursions in both δ13C and δ18O, pronounced changes in rock magnetic properties, and calcium carbonate reduction. These changes coupled with the moderate to low state of preservation of calcareous nannofossils and planktonic foraminifera, higher FI and agglutinated foraminifera values, along with a lower P/(P + B) ratio (P—planktonic; B—benthic) and coarse fractions provide evidence of enhanced carbonate dissolution during the ETM3. A marked shift toward warmer and more oligotrophic conditions has been inferred that suggests unstable and perturbed environmental conditions both in the photic zone and at the seafloor.

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