Abstract

Marine mollusks and ostracodes indicate a post-Danian Paleocene to early Eocene (Thanetian to Ypresian) age for a fauna from the Prince Creek Formation at Ocean Point, northern Alaska, that also contains genera characteristic of the Cretaceous and Neogene-Quaternary. The life-association of heterochronous taxa at Ocean Point resulted from an unusual paleogeographic setting, the nearly complete isolation of the Arctic Ocean from about the end of the Cretaceous until sometime in the Eocene, in which relict Cretaceous taxa survived into Tertiary time while endemic taxa evolved in situ; these later migrated to the northern mid-latitudes. Paleobiogeographic affinities of the Ocean Point association with mild temperate faunas of the London Basin (England), Denmark, and northern Germany indicate that a shallow, intermittent Paleocene seaway extended through the Norwegian-Greenland Sea to the North Sea Basin. Early Tertiary Arctic Ocean paleogeography deduced from faunal evidence agrees with that inferred from plate-tectonic reconstructions.

You do not currently have access to this article.