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Mechanisms of PETM global change constrained by a new record from central Utah

Gabriel J. Bowen and Brenda Beitler Bowen
Mechanisms of PETM global change constrained by a new record from central Utah
Geology (Boulder) (May 2008) 36 (5): 379-382


Catastrophic carbon release and global warming during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) profoundly affected continental climate and ecosystems. Understanding of the details and mechanisms of these effects is limited by the poor geographic coverage of existing continental PETM records. Here, we extend the record of this event in North America through identification of the PETM carbon isotope excursion within a sequence of paleosols in the North Horn Formation of central Utah, some 500 km to the south of previous records from northern Wyoming. Data from the new site suggest that patterns of climatological change were similar across a meridional transect of western North America but that PETM climate was relatively more arid in the southern Rocky Mountains, possibly reflecting diversion of precipitation from middle to high latitudes. Our results are consistent with two proposed mechanisms explaining variation in the amplitude of continental PETM carbon isotope records in terms of changes in floral composition or varying environmental wetness, and they present opportunities for future tests of proposed north-south biotic dispersal during the PETM.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 36
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Mechanisms of PETM global change constrained by a new record from central Utah
Affiliation: Purdue University, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department, West Lafayette, IN, United States
Pages: 379-382
Published: 200805
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 26
Accession Number: 2008-088525
Categories: StratigraphyIsotope geochemistry
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. strat. col., geol. sketch map
N39°24'30" - N39°25'00", W111°42'30" - W111°41'30"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200827
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