We explore the potential of high-resolution carbon isotope stratigraphy to provide an independent record of global sea-level changes in a 1600-m-thick succession representing ∼5 m.y. of slope sedimentation in the Eocene Ainsa Basin of Spain. The restricted physiographic setting of the basin results in a bulk δ13Ccarb signal that accurately correlates with the coeval eustatic curve from the New Jersey (USA) passive margin. We show that much of the deep-water sediment gravity flow (SGF) deposits are emplaced during eustatic lowstands and fine-grained marly intervals between SGFs correlate with rising and highstand sea levels. However, we also detect a substantial interval of SGF deposition during a sea-level highstand, confirming the nonuniqueness of the controls on clastic deposition. This approach provides a new way to assess the origin of depositional sequences and improve stratigraphic predictions in basins with limited chronostratigraphic control.

You do not have access to this content, please speak to your institutional administrator if you feel you should have access.