Abstract

An integrated stratigraphic study of the upper Paleocene to lower Eocene Scaglia limestones of the Contessa Road section has allowed us to identify the classical markers of the Paleocene-Eocene transition. The section provides a good magnetostratigraphic record as well as a continuous calcareous nannofossil and foraminiferal biostratigraphy. A negative Carbon Isotopic Excursion (CIE) occurs in the lower part of Chron C24r. The calibration to calcareous plankton zonation indicates that the CIE occurs in the lowermost part of calcareous nannofossil Zone NP10 and the upper part of Zone CP8, that is in the planktonic foraminiferal Zone P5. In the same stratigraphic interval, a distinct turnover in the calcareous benthic foraminifera and a sharp change in the Deep Water Agglutinated Foraminiferal (DWAF) assemblages have been recognised. The record of DWAF, however, indicates a gradual initiation of such a change beginning some 150 k.y. before the CIE and BEE.

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