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Eustatic variations during the Paleocene-Eocene greenhouse world

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Author: Sluijs, A. · Brinkhuis, H. · Crouch, E.M. · John, C.M. · Handley, L. · Munsterman, D. · Bohaty, S.M. · Zachos, J.C. · Reichart, G.-J. · Schouten, S. · Pancost, R.D. · Damsté, J.S.S. · Welters, N.L.D. · Lotter, A.F. · Dickens, G.R.
Institution: TNO Bouw en Ondergrond
Source:Paleoceanography, 4, 23
Identifier: 241255
Article number: No.: PA4216
Keywords: Geosciences · biomarker · dinoflagellate cyst · Eocene · eustacy · grain size · Hypsithermal · ice sheet · Paleocene · reconstruction · sea level change · Antarctica · Dinophyceae


We reconstruct eustatic variations during the latest Paleocene and earliest Eocene (∼58-52 Ma). Dinoflagellate cysts, grain size fractions, and organic biomarkers in marine sections at four sites from three continents indicate an increased distance to the coast during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM). The same trend is recognized in published records from other sites around the world. Together, the data indicate a eustatic rise during the PETM, beginning 20 to 200 ka before the globally recorded negative carbon isotope excursion (CIE) at ∼55.5 Ma. Although correlations are tentative, we recognize other global transgressions during Chrons C25n and C24n. The latter may be associated with Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (∼53.5 Ma) or the "X"-event (∼52 Ma). These results suggest a link between global sea level and "hyperthermal" intervals, potentially because of the melting of small alpine ice sheets on Antarctica, thermal expansion of seawater, or both. However, the early onset of sea level rise relative to the CIE of the PETM suggests contributions from other mechanisms, perhaps decreasing ocean basin volume, on sea level rise. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.