North American continental margin records of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum: Implications for global carbon and hydrological cycling

The impacts of the Paleocene‐Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) (∼55 Ma), one of the most rapid and extreme warming events in Earth history, are well characterized in open marine and terrestrial environments but are less so on continental margins, a major carbon sink. Here, we present stable isotope, carbonate content, organic matter content, and C:N ratio records through the PETM from new outcrop sections in California and from cores previously drilled on the New Jersey margin. Foraminifer δ18O data suggest that midlatitude shelves warmed by a similar magnitude as the open ocean (5°C–8°C), while the carbon isotope excursion (CIE), recorded both in carbonate and organic matter δ13C records, is slightly larger (3.3–4.5‰) than documented in open ocean records. Sediment accumulation rates increase dramatically during the CIE in marked contrast to the open ocean sites. In parallel, mass accumulation …

File Type: 1029/2007pa001465
Categories: Publications