Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM
PALEOCLIMATE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF THREE MID-ATLANTIC MIOCENE SITES
Neogene Eastern North America is frequently excluded from global climate predictions due to the relative lack of fossil sites. Current paleoclimate research predicts that the Miocene was typically warmer and wetter than today. Quantitative paleoclimate reconstructions using the coexistence approach allow us to fill the gap. By comparing the Middle to Late Miocene Bryn Mawr deposit in Maryland, the Late Miocene Brandywine deposit in Maryland, and the Middle Miocene Legler Lignite in New Jersey we form a partial picture of the paleoclimate of Mid-Atlantic coastal Eastern North America during the Middle and Late Miocene. All three sites were warmer than they are today while the precipitation was much the same and the climate resembled present-day coastal North and South Carolina. Between the three sites there was a slight cooling trend from the older sites to the younger and only Brandywine experienced freezing temperatures, though infrequently. Brandywine and the Legler Lignite had fairly consistent precipitation throughout the year, while Bryn Mawr had greater seasonal variation. However, due to their coastal nature these sites do not reflect the increased precipitation expected during the Miocene. Better understanding the paleoclimate of this region of the continent will allow for more complete and more accurate climate predictions.