2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 41-23
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


FUNG, Megan K.1, KATZ, Miriam E.1, BROWNING, James V.2, MILLER, Kenneth G.3 and WRIGHT, James D.3, (1)Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 110 8th Street, Troy, NY 12180, (2)Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, (3)Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, 610 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, fungm2@rpi.edu

Hyperthermals, episodes of abrupt global warming associated with the release of 13C–depleted carbon into Earth’s system, have been documented in the early Eocene and may represent analogs for future climate change. These negative excursions in 18O and 13C have been identified in deep-water DSDP/ODP/IODP sites, although constraints on the timing, magnitude, duration and a comprehensive study on the response of microfossil assemblages and abundances associated with these events is lacking. Here, we study early Eocene hyperthermals by complementing bulk carbonate isotopes with benthic foraminiferal assemblages, planktonic foraminiferal abundances, and ostracod assemblages and abundances from the Bass River site (ODP 174AX), a shallow marine onshore corehole on the New Jersey paleo-continental shelf. Results from our bulk carbonate isotopes display distinct negative 13C and 18O excursions, primarily from sequence E2 (53-54 Ma GTS2012). These excursions, which appear in a step-wise pattern, exhibit maximum decreases of ~1‰ in18O and ~1.5‰ in 13C records. Micropaleontological data indicate a biotic response to these events as well, with shifts in dominant species (e.g., Trifarina wilcoxensis, Osangularia expansa, Cibicidoides pseudoungerianus) corresponding with the excursions. Findings at Bass River endorse our hypothesis that early Eocene hyperthermals are recoverable at shallow-water sites, display prominent negative 13C and 18O excursions, and record a biotic response to environmental changes, with the potential to further constrain the hyperthermals through the use of quantitative faunal analysis in a shallow-water setting.