FLORAL RESPONSE TO THE PALEOCENE EOCENE THERMAL MAXIMUM IN THE WESTERN U.S. GULF COAST
Palynological sampling within shoaling-upward regressive deposits in the upper Calvert Bluff Fm at Red Bluff and overlying transgressive deposits of the Carrizo Fm, exposed beside the Colorado River near Bastrop, Texas, reveals a rich assemblage of well-preserved palynomorphs. This section contains an unconformity possibly equivalent to the sequence boundary between the Middle Wilcox and Upper Wilcox of the subsurface and previously thought to coincide with the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum. Prior palynological work has placed the age of the Calvert Bluff here in the late Paleocene, but this study has shown that these sediments are probably Eocene, with the P/E boundary subsurface to the outcrops. Therefore, the palynomorphs present here would potentially record a response in flora during and after the PETM. My research utilizes palynology to refine the age of the sediments and produce a detailed palynological framework around the P/E boundary for this particular Wilcox interval, lending to a better understanding of the effects of the PETM along the western U.S. Gulf Coast.