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AuthorsAgnini, C.* 
Macrì, P.* 
Backman, J.* 
Brinkhuis, H.* 
Fornaciari, E.* 
Giusberti, L.* 
Luciani, V.* 
Rio, D.* 
Sluijs, A.* 
Speranza, F.* 
TitleAn early Eocene carbon cycle perturbation at ~52.5 Ma in the Southern Alps: Chronology and biotic response
Issue Date14-May-2009
Series/Report no./ 24 (2009)
Hyperthermal events
Early Eocene
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy 
04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.06. Paleomagnetism 
04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.09. Environmental magnetism 
AbstractAt least two transient events of extreme global warming occurred superimposed on the long-term latest Paleocene and early Eocene warming trend in the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) (or ETM1 ~55.5 Ma) and the Elmo (or ETM2 ~53.6 Ma). Other than warmth, the best known PETM is characterized by (1) significant injection of 13C-depleted carbon into the ocean-atmosphere system, (2) deep-sea carbonate dissolution, (3) strong biotic responses, and (4) perturbations of the hydrological cycle. Documentation of the other documented and suspected "hyperthermals" is, as yet, insufficient to assess whether they are similar in nature to the PETM. Here we present and discuss biomagnetostratigraphic data and geochemical records across two lower Eocene successions deposited on a continental margin of the western Tethys: the Farra and Possagno sections in the Venetian pre-Alps. We recognize four negative carbon isotope excursions within chron C24. Three of these shifts correlate to known or suspected hyperthermals: the PETM, the Eocene thermal maximum 2 (~53.6 Ma), and the informally named "X event" (~52.5 Ma). The fourth excursion lies within a reverse subchron and occurred between the latter two. In the Farra section, the X event is marked by a ~0.6% negative carbon isotope excursion and carbonate dissolution. Furthermore, the event exhibits responses among calcareous nannofossils, planktic foraminifera, and dinoflagellates that are similar to, though less intense than, those observed across the PETM. Sedimentological and quantitative micropaleontological data from the Farra section also suggest increased weathering and runoff as well as sea surface eutrophication during this event.
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