Reappraisal of early Paleogene CCD curves: foraminiferal assemblages and stable carbon isotopes across the carbonate facies of Perth Abyssal Plain

Hancock, Haidi J.L., Dickens, Gerald R., Thomas, Ellen, and Blake, Kevin L. (2007) Reappraisal of early Paleogene CCD curves: foraminiferal assemblages and stable carbon isotopes across the carbonate facies of Perth Abyssal Plain. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 96 (5). pp. 925-946.

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Bulk carbonate content, planktic and benthic foraminiferal assemblages, stable isotope compositions of bulk carbonate and Nuttallides truempyi (benthic foraminifera), and non-carbonate mineralogy were examined across ~30 m of carbonate-rich Paleogene sediment at Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) Site 259, on Perth Abyssal Plain off Western Australia. Carbonate content, mostly reflecting nannofossil abundance, ranges from 3 to 80% and generally exceeds 50% between 35 and 57 mbsf. A clay-rich horizon with a carbonate content of about 37% occurs between 55.17 and 55.37 mbsf. The carbonate-rich interval spans planktic foraminiferal zones P4c to P6b (~57–52 Ma), with the clay-rich horizon near the base of our Zone P5 (upper)-P6b. Throughout the studied interval, benthic species dominate foraminiferal assemblages, with scarce planktic foraminifera usually of poor preservation and limited species diversity. A prominent Benthic Foraminiferal Extinction Event (BFEE) occurs across the clay-rich horizon, with an influx of large Acarinina immediately above. The δ13C records of bulk carbonate and N. truempyi exhibit trends similar to those observed in upper Paleocene–lower Eocene (~57–52 Ma) sediment from other locations. Two successive decreases in bulk carbonate and N. truempyi δ13C of 0.5 and 1.0‰ characterize the interval at and immediately above the BFEE. Despite major changes in carbonate content, foraminiferal assemblages and carbon isotopes, the mineralogy of the non-carbonate fraction consistently comprises expanding clay, heulandite (zeolite), quartz, feldspar (sodic or calcic), minor mica, and pyrolusite (MnO2). The uniformity of this mineral assemblage suggests that Site 259 received similar non-carbonate sediment before, during and after pelagic carbonate deposition. The carbonate plug at Site 259 probably represents a drop in the CCD from ~57 to 52–51 Ma, as also recognized at other locations.

Item ID: 2880
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1437-3262
Keywords: Paleocene; carbonate; benthic; Eocene; planktic; carbon cycle
Date Deposited: 08 May 2009 03:43
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040310 Sedimentology @ 40%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040311 Stratigraphy (incl Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy) @ 40%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040502 Chemical Oceanography @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
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