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Sexton, Philip F; Norris, Richard D; Wilson, Paul A; Pälike, Heiko; Westerhold, Thomas; Röhl, Ursula; Bolton, Clara T; Gibbs, Samantha J (2011): Stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of Eocene benthic foraminifera from ODP Site 207-1258. PANGAEA,, In supplement to: Sexton, PF et al. (2011): Eocene global warming events driven by ventilation of oceanic dissolved organic carbon. Nature, 471, 349-352,

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'Hyperthermals' are intervals of rapid, pronounced global warming known from six episodes within the Palaeocene and Eocene epochs (~65-34 million years (Myr) ago) (Zachos et al., 2005, doi:10.1126/science.1109004; 2008, doi:10.1038/nature06588; Roehl et al., 2007, doi:10.1029/2007GC001784; Thomas et al., 2000; Cramer et al., 2003, doi:10.1029/2003PA000909; Lourens et al., 2005, doi:10.1038/nature03814; Petrizzo, 2005, doi:10.2973/; Sexton et al., 2006, doi:10.1029/2005PA001253; Westerhold et al., 2007, doi:10.1029/2006PA001322; Edgar et al., 2007, doi:10.1038/nature06053; Nicolo et al., 2007, doi:10.1130/G23648A.1; Quillévéré et al., 2008, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2007.10.040; Stap et al., 2010, doi:10.1130/G30777.1). The most extreme hyperthermal was the 170 thousand year (kyr) interval (Roehl et al., 2007) of 5-7 °C global warming (Zachos et al., 2008) during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56 Myr ago). The PETM is widely attributed to massive release of greenhouse gases from buried sedimentary carbon reservoirs (Zachos et al., 2005; 2008; Lourenbs et al., 2005; Nicolo et al., 2007; Dickens et al., 1995, doi:10.1029/95PA02087; Dickens, 2000; 2003, doi:10.1016/S0012-821X(03)00325-X; Panchuk et al., 2008, doi:10.1130/G24474A.1) and other, comparatively modest, hyperthermals have also been linked to the release of sedimentary carbon (Zachos et al., 2008, Lourens et al., 2005; Nicolo et al., 2007; Dickens, 2003; Panchuk et al., 2003). Here we show, using new 2.4-Myr-long Eocene deep ocean records, that the comparatively modest hyperthermals are much more numerous than previously documented, paced by the eccentricity of Earth's orbit and have shorter durations (~40 kyr) and more rapid recovery phases than the PETM. These findings point to the operation of fundamentally different forcing and feedback mechanisms than for the PETM, involving redistribution of carbon among Earth's readily exchangeable surface reservoirs rather than carbon exhumation from, and subsequent burial back into, the sedimentary reservoir. Specifically, we interpret our records to indicate repeated, large-scale releases of dissolved organic carbon (at least 1,600 gigatonnes) from the ocean by ventilation (strengthened oxidation) of the ocean interior. The rapid recovery of the carbon cycle following each Eocene hyperthermal strongly suggests that carbon was resequestered by the ocean, rather than the much slower process of silicate rock weathering proposed for the PETM (Zachos et al., 2005; 2003). Our findings suggest that these pronounced climate warming events were driven not by repeated releases of carbon from buried sedimentary sources (Zachos et al., 2008, Lourens et al., 2005; Nicolo et al., 2007; Dickens, 2003; Panchuk et al., 2003) but, rather, by patterns of surficial carbon redistribution familiar from younger intervals of Earth history.
Related to:
Westerhold, Thomas; Röhl, Ursula (2009): High resolution cyclostratigraphy of the early Eocene - new insights into the origin of the Cenozoic cooling trend. Climate of the Past, 5, 309-327,
Latitude: 9.433333 * Longitude: -54.733050
Date/Time Start: 2003-01-22T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2003-02-01T00:00:00
Minimum DEPTH, sediment/rock: 33.870 m * Maximum DEPTH, sediment/rock: 58.135 m
207-1258 * Latitude: 9.433333 * Longitude: -54.733050 * Date/Time Start: 2003-01-22T00:00:00 * Date/Time End: 2003-02-01T00:00:00 * Elevation: -3192.2 m * Penetration: 1393.4 m * Recovery: 882.7 m * Location: North Atlantic Ocean * Campaign: Leg207 * Basis: Joides Resolution * Method/Device: Composite Core (COMPCORE) * Comment: 141 cores; 1116.6 m cored; 276.8 m drilled; 79 % recovery
DEPTH, sediment (m) is given in mbsf. d18O and d13C data were generated using mono-specific analyses of the benthic foraminifers Cibicidoides subspiratus and Cibicidoides eoceanus. Cibicidoides subspiratus was used as the primary species for stable isotope analysis. However, in certain intervals, notably in the younger part of our record (after 48.5 Myr ago), a decline in abundance of C. subspiratus dictated that we also use C. eoceanus. Although modern core top samples show significant inter-species stable isotope offsets between certain species of Cibicidoides (Curry et al., 1993), our calculated inter-species offsets for the two Eocene species of Cibicidoides (from paired mono-specific analyses, n = 168) are statistically indistinguishable from zero for both d18O and d13C (d18O = -0.031 (1sigma = 0.128); d13C = 0.009 (1sigma = 0.133)). This provides justification for our strategy of using these two species in combination.
#NameShort NameUnitPrincipal InvestigatorMethod/DeviceComment
1Sample code/labelSample labelSexton, Philip FDSDP/ODP/IODP sample designation
2DEPTH, sediment/rockDepthmGeocode
3Depth, compositeDepth compmcdSexton, Philip FIntercore correlation
4Depth, composite revisedDepth crrmcdWesterhold, ThomasIntercore correlationfrom Westerhold and Roehl (2009)
5Depth, composite revised, adjustedDepth adj rmcdarmcdSexton, Philip FIntercore correlation
6Cibicidoides spp., δ13CCibicidoides spp. δ13C‰ PDBSexton, Philip FMass spectrometer Europa Geo 20-20
7Cibicidoides spp., δ18OCibicidoides spp. δ18O‰ PDBSexton, Philip FMass spectrometer Europa Geo 20-20
8AGEAgeka BPGeocode
2337 data points

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