Paleohydrological and paleoenvironmental changes recorded in terrestrial sediments of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary (Normandy, France)

Sylvain Garel, Johann Schnyder, Jérémy Jacob, Christian Dupuis, Mohammed Boussafir, Claude Le Milbeau, Jean Yves Storme, Alina I. Iakovleva, Johan Yans, François Baudin, Christine Fléhoc, Florence Quesnel

    Résultats de recherche: Contribution à un journal/une revueArticleRevue par des pairs


    The Paleocene-Eocene boundary (55.8. Ma) is associated with the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), which is characterized by a negative Carbon Isotope Excursion (CIE), reflecting a major perturbation of the carbon cycle, and by an extreme and rapid global warming. The Cap d'Ailly area (Upper Normandy, France), in which previous studies have revealed the Paleocene-Eocene transition, is a reference locality for organic-rich terrestrial and lagoonal deposits of the "Sparnacian" stage, widespread in Northwestern Europe. In this study, we focus on the organic matter content of the Vasterival section. Organic data (Rock-Eval, palynofacies, biomarker analyses and compound specific isotope analyses) were acquired in order to constrain the paleoenvironmental and paleohydrological changes that occurred at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Stable carbon isotope compositions of higher plant leaf wax n-alkanes reveal a CIE of - 4.5‰, extending throughout the second half of the studied section. Palynofacies observations reveal: (i) an abrupt shift from a closed, quiescent marsh pond to an open eutrophic swamp subjected to algal blooms, concomitant with the onset of the CIE; and (ii) the evolution from a swamp to a tidal flat due to the marine transgression that occurred during the PETM. Higher plant biomarkers and their hydrogen isotopic composition compared to nitrogen analyses suggest: (i) dry episodes just before the PETM that may help to understand the triggering of this hyperthermal event; and (ii) a moister climate associated with a stronger seasonality during the early PETM.

    langue originaleAnglais
    Pages (de - à)184-199
    Nombre de pages16
    journalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
    Les DOIs
    Etat de la publicationPublié - 15 avr. 2013

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