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The terminal eocene event and the polish connection

Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

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Abstract

The Eocene/Oligocene boundary in Europe is marked by major discontinuities in all environments: the "Grande Coupure" in continental mammals; the elimination of semitropical elements from high-latitude floras; the virtually complete replacement of the shallow-marine malacofauna; and an extraordinary downslope excursion of carbonate deposition in deep-ocean basins (drop in the CCD). These phenomena collectively represent the "Terminal Eocene Event" (TEE). In the Carpathian Mountains, the TEE is manifested in the thin but regionally persistent Globigerina Marl, a calcareous unit containing abundant cool-water microplankton that occurs within very thick, siliceous, bathyal flysch sequences. In southern Poland, the marl is of very latest Eocene age, within planktonic foraminifera zone P17, calcareous nannoplankton zone NP19/20, and the zone of the dinoflagellate Rhomdodinium perforatum. Zircons from bentonites bracketing the marl are dated by fission-track analysis; at Polany, two underlying bentonites are 41.7 and 39.8 Ma, and at Znamirowice two overlying bentonites are 34.6 and 28.9 Ma, in sequence. This accords with glauconite K/Ar ages in Western Europe by which the Eo/Oligocene boundary age is estimated at 37-38 Ma. Global correlations indicate that the TEE corresponds to a major glacio-eustatic regression with a duration of about 0.5 Ma, in which a large Antarctic ice cap was formed, the ocean circulation was permanently changed to the psychrospheric condition, and world climate shifted irreversibly towards the modern state. ?? 1981.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The terminal eocene event and the polish connection
Series title:
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Volume
36
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
1981
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
First page:
321
Last page:
362