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Filling the North European Early/Middle Eocene (Ypresian/Lutetian) boundary gap: Insights from the Pyrenean continental to deep-marine record

By A. Payros, J. Tosquella, G. Bernaola, J. Dinarès-Turell, X. Orue-Etxebarria and V. Pujalte


The Early/Middle Eocene (Ypresian/Lutetian) transition is represented by a hiatus in many North European sections, including those in which the classic stratotypes were originally defined. However, the Global Stratotype Section and Point of the Lutetian Stage, which is still pending definition, should be placed at a globally correlatable event included within that unrepresented interval. The Pyrenean Eocene outcrops display sedimentary successions that offer the rare opportunity to analyse the Ypresian/Lutetian boundary interval in almost continuous sections and in very different settings. Seven reference stratigraphic sections were selected on the basis of their quality and correlated by means of biomagnetostratigraphic data. This correlation framework casts light on the sequence of chronostratigraphic events that characterize the Ypresian/Lutetian boundary interval, which may prove useful in defining the main correlation criterion of the base of the Lutetian. All of the Pyrenean sections show a similar sedimentary evolution, despite being up to 350 km apart from each other, containing deposits of different origins (intrabasinal carbonate sediments, siliciclastic sediments sourced from the Iberian plate, and terrigenous sediments sourced from the uplifting Pyrenees) and despite having been accumulated in different sedimentary environments (from continental to deep marine) and in different geodynamic settings (piggy-back basin, foreland basin and cratonic margin). This common evolution can be readily interpreted in terms of a sea-level driven depositional sequence whose lowstand and transgressive systems tracts are included within the Ypresian/Lutetian boundary interval. The Pyrenean Ypresian/Lutetian depositional sequence can reasonably be correlated with depositional sequences from classic North European areas, shedding light on the palaeoenvironmental history which in those areas has not been recorded. Furthermore, these depositional sequences may possibly correlate with others from the Antarctic Ocean and from New Jersey, as well as with oceanic temperature variations, suggesting that they might be the result of climatically-driven glacioeustatic sea-level changes. Should this hypothesis prove correct, it would confirm previous suggestions that the onset of Antarctic glaciations needs to be backshifted to the late Ypresian at least.Published313-3322.2. Laboratorio di paleomagnetismoJCR Journalreserve

Topics: Eocene, Lutetian, Chronostratigraphy, Sequence stratigraphy, Climate, Pyrenees, 03. Hydrosphere::03.01. General::03.01.06. Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology, 04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.10. Stratigraphy, 04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.02. Geomagnetic field variations and reversals, 04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.06. Paleomagnetism
Publisher: 'Elsevier BV'
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.06.018
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Earth-prints
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