Bolide summer; the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum as a response to an extraterrestrial trigger

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doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2005.03.040
Author(s): Cramer, Benjamin S.; Kent, Dennis V.
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
Tohoku University, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Sendai, Japan
Florida International University, United States
Rutgers University, United States
Volume Title: Paleobiotic changes in Earth history and their causes
Volume Author(s): Lamolda, Marcos A., editor; Maurrasse, Florentin J. M. R.; Paul, Christopher R. C.
Source: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 224(1-3), p.144-166; International conference on Bioevents; their stratigraphic records, patterns and causes, Caravaca de la Cruz, Spain, June 3-8, 2003, edited by Marcos A. Lamolda, Florentin J. M. R. Maurrasse and Christopher R. C. Paul. Publisher: Elsevier, Amsterdam, Netherlands. ISSN: 0031-0182 CODEN: PPPYAB
Note: In English. Lamont-Doherty Earth Obs., Contrib. No. 6636. 103 refs.; illus., incl. 2 tables
Summary: The standard paradigm that the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum (PETM) represents a threshold event intrinsic to Earth's climate and connected in some way with long-term warming has influenced interpretations of the geochemical, climate, and biological perturbations that occurred at this event. As recent high-resolution data have demonstrated that the onset of the event was geologically instantaneous, attempts to account for the event solely through endogenous mechanisms have become increasingly strained. The rapid onset of the event indicates that it was triggered by a catastrophic event which we suggest was most likely a bolide impact. We discuss features of the PETM that require explanation and argue that mechanisms that have previously been proposed either cannot explain all of these features or would require some sort of high-energy trigger. A bolide impact could provide such a trigger and, in the event of a comet impact, could contribute directly to the shape of the carbon isotope curve. We introduce a carbon cycle model that would explain the PETM by global warming following a bolide impact, leading to the oxidation of terrestrial organic carbon stores built up during the late Paleocene. Our intention is to encourage other researchers to seriously consider an impact trigger for the PETM, especially in the absence of plausible alternative mechanisms. Abstract Copyright (2005) Elsevier, B.V.
Year of Publication: 2005
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
IPOD International Phase of Ocean Drilling
ODP Ocean Drilling Program
Key Words: 12 Stratigraphy, Historical Geology and Paleoecology; Aliphatic hydrocarbons; Alkanes; Atlantic Ocean; Bioevents; Bolides; C-13/C-12; Carbon; Carbon cycle; Catastrophes; Causes; Cenozoic; Climate change; Correlation; DSDP Site 527; DSDP Site 549; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Deep-sea environment; Eocene; Foraminifera; Geochemical cycle; Geochemistry; Global change; Global warming; Hydrates; Hydrocarbons; IPOD; Impacts; Invertebrata; Isotope ratios; Isotopes; Leg 113; Leg 198; Leg 74; Leg 80; Marine environment; Meteors; Methane; Microfossils; O-18/O-16; ODP Site 1209; ODP Site 690; Ocean Drilling Program; Organic compounds; Oxidation; Oxygen; PETM; Pacific Ocean; Paleocene; Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum; Paleoclimatology; Paleogene; Paleotemperature; Protista; Southern Ocean; Stable isotopes; Tertiary
Coordinates: S650938 S650937 E0011218 E0011218
S280230 S280229 E0014549 E0014547
N323900 N324000 E1583100 E1583000
N490516 N490518 W0130552 W0130554
Record ID: 2005062766
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from CAPCAS, Elsevier Scientific Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands