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Dallanave, E, Bachtadse V, Crouch EM, Tauxe L, Shepherd CL, Morgans HEG, Hollis CJ, Hines BR, Sugisaki S.  2016.  Constraining early to middle Eocene climate evolution of the southwest Pacific and Southern Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 433:380-392.   10.1016/j.epsl.2015.11.010   AbstractWebsite

Studies of early Paleogene climate suffer from the scarcity of well-dated sedimentary records from the southern Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean basin during this time. We present a new magnetostratigraphic record from marine sediments that outcrop along the mid-Waipara River, South Island, New Zealand. Fully oriented samples for paleomagnetic analyses were collected along 45 m of stratigraphic section, which encompasses magnetic polarity Chrons from C23n to C21n (similar to 51.5-47 Ma). These results are integrated with foraminiferal, calcareous nannofossil, and dinoflagellate cyst (dinocyst) biostratigraphy from samples collected in three different expeditions along a total of similar to 80 m of section. Biostratigraphic data indicates relatively continuous sedimentation from the lower Waipawan to the upper Heretaungan New Zealand stages (i.e., lower Ypresian to lower Lutetian, 55.5 to 46 Ma). We provide the first magnetostratigraphically-calibrated age of 48.88 Ma for the base of the Heretaungan New Zealand stage (latest early Eocene). To improve the correlation of the climate record in this section with other Southern Ocean records, we reviewed the magnetostratigraphy of Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 1172 (East Tasman Plateau) and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Site 131356 (Wilkes Land Margin, Antarctica). A paleomagnetic study of discrete samples could not confirm any reliable magnetic polarity reversals in the early Eocene at Site 1172. We use the robust magneto-biochronology of a succession of dinocyst bioevents that are common to mid-Waipara, Site 1172, and Site U1356 to assist correlation between the three records. A new integrated chronology offers new insights into the nature and completeness of the southern high-latitude climate histories derived from these sites. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bijl, PK, Bendle JAP, Bohaty SM, Pross J, Schouten S, Tauxe L, Stickley CE, McKay RM, Rohl U, Olney M, Sluijs A, Escutia C, Brinkhuis H.  2013.  Eocene cooling linked to early flow across the Tasmanian Gateway. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110:9645-9650.   10.1073/pnas.1220872110   AbstractWebsite

The warmest global temperatures of the past 85 million years occurred during a prolonged greenhouse episode known as the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (52-50 Ma). The Early Eocene Climatic Optimum terminated with a long-term cooling trend that culminated in continental-scale glaciation of Antarctica from 34 Ma onward. Whereas early studies attributed the Eocene transition from greenhouse to icehouse climates to the tectonic opening of Southern Ocean gateways, more recent investigations invoked a dominant role of declining atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations (e.g., CO2). However, the scarcity of field data has prevented empirical evaluation of these hypotheses. We present marine microfossil and organic geochemical records spanning the early-to-middle Eocene transition from the Wilkes Land Margin, East Antarctica. Dinoflagellate biogeography and sea surface temperature paleothermometry reveal that the earliest throughflow of a westbound Antarctic Counter Current began similar to 49-50 Ma through a southern opening of the Tasmanian Gateway. This early opening occurs in conjunction with the simultaneous onset of regional surface water and continental cooling (2-4 degrees C), evidenced by biomarker- and pollen-based paleothermometry. We interpret that the westbound flowing current flow across the Tasmanian Gateway resulted in cooling of Antarctic surface waters and coasts, which was conveyed to global intermediate waters through invigorated deep convection in southern high latitudes. Although atmospheric CO2 forcing alone would provide a more uniform middle Eocene cooling, the opening of the Tasmanian Gateway better explains Southern Ocean surface water and global deep ocean cooling in the apparent absence of (sub-) equatorial cooling.

Tauxe, L, Stickley CE, Sugisaki S, Bijl PK, Bohaty SM, Brinkhuis H, Escutia C, Flores JA, Houben AJP, Iwai M, Jimenez-Espejo F, McKay R, Passchier S, Pross J, Riesselman CR, Rohl U, Sangiorgi F, Welsh K, Klaus A, Fehr A, Bendle JAP, Dunbar R, Gonzalez J, Hayden T, Katsuki K, Olney MP, Pekar SF, Shrivastava PK, van de Flierdt T, Williams T, Yamane M.  2012.  Chronostratigraphic framework for the IODP Expedition 318 cores from the Wilkes Land Margin: Constraints for paleoceanographic reconstruction. Paleoceanography. 27   10.1029/2012pa002308   AbstractWebsite

The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 318 to the Wilkes Land margin of Antarctica recovered a sedimentary succession ranging in age from lower Eocene to the Holocene. Excellent stratigraphic control is key to understanding the timing of paleoceanographic events through critical climate intervals. Drill sites recovered the lower and middle Eocene, nearly the entire Oligocene, the Miocene from about 17 Ma, the entire Pliocene and much of the Pleistocene. The paleomagnetic properties are generally suitable for magnetostratigraphic interpretation, with well-behaved demagnetization diagrams, uniform distribution of declinations, and a clear separation into two inclination modes. Although the sequences were discontinuously recovered with many gaps due to coring, and there are hiatuses from sedimentary and tectonic processes, the magnetostratigraphic patterns are in general readily interpretable. Our interpretations are integrated with the diatom, radiolarian, calcareous nannofossils and dinoflagellate cyst (dinocyst) biostratigraphy. The magnetostratigraphy significantly improves the resolution of the chronostratigraphy, particularly in intervals with poor biostratigraphic control. However, Southern Ocean records with reliable magnetostratigraphies are notably scarce, and the data reported here provide an opportunity for improved calibration of the biostratigraphic records. In particular, we provide a rare magnetostratigraphic calibration for dinocyst biostratigraphy in the Paleogene and a substantially improved diatom calibration for the Pliocene. This paper presents the stratigraphic framework for future paleoceanographic proxy records which are being developed for the Wilkes Land margin cores. It further provides tight constraints on the duration of regional hiatuses inferred from seismic surveys of the region.