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Organic-rich sedimentation in the South Pacific Ocean associated with Late Paleocene climatic cooling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Christopher J. Hollis
  • Michael J. S. Tayler
  • Benjamin Andrew
  • Kyle W. Taylor
  • Pontus Lurcock
  • Peter K. Bijl
  • Denise K. Kulhanek
  • Erica M. Crouch
  • Campbell S. Nelson
  • Richard D. Pancosthttp://orcid.org/0000-0003-0298-4026
  • Matthew Huber
  • Gary S. Wilson
  • G. Todd Ventura
  • James S. Crampton
  • Poul Schioler
  • Andy Phillips
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-97
Number of pages17
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Volume134
DOIs
DatePublished - Jul 2014

Abstract

A distinctive organic-rich marine mudstone of Late Paleocene age occurs in most of New Zealand's sedimentary basins and has been identified as a potential source rock for oil and gas. Identified as the Waipawa Formation in the East Coast Basin and the Tartan Formation in the Great South and Canterbury Basins, the unit is a relatively uniform massive mudstone that varies greatly in thickness (2-70 m) and grades laterally into distinctive facies equivalents, notably greensand and a thin-bedded siliceous mudstone. All these facies are characterised by relatively high TOC (0.5-10 wt.%) and 13C enrichment (613Groc > 24%.), and we refer to them collectively as "Waipawa organofacies". Our detailed stratigraphic and geochemical studies refine the age (58.7 to 59.4 Ma), distribution and nature of the Waipawa organofacies. We have determined that deposition occurred in continental margin settings throughout much of the southwest Pacific under cool, dysoxic conditions associated with a significant influx of terrestrial organic matter, high marine productivity, a global fall in sea level, and a regional unconformity across shallow and deep marine settings. The combination of cool temperatures, lowered sea level and bathyal erosion suggests that deposition was linked to short-lived growth of an Antarctic ice sheet in the earliest Late Paleocene (-59 Ma). (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Paleogene, Paleoclimate, Regional cooling, Sea level fall, Organic fades, Geochemistry, EASTERN NEW-ZEALAND, ANTARCTIC CIRCUMPOLAR CURRENT, ISOPRENOID TETRAETHER LIPIDS, EOCENE THERMAL MAXIMUM, SEA-LEVEL CHANGE, DEEP-SEA, PALEOCEANOGRAPHIC SIGNIFICANCE, MARSHALL PARACONFORMITY, ISOTOPE STRATIGRAPHY, CONTINENTAL-MARGIN

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