The Woodland Beach Core, Delaware: Paleocene-Eocene Record of a Mid-Atlantic Shoreline Sequence



Smith, Matthew

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The Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), also known as Eocene Thermal Maximum 1 (ETM-1) is a global warming spike that occurs within a long term warming trend in the early Cenozoic Era (56 million years ago). This spike has been detected in the paleoclimate record as a sudden global temperature increase of approximately 5°C an associated increased the amount of 13C-depleted carbon in the ocean. The Wilson Lake core from New Jersey, USA recorded the PETM event. The nearby Woodland Beach core drilled in Delaware, does not immediately appear to have recorded the PETM event. Whether or not the PETM is recorded within the Woodland Beach core is investigated in this thesis using available micro- and nannofossil information, planktonic and benthonic foraminifera, and sediment color intensity analysis. A possible record of the Eocene Layer of Mysterious Origin (ELMO), also known as the Eocene Thermal Maximum 2 (ETM-2) is also investigated. Data from benthonic and planktonic foraminifera counts and preservation, calcareous nannofossils, and sediment color intensity collectively indicate that the most likely position of the Paleocene-Eocene boundary and start of the PETM is at a core depth of 407.8 ft.



PETM, Milankovitch cycles, Foraminifera, Artifact removal