Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Highlights—Tectonics, Climate, and Paleocene Paleosols

Globally warm temperatures and elevated atmospheric CO2 in the Paleocene make this epoch of particular interest for understanding greenhouse worlds; yet, terrestrial records from this interval are rare, particularly in North America. In this study, Torres and Gaines examine morphology, clay mineralogy, and bulk geochemistry of paleosols from two members in the late Paleocene Goler Formation of Southern California to investigate paleoclimatic change during deposition. The results reveal a shift in pedogenic processes concomitant with changes in provenance and sedimentation rate. These data are interpreted to suggest that paleotopographic change, driven by regional tectonic activity, was an important control on local climate and pedogenic processes.

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