Astronomical calibration of the Danian stage (Early Paleocene) revisited: Settling chronologies of sedimentary records across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Jaume Dinarès-Turell*, Thomas Westerhold, Victoriano Pujalte, Ursula Röhl, Dick Kroon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Astronomical tuning of sedimentary records to precise orbital solutions has led to unprecedented resolution in the geological time scale. However, the construction of a consistent astronomical time scale for the Paleocene is controversial due to uncertainties in the recognition of the exact number of 405-kyr eccentricity cycles and accurate correlation between key records. Here, we present a new Danian integrated stratigraphic framework using the land-based Zumaia and Sopelana hemipelagic sections from the Basque Basin and deep-sea records drilled during Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Legs 198 (Shatsky Rise, North Pacific) and 208 (Walvis Ridge, South Atlantic) that solves previous discrepancies. The new coherent stratigraphy utilises composite images from ODP cores, a new whole-rock δ13C isotope record at Zumaia and new magnetostratigraphic data from Sopelana.We consistently observe 11 405-kyr eccentricity cycles in all studied Danian successions. We achieve a robust correlation of bioevents and stable isotope events between all studied sections at the ~100-kyr short-eccentricity level, a prerequisite for paleoclimatic interpretations. Comparison with and subsequent tuning of the records to the latest orbital solution La2011 provides astronomically calibrated ages of 66.022. ± 0.040 Ma and 61.607 ± 0.040 Ma for the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) and Danian-Selandian (D-S) boundaries respectively. Low sedimentation rates appear common in all records in the mid-Danian interval, including conspicuous condensed intervals in the oceanic records that in the past have hampered the proper identification of cycles. The comprehensive interbasinal approach applied here reveals pitfalls in time scale construction, filtering techniques in particular, and indicates that some caution and scrutiny has to be applied when building orbital chronologies. Finally, the Zumaia section, already hosting the Selandian Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP), could serve as the global Danian unit stratotype in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Early online date14 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Cyclostratigraphy
  • Danian
  • Magnetostratigraphy
  • ODP
  • Orbital tuning


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