Constraints on the numerical age of the Paleocene‐Eocene boundary

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: This is version 1 of this Preprint.


Download Preprint

Supplementary Files

Adam J Charles, Daniel Condon, Ian C Harding, Heiko Pälike, John A Marshall, Ying Cui, Lee kump, Ian W Croudance


Here we present combined radioisotopic dating (U-Pb zircon) and cyclostratigraphic analysis of the carbon isotope excursion at the Paleocene-Eocene (P-E) boundary in Spitsbergen to determine the numerical age of the boundary. Incorporating the total uncertainty from both radioisotopic and cyclostratigraphic data sets gives an age ranging from 55.728 to 55.964 Ma, within error of a recently proposed astronomical age of ∼55.93 Ma. Combined with the assumption that the Paleocene Epoch spans twenty-five 405 kyr cycles, our new age for the boundary suggests an age of ∼66 Ma for the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Furthermore, our P-E boundary age is consistent with the hypothesis that the onset of the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum at the boundary occurred on the falling limb of a 405 kyr cycle, suggesting the event was initiated by a different mechanism to that which triggered the other early Eocene hyperthermals.



Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Geology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Stratigraphy


Geochronology, eocene, paleocene, PETM, U-Pb, Astrochronology


Published: 2017-11-05 07:37


Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0

Add a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.


There are no comments or no comments have been made public for this article.