Paleoenvironmental change recorded in submarine fans: the Eocene-Oligocene climate transition in the Alpine foreland basin

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Euan Soutter , Ian Kane, Ander Martínez-Doñate, Adrian Boyce, Jack Stacey, Sébastien Castelltort 


The Eocene-Oligocene transition (EOT) was a period of considerable environmental change, signifying the transition from Paleocene greenhouse to Oligocene icehouse conditions. Preservation of the sedimentary signal of such an environmental change is most likely in net-depositional environments, such as submarine fans, which are the terminal parts of sedimentary systems. Here, using sedimentary and stable isotope data from the Alpine foreland basin, we assess whether this major climatic transition influenced the stratigraphic evolution of submarine fans. Results indicate that fine-grained deposition in deep-water environments corresponds to positive δ13C excursions and eustatic highstands, while coarse-grained deposition corresponds to negative δ13C excursions and eustatic lowstands during the earliest Oligocene. These results indicate that: 1) eustatic sea-level plays a major role in dictating sediment supply to deep-water in foreland basins and, 2) sea-level fluctuations related to Antarctic icesheet growth across the Eocene-Oligocene transition influenced sediment supply to deep-water environments.



Earth Sciences, Geology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sedimentology


submarine fan, sedimentology, deep-water, stable isotopes, Alpine foreland


Published: 2021-06-29 03:18

Last Updated: 2021-10-01 07:17

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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