Assessing the Contributions of Comet Impact and Volcanism Toward the Climate Perturbations of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Zeyang Liu*, Daniel E. Horton, Clay Tabor, Bradley B. Sageman, Lawrence M.E. Percival, Benjamin C. Gill, David Selby

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum is marked by a prominent negative carbon-isotope excursion, reflecting the injection of thousands of gigatons of isotopically light carbon into the atmosphere. The sources of the isotopically light carbon remain poorly constrained. Utilizing a multiproxy geochemical analysis (osmium isotopes, mercury, sulfur, and platinum group elements) of two Paleocene-Eocene boundary records, we present evidence that a comet impact and major volcanic activity likely contributed to the environmental perturbations during the Paleocene-Eocene interval. Additionally, Earth system model simulations indicate that stratospheric sulfate aerosols, commensurate with the impact magnitude, were likely to have caused transient cooling and reduced precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14798-14806
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 28 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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