EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Paleocene-Eocene carbon isotope excursion recorded in the western Jianghan Basin, China

Xingyu Luo1, Ping Wang2, Cairong Luo1,3, Miao Lv4, Shanying Li5, and Xiaochun Wei6
Xingyu Luo et al.
  • 1School of Geography, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China(
  • 2Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China(
  • 3School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
  • 4Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
  • 5School of Geosciences, China University of Petroleum, Qingdao 266580, China
  • 6School of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310063, China

Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), occurring at Paleocene/Eocene boundary, was a rapid global warming event caused by the release of massive carbon into ocean-atmosphere system. The western Jianghan Basin in central China was documented as a sedimentary archive spanning the Paleocene/Eocene boundary, but the PETM event has never been well constrained. Here, we report the carbon isotope results of pedogenic carbonate and lacustrine carbonate from a newly exposed section in the western Jianghan Basin (close to Yidu city). The ~80-m-thick section consists of Gongjiachong and Yangxi Formations, which can be interpreted as being deposited in a marginal lacustrine environment, dominated by interlayered, medium to thick-bedded gray limestone, calcareous sandstone, and red siltstone with minor conglomerate. From bottom upward, the carbon isotope of total carbon (δ^13 C) shows a rapid decrease from -6.5‰ to -13‰, while the carbon isotope of organic matter (δ^13 C_org) decreases from -24.5‰ to -27.4‰, suggesting a carbon isotope excursion in a short period of time. The carbon isotope records, like the ocean record, clearly show a “Three-Phase Model”: it starts with a rapid carbon isotope negative excursion from about 15 to 20 meters, followed by a slow decline trend from 20 to 36 meters, and then a gradual recovery to the pre-PETM level from 36 to 46 meters. This pattern of carbon isotope change corresponds to a positive feedback process of carbon in the Earth's surface system. Our findings indicate a possible records of PETM events and provide a new perspective for studying early Cenozoic climate change in central China.

How to cite: Luo, X., Wang, P., Luo, C., Lv, M., Li, S., and Wei, X.: Paleocene-Eocene carbon isotope excursion recorded in the western Jianghan Basin, China, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10485,, 2023.