EGU23-12739, updated on 07 Oct 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

North Atlantic Drift Sediments Constrain Eocene Tidal Dissipation and the Evolution of the Earth-Moon System.

David De Vleeschouwer1, Donald Penman2, Simon D'haenens3, Fei Wu4, Thomas Westerhold5, Maximilian Vahlenkamp5, Carlotta Cappelli6, Claudia Agnini6, Wendy Kordesch7, Daniel King8, Robin van der Ploeg9, Heiko Pälike5, Sandra Kirtland-Turner10, Paul Wilson11, Richard D. Norris12, James C. Zachos13, Steven Bohaty14, and Pincelli Hull15
David De Vleeschouwer et al.
  • 1Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster, Institute of Geology and Paleontology, Münster, Germany (
  • 2Utah State University
  • 3University of Hasselt
  • 4School of Earth Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources
  • 5MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences
  • 6Department of Geosciences, University of Padua
  • 7Greater Farallones Association
  • 8School of Geography, Environment, and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington
  • 9Shell
  • 10University of California Riverside
  • 11National Oceanography Center, Southampton
  • 12Scripps Institution of Oceanography
  • 13University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 14Heidelberg University
  • 15Yale University

Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology are leading methods for determining geologic time. While this technique is dependent on the accuracy of astronomical calculations, the chaos of the solar system limits the confidence of these calculations when applied to ancient periods. High-resolution paleoclimate records, such as those found in Middle Eocene drift sediments from the Newfoundland Ridge (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Sites (IODP) Expedition 342), offer a unique opportunity to reverse this approach. These sediments, with their high sedimentation rates and distinct lithological cycles, provide an ideal setting for this type of study. However, the stratigraphies of IODP Sites U1408-U1410 are complex and contain several hiatuses. We have overcome this challenge by creating a composite of the two sites and constructing a conservative age-depth model. This has allowed us to create a reliable chronology for this high-resolution sedimentary archive. We have used two different techniques to extract astronomical components (g-terms and precession constant) from proxy time-series, which have produced consistent results. Our study has found that astronomical frequencies are up to 4% lower than those reported in astronomical solution La04. These results provide new constraints on the variability of g-term on million-year timescales, as well as evidence that the g4-g3 "grand eccentricity cycle" may have had a 1.2-Myr period around 41 Ma, instead of its current 2.4-Myr periodicity. Our estimates of the precession constant also confirms previous indications of a relatively low rate of tidal dissipation in the Paleogene. The Newfoundland Ridge drift sediments thus offer a reliable means of reconstructing astronomical components, providing a new target for future astronomical calculations.

How to cite: De Vleeschouwer, D., Penman, D., D'haenens, S., Wu, F., Westerhold, T., Vahlenkamp, M., Cappelli, C., Agnini, C., Kordesch, W., King, D., van der Ploeg, R., Pälike, H., Kirtland-Turner, S., Wilson, P., Norris, R. D., Zachos, J. C., Bohaty, S., and Hull, P.: North Atlantic Drift Sediments Constrain Eocene Tidal Dissipation and the Evolution of the Earth-Moon System., EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 23–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-12739,, 2023.