Expedition 342: Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts

Sexton, Philip; Bown, Paul R. and Liebrand, Diederik (2013). Expedition 342: Paleogene Newfoundland Sediment Drifts. Integrated Ocean Drilling Program: UK Newsletter, 38 pp. 2–7.

URL: https://www.bgs.ac.uk/iodp/docs/UKIODP_38.pdf


In searching for insight into future anthropogenic climates from the geological record it is critical that we target records that have adequate fidelity to study the processes that we seek to understand. A long-standing approach to reconstructing Paleogene and Cretaceous palaeoclimates has been to drill sediments that record the long sweep of Earth’s history. This methodology has allowed reconstruction of ocean climate and ecosystem changes over the past ~165 m.y. and has allowed many “extreme climate” events to be placed into context both with respect to broad climate trends and increasingly well resolved chronologies. These sorts of records, however, necessarily involve a trade-off between outlining long histories and understanding ocean dynamics on timescales similar to (or shorter than) the ~1500 year mixing time of the ocean. The majority of recent work on Pliocene–Pleistocene climate dynamics has addressed this by targeting archives with finely resolved chronologies (millennial to century scale) and, in the case of ocean sediments, high deposition rates. This focus on highly resolved records has the potential to reveal dynamics that operate on timescales that have relevance to human society. Expedition 342 is founded on the objective of extending this dynamics-focused approach, for the first time, into the archives of the past greenhouse Earth.

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