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      Chasing the 400 kyr pacing of deep-marine sandy submarine fans: Middle Eocene Aínsa Basin, Spanish Pyrenees

      1 , 1 , 2 , 3
      Journal of the Geological Society
      Geological Society of London

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          Abstract

          In an attempt to understand the relative importance of climate and tectonics in modulating coarse-grained sediment flux to a tectonically active basin during what many researchers believe to be a greenhouse period, we have studied the Middle Eocene deep-marine Aínsa Basin, Spanish Pyrenees. We use orbital tuning of many spectral gamma-ray-logged fine-grained siliciclastic sections, already shown to contain Milankovitch frequencies, in conjunction with a new high-resolution palaeomagnetic study through the basin sediments, to identify polarity reversals in the basin as anchor points to allow the conversion of a depth-stratigraphy to a chronostratigraphy. We use these data, in conjunction with a new age model incorporating new biostratigraphic data, to pace the development of the deep-marine sandy submarine fans over c. 8 million years. Timing for the sandy submarine fans shows that, unlike for the fine-grained interfan sediments, coarse-grained delivery to the basin was more complex. Approximately 72% of the sandy fans are potentially coincident with the long-eccentricity (400 kyr) minima and, therefore, potentially recording changing climate. The stratigraphic position of some sandy fans is at variance with this, specifically those that likely coincide with a period of known increased tectonic activity within the Aínsa Basin, which we propose represents the time when the basin was converted into a thrust-top basin (Gavarnie thrust sheet), presumably associated with rapid uplift and redeposition of coarse clastics into deep-marine environments. We also identify sub-Milankovitch climate signals such as the c. 41.5 Ma Late Lutetian Thermal Maximum. This study demonstrates the complex nature of drivers on deep-marine sandy fans in a tectonically active basin over c. 8 Myr. Findings of this study suggest that, even during greenhouse periods, sandy submarine fans are more likely linked with times of eccentricity minima and climate change, broadly consistent with the concept of lowstand fans. However, hysteresis effects in orogenic processes of mountain uplift, erosion and delivery of coarse siliciclastics via fluvial systems to coastal (deltaic) and shallow-marine environments likely contributed to the complex signals that we recognize, including the 2–3 Myr time gap between the onset of deep-marine fine-grained sediments in the early development of the Aínsa Basin and the arrival of the first sandy fans.

          Supplementary Materials: Filtered records for each of the analysed gamma-ray logged sections. Anchor points, SARs tables and graphs and alternative tuning sections are available at: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5132975

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          Chronology of fluctuating sea levels since the triassic.

          Advances in sequence stratigraphy and the development of depositional models have helped explain the origin of genetically related sedimentary packages during sea level cycles. These concepts have provided the basis for the recognition of sea level events in subsurface data and in outcrops of marine sediments around the world. Knowledge of these events has led to a new generation of Mesozoic and Cenozoic global cycle charts that chronicle the history of sea level fluctuations during the past 250 million years in greater detail than was possible from seismic-stratigraphic data alone. An effort has been made to develop a realistic and accurate time scale and widely applicable chronostratigraphy and to integrate depositional sequences documented in public domain outcrop sections from various basins with this chronostratigraphic framework. A description of this approach and an account of the results, illustrated by sea level cycle charts of the Cenozoic, Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic intervals, are presented.
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            The Phanerozoic record of global sea-level change.

            K. Miller (2005)
            We review Phanerozoic sea-level changes [543 million years ago (Ma) to the present] on various time scales and present a new sea-level record for the past 100 million years (My). Long-term sea level peaked at 100 +/- 50 meters during the Cretaceous, implying that ocean-crust production rates were much lower than previously inferred. Sea level mirrors oxygen isotope variations, reflecting ice-volume change on the 10(4)- to 10(6)-year scale, but a link between oxygen isotope and sea level on the 10(7)-year scale must be due to temperature changes that we attribute to tectonically controlled carbon dioxide variations. Sea-level change has influenced phytoplankton evolution, ocean chemistry, and the loci of carbonate, organic carbon, and siliciclastic sediment burial. Over the past 100 My, sea-level changes reflect global climate evolution from a time of ephemeral Antarctic ice sheets (100 to 33 Ma), through a time of large ice sheets primarily in Antarctica (33 to 2.5 Ma), to a world with large Antarctic and large, variable Northern Hemisphere ice sheets (2.5 Ma to the present).
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              Geomorphic/Tectonic Control of Sediment Discharge to the Ocean: The Importance of Small Mountainous Rivers

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
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                Journal
                Journal of the Geological Society
                Journal of the Geological Society
                Geological Society of London
                0016-7649
                2041-479X
                December 16 2020
                January 2021
                January 2021
                September 29 2020
                : 178
                : 1
                : jgs2019-173
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Earth Sciences, University College London (UCL), Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
                [2 ]Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA
                [3 ]Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
                Article
                10.1144/jgs2019-173
                2eb229e5-92d7-49cc-af5e-5986f0b69cf1
                © 2020
                History

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