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      Numerical dating of the Eckfeld maar fossil site, Eifel, Germany: a calibration mark for the Eocene time scale.

      Die Naturwissenschaften
      Animals, Argon, Calibration, Fossils, Germany, Isotopes, Mammals, anatomy & histology, Paleontology, methods, Radioisotopes, Time

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          Abstract

          Sediments of the Eckfeld maar (Eifel, Germany) bear a well-preserved Eocene fauna and flora. Biostratigraphically, Eckfeld corresponds to the Middle Eocene mammal reference level MP (Mammals Paleogene) 13 of the ELMA (European Land Mammal Age) Geiseltalian. In the maar crater, basalt fragments were drilled, representing explosion crater eruption products. By 40Ar/39Ar dating of the basalt, for the first time a direct numerical calibration mark for an Eocene European mammal locality has been established. The Eckfeld basalt inverse isochron date of 44.3 +/- 0.4 Ma suggests an age for the Geiseltalian/Robiacian boundary at 44 Ma and, together with the 1995 time scale of Berggren et al., a time span ranging from 49 to 44 Ma for the Geiseltalian and from 44 to 37 Ma for the Robiacian, respectively. Additional 40Ar/39Ar dating on a genetically related basalt occurrence close to the maar confirms a period of volcanism of ca. 0.6 m.y. in the Eckfeld area, matching the oldest Eocene volcanic activity of the Hocheifel volcanic field.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          10929291
          10.1007/s001140050719

          Chemistry
          Animals,Argon,Calibration,Fossils,Germany,Isotopes,Mammals,anatomy & histology,Paleontology,methods,Radioisotopes,Time

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