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Distortion of carbon isotope excursion in bulk soil organic matter during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum

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dc.contributor.author Baczynski, Allison A. en
dc.contributor.author McInerney, Francesca A. en
dc.contributor.author Wing, Scott L. en
dc.contributor.author Kraus, Mary J. en
dc.contributor.author Morse, Paul E. en
dc.contributor.author Bloch, Jonathan I. en
dc.contributor.author Chung, Angela H. en
dc.contributor.author Freeman, Katherine H. en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-05-16T15:23:51Z
dc.date.available 2016-05-16T15:23:51Z
dc.date.issued 2016
dc.identifier.citation Baczynski, Allison A., McInerney, Francesca A., Wing, Scott L., Kraus, Mary J., Morse, Paul E., Bloch, Jonathan I., Chung, Angela H., and Freeman, Katherine H. 2016. "<a href="https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/28715">Distortion of carbon isotope excursion in bulk soil organic matter during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum</a>." <em>Geological Society of America Bulletin</em>. 128 (9/10):1352&ndash;1366. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1130/B31389.1">https://doi.org/10.1130/B31389.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0016-7606
dc.identifier.uri https://hdl.handle.net/10088/28715
dc.description.abstract The Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum was a period of abrupt, transient global warming, fueled by a large release of 13C-depleted carbon and marked globally by a negative carbon isotope excursion. While the carbon isotope excursion is often identified in the carbon isotope ratios of bulk soil organic matter (d13Corg), these records can be biased by factors associated with production, degradation, and sources of sedimentary carbon input. To better understand these factors, we compared d13Corg values from Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum rocks in the southeastern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, with those derived from leaf wax n-alkanes (d13Cn-alk). While both d13Cn-alk and d13Corg records indicate an abrupt, negative shift in d13C values, the carbon isotope excursions observed in bulk organic matter are smaller in magnitude and shorter in duration than those in n-alkanes. To explore these discrepancies, we modeled predicted total plant tissue carbon isotope (d13CTT) curves from the d13Cn-alk record using enrichment factors determined in modern C3 plants. Measured d13Corg values are enriched in 13C relative to predicted d13CTT, with greater enrichment during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum than before or after. The greater 13C enrichment could reflect increased degradation of autochthonous organic matter, increased input of allochthonous fossil carbon enriched in 13C, or both. By comparing samples from organic-rich and organic-poor depositional environments, we infer that microbial degradation rates doubled during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum, and we calculate that fossil carbon input increased ~28%-63%. This approach to untangling the controls on the isotopic composition of bulk soil carbon is an important development that will inform not only future studies of global carbon cycle dynamics during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum hyperthermal event, but also any study that seeks to correlate or estimate duration and magnitude of past events using soil organic carbon. en
dc.relation.ispartof Geological Society of America Bulletin en
dc.title Distortion of carbon isotope excursion in bulk soil organic matter during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 139514
dc.identifier.doi 10.1130/B31389.1
rft.jtitle Geological Society of America Bulletin
rft.volume 128
rft.issue 9/10
rft.spage 1352
rft.epage 1366
dc.description.SIUnit NH-Paleobiology en
dc.description.SIUnit NMNH en
dc.description.SIUnit Peer-reviewed en
dc.citation.spage 1352
dc.citation.epage 1366


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