--> --> Understanding the hydroclimatic and associated sedimentologic response to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum in up-dip to down-dip settings

AAPG Foundation 2019 Grants-in-Aid Projects

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Understanding the hydroclimatic and associated sedimentologic response to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum in up-dip to down-dip settings

Abstract

The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is considered the most abrupt geologic representation of major climate change in the Cenozoic era. The PETM may also be the best analog for anthropogenic climate change, yet the hydroclimatic and associated sedimentologic response to the PETM is poorly understood. We intend to study the impact of rapidly warming climate on sedimentation rates, provenance, lithofacies stacking patters and paleohydrology via examination of PETM sections in both proximal (fluvial-lacustrine) and distal (deltaic) portions of the continental-scale central North American sediment routing system. We propose a study of PETM boundary sections hypothesized to be preserved in both the Hanna Formation (Hanna Basin of southern Wyoming) and Wilcox Group (Texas Gulf Coast) that provide an opportunity to study the effects of climatic warming from up-dip to down-dip. Cores from seven Texas Gulf Coast wells have been described and sampled with the intent of locating the PETM via 13C isotope chemostratigraphy, palynology, and detrital zircon geochronology. Fieldwork in the Hanna Basin will focus on identifying abrupt changes in stratigraphy, observing sedimentary structures, and measuring channel geometries to quantitatively estimate paleohydrology and catchment size in the source area. This research aims to (1) develop an analog for how sedimentation and hydrogeology will respond to anthropogenic warming from up-dip to down-dip and (2) develop a predictive framework for how abrupt climatic warming events (hyperthermals) may influence the distribution and quality of petroleum reservoir sands.