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Implications of reduced turbidity current and landslide activity for the Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum - evidence from two distal, deep-water sites

Clare, Michael; Talling, Peter; Hunt, James. 2015 Implications of reduced turbidity current and landslide activity for the Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum - evidence from two distal, deep-water sites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 420. 102-115. 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.022

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Abstract/Summary

Previous studies propose that submarine landslides and turbidity currents may become more likely due to future rapid global warming. Determining whether global warming increases likelihood assists in assessment of landslide-triggered tsunami hazards and risk to seafloor structures. Other studies propose that landslides helped to trigger past rapid climate change due to sudden release of gas hydrates. Two deep-water turbidite records show prolonged hiatuses in turbidity current activity during the Initial Eocene Thermal Maximum (IETM) at ∼55 Ma. The IETM represents a possible proxy for future anthropogenically-induced climate change. It is likely that our records mainly represent large and fast moving disintegrative submarine landslides. Statistical analysis of long term (>2.3 Myr) records shows that turbidity current frequency significantly decreased after the IETM. Our results indicate that rapid climate change does not necessarily cause increased turbidity current activity, and do not provide evidence for landslides as a primary trigger for the IETM.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.epsl.2015.03.022
ISSN: 0012-821X
Date made live: 13 Mar 2015 13:22 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/510129

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