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Paleoenvironment of the Quilchena flora, British Columbia, during the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum

Published on Jun 1, 2016in Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences1.422
· DOI :10.1139/cjes-2015-0163
Rolf W. Mathewes42
Estimated H-index: 42
(SFU: Simon Fraser University),
David R. Greenwood29
Estimated H-index: 29
(Brandon University),
S. Bruce Archibald16
Estimated H-index: 16
(SFU: Simon Fraser University)
Abstract
The Quilchena fossil locality is dated (51.5 ± 0.4 Ma) to the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum, and this locality is reconstructed as the warmest and wettest of the Early Eocene upland sites from the Okanagan Highlands of British Columbia and northern Washington State. Mean annual temperature (MAT) is estimated from leaf margin analysis, using 55 dicot morphotypes, as 16.2 ± 2.1 °C/14.6 ± 4.8 °C. Using bioclimatic analysis of 45 nearest living relatives, a moist mesothermal climate is indicated (MAT 12.7–16.6 °C; cold month mean temperature (CMMT) 3.5–7.9 °C; mean annual precipitation (MAP) 103–157 cm/year. Leaf size analysis estimates MAP at 121 ± 39 cm/year. Estimates from the climate leaf analysis multivariate program corroborate these results, although with a slightly cooler MAT (13.3 ± 2.1 °C). Plants that support an interpretation of warm winters with minimal or no frost include Azolla, Glyptostrobus, Taxodium, Keteleeria, Pseudolarix, Eucommia, Dipteronia, Hovenia, Ternstroemia, and others. These ther...
  • References (55)
  • Citations (12)
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References55
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#1Patrick T. Moss (UQ: University of Queensland)H-Index: 26
#2Robin Y. SmithH-Index: 5
Last. David R. Greenwood (Brandon University)H-Index: 29
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A series of Eocene lake shale deposits from British Columbia, coined the Okanagan Highlands, are dated from associated volcanic ash as mostly from the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO), the longest persisting of the early Paleogene hyperthermals. In this report we focus on high-resolution palynological sampling of short sequences for the Falkland site to determine if they record centennial- or millennial-scale vegetation change during the EECO. The Falkland shales consist of alternating dark-...
5 CitationsSource
#1David R. Greenwood (Brandon University)H-Index: 29
#2Kathleen B. Pigg (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 25
Last. Melanie L. DeVore (GC: Georgia College & State University)H-Index: 13
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Western North America preserves a rich record of Eocene life and environments under globally warm climates, and represents an interval where significant coal and other minerals were deposited. The Eocene is of interest to biologists and paleontologists for its record of the appearance and rise to dominance of many plant, insect, and mammal groups now typical of the temperate forests of North America, admixed with groups now well represented in tropical areas or restricted to eastern Asia. This r...
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#1Cale A.C. Gushulak (Brandon University)H-Index: 1
#2Christopher K. West (U of S: University of Saskatchewan)H-Index: 3
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Early Eocene fossil floras from British Columbia are a rich resource for reconstructing western North American early Cenozoic climate. The best known of these floras reflect cooler (MAT ≤ 15 °C) upland forest communities in contrast to coeval (MAT ≥ 18 °C) forests in lowland western North American sites. Of particular interest is whether Early Eocene climates were monsoonal (highly seasonal precipitation). The McAbee site is a 52.9 ± 0.83 Ma 0.5 km outcrop of bedded lacustrine shale interbedded ...
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#2Kathleen B. Pigg (ASU: Arizona State University)H-Index: 25
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The history of plant fossil collecting in the Okanagan (Okanogan) Highlands of British Columbia and northeastern Washington is closely intertwined with the history of geological surveys and mining activities from the 1870s onward. The first descriptions of fossil plants from British Columbia were published in 1870–1920 by J.W. Dawson, G.M. Dawson, and D.P. Penhallow. In the United States, fossil leaves and fish were first recognized at Republic, Washington, by miners in the early 1900s. Many ear...
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Abstract The early Eocene was the warmest interval of the Cenozoic, and included within it were several hyperthermal events, with the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) the most pronounced of these. These globally warm climates extended into the Arctic and substantive paleobotanical evidence for high Arctic precipitation (MAP > 150 cm/yr) is indicative of an Arctic rainforest, which contradicts some climate models that show low Arctic precipitation. Prior studies of Arctic early Eocene wood...
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