Leg 208, Hole 1263D, Core 4H, Section 1, 45-90 cm

Drilling on Walvis Ridge in the South Atlantic Ocean in 2003 uncovered this core, which shows evidence of the extreme climate warming event that occurred at the Paleocene/Eocene boundary (~54 million years ago). Many Paleocene/Eocene boundary cores had been recovered previously, but this core showed that carbonate dissolved at a very shallow depth at this site, providing evidence to support the theory that the Paleocene/Eocene boundary warming event was caused by release and dissolution of as much as 2000 gigatons of marine methane hydrate (crystallized methane) from below the seafloor.

Download a photo of the core. (JPG, 324KB)

See http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/leg_ndx/208ndex.htm for more detailed information about Leg 208.