Major cores on deck! We are so excited to have evidence of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and the K-Pg boundary!
During the PETM high temperatures and warm oceans created a “hothouse earth. Plants flourished in the warm humid environment. Redwood forests and cypress swamps extended to the poles because there was little to no ice on the planet. On land, mammals thrived and the first whales, horses, and primates appeared. In contrast, the warming oceans experienced changing currents and a mass extinction of plankton in the deep sea. The K-Pg or Cretaceous-Paleogene Extinction is famous for killing off the dinosaurs. At 65.5 million years ago it is very likely that an asterioid hit Earth causing the mass extinction. Both global events were found in cores from our first drilling location. It certainly is a great start to what is shaping up to be a spectacular expedition!
The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum!
Even scientists who were not on shift came up to the core lab to see the PETM.
The K-Pg Boundary – a.k.a. when the dinosaurs went extinct. The greenish black layer is likely ejecta from the asteroid impact!
Sedimentologist Bradley Opdyke takes a closer look at the K/Pg.