The Global Standard Stratotype-section and Point (GSSP) for the base of the Eocene Series in the Dababiya section (Egypt)

Aubry, Marie-Pierre; Ouda, Khaled; Dupuis, Christian; Berggren, William A.; Van Couvering, John A.; Ali, Jason; Brinkhuis, Henk; Gingerich, Philip. R.; Heilmann-Clausen, Claus; Hooker, Jeremy; Kent, Dennis V.; King, Chris; Knox, Robert W. O.'B.; Laga, Peter; Molina, Eustoquio; Schmitz, Birger; Steurbaut, Etienne; Ward, David R.

The GSSP for the base of the Eocene Series is located at 1.58 m above the base of Section DBH in the Dababiya Quarry, on the east bank of the Nile River, about 35 km south of Luxor, Egypt. It is the base of Bed 1 of the Dababyia Quarry Beds of the El Mahmiya Member of the Esna Formation, interpreted as having recorded the basal inflection of the carbon isotope excursion (CIE), a prominent (3 to 5%) geochemical signature which is recorded in marine (deep and shallow) and terrestrial settings around the world. The Paleocene/Eocene boundary is thus truly a globally correlatable chronostratigraphic level. It may be correlated also on the basis of 1) the mass extinction of abyssal and bathyal benthic foraminifera (Stensioina beccariiformis microfauna), and reflected at shallower depths by a minor event; 2) the transient occurrence of the excursion taxa among the planktonic foraminifera (Acarinina africana, A. sibaiyaensis, Morozovella allisonensis); 3) the transient occurrence of the Rhomboaster spp. - Discoaster araneus (RD) assemblage; 4) an acme of the dinoflagellate Apectodinium complex. The GSSP-defined Paleocene/Eocene boundary is approximately 0.8 my older than the base of the standard Eocene Series as defined by the Ypresian Stage in epicontinental northwestern Europe.

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Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
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January 19, 2012