Palaeocene–Eocene carbon isotopic excursion from the shallow-marine-carbonate sequence of northeast India: Implications on the CIE magnitude and geometry

  • Sruthi P Sreenivasan
  • Melinda Kumar BeraEmail author
  • Arpita Samanta
  • Ravikant Vadlamani


The exact magnitude of the carbon isotopic excursion (CIE) for the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is essential for our understanding of the carbon cycle perturbation. Global compilation of the PETM CIE magnitudes indicates that the shallow-marine inorganic carbonate could be a potential candidate to decipher the actual CIE magnitude. The present study, therefore, made an attempt to explore the thick Palaeogene shallow-marine carbonate sequence of the Sylhet Limestone exposed in the Jaintia Hills of northeast (NE) India, in terms of the preservation and magnitude of the PETM CIE. Exploratory sampling carried out across the Sylhet Limestone suggests that this sequence was deposited during the Late Palaeocene and Early Eocene, as evident from the age-diagnostic foraminifera. The observed \({\sim }3.4\permille \) CIE at the top of the Lakadong Limestone, resting above the Miscellanea miscella and Ranikothalia nuttalli foraminifera-bearing horizon, can, therefore, be correlated with the PETM CIE. Although the magnitude of the CIE from our limited data set agrees well with the global compilation, the absence of a stepped profile questions the preservation of the CIE reported elsewhere from the Tethyan sequence. Further work is needed for a better understanding of the PETM interval in NE India.


Palaeocene–Eocene thermal maximum carbon isotope excursion NE India marine carbonate Sylhet Limestone 



MKB thanks IIT Kharagpur for funding the fieldwork through its Professional Development Fund. This work forms part of the Ph.D. thesis of SPS, who thanks the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, for the fellowship. We thank IIT Kharagpur for funding the Stable Isotope Analytical Facility through its Diamond Jubilee Laboratories Grant where all isotope data used in this work were generated. The paper is a result of a pre-decision effort in connection with a prospective research grant proposal on identifiable PETM section in the Jaintia Hills for submission to MoES. The authors acknowledge the help extended by the Star Cement authority, particularly by H R Singh and A J Singh.

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Supplementary material 1 (doc 68 KB)


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsIndian Institute of TechnologyKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyAsutosh CollegeKolkataIndia

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