Bulletin of Volcanology

, 75:678 | Cite as

Peraluminous igneous rocks as an indicator of thermogenic methane release from the North Atlantic Volcanic Province at the time of the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)

Short Scientific Communication

Abstract

Unusual cordierite-bearing peraluminous dacites, produced by melting of organic-rich sediments by intrusion of basaltic magma, are found within the North Atlantic Volcanic Province (NAVP). Calculations suggest that formation of the dacites, radiometric dated at 55.9 ± 0.3 Ma and possibly widespread, could have released an average of ∼4,500 Gt (range from 3,000 to 6,000 Gt) of carbon as methane, with a δ13C of about −35‰. Published model results suggest that such a methane release could explain the negative δ13C excursion in the oceans and atmosphere, the extreme global warming, and the marked dissolution of carbonates in the deep oceans that accompanied the concurrent Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). Outgassing from melting of sediments and formation of dacites, possibly in conjunction with methane produced in contact metamorphic aureoles and by methane hydrate release, provides a novel way of explaining the PETM and its timing.

Keywords

North Atlantic Volcanic Province Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum Peraluminous dacites 

References

  1. Boulter MC, Manum SB (1989) The Brito-Arctic igneous province flora around the Paleocene/Eocene boundary. In: Eldholm O, et al. (eds) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results 104, 663–680Google Scholar
  2. Carozza DA, Mysak LA, Schmidt GA (2011) Methane and environmental change during the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum (PETM): modeling the PETM onset as a two-stage event. Geophys Res Lett 38:L05702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Colosimo A, Bralower TJ, Zachos JC (2006) Evidence for lysocline shoaling at the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum on Shatsky Rise, Northwest Pacific In: Bralower T, et al. (eds), Proceedings of the ocean drilling program Scientific Results 198, 1–36Google Scholar
  4. Crouch EM, Heilmann-Clausen C, Brinkhuis H, Morgans HEG, Rogers KM, Egger H, Schmitz B (2001) Global dinoflagellate event associated with the late Paleocene thermal maximum. Geology 29:315–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. DeConto RM, Galeotti S, Pagani M, Tracy D, Schaefer K, Zhang T, Pollard D, Beerling DJ (2012) Past extreme warming events linked to massive carbon release from thawing permafrost. Nature 484:87–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dickens GR, O’Neil JR, Owen RM (1995) Dissociation of oceanic methane hydrate as a cause of the carbon-isotope excursion at the end of the Paleocene. Paleoceanog 10:965–971CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dickens GR, Castillo MM, Walker JCG (1997) A blast of gas in the latest Paleocene: simulating first-order effects of massive dissociation of oceanic methane hydrate. Geology 25:259–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Egger H, Heilmann-Clausen C, Schmitz B (2000) The Paleocene/Eocene boundary interval of a Tethyan deep-sea section (Austria) and its correlation with the North Sea basin. Bull Soc Geol France 171:207–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eldholm O, Thomas E (1993) Environmental impact of volcanic margin formation. Earth Planet Sci Lett 117:319–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Galeotti S, Krishnan S, Pagani M, Lanci L, Gaudio A, Zachos JC, Monechi S, Morelli G, Lourens L (2010) Orbital chronology of Early Eocene hyperthermals from the Contessa Road section, central Italy. Earth Planet Sci Lett 290:192–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gatliff RW, Hitchen K, Ritchie JD, Smythe DK (1984) Internal structure of the Erland Tertiary volcanic complex, north of Scotland, revealed by seismic reflection. Jour Geol Soc Lond 141:555–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hegerl GC et al (2006) Climate sensitivity constrained by temperature reconstructions over the past seven centuries. Nature 440:1029–1032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hitchen K, Stoker MS (1993) Mesozoic rocks from the Hebrides Shelf and implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity in the northern Rockall Trough. Marine Petrol Geol 10:248–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hinz K, Mutter JC, Zehnder CM, The NGT Study Group (1987) Symmetric conjugation of continent–ocean boundary structures along the Norwegian and East Greenland Margins. Marine Petrol Geol 4:166–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Huppert HE, Sparks RSJ (1988) The generation of granitic magmas by intrusion of basalt into continental crust. Jour Petrol 29:599–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Isaksen GH, Wilkinson DR, Hitchen K (2000) Geochemistry of organic-rich Cretaceous and Jurassic mudstones in the West Lewis and West Flannan basins, offshore north-west Scotland: implications for source rock presence in the north-east Rockall Trough. Marine Petrol Geol 17:27–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Joppen M, White RS (1990) The structure and subsidence of Rockall Trough from two-ship seismic experiments. Jour Geophys Res 95(19):821, 837Google Scholar
  18. Kanaris-Sotiriou R, Morton AC, Taylor PN (1993) Palaeogene peraluminous magmatism, crustal melting and continental break-up: the Erlend complex, Faeroe-Shetland Basin, NE Atlantic. Jour Geol Soc Lond 150:903–914CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. LeHuray AP, Johnson ES (1989) Rb-Sr systematics of Site 642 volcanic rocks and alteration minerals. In: Eldholm O, et al. (eds) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results 104: 437–448Google Scholar
  20. Lipinski M, Warning B, Brumsack H-J (2003) Trace metal signatures of Jurassic/Cretaceous black shales from the Norwegian Shelf and the Barents Sea. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclimatol Palaeoecol 190:459–475Google Scholar
  21. Lourens LJ, Sluijs A, Kroon D, Zachos JC, Thomas E, Rohl E, Bowles J, Raffi I (2005) Astronomical pacing of Late Paleocene to Early Eocene global warming events. Nature 435:1083–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Miles A, Cartwright J (2010) Hybrid flow sills: a new mode of igneous sheet intrusion. Geology 38:343–346CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Morton AC, Dixon JE, Fitton JG, Macintyre RM, Smythe DK, Taylor PN (1988) Early Tertiary volcanic rocks in Well 163/6-1A, Rockall Trough. Geol Soc Lond Spec Pub 39:293–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Murphy B, Lyle M, Olivarez-Lyle A (2006) Biogenic burial across the Paleocene–Eocene boundary: Ocean Drilling Program Site 1221 In: Wilson PA, et al. (eds) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 199:Google Scholar
  25. Pagani M, Caldeira K, Archer D, Zachos JC (2006) An ancient carbon mystery. Science 314:1556–1557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Panchuk K, Ridgwell A, Kump LR (2008) Sedimentary response to Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum carbon release: a model-data comparison. Geology 36:315–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Parson LM, Viereck LG, Love D, Gibson I, Morton AC, Hertogen J (1989) The petrology of the Lower Series volcanics, ODP site 642. In: Eldholm O, Thiede J, Taylor E, et al. (1989) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results 104B: 993–1030Google Scholar
  28. Saunders AD, Fitton JG, Kerr AC, Norry MJ, Kent RW (1997) The North Atlantic Igneous Province. In: Mahoney JJ, Coffin MF (eds) Large Igneous Provinces, Geophys Monogr 100: 45–93. Amer Geophys Union, Washington DCGoogle Scholar
  29. Sexton PF, Norris RD, Wilson PA, Palike H, Westerhold T, Rohl U, Bolton C, Gibbs S (2011) Eocene global warming events driven by ventilation of oceanic dissolved organic carbon. Nature 471:349–353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sinton CW, Hitchen K Duncan, RA (1998) Ar-40-Ar-39 geochronology of silicic and basic volcanic rocks on the margins of the North Atlantic. Geol Mag 135:161–171Google Scholar
  31. Skogseid J, Pedersen T, Eldholm O, Larsen BJ (1992) Tectonism and magmatism during NE Atlantic continental break-up: the Vøring Margin. Geol Soc Lond Spec Pub 68:305–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Storey M, Duncan RA, Swisher C (2007) Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum and the opening of the Northeast Atlantic. Science 316:587–589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Svensen H, Planke S, Malthe-Sørenssen A, Jamtvelt B, Myklebust R, Eldem TR, Rey SS (2004) Release of methane from a volcanic basin as a mechanism for initial Eocene global warming. Nature 429:542–545CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Thomas DJ, Zachos JC, Bralower TJ, Thomas E, Bohanty S (2002) Warming the fuel for the fire: evidence for the thermal dissociation of methane hydrate during the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum. Geology 30:1067–1070CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Viereck LG, Taylor PN, Parson LM, Morton LM, Hertogen J, Gibson IL, ODP Leg 104 Scientific Party (1988) Origin of the Palaeogene Vøring Plateau volcanic sequence. Geol Soc Lond Spec Pub 39:69–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zeebe RE, Zachos JC, Dickens GR (2009) Carbon dioxide forcing alone insufficient to explain Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum warming. Nature Geosci 2:576–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Studies Program and Department of BiologyNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations