Platform evolution around the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO) in a low latitude setting

Stefan Höntzsch

During the Eocene a large number of biotic and oceanic perturbations are recorded that, however, are underexplored with respect to their repercussions on carbonate platforms. The proposed project will contribute to understand the interaction between carbonate production, major changes in carbon cycles and global/local climate changes. We will study the sediment dynamics, the faunal/floral composition, habitats, and changes of carbonate-segregating organisms, to filter out the effects of warming and cooling on the environment and the biota. We will focus on global warming events, like the EECO (Early Eocene Climate Optimum), a long-term warming episode during Early-Middle Eocene or short-term warming events (hyperthermals) like the Elmo or the “xevent” in the Early Eocene. Comparisons with data from warming events and biotic changes on carbonate platforms, e.g. during the PETM (Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum - a short-term warming episode at the Paleocene/Eocene boundary) will allow to define the important paleontologic and sedimentologic parameters of carbonate platforms that are due to climatic perturbations, closely linked to the global carbon cycle. We will concentrate on the various Eocene platform environments and platform-slope settings of the NGWA (North Galala-Wadi Araba High, Egypt) that are linked with basinal settings and thus allow the correlation of platform events with oceanic events.


Höntzsch, S., Scheibner, C., Brock, J.P., Kuss, J. (2013) Circum-Tethyan carbonate platform evolution during the Palaeogene: the Prebetic platform as test for climatically-controlled facies shifts, Turkish Journal of Geology 22: 891-918. PDF

Höntzsch, S., Scheibner, C., Guasti, E., Kuss, H.J., Marzouk, A., Rasser, M.W. (2011) Increasing restriction of the Egyptian shelf during the Early Eocene? – New insights from a southern Tethyan carbonate platform. Palaegeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 302: 349-366. PDF

Höntzsch, S., Scheibner, C., Kuss, H.J., Marzouk, A.M., Rasser, M.W. (2011) Tectonically driven carbonate ramp evolution at the southern Tethyan shelf: the Lower Eocene succession of the Galala Mountains, Egypt. Facies 57: 51-72. PDF

Hoentzsch, S., Scheibner, C., Marzouk, A.M., Rasser, M.W. and Kuss, H.J., (2009): Multiple Early Eocene thermal maxima at low latitude platform carbonates - The Eocene succession of the Galala Mountains, Egypt. In: E.M. Crouch, C.P. Strong and C.J. Hollis (Editors), Climatic and biotic events of the Paleogene (CBEP 2009), extended abstracts from an international conference in Wellington, New Zealand, 12-15 January 2009. GNS Science Miscellaneous Series 18, pp. 70-74.