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Orbital forcing of past climates

The annually laminated oil shale from the Eocene maar lake at Messel (Germany) provides an exceptional sedimentary archive to study the early to middle Eocene climate in central Europe. In a new approach we combine borehole logging and highly resolved X-ray fluorescence (XRF) core scanning data to get insights into the short-term climate variability stored in the Messel sediments. To obtain lithological information from the sediments we applied multivariate statistics that resulted in three distinct lithological units. To allow for the comparison of regional and global paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatological data to other archives, we propose a newly reconstructed age model based on astronomical tuning of the borehole logging data, which show climate variability in the Milankovitch range (e.g. precession). Based on our results we derived an age range for the lower to middle Messel formation of 48.2 to 47.2 Ma. The here presented high resolution data provides local insights into the middle Eocene greenhouse climate dynamics.


Jonas Schandl1, Andre Bahr1, Christian Zeeden2, Thomas Wonik2, Sonja Wedmann3, Olaf Lenz4, Stefanie Kaboth-Bahr5
1University of Heidelberg, Germany; 2LIAG Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics; 3Senckenberg Research Station Messel; 4Technische Universität Darmstadt; 5University of Potsdam
GeoMinKöln 2022
Sprendliger Horst