Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ECAMMETT (Early Cenozoic Asian Monsoons: Mechanisms and Evolution Through Time)
Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2017-08-31
All the goals set up for Work Package 1 in the initial working plan have been achieved during the first 6 months of the project. Fieldtrip was accomplished during Month 1, U/Pb results were processed and interpreted during months 2 to 4, and stable and clumped isotope results acquired during month 5 during a secondment at the University of Frankfurt.
Results from the U/Pb approach were submitted and published in two journals: GSA bulletin and Nature Communications. They show that despite a significantly different atmospheric concentration in carbon dioxide during the Eocene, wind patterns and atmospheric pressure systems were very similar to today.
Results from the stable and clumped isotope proxies remain to be exploited and published, but are particularly exciting as they seem to show that central Asian desertification was almost completely achieved by the late Eocene.
Work package 2 (Myanmar)
Fieldwork to Myanmar was achieved during month 6, following the initial work plan. However, due to significant delays to ship the samples back to Germany (samples did not make it until month 9), I had to postpone the initially planned geochemical analyses to year 2, and instead focus on Work package 3.
Work package 3 (Turkey)
Fortunately, I had acquired enough material during a previous fieldtrip to start working on Work package 3 as early as Month 7. U/Pb, elemental, stable and clumped isotope data were acquired between months 5 and 11. Additional fieldwork was carried out earlier than previously planned (on month 9 instead of month 13).
Results were eventually synthesized and submitted to the Journal of Asian Earth Sciences during Month 12. We show that Turkish climate during the Eocene was monsoonal, corroborating the extension of monsoonal ecosystems along the Tethyan domain, but that the area remained biogeographically isolated from Asia.
Results from Work Package 2 and 3 are not completely acquired yet, so it is hard to make any prediction about their potential impact.