Paul E. Olsen

Paul E. Olsen
Columbia University | CU · Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

PhD (Yale: Biology [Ecology and Evolution])

About

320
Publications
88,471
Reads
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12,031
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 1984 - present
Lamont - Doherty Earth Observatory Columbia University
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Education
September 1978 - June 1984
Yale University
Field of study
  • Biology (Ecology & Evolution)
September 1971 - January 1978
Yale University
Field of study
  • Geology

Publications

Publications (320)
Article
Abundant lake ice-rafted debris in Late Triassic and earliest Jurassic strata of the Junggar Basin of northwestern China (paleolatitude ~71°N) indicates that freezing winter temperatures typified the forested Arctic, despite a persistence of extremely high levels of atmospheric P co 2 (partial pressure of CO 2 ). Phylogenetic bracket analysis shows...
Article
The Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, cropping out in and around Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP) in northern Arizona, U.S.A., preserves an important non-marine biotic and sedimentologic record of Late Triassic key Earth-life events. In 2013, the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP) obtained a 520-m-long core of the Triassic strata at PFNP to...
Article
Global warming induced-wildfires of the 21st century reveal the catastrophic effects that widespread biomass burning has on flora and fauna. During mass extinction events, similar wildfire episodes are considered to play an important role in driving perturbations in terrestrial ecosystems. To better evaluate the record of biomass burning and potent...
Article
Full-text available
High-resolution biomarker and compound-specific isotope distributions, coupled with the degradation of calcareous fossil remnants reveal that intensive euxinia and decalcification (acidification) driven by Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) activity formed a two pronged kill mechanism at the end-Triassic mass extinction. In a newly proposed...
Article
Full-text available
The Colorado Plateau Coring Project Phase 1 (CPCP-1) acquired three continuous drill cores from Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP), Arizona, U.S.A., two of which (CPCP-PFNP13-1A and CPCP-PFNP13-2B) intersected the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, Lower(?)-Middle Triassic Moenkopi Formation (MF) and Permian Coconino Sandstone. We examined both co...
Article
Full-text available
The New England-Québec Igneous Province is considered to be a continental expression of Great Meteor Hotspot magmatism, though other geodynamic scenarios have been suggested. Existing geochronologic data lack the needed accuracy and precision to permit tests of potential causal mechanisms. We provide zircon U-Pb ages for four igneous centers and a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Nicholas G. McDonand and Bruce Cornet rediscovered the 19th century Davis and Loper fossil fish bed at the Southeastern edge of the Hartford basin in 1969, and began the first of three excavations, with the involvement of Phil Huber a couple years later. A manuscript was written in 2007 on what Cornet and McDonald initially found when they carefull...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Late Triassic records of the orbital pacing of climate are well documented from the stratigraphy of lake basins and marine facies. However, fewer studies have focused on detecting orbital climate signals preserved by fluvial depositional environments, home to terrestrial life. The sedimentary Chinle Formation of the Colorado Plateau (southwestern U...
Article
Full-text available
Hematite is the most abundant surficial iron oxide on Earth resulting from near-surface processes that make it important for addressing numerous geologic problems. While red beds have proved to be excellent paleomagnetic recorders, the early diagenetic origin of hematite in these units is often questioned. Here, we validate pig-mentary hematite ("p...
Article
The nearly 2000 m-thick Ikakern Formation is the basal sedimentary unit in the Argana basin of Morocco, consisting of fluvial red and purple conglomerates in the lower part and interbedded red conglomerates, sandstones, siltstones and mudstones in the upper part. It unconformably overlies deformed and metamorphosed Variscan basement rocks and is un...
Conference Paper
Global warming induced-wildfires of the 21st century reveal the catastrophic effects that widespread biomass burning has on flora and fauna. During mass extinction events, similar wildfire episodes are considered to play an important role in driving perturbations in terrestrial ecosystems. To better evaluate the record of biomass burning and potent...
Chapter
Full-text available
Multiple lines of evidence suggest that volcanic and thermogenic gas emanations from the voluminous eruptions of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) triggered the end‐Triassic mass extinction. However, a comparison of the timing and duration of the biotic and environmental crises with the timing and duration of the magmatic activity is di...
Article
Full-text available
The negative organic carbon isotope excursion (CIE) associated with the end-Triassic mass extinction (ETE) is conventionally interpreted as the result of a massive flux of isotopically light carbon from exogenous sources into the atmosphere (e.g., thermogenic methane and/or methane clathrate dissociation linked to the Central Atlantic Magmatic Prov...
Article
Uranium–lead (U–Pb) geochronology was conducted by laser ablation – inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) on 7175 detrital zircon grains from 29 samples from the Coconino Sandstone, Moenkopi Formation, and Chinle Formation. These samples were recovered from ∼ 520 m of drill core that was acquired during the Colorado Plateau Coring...
Article
The Upper Triassic Chinle Formation is a critical non-marine archive of low-paleolatitude biotic and environmental change in southwestern North America. The well-studied and highly fossiliferous Chinle strata at Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP), Arizona, preserve a biotic turnover event recorded by vertebrate and palynomorph fossils, which has...
Article
The Newark Basin is one of the major Mesozoic rift basins along the U.S. Atlantic coast evaluated for carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) storage potential. Its geologic setting offers an opportunity to assess both the traditional reservoir targets, e.g., fluvial sandstones, and less traditional options for CO 2 storage, e.g., mafic intrusions and lavas. Select...
Preprint
Full-text available
U-Pb geochronology was conducted by Laser Ablation-Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICPMS) on detrital zircon grains from twenty-nine samples from the Coconino Sandstone, Moenkopi Formation, and Chinle Formation. These samples were recovered from ∼520 m of drill core that was acquired during the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP)...
Conference Paper
The Triassic and Jurassic periods have experienced several significant events in Earth history and the parts of the time interval are calibrated by the widely accepted Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Astrochronostratigraphic Polarity Timescale (APTS); mostly based on cores from the Newark Basin Coring Project (NBCP), which lacks in radioisotopic age d...
Article
Full-text available
The Geological Orrery is a network of geological records of orbitally paced climate designed to address the inherent limitations of solutions for planetary orbits beyond 60 million years ago due to the chaotic nature of Solar System motion. We use results from two scientific coring experiments in Early Mesozoic continental strata: the Newark Basin...
Article
It is widely agreed that the Earth's atmosphere and oceans have undergone major redox changes over the last 2.5 billion years. However, the magnitude of these shifts remains a point of debate because it is difficult to reconstruct concentrations of dissolved O 2 from indirect proxies in sedimentary archives. In this study, we show that an additiona...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite the importance of the Triassic Period (ca. 251.9-201.3 Ma) as a time interval of major events in Earth history, to date the period has relatively sparse geochronologic constraints. An interdisciplinary coring experiment, the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP), was designed to address this with the goal of obtaining both high precision U...
Article
Full-text available
Phase 1 of the Colorado Plateau Coring Project (CPCP-I) recovered a total of over 850m of stratigraphically overlapping core from three coreholes at two sites in the Early to Middle and Late Triassic age largely fluvial Moenkopi and Chinle formations in Petrified Forest National Park (PFNP), northeastern Arizona, USA. Coring took place during Novem...
Article
Full-text available
The Newark-Hartford astrochronostratigraphic polarity timescale (APTS) was developed using a theoretically constant 405-kiloyear eccentricity cycle linked to gravitational interactions with Jupiter-Venus as a tuning target and provides a major timing calibration for about 30 million years of Late Triassic and earliest Jurassic time. While the 405-k...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The end-­Triassic extinction (ETE) has been linked temporally and mechanistically to the emplacement of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). High-­precision U/Pb geochronology establishes the coincidence of the extinction with significant CAMP activity. However, the relationship between large igneous province (LIP) emplacement and the env...
Article
Fossil plant assemblages including spores and pollen grains provide useful information on past ecosystems and the response of terrestrial biotas to various environmental perturbations. New quantitative palynological data from the Chinle Formation of the American Southwest suggest that a floral turnover occurred in the middle Norian (between 217 and...
Article
Full-text available
Postcranial remains of Boreogomphodon from the Upper Triassic of North Carolina are described and compared to those of other known traversodontid cynodonts. The postcranial skeleton of Boreogomphodon is characterized by four sacral ribs, simple ribs lacking costal plates, the extension of the scapular neck below the acromion process, a short scapul...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Correlation of the palynological assemblages from the low latitude Chinle Formation in North America and the high latitude or Tethyan assemblages in Europe is difficult, because of vegetation provincialism as a result of climatic heterogeneity. This significant offset between the European and American palynofloras is the result of the generally hot...
Poster
Full-text available
The Bigoudine Fm represents one of the most widespread facies of the Moroccan Triassic on land and on the shelf with close counterparts on the conjugate Scotian shelf and onshore Atlantic Canada. We describe a magnetic polarity stratigraphy for the Bigoudine based on >300 sampling sites spanning >990 m of composite section comprised of 10 outcrop s...
Poster
The Bigoudine Fm represents one of the most widespread facies of the Moroccan Triassic on land and on the shelf with close counterparts on the conjugate Scotian shelf and onshore Atlantic Canada. We describe a magnetic polarity stratigraphy for the Bigoudine based on >300 sampling sites spanning >990 m of composite section comprised of 10 outcrop s...
Conference Paper
The Chinle Formation hosts a remarkable Norian terrestrial ecosystem with rich floral remains and vertebrate fossils. A floral turnover and reorganisation of riparian plant communities occurred in the Norian Chinle Formation of the American SW indicating ongoing climate change towards more arid climate and severe environmental perturbation. New pal...
Conference Paper
Van Veen (2) hypothesized a hiatus based on European records where vesicate pollen (Patinasporites-Enzonalasporites-Vallisporites complex) disappear in the early Rhaetian while continuing up to the Newarkian ETE, and therefore implying the Newark succession is very condensed, consistent with a major hiatus. This is falsified by the presence of the...