Drilling probes past carbon cycle perturbations on the Demerara Rise



Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 207 recently cored sediments on the Demerara Rise at ∼9°N in the tropical Atlantic and successfully recovered continuous records of the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (K/T), and Cretaceous Ocean Anoxic Events (OAEs). The Demerara Rise, north of Suriname and French Guyana, South America, is an ideal drilling target because expanded sections of Cretaceous- and Paleogene-age deep-sea sediments are shallowly buried and exist with good stratigraphic control in expanded sections. Furthermore, the northwestern escarpment of the Demerara Rise offered the possibility of recovering sediments along a paleo-depth transect. The paleogeographic position of the Demerara Rise lies within the core of the tropics in a location near the Equatorial Atlantic Gateway between South America and Africa, which is believed to have played an important role in controlling changes in global climate during the Cretaceous.