Secondary Influences on Paleoclimatic, Ecologic, and Sedimentological Interpretations

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Figure illustrating how smaller sized particles, in this case single foraminiferal shells, are more easily reworked upsection compared to their larger counterparts in a deep sea record of the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum. I discuss the implications of this process on paleoclimatic and paleoecologic interpretations in Hupp et al., 2019 and moreso in a recent manuscript (Hupp & Kelly, 2020). Image and data from Hupp et al. (2019) and Hupp & Kelly (2020).

In order to decipher the code inscribed in sedimentary records, it is imperative that we understand and can identify how secondary processes and vital effects can convolute the original signals housed within. In paleoreconstruction, it is critical that we are able to parse out true primary signals from secondary influences on our records. Much of my work has investigated how secondary mechanisms such as diagenesis and sediment mixing can interfere with our paleoclimatic and paleoecologic interpretations. Similarly, analytical choices we make can also induce biases or lead to false interpretations of our data. I work to characterize these processes/methodological biases as well as the impact they have on distorting paleointerpretations, and work to create methods or best practices for working around these secondary biases. Some specific examples of this work include:

  • Establishing a methodology to deconvolve the effects of sediment mixing on microfossil assemblages

  • Providing evidence for best sampling practices in constructing stable isotope measurements across intervals recording abrupt biogeochemical perturbations to avoid aberrations associated with size-dependent sediment mixing

  • Establishing a method to quantitatively determine clay content and overall mineralogy within mudrocks

  • Exploration of how of the usage multi-shell vs. single whole-shell vs. single-shell in situ stable isotope measurements influence the interpretations drawn from the same record 

Select Publications & Abstracts:​

Hupp, B.H., and Kelly, D.C., in preparation, Evolving modes of carbonate diagenesis:

Implications for constraining oceanic chemical response to the Paleocene-Eocene thermal maximum

Hupp, B.N., and Kelly, D.C., 2020, Delays, Discrepancies, and Distortions: Size‐Dependent

Sediment Mixing and the Deep‐Sea Record of the Paleocene‐Eocene Thermal Maximum From ODP Site 690 (Weddell Sea): Paleoceanography & Paleoclimatology, doi:10.1029/2020PA004018. pdf here

Hupp, B.N., and Kelly, D.C., 2019, Single-shell Stable Isotope Signatures as a Taphonomic

Filter: Deconvolving the Effects of Sediment Mixing on Tropical Planktic Foraminiferal Assemblages from Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. abstract here

Hupp, B.N., Kelly, D.C., Zachos, J.C., and Bralower, T. J., 2019, Effects of Size-Dependent

Sediment Mixing on Deep-Sea Records of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum: Geology, v. 47, p. 749-752, doi:10.1130/G46042.1. pdf here

Hupp, B.N., and Donovan, J.J., 2018, Quantitative mineralogy of the Marcellus Shale,

Appalachian Basin, USA, based on XRD-XRF integration: Sedimentary Geology, v. 371, p. 16-31, doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2018.04.007. pdf here

Penrose Circle Award Ceremony Fall 2018.

Much of my dissertation work regarding carbonate diagenesis was supported through an ExxonMobil/GSA Student Research Grant. Image from the Penrose Circle Reception at the 2018 GSA Annual Meeting. 

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