Table of Contents
Paleontology Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 760436, 5 pages
Research Article

The Registration of the Mid-Paleocene Biotic Event (MPBE) in Tunisia

1Département des Sciences de la Terre, Faculté des Sciences de Bizerte, Université de Carthage, Jarzouna, 7021 Bizerte, Tunisia
2Unité de Recherche: Pétrologie Sédimentaire et Cristalline, Université de Tunis El Manar, 1068 Tunis, Tunisia
3Département de Géologie, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Université de Tunis El Manar, 1068 Tunis, Tunisia

Received 16 July 2014; Accepted 8 September 2014; Published 18 September 2014

Academic Editor: Francisco Rodríguez-Tovar

Copyright © 2014 Narjess Karoui-Yaakoub et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In Tunisia, the Paleocene biomarkers are identified within the El Haria Formation shales. The Selandian is absent in most of the Paleocene outcrops and the Thanetian is unconformable to different stages of the Cretaceous. In the middle of Selandian, with the beginning of the Globanomalina pseudomenardii (P4) zone, we note that the assemblage of planktonic foraminifera becomes very poorly preserved and much less abundant than at the base. It is represented by rare species and there has been a start of the microfauna dissolution tests and an enrichment in iron oxides, silica, and gypsum crystals. The dissolution process is increasing more and more and a drop in the content of carbonates is clearly recorded at the top of Selandian. However, we note that some small benthic foraminifera belonging to the genera Lenticulina and Anomalina escape the dissolution and very few planktonic foraminifera belonging to the genera Subbotina are preserved. This dramatic and abnormal dissolution extends over a considerable thickness. These features could be an expression of the mid-Paleocene biotic event (MPBE), registered for the first time in Tunisia. This intense dissolution is caused probably by the change in the solubility of carbonates, which may be related to the changes in the deep-water circulation or to the change in the productivity of the surface waters.