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Arabia-Eurasia collision and the forcing of mid-Cenozoic global cooling

Allen, M.B.; Armstrong, H.A.

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H.A. Armstrong


The end of the Eocene greenhouse world was the most dramatic phase in the long-term cooling trend of the Cenozoic Era. Here we show that the Arabia–Eurasia collision and the closure of the Tethys ocean gateway began in the Late Eocene at ~ 35 Ma, up to 25 million years earlier than in many reconstructions. We suggest that global cooling was forced by processes associated with the initial collision that reduced atmospheric CO2. These are: 1) waning volcanism across southwest Asia; 2) increased organic carbon storage in Paratethyan basins (e.g. Black Sea and South Caspian); 3) increased silicate weathering in the collision zone and, 4) a shift towards modern patterns of ocean currents, associated with increased vigour in circulation and organic productivity.


Allen, M., & Armstrong, H. (2008). Arabia-Eurasia collision and the forcing of mid-Cenozoic global cooling. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 265(1-2), 52-58.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2008
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 17, 2015
Journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
Print ISSN 0031-0182
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 265
Issue 1-2
Pages 52-58
Keywords Eocene, Oligocene, Tethys, Arabia–Eurasia collision, Global cooling


Accepted Journal Article (439 Kb)

Copyright Statement
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Palaeogeography, palaeoclimatology, palaeoecology, 265/1-2, 2008, 10.1016/j.palaeo.2008.04.021

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