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Abstract

Under the auspices of the "Mesozoic-Cenozoic Sequence Stratigraphy of European Basins" project (MCSSEB) an attempt was made to construct a state-of-the-art biochronostratigraphic record of depositional sequences in European basins for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. A well-calibrated regional biochronostratigraphic framework is seen as an essential step towards an eventual demonstration of synchroneity of sequences in basins with different tectonic histories. The Mesozoic sequence stratigraphic and biostratigraphic records for the project (MCSSEB) are calibrated to the Gradstein et al. (1994) temporal scale. The Cenozoic record is calibrated to the Berggren et al. (1995) scale. The primary calibration in the Mesozoic between temporal and standard stratigraphy is based on ammonite biostratigraphy. This calibration was facilitated by the integration of the composite ammonite zonation of the "Sequence Stratigraphy of European Basins" project with the standard stratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and radiometric data for the Triassic through lower Cretaceous intervals in the Gradstein et al. (1994) time scales. The Triassic through lower Cretaceous composite ammonite zonation in Gradstein et al. (1994) includes the highest resolution, zonal or subzonal, ammonite subdivisions available from tethyan as well as boreal areas in Europe. For the upper Cretaceous, Gradstein et al. (1994) calibrated their temporal scale with the Cobban et al. (1994) ammonite record from the Western Interior Basin in the United States, which is well correlated with 40Ar/39Ar dates from bentonites incorporated in the Obradovich (1993) and Gradstein et al. (1994) time scales. Calibration of the upper Cretaceous Western Interior Basin ammonite record with the European succession is relatively well understood for the Cenomanian through Santonian Stages but largely unresolved for the Campanian and Maastrichtian Stages. An incomplete ammonite record in the type areas in Europe and the lack of calibration between zonations of "cosmopolitan" fossil groups such as planktonic foraminifera, calcareous nannofossils and endemic ammonites in North America as well as Europe prevent adequate correlation. Calibration in the Cenozoic between temporal and standard stratigraphy is based on an integrated framework of magnetostratigraphy, planktonic foraminifera and calcareous nannofossils and selected radiometric ages. Subsequent calibration of sequences, strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr), oxygen isotope events, and additional fossil groups from oceanic, near shore and non-marine environments, was carried out by a large number of coordinators and contributors.

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