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Abstract

Cretaceous oceanic red beds (CORBs) in New Zealand are found in Upper Cenomanian to Coniacian marine successions at a number of localities in the Raukumara Peninsula and Wairarapa (East Coast) in the North Island, and Marlborough in the South island, New Zealand. The New Zealand CORBs represent so far the southernmost occurrence of these enigmatic strata. CORBs in New Zealand are found in siliciclastic mudstone-dominated successions interpreted as emplaced by low-density turbidity currents deposited at lower bathyal depths and occur as either 0.5-6 m thick red mudstones or as 10-20 m thick intervals of interbedded red, green, and olive-gray mudstone. The onset of red-bed deposition is penecontemporaneous with the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary and a possible biotic signal, manifested as a rapid decline of macrofauna at the onset of red-bed deposition, culminating in a barren section coincident with the acme of CORB formation. No signal of the Bonarelli OAE2 Event is known from sedimentary rocks in New Zealand.

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