Geochemistry of the Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary at Blake Nose (ODP Leg 171B)
F. Martínez-Ruiz, M. Ortega-Huertas, D. Kroon, J. Smit, I. Palomo-Delgado, R. Rocchia, 2001. "Geochemistry of the Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary at Blake Nose (ODP Leg 171B)", Western North Atlantic Palaeogene and Cretaceous Palaeoceanography, Dick Kroon, R. D. Norris, A. Klaus
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The Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary at Blake Nose, in the NW Atlantic, is recorded by a coarse, poorly graded and poorly cemented layer mostly consisting of green spherules that are mainly composed of smectite. Geochemical patterns across the boundary are governed by the source material of the spherule bed and postdepositional processes. The chemical composition and the nature of this bed indicate that it derived from melted target rocks from the Chicxulub impact structure. Ir and other typical extraterrestrial elements do not present significant enrichments, which suggests that the spherule bed material derived from crustal rocks. Ir instead reaches its highest concentration in the burrow-mottled calcareous ooze above the spherule bed, suggesting that it is associated to the finest fraction deposited after the target-rock-derived material. Only the Ni and Co content show slight enrichments within the upper part of the spherule layer, although most of the trace element profiles resulted from diagenetic alteration. During the alteration of glass to smectite, the concentrations of certain trace elements, such as the rare earth elements, were severely changed. In addition, oxygen-poor conditions also led to the remobilization of redox-sensitive elements, which show enhanced concentration at the top or above the spherule bed. Diagenetic remobilization may have also affected the Ir concentration.
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Palaeogene and Cretaceous palaeoceanography has been the focus of intense international interest in the last few years, spurred by deep ocean drilling at Blake Nose in the North Atlantic as well as the need to use past climate change as input for modelling future climate change. This book brings together a number of review papers that describe ancient oceans and unique events in the Earth’s climatic history and evolution of biota. The papers show evidence of periods characterized by exceptional global warmth such as the Late Palaeocene Thermal Maximum and Cretaceous anoxic events. Geochemical records and modelling will make the reader aware that these periods were forced by greenhouse gases. This information is essential for understanding the response of the ocean—climate system to the current input of fossil fuels. In this sense, the book contributes to the understanding of fundamental aspects of Earth’s climate, the carbon cycle, and marine ecosystems. A number of papers describe massive mass wasting deposits resulting from the energy released by the bolide impact at the Cretaceous—Tertiary boundary as well as the geochemistry of the boundary itself. Additional papers cover aspects of cyclostratigraphy and biostratigraphy of Palaeogene and Cretaceous records.
This book will be of interest to a broad audience of Earth Scientists interested in Palaeogene—Cretaceous palaeoceanography, extreme climate modelling, Cretaceous—Tertiary boundary, Late Palaeocene Thermal Maximum, Cretaceous anoxic events, as well as those specifically interested in radiolarian, dinoflagellate and coccolithophorid stratigraphy.