Isotopic studies in Cretaceous research: an introduction
A scientific session on ‘Isotopic studies in Cretaceous research’ was held within the framework of the European Geoscience Union (EGU), Isotope Group, in Vienna, in 2010. The idea summarizing the topics in a book materialized during EGU 2010, and we are grateful to Pier de Groot for a very well-organized session.
The participants to this book present a broad range of studies grouped in marine sections (including OAE events, and the Cretaceous–Paleocene boundary), mixed marine–freshwater, as well as continental records. The investigated profiles are found worldwide, from Europe (Austria, Romania, Spain), Asia (China), South America (Brazil, Colombia) and North America (USA), and are spanning from the Early Cretaceous to the Cretaceous–Paleocene boundary.
This Special Publication is addressed to the scientific investigator interested in isotopic studies combined with geochemical, palaeontological and mineralogical proxies, and based on fieldwork in order to elucidate various aspects of Cretaceous palaeoceanography and continental environmental conditions.
The isotopic analytical investigations used in the different studies included in this volume comprise: carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of carbonates (calcite and siderite); carbon isotopic composition of bulk organic matter or individual biomarkers in sediments; oxygen isotopic composition of phosphates; oxygen isotopic composition of silicate minerals and whole rock; hydrogen isotopic composition of silicates and whole rock; and 87Sr/86Sr isotopic ratio of minerals, carbonates and whole rock.
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The Cretaceous was a period characterized by very warm climate, oceanic anoxic and oxic events and enhanced volcanic activity. The end of the Cretaceous is punctuated by a well-documented asteroid impact and the extinction of, among other groups, the dinosaurs. This volume elucidates various aspects of Cretaceous marine and continental environmental conditions. The articles in this book present a broad range of interdisciplinary contributions, which are grouped into sections on marine environments(including anoxic and oxic events, volcanism and the Cretaceous–Palaeocene boundary); mixed marine–freshwater environments and continental records. The isotopic data are combined with further geochemical, palaeontological, lithological and mineralogical proxies. The interdisciplinary approach offered here gives a solid investigation base for this fascinating period. There are examples from Europe, Asia, South and North America, and from the Early Cretaceous to the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.