Abstract

The clay mineral associations in the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary (KTB) and in the Danian and Maastrichtian levels of sections from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Domains have been studied. The Mediterranean sections have a single mineral association consisting of smectite-illite and kaolinite, whereas the Atlantic sections have several associations: illite-chlorite, illite-R1 I-S-kaolinite and illite-R1 I-S-chlorite. Data are presented relating to the influence of K-feldspars and Fe oxide spherules on the clay mineral associations. Study of rare-earth elements shows that regional geological factors affect the clay mineralogy of the KTB, examples showing significant authigenesis in the Mediterranean sections, and important detrital supply in all the Atlantic sections. We propose that the KTB studied in these marine sections is equivalent to the uppermost layer of the two-layered clay unit originating in a cloud of a vapourized bolide. Regional tectonic conditions have been responsible for differences in clay sedimentation in these geological domains and among the stratigraphic sections of the Atlantic Domain.

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