Abstract

The main Deccan volcanic province erupted mainly in terrestrial to lacustrine environments of late Maastrichtian to early Paleocene age, and lack age diagnostic fossils to accurately place the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary. As a result, the precise position of the K-T event within the volcanic province has remained speculative, and no realistic assessment of the biotic consequences of Deccan volcanism at K-T time has been possible. Here, we report the discovery of early Danian Zone P1a planktic foraminifera within lacustrine to brackish-marine ostracod assemblages near Jhilmili, Chhindwara District, India. These foraminiferal assemblages identify the K-T boundary in intertrappean sediments bracketed by basalt traps that are regionally correlative with C29R (Ambenali Formation) and the C29R-C29N transition (Mahalabeshwar Formation). The Jhilmili sequence is thus correlative with the shallow-marine, intertrappean Zone P1a assemblage and C29R and C29N of the lower and upper basalt traps exposed in Rajahmundry quarries. The presence of planktic foraminifera in predominantly terrestrial intertrappean sediments some 800 km from the nearest ocean suggests the presence of a seaway along the Narmada and Tapti rift zones with Jhilmili located at the eastern margin.

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