Skip to Main Content
GEOREF RECORD

Late Cretaceous-early Eocene mass extinctions in the deep sea

Ellen Thomas
Late Cretaceous-early Eocene mass extinctions in the deep sea (in Global catastrophes in Earth history; an interdisciplinary conference on impacts, volcanism, and mass mortality, Virgil L. Sharpton (editor) and Peter D. Ward (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (1990) 247: 481-495

Abstract

Upper Maastrichtian through lowermost Eocene deep-sea benthic foraminiferal records from Maud Rise (Weddell Sea) demonstrate that there was no mass extinction of these organisms at the end of the Cretaceous. In contrast, there was a global extinction of bathyal to abyssal benthic foraminifera at the end of the Paleocene, occurring in fewer than 25,000 yr at Maud Rise. Many benthic foraminiferal species that had originated during the Cretaceous became extinct, although there was no coeval mass extinction (of comparable importance) of terrestrial organisms and planktonic marine organisms. After this extinction the diversity of benthic faunas on Maud Rise was low for about 260,000 yr, and during the period of low diversity, the assemblages were dominated by species that may indicate the presence of abundant organic carbon, and possibly low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. The dominance suggests that the Paleocene/Eocene deep-sea benthic foraminiferal mass extinction was caused by a decrease in oxygen content of the waters bathing the lower bathyal reaches of the sea floor. Such a change could have been caused by a change in the circulation patterns of deep waters: these waters would become depleted in dissolved oxygen if there were a change from predominant formation of deep waters at high latitudes (cooling and sinking) to initiation of, or a strong increase of, formation at low latitudes (evaporation and sinking). (Auth. mod.)


ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Coden: GSAPAZ
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 247
Title: Late Cretaceous-early Eocene mass extinctions in the deep sea
Title: Global catastrophes in Earth history; an interdisciplinary conference on impacts, volcanism, and mass mortality
Author(s): Thomas, Ellen
Author(s): Sharpton, Virgil L.editor
Author(s): Ward, Peter D.editor
Affiliation: Wesleyan Univ., Dep. Earth and Environ. Sci., Middletown, CT, United States
Affiliation: Lunar and Planet. Inst., Houston, TX, United States
Pages: 481-495
Published: 1990
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Meeting name: Global catastrophes in Earth history; an interdisciplinary conference on impacts, volcanism, and mass mortality
Meeting location: Snowbird, UT, USA, United States
Meeting date: 19881020Oct. 20-23, 1988
References: 95
Accession Number: 1995-026172
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., 2 tables, sketch maps
S90°00'00" - S61°00'00", W180°00'00" - E180°00'00"
S67°00'00" - S63°30'00", E00°00'00" - E06°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Univ. Wash., USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from the Antarctic Bibliography, United States
Update Code: 199510
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal