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Constructing a time scale of biotic recovery across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, Corral Bluffs, Denver Basin, Colorado, U.S.A.

Anthony J. Fuentes, William C. Clyde, Ken Weissenburger, Antoine Bercovici, Tyler R. Lyson, Ian M. Miller, Jahandar Ramezani, Vincent Isakson, Mark D. Schmitz and Kirk R. Johnson
Constructing a time scale of biotic recovery across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, Corral Bluffs, Denver Basin, Colorado, U.S.A.
Rocky Mountain Geology (December 2019) 54 (2): 133-153

Abstract

The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary interval represents one of the most significant mass extinctions and ensuing biotic recoveries in Earth history. Earliest Paleocene fossil mammal faunas corresponding to the Puercan North American Land Mammal Age (NALMA) are thought to be highly endemic and potentially diachronous, necessitating precise chronostratigraphic controls at key fossil localities to constrain recovery dynamics in continental biotas following the K-Pg mass extinction. The Laramide synorogenic sedimentary deposits within the Denver Basin in east-central Colorado preserve one of the most continuous and fossiliferous records of the K-Pg boundary interval in North America. Poor exposure in much of the Denver Basin, however, makes it difficult to correlate between outcrops. To constrain fossil localities in coeval strata across the basin, previous studies have relied upon chronostratigraphic methods such as magnetostratigraphy. Here, we present a new high-resolution magnetostratigraphy of 10 lithostratigraphic sections spanning the K-Pg boundary interval at Corral Bluffs located east of Colorado Springs in the southern part of the Denver Basin. Fossil localities from Corral Bluffs have yielded limited dinosaur remains, mammal fossils assigned to the Puercan NALMA, and numerous fossil leaf localities. Palynological analyses identifying the K-Pg boundary in three sections and two independent, but nearly identical, (super 206) Pb/ (super 238) U age estimates for the same volcanic ash, provide key temporal calibration points. Our paleomagnetic analyses have identified clear polarity reversal boundaries from chron C30n to chron C28r across the sections. It is now possible to place the fossil localities at Corral Bluffs within the broader basin-wide chronostratigraphic framework and evaluate them in the context of K-Pg boundary extinction and recovery.


ISSN: 1555-7332
EISSN: 1555-7340
Serial Title: Rocky Mountain Geology
Serial Volume: 54
Serial Issue: 2
Title: Constructing a time scale of biotic recovery across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary, Corral Bluffs, Denver Basin, Colorado, U.S.A.
Affiliation: University of New Hampshire, Department of Earth Sciences, Durham, NH, United States
Pages: 133-153
Published: 201912
Text Language: English
Publisher: University of Wyoming, Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Laramie, WY, United States
References: 100
Accession Number: 2020-003970
Categories: General paleontologyStratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., geol. sketch maps
N38°49'60" - N39°00'00", W104°40'00" - W104°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Denver Museum of Nature and Science, USA, United StatesSmithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology, USA, United StatesMassachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, United StatesBoise State University, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, University of Wyoming. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 202002
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