Abstract

Three new iridium anomaly sites have been discovered in Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary sequences in New Zealand. These are at Needles Point, Chancet Rocks, and Waipara, where integrated iridium deposition values were 165, 211, and 7 ng/cm2, respectively. In contrast to the previously reported Woodside Creek stratigraphic sequence that had an iridium anomaly of 187 ng/cm2, a ferruginous boundary clay is absent in the three new sites, though the base of the Tertiary is marked by limonite staining. The relatively weak anomaly at the Waipara section is probably due to extensive bioturbation coupled with a high sedimentation rate at the time of deposition. The discovery of these additional boundary rock sequences in New Zealand negates suggestions that the Woodside Creek iridium anomaly was a fortuitous occurrence caused by unusual weathering conditions. The integrated iridium deposition values at these three new sites of somewhat different geology support the previously reported high iridium level for Woodside Creek, which until now was the only iridium anomaly on land in the Southern Hemisphere.

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