Abstract

A stepped pattern of benthic foraminiferal decimation, survival, and recovery identified across the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary at Caravaca (southeast Spain) suggests that an exceptionally large influx of nutrients reached the sea floor suddenly, at the time of the K-T extinction event. Rapid reestablishment of pre-K-T boundary environmental conditions followed. Our data demonstrate a close coupling between the collapse of the ecologic system in the upper water column at Caravaca and a correspondent decimation of bottom dwellers on the sea floor. The dramatic environmental collapse of deep-water benthic foraminiferal communities at the end of the Cretaceous at Caravaca suggests that the K-T boundary event was geologically instantaneous and catastrophic.

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