2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
Paper No. 160-8
Presentation Time: 10:00 AM-10:15 AM


SINGER, Brad S., Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1215 W. Dayton St, Madison, WI 53076, bsinger@geology.wisc.edu, SAGEMAN, Bradley B., Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University, 1850 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208, SIEWERT, Sarah E., Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1215 West Dayton St, Madison, WI 53076, CONDON, Daniel, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, United Kingdom, OBRADOVICH, John D., U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Box 25046, Denver, CO 80225, JICHA, Brian R., Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison, SAWYER, David A., U.S. Geological Survey, MS 980, Denver, CO 80225, and MEYERS, Stephen R., Department of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin, 1215 West Dayton St, Madison, WI 53076

New 40Ar/39Ar dating of sanidine from Cenomanian-Turonian ash beds in the Western Interior Basin has implications for the Cretaceous time scale and possible drivers of OAE2. Samples include those of Obradovich (1993) plus material recently collected from the E. septemseriatum, N. juddii, W. devonense, and V. birchbyi ammonite zones which give ages of 94.23±0.11, 94.11±0.14, 93.83±0.15, and 93.82±0.20 Ma, respectively, relative to the astrochronologically-calibrated age of 28.201 Ma for Fish Canyon sanidine (Kuiper et al., 2008). Four of seven zircons from ash in the juddii zone measured using CA-TIMS and the ET535 tracer yield a 206Pb/238U age of 94.11±0.11 Ma (analytical uncert.). Propagating full uncertainties (standard or tracer composition+decay constant errors), the 40Ar/39Ar age of this ash is 94.11±0.17 Ma, identical to the 206Pb/238U age of 94.11±0.30 Ma, and supporting the Kuiper et al. (2008) calibration.

In GTS04 the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary is 93.55±0.80 Ma based on 40Ar/39Ar ages of Obradovich (1993) that assume Fish Canyon sanidine is 28.02 Ma. Interpolation between revised ages of the juddii and devonense zones shifts the boundary to 93.97±0.20 Ma. In turn, the time between the astrochronological K-Pg and Cenomanian-Turonian boundaries is 27.99±0.20 Myr, with an uncertainty smaller than a single long eccentricity cycle, a finding that will help test forthcoming astrochronologic time scales for the Mesozoic.

Our revised ages provide a direct test of Sageman et al.'s (2006) astrochronologic age model which suggests a duration of the C-isotope excursion associated with OAE2 of between 563 and 601 ka. Three ash beds spaning OAE2 are 400±182 ka apart. Thus 40Ar/39Ar dating supports the hypotheses that sedimentation was orbitally-forced and that OAE2 lasted 500-600 kyr. The new age of 93.97 Ma for the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary is, however, problematic for the hypothesis of Mitchell et al. (2008) that ocean anoxic events of the mid-Cretaceous, including OAE2, are coincident with, and may even be triggered by, simultaneous nodes in eccentricity, obliquity and precession, predicted by Laskar et al. (2004). Our ages imply that OAE2 began 590 kyr before the proposed nodal insolation minimum. This finding lends credence to the hypothesis that submarine volcanism, rather than orbital forcing, is the trigger for OAE2.

2009 Portland GSA Annual Meeting (18-21 October 2009)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 160
EARTHTIME: From Developing Tools to Teaching about Time
Oregon Convention Center: C123
8:00 AM-12:00 PM, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 41, No. 7, p. 421

© Copyright 2009 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.