2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (31 October 3 November 2010)
421 Thursday, 4 November 2010
7:00 AM-5:00 PM, Colorado Convention Center: Lobby E

Rapid Environmental/Climate Change in the Cretaceous Greenhouse World

Primary Leader: Bradley B. Sageman
Leader(s): Robert B. Scott, Kirk R. Johnson
Field Trip Description: Cretaceous deposits of the Western Interior region of North America preserve some of the best exposed and most extensively studied examples of rapid environmental and climate change in the deep time geological record. At a series of localities along the Colorado Front Range one can visit outcrops displaying the full range of depositional environments that characterized the Western Interior seaway, from coastal plain fluvial and deltaic facies to rhythmically bedded hemipelagic carbonates. The extensive epeiric sea that flooded the North American continent from Texas to Arctic Canada, and from Kansas to western Utah, is characterized by one of the richest stratigraphic, paleontologic, and biogeochemical data sets in the geologic record. Upon a foundation of detailed macro- and microfossil biostratigraphy, the correlation and radioisotope dating of widespread altered volcanic ash beds, and the quantitative analysis of rhythmically bedded hemipelagic strata interpreted to reflect Milankovitch cycles, has produced a chronostratigraphic framework that is among the best in the world. The Western Interior provides an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast stratigraphic, paleontologic, and geochemical records with those of the Songliao Basin, where an unprecedented record of terrestrial Cretaceous sedimentation is preserved.
Field Trip will span: 2 days
Sponsor(s): GSA Sedimentary Geology Division

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