TERRESTRIAL MERCURY CONCENTRATION RECORDS ACROSS THE CRETACEOUS-PALEOGENE INTERVAL IN NORTH AMERICA
To test these aforementioned hypotheses, we generated sedimentary Hg concentration data from a latitudinal transect of U-Pb and biostratigraphically constrained terrestrial paleosols from the North American interior that span the Upper Cretaceous to lower Paleogene. Since the putative drivers of the ECME may deliver large quantities of Hg to Earth’s surface, the morphology of the Hg concentration records from these sites will yield important information regarding the respective sources of Hg, thus enabling us to evaluate whether Hg accumulation was controlled by an impact, enhanced volcanic activity, or a combination of both, and subsequent biogeochemical feedbacks associated with each. For example, abrupt and transient sedimentary Hg anomalies at the K/Pg boundary will support the impact scenario, whereas broader sedimentary Hg enrichments in the Upper Cretaceous and early Paleogene sediments will support a volcanic role if they occur contemporaneously with the main eruptive phases of the Deccan Traps. These records will also give insight into the fidelity of paleosols as archives of atmospheric Hg deposition.