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Published September 15, 2012 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Extinction patterns, δ^(18) O trends, and magnetostratigraphy from a southern high-latitude Cretaceous–Paleogene section: Links with Deccan volcanism


Although abundant evidence now exists for a massive bolide impact coincident with the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) mass extinction event (~ 65.5 Ma), the relative importance of this impact as an extinction mechanism is still the subject of debate. On Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula, the López de Bertodano Formation yields one of the most expanded K–Pg boundary sections known. Using a new chronology from magnetostratigraphy, and isotopic data from carbonate-secreting macrofauna, we present a high-resolution, high-latitude paleotemperature record spanning this time interval. We find two prominent warming events synchronous with the three main phases of Deccan Traps flood volcanism, and the onset of the second is contemporaneous with a local extinction that pre-dates the bolide impact. What has been termed the K–Pg extinction is potentially the sum of multiple, independent events, at least at high latitudes.

Additional Information

© 2012 Elsevier B.V. Received 19 April 2012. Received in revised form 27 May 2012. Accepted 8 June 2012. Available online 10 July 2012. We thank Dr. Isern and Dr. Borg of NSF Polar Programs for grants OPP-0739541 (PI Kirschvink) and OPP-0739432 (PI's Ward and Steig). We also acknowledge funding from PICTO 36315 and 0114 ANPCyT-DNA (Olivero). We thank two anonymous reviewers for their comments which improved the manuscript. We would also like to thank David J. Smith, Alvar Sobral, Tomás Wagener, Melissa Rider, Stian Alesandrini, John Evans, Dave Barbeau, Andrew Schauer, and Ron Sletten for assistance in the field and laboratory. Magnetostratigraphic data for this paper are available in the supplemental online material and at the MagIC portal, and the isotopic data is available as a supplemental data set and on the UW Isolab website (http://depts.washington.edu/isolab/data/). Fossil material is held at the University of Washington's Burke Museum of Natural History.

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