Extending Back the Palaeogene Astronomical Time Scale: An Integrated Analysis of the Upper Maastrichtian Strata in the Basque Basin
We present a comprehensive, integrated, cyclo–magnetostratigraphic analysis and study of the calcareous nannofossils of the upper Maastrichtian hemipelagic succession in three sections of the Basque Basin (Zumaia, Sopelana, and Hendaia). The sections were correlated at a bed-by-bed scale through careful analysis of the lithological stacking pattern and significant sedimentary features. For spectral analysis, we used an available carbonate proxy record spanning 64 m of section below the K–Pg (Cretaceous–Palaeogene) boundary at Zumaia containing 72 precession-related limestone–marl couplets. The continuous wavelet spectrum helped to determine and visualize the orbital forcing at both the short (~100 kyr) and long (405 kyr) eccentricity bands. We applied bandpass Gaussian filters to the carbonate record to extract the relevant periodicities and provide a cycle-numbering scheme starting at the K–Pg boundary. The full hierarchy of precession cycles and eccentricity-related bundles was then extended towards the base of the Zumaia section, which contains 33 short eccentricity-related bundles, thus spanning more than 3 Myr. The C31r–C31n chron boundary (estimated to occur at ~3.08 Myr prior to the K–Pg boundary) in the lower part of the succession was determined unambiguously in all three sections studied, although the C30n–C29r reversal could not be determined due to a pervasive reverse magnetization acting on the purplish lithologies in the upper part of the succession. Relevant calcareous plankton bioevents were able to be accurately placed on the cyclo–magnetostratigraphic template. The cyclostratigraphic framework also allowed us to estimate the duration of previously defined sea-level-related, third-order depositional sequences in the basin, which appear to be strongly paced by the long-term 1.2 Myr obliquity amplitude modulating cycle.
KeywordsMilankovitch Magnetostratigraphy Calcareous nannofossils Cyclostratigraphy Depositional sequences
This research was funded by project CGL2011-23770 of the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competividad. JDT acknowledges a sabbatical grant from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación.
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