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Extinction and survival of plant life following the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary event, Western Interior, North America ( USA).

Geology

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Abstract

The palynological Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary is recognized in the northern part of the Western Interior by the abrupt disappearance of a few characteristic Cretaceous pollen genera. In the southern part, the boundary is recognized by the disappearance of a somewhat different group of pollen. The abrupt change in both regions takes place precisely at the stratigraphic horizon at which boundary clay layers containing anomalously high concentrations of iridium are found. All the principal Cretaceous pollen genera that disappear regionally have been reported from Tertiary rocks in other parts of North America. Differential apparent extinction and/or survival reflects a pronounced temporary disruption of plant life immediately after the impact event. Some Cretaceous plants must have persisted in refugia to have provided the propagules for the rapid recovery of the flora. No massive total extinction of plant genera at the end of the Cretaceous can be seen from the palynologic record. -from Authors

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Extinction and survival of plant life following the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary event, Western Interior, North America ( USA).
Series title:
Geology
Volume
14
Issue:
8
Year Published:
1986
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geology
First page:
667
Last page:
670
Number of Pages:
4