Campanian through Maastrichtian mixed carbonate and siliciclastic sediments in a 422 m continuous core drilled at Kure Beach, NC provide a record of sea-level change. Based on lithology and stratigraphy, depositional sequences are defined, and calcareous nannofossil zones and 87Sr/86Sr ratios and corresponding ages using the LOWESS Table determined. Campanian and Maastrichtian sediments comprise six depositional sequences. The oldest is Tar Heel 1 and contains calcareous nannofossils that indicate assignment to the upper part of Zones CC18a, CC18c and the lower part of CC19. 87Sr/86 Sr ratios indicate ages from 83.2 to 80.0 Ma or lower Campanian. Tar Heel II contains calcareous nannofossils that indicate assignment to the upper part of Zone CC 19 and CC20. 87Sr/86Sr ratios indicate ages from 78.0 to 76.3 Ma or middle Campanian. Donoho Creek I and II are thin and contain calcareous nannofossils referable to upper Zone CC21 and Zone CC22, and to CC23, respectively. The top of Donoho Creek II marks the Campanian-Maastrichtian boundary. Donoho Creek I 87Sr/86Sr ratios cluster into two groups, and provide ages from 78.0 to 76.2 Ma and 73.7 to 72.3 Ma, respectively. 87Sr/86Sr ratios in Donoho Creek II indicate ages from 71.4 to 69.6 Ma. Two Maastrichtian sequences are present; the lowermost Peedee I contains calcareous nannofossils that place it in Zones CC25a and CC25b. 87Sr/86Sr r ratios indicate an age from 69.3 to 66.9 Ma or late Maastrichtian. Peedee II is assigned to calcareous nannofossil Zone CC26a. 87Sr/86Sr ratios indicate ages from 66.4 to 65.2 Ma or late Maastrichtian. The four Campanian sequences correlate to three depositional sequences in New Jersey; the sequence boundary between upper Campanian Donoho Creek I and Donoho Creek II is not recognized in New Jersey. This boundary is interpreted to result from Gulf Stream impingement and subsequent erosion on the outer shelf. The two Maastrichtian sequences recognized in the Kure Beach core correlate to the two identified Maastrichtian sequences in New Jersey. These data support base-level lowering of sea-level during the Campanian-Maastrichtian, and suggest that the western margin of the North Atlantic may contain one of the best Late Cretaceous records of sea-level change.
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Late Cretaceous base level lowering in Campanian and Maastrichtian depositional sequences, Kure Beach, North Carolina