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Polarity-chron boundary C33n-C32r has been identified in the Upper Cretaceous continental Farmington Sandstone Member of the Kirtland Shale in Hunter Wash in the southwest part of the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, and in the marine Lewis Shale at Chimney Rock, Colorado, in the northeast part of the basin. Single- and multiple-crystal laser fusion 40Ar/39Ar ages of sanidine crystals from volcanic ash beds bracketing the C33n-C32r polarity reversal at Hunter Wash establish its age as 73.50 ± 0.18 Ma. The reversal apparently occurs within the Baculites compressus Western Interior ammonite zone and within the Edmontonian land-vertebrate faunal zone. An 8 Ma hiatus separates Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks in the southern San Juan Basin. These findings provide a precise new interpolated Late Cretaceous tie point for geologic time scales, provide the basis for the direct correlation of Western Interior ammonite zones to European open-ocean faunal zones, and establish the first direct tie between continental and marine fossil zones within the Western Interior of North America.
Additional Publication Details
Precise age of C33N-C32R magnetic-polarity reversal, San Juan Basin, New Mexico and Colorado
Mesozoic geology and paleontology of the Four Corners Region: New Mexico Geological Society, Forty-eighth Annual Field Conference, October 1-4, 1997