We develop an intercalibrated astrochronologic and radioisotopic time scale for the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary (CTB) interval near the Global Stratotype Section and Point in Colorado, USA, where orbitally influenced rhythmic strata host bentonites that contain sanidine and zircon suitable for 40Ar/ 39Ar and U-Pb dating. Paired 40Ar/ 39Ar and U-Pb ages are determined from four bentonites that span the Vascoceras diartianum to Pseudaspidoceras flexuosum ammonite biozones, utilizing both newly collected material and legacy sanidine samples of J. Obradovich. Comparison of the 40Ar/ 39Ar and U-Pb results underscores the strengths and limitations of each system, and supports an astronomically calibrated Fish Canyon sanidine standard age of 28.201 Ma. The radioisotopic data and published astrochronology are employed to develop a new CTB time scale, using two statistical approaches: (1) a simple integration that yields a CTB age of 93.89 ?? 0.14 Ma (2??; total radioisotopic uncertainty), and (2) a Bayesian intercalibration that explicitly accounts for orbital time scale uncertainty, and yields a CTB age of 93.90 ?? 0.15 Ma (95% credible interval; total radioisotopic and orbital time scale uncertainty). Both approaches firmly anchor the floating orbital time scale, and the Bayesian technique yields astronomically recalibrated radioisotopic ages for individual bentonites, with analytical uncertainties at the permil level of resolution, and total uncertainties below 2???. Using our new results, the duration between the Cenomanian-Turonian and the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundaries is 27.94 ?? 0.16 Ma, with an uncertainty of less than one-half of a long eccentricity cycle. ?? 2012 Geological Society of America.
Additional publication details
Intercalibration of radioisotopic and astrochronologic time scales for the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary interval, western interior Basin, USA