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Title: Deccan volcanism, the KT mass extinction and dinosaurs
Authors: Keller G.
Sahni A.
Bajpai, Sunil
Published in: Journal of Biosciences
Abstract: Recent advances in Deccan volcanic studies indicate three volcanic phases with the phase-1 at 67.5 Ma followed by a 2 m.y. period of quiescence. Phase-2 marks the main Deccan volcanic eruptions in Chron 29r near the end of the Maastrichtian and accounts for ?80% of the entire 3500 m thick Deccan lava pile. At least four of the world's longest lava flows spanning 1000 km across India and out into the Gulf of Bengal mark phase-2. The final phase-3 was smaller, coincided with the early Danian Chron 29n and also witnessed several of the longest lava flows. The KT boundary and mass extinction was first discovered based on planktic foraminifera from shallow marine intertrappean sediments exposed in Rajahmundry quarries between the longest lava flows of the main volcanic phase-2 and smaller phase-3. At this locality early Danian (zone P1a) planktic foraminiferal assemblages directly overlie the top of phase-2 eruptions and indicate that the masse extinction coincided with the end of this volcanic phase. Planktic foraminiferal assemblages also mark the KT boundary in intertrappean sediments at Jhilmili, Chhindwara, where freshwater to estuarine conditions prevailed during the early Danian and indicate the presence of a marine seaway across India at KT time. Dinosaur bones, nesting sites with complete eggs and abundant eggshells are known from central India surrounding the hypothesized seaway through the Narmada-Tapti rift zone. A Maastrichtian age is generally assigned to these dinosaur remains. Age control may now be improved based on marine microfossils from sequences deposited in the seaway and correlating these strata to nearby terrestrial sequences with dinosaur remains. © 2009 Indian Academy of Sciences.
Citation: Journal of Biosciences (2009), 34(5): 709-728
Issue Date: 2009
Keywords: Deccan volcanism
Mass extinction
ISSN: 2505991
Author Scopus IDs: 7201829659
Author Affiliations: Keller, G., Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, United States
Sahni, A., Department of Geology, Panjab University, Chandigarh 160 014, India
Bajpai, S., Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee 247 667, India
Funding Details: The material of this study is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation through the Continental Dynamics Program, Sedimentary Geology and Palaeobiology Program and Office of International Science & Engineering’s India Program under NSF Grants EAR-0750664, EAR-0207407 and EAR-0447171(GK); Ramanna Fellowship of the Department of Science Technology, New Delhi (SB). We thankfully acknowledge Krishna Kumar’s help with some of the figures.
Corresponding Author: Keller, G.; Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, United States; email:
Appears in Collections:Journal Publications [ES]

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