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Title: Main Deccan volcanism phase ends near the K-T boundary: Evidence from the Krishna-Godavari Basin, SE India
Authors: Keller G.
Adatte T.
Gardin S.
Bartolini A.
Bajpai, Sunil
Published in: Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Abstract: Recent studies indicate that the bulk (80%) of the Deccan trap eruptions occurred over less than 0.8 m.y. in magnetic polarity C29r spanning the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary. Determining where within this major eruptive phase the K-T mass extinction occurred has remained problematic. For this reason, models estimating the biotic and environmental consequences have generally underestimated the rate and quantity of Deccan gas emissions by orders of magnitude leading to conclusions that volcanism could not have been one of the major causes for the K-T mass extinction. In this study we report that the most massive Deccan trap eruption occurred near the K-T mass extinction. These results are based on sedimentologic, microfacies and biostratigraphic data of 4-9 m thick intertrappean sediments in four quarry outcrops in the Rajahmundry area of the Krishna-Godavari Basin of southeastern India. In this area two Deccan basalt flows, known as the Rajahmundry traps, mark the longest lava flows extending 1500 km across the Indian continent and into the Bay of Bengal. The sediments directly overlying the lower Rajahmundry trap contain early Danian planktic foraminiferal assemblages of zone P1a, which mark the evolution in the aftermath of the K-T mass extinction. The upper Rajahmundry trap was deposited in magnetic polarity C29n, preceding full biotic recovery. These results suggest that volcanism may have played critical roles in both the K-T mass extinction and the delayed biotic recovery. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Citation: Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2008), 268(43894): 293-311
Issue Date: 2008
Keywords: Deccan volcanism
K-T mass extinction
ISSN: 0012821X
Author Scopus IDs: 7201829659
Author Affiliations: Keller, G., Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, United States
Adatte, T., Geological Institute, University of Neuchatel, Neuchatel, CH-2007, Switzerland
Gardin, S., CNRS-UMR 5143, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France
Bartolini, A., CNRS-UMR 5143, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, 4 Place Jussieu, 75252 Paris, France
Bajpai, S., Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, 247 667 Uttarakhand, India
Funding Details: The first author extends warmest thanks to Vincent Courtillot, Frédéric Fluteau and Ives Gallet for the opportunity to discuss Deccan volcanism during a sabbatical stay at the Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris. We thank reviewers Mike Widdowson, Paul Wignall, Jean Guex and three anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. This material is based upon work supported by the US National Science Foundation's Continental Dynamics Program, Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology Program and Office of International Science & Engineering's India Program under NSF Grants EAR-0207407 and EAR-0750664; the Swiss National Fund No. 21-67702.02/1, CNRS EclipseII programme, and the Government of India, Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Corresponding Author: Keller, G.; Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08540, United States; email:
Appears in Collections:Journal Publications [ES]

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