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A latest Cretaceous to earliest Paleogene dinoflagellate cyst zonation of Antarctica, and implications for phytoprovincialism in the high southern latitudes

Bowman, Vanessa C.; Francis, Jane E.; Riding, James B.; Hunter, Stephen J.; Haywood, Alan M.. 2012 A latest Cretaceous to earliest Paleogene dinoflagellate cyst zonation of Antarctica, and implications for phytoprovincialism in the high southern latitudes. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 171. 40-56. 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2011.11.004

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Abstract/Summary

The thickest uppermost Cretaceous to lowermost Paleogene (Maastrichtian to Danian) sedimentary succession in the world is exposed on southern Seymour Island (65° South) in the James Ross Basin, Antarctic Peninsula. This fossiliferous shallow marine sequence, which spans the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, has allowed a high-resolution analysis of well-preserved marine palynomorphs. Previous correlation of Cretaceous–Paleogene marine palynomorph assemblages in the south polar region relied on dinoflagellate cyst biozonations from New Zealand and southern Australia. The age model of the southern Seymour Island succession is refined and placed within the stratigraphical context of the mid to high southern palaeolatitudes. Quantitative palynological analysis of a new 1102 m continuous stratigraphical section comprising the uppermost Snow Hill Island Formation and the López de Bertodano Formation (Marambio Group) across southern Seymour Island was undertaken. We propose the first formal late Maastrichtian to early Danian dinoflagellate cyst zonation scheme for the Antarctic based on this exceptional succession. Two new late Maastrichtian zones, including three subzones, and one new early Danian zone are defined. The oldest beds correlate well with the late Maastrichtian of New Zealand. In a wider context, a new South Polar Province based on Maastrichtian to Danian dinoflagellate cysts is proposed, which excludes most southern South American marine palynofloras. This interpretation is supported by models of ocean currents around Antarctica and implies an unrestricted oceanic connection across Antarctica between southern South America and the Tasman Sea.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.revpalbo.2011.11.004
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Energy Science
ISSN: 0034-6667
Date made live: 12 Mar 2012 17:41
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/17225

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