Age and paleoenvironment of the Cenomanian-Turonian global stratotype section and point at Pueblo, Colorado

Gerta Keller, Alfonso Pardo

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168 Scopus citations


Biostratigraphy and stable isotopes indicate that the global stratotype section and point (GSSP) at Pueblo contains an essentially complete sedimentary record across the global ocean anoxic event (OAE 2) and the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary. The OAE 2 δ13C shift occurred over a period of about 90 ky and was accompanied by a major sea level transgression, which at its peak was marked by an incursion of oxygen-rich waters creating a benthic oxic zone that lasted about 100 ky. A mid-Cenomanian δ13C shift, sea level transgression and faunal turnover occurred about 2 my before OAE 2. δ18O values of the planktic foraminifer Hedbergella planispira and its relative abundance changes reveal cyclic variations in surface salinity due to alternating freshwater influx and marine incursions, whereas dominance by the low oxygen tolerant Heterohelix species indicates a well-developed oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) for most of the middle to late Cenomanian and early Turonian. Profound faunal changes accompanied these oceanographic events, including the extinction of 30% of the species assemblage and an equal gain in evolutionary diversification, though the overall combined relative abundances of outgoing and incoming species were less than 2% and 4%, respectively, of the total assemblages. The faunal turnover began with the sea level transgression and rapid increase in δ13C values, and accelerated with the influx of oxygen-rich deep water, increased water mass stratification and competition during the benthic oxic zone. The incursion of oxygen-rich deep waters at this time was also observed in Morocco and may represent a global event of a still unknown source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-128
Number of pages34
JournalMarine Micropaleontology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Palaeontology


  • Cenomanian-Turonian
  • Paleoenvironment
  • Planktic foraminifera
  • Pueblo GSSP


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