Determination of sulfite and manganese in sediments from the K/T boundary, supplement to: Griscom, David L; Beltran-Lopez, Virgilio; Pope, Kevin O; Ocampo, Adriana C (2003): New geochemical insights from electron-spin-resonance studies of Mn2+ and SO3 in calcites; quantitative analyses of Chicxulub Crater ejecta from Belize and southern Mexico with comparison to limestones from distal Cretaceous-Tertiary-boundary sites. In: Koeberl, C. (ed.), Impact markers in the stratigraphic record in impact studies, Springer, Berlin, pp. 229-270


The solid-state-physics technique of electron spin resonance (ESR) has been employed in an exploratory study of marine limestones and impact-related deposits from Cretaceous-Tertiary (KT) boundary sites including Spain (Sopelana and Caravaca), New Jersey (Bass River), the U.S. Atlantic continental margin (Blake Nose, ODP Leg 171B/1049/A), and several locations in Belize and southern Mexico within -600 km of the Chicxulub crater. The ESR spectra of SO3(1-) (a radiation-induced point defect involving a sulfite ion substitutional for CO3(2-) which has trapped a positive charge) and Mn(2+) in calcite were singled out for analysis because they are unambiguously interpretable and relatively easy to record. ESR signal strengths of calcite-related SO3(1-) and Mn(2+) have been studied as functions of stratigraphic position in whole-rock samples across the KT boundary at Sopelana, Caravaca, and Blake Nose. At all three of these sites, anomalies in SO3(1-) and/or Mn(2+) intensities are noted at the KT boundary relative to the corresponding background levels in the rocks above and below. At Caravaca, the SO3(1-) background itself is found to be lower by a factor of 2.7 in the first 30,000 years of the Tertiary relative to its steady-state value in the last 15,000 years of the Cretaceous, indicating either an abrupt and quasi-permanent change in ocean chemistry (or temperature) or extinction of the marine biota primarily responsible for fixing sulfite in the late Cretaceous limestones. An exponential decrease in the Mn(2+) concentration per unit mass calcite, [Mn(2+)], as the KT boundary at Caravaca is approached from below (1/e characteristic length =1.4 cm) is interpreted as a result of post-impact leaching of the seafloor.

Metadata Access
Creator Pope, Kevin O;Griscom, David L;Ocampo, Adriana C;Beltran-Lopez, Virgilio
Publisher PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Publication Year 2003
Rights Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC-BY)
Language English
Resource Type Supplementary Collection of Datasets
Format application/zip
Discipline Earth System Research
Spatial Coverage (30N-43N,76W-2 W)
Temporal Point 1997-01-13T11:59:59Z