The forebulge region of the Cretaceous Canadian Western Interior Sea (CWIS) was susceptible to subaerial exposure and marine erosion during sea level lowstands. The middle Albian to Santonian record as cored at Cold Lake, east-central Alberta, Canada documents numerous disconformities that are expressed in bioclastic concentration horizons and faunal extinctions and turnovers. Detailed comparison between a newly established δ 13C org. record measured on bulk sediment at Cold Lake and a combined δ 13C carb. reference curve based on the Cretaceous English chalk and SE France hemipelagic marlstones highlights missing positive and negative δ 13C excursions at the CWIS forebulge and thus missing sections that precisely corroborate with sequence boundaries. Disconformable boundaries correlate closely with global sea-level lowstands as established for the Cretaceous North Atlantic suggesting a pronounced eustatic influence on the CWIS forebulge setting. Sequence boundaries occur in the uppermost Middle Albian, lowermost Upper Albian, Albian/Cenomanian boundary, Cenomanian/Turonian boundary, middle Turonian to lower Coniacian and uppermost Middle Santonian, each followed by a positive δ 13C excursion. Oceanic anoxic events 1d, 2 and 3 are recognized and linked to major faunal and floral assemblage changes. Of these the Albian/Cenomanian biotic turnover is the most severe in the CWIS marked by the total loss of Albian benthic foraminifera species. Causes of this benthic extinction might be linked to a period of anoxia (OAE 1d) during the latest Albian followed by sea-level controlled basin restriction.

Carbon isotopes, Cretaceous, Extinctions, Forebulge, Oceanic anoxic events, Western Interior Sea
Sedimentary Geology
Department of Earth Sciences

Schroder-Adams, C, Herrle, J.O. (Jens O.), & Tu, Q. (Qiang). (2012). Albian to Santonian carbon isotope excursions and faunal extinctions in the Canadian Western Interior Sea: Recognition of eustatic sea-level controls on a forebulge setting. Sedimentary Geology, 281, 50–58. doi:10.1016/j.sedgeo.2012.08.004