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BIOSTRATIGRAPHY, AGE OF CHICXULUB IMPACT, AND DEPOSITIONAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE BRAZOS RIVER KTB SEQUENCES
GERTA KELLER Department of Geosciences, Princeton University, Princeton NJ 08544, U.S.A. e-mail: gkeller@princeton.edu SIGAL ABRAMOVICH Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba 84105, Israel

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ZSOLT BERNER Institute for Mineralogy and Geochemistry, University of Karlsruhe, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany
ABSTRACT: Integrated biostratigraphy, sedimentology, and stable isotopes of 11 outcrops and wells along the Brazos River of Falls County, Texas, U.S.A., reveal the stratigraphic separation and sequential depositional history of the Chicxulub impact, followed by the sandstone complex and associated sea-level fall, which in turn was followed by the CretaceousTertiary boundary (KTB). The KTB was identied up to 1 m above the sandstone complex based on three global standard criteria: the mass extinction in planktic foraminifera, evolution of rst Danian species, and negative d13C shift. No Ir anomaly is associated with the KTB or the Chicxulub impact ejecta layers. Upper Maastrichtian sediment deposition occurred in a middle-shelf environment that shallowed to inner-shelf depth at the time of deposition of the sandstone complex. At this time, Brazos sections show distinct shallowing from inner-neritic in the north to infra-neritic and lagoonal at Cottonmouth Creek, with further shallowing to intertidal swamp or marsh conditions in the Darting Minnow Creek area to the south. The sandstone complex is the most prominent feature of the Brazos sections. At the base of this unit are reworked Chicxulub impact spherules and lithied clasts with impact spherules and mud cracks that bear witness to erosion of an older primary spherule deposit. This primary Chicxulub impact ejecta layer was discovered between 45 and 60 cm below the sandstone complex in a 3 cm thick yellow clay altered impact glass layer. The sandstone complex, the reworked impact spherules, the spherule-rich clasts, and the yellow clay layer all clearly predate the KTB. KEY WORDS: Biostratigraphy, Brazos, Texas, Chicxulub Impact, Cretaceous-Tertiary, Mass Extinction, Evolution, d13C shift, Ir anomaly, Sea level, Sandstone complex, Depositional environment

INTRODUCTION

The most complete CretaceousTertiary (KT) transitions in the U.S.A. are found in central Texas along a 3 km stretch extending from Highway 413 south along the Brazos River of Falls County and its tributaries the Cottonmouth and Darting Minnow Creeks (Fig. 1). These sections rst attracted attention in the early 1980s because of a prominent sandstone complex, also called an event deposit, with minor anomalous concentrations of iridium in sandstone layers and a more signicant anomaly 20 cm above this deposit (Ganapathy et al., 1981; Asaro et al., 1982; Rocchia et al., 1996). Consequently, the sandstone complex was commonly interpreted as the deposit of an impact-generated tsunami, and the KT boundary (KTB) was placed at its base (Hansen et al., 1987; Bourgeois et al., 1988). With the discovery of the Chicxulub impact crater on Yucata n in 1990 and impact glass spherules at the base of a thick sandstone complex that inlls submarine channels in northeastern Mexico, the impact-tsunami interpretation was broadly accepted for Brazos (e.g., Hansen and Upshaw, 1990; Hansen et al., 1993a; Hansen et al., 1993b; Yancey, 1996; Heymann et al., 1998; Schulte et al., 2006; Kring, 2007), Mexico (e.g., Smit et al., 1992; Smit et al., 1996; Smit, 1999; Soria et al., 2001; Lawton et al., 2005) and near-KTB breccia deposits

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The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction and the Chicxulub Impact in Texas SEPM Special Publication No. 100, Copyright 2011 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Print ISBN 978-1-56576-308-1, CD/DVD ISBN 978-1-56576-309-8, p. 81122.

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THIERRY ADATTE Geological and Paleontological Institute, University of Lausanne, Anthropole, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

throughout Central America (e.g., Smit, 1999; Ocampo et al., 1996; Arenillas et al., 2006). Nevertheless, the impact interpretation and consequent placement of the KTB at the base of the sandstone complex remained controversial because it contradicted the KTB dening criteria. Problems with the impact-tsunami interpretation arose from the beginning in Texas and Mexico sections. In the Texas (Brazos River) sections the two major KTB-dening criteria, the mass extinction in planktic foraminifera and rst appearance of Danian species, and the major supporting criterion, the negative d13C shift, all occur above the sandstone complex (Keller, 1989a, 1989b; Barrera and Keller, 1990; Keller et al., 2009a). Multiple truncated burrowing horizons and upward-ning sequences in the sandstone complex indicate repeated colonization of the seaoor between periods of rapid deposition that suggest seasonal storms rather than a mega-tsunami (Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a). Thus in the Brazos River sections, the KTB based on the standard paleontologic dening criteria was placed above the sandstone complex (e.g., Gartner and Jiang, 1985; Jiang and Gartner, 1986; Keller, 1989a, 1989b; Me dus, 1992; Beeson, 1992; Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a; Keller et al., 2009a; Prauss, 2009). Similar observations were made in northeastern Mexico where in addition to the multiple truncated burrowing horizons (Keller et al.,

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FIGURE 1.Map of CretaceousTertiary boundary outcrops and wells drilled along the Brazos River, Cottonmouth Creek, and Darting Minnow Creek of Falls County, Texas. Eleven outcrops and wells were analyzed for this study.

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1997; Keller et al., 2003a; Ekdale and Stinnesbeck, 1998), two zeoliteenriched layers in the sandstone complex mark discrete volcanic inux (Adatte et al., 1996), impact spherules are mixed with shallow-water debris (Keller et al., 1994; Keller et al., 1997; Alegret et al., 2001), a limestone layer separates two spherule layers at the base of the sandstone complex in many localities, and this limestone contains rare burrows inlled with spherules and truncated by erosion (Keller et al., 2003a). Stratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence thus revealed deposition over an extended time period and consistent with a sealevel fall during the latest Maastrichtian with concomitant erosion of nearshore areas and redeposition in submarine channels (Stinnesbeck et al., 1993; Stinnesbeck et al., 1996; Adatte et al., 1996; Keller et al., 1997; Keller et al., 2003a). Drilling of the Chicxulub impact crater in 20002001 by DOSECC (Drilling, Observation and Sampling of the Earths Continental Crust) was supposed to show once and for all that the Chicxulub impact is KTB in age and caused the mass extinction (Dressler et al., 2003). Instead, it renewed the controversy. The KTB was discovered at the top of the impact breccia and separated from the impact breccia by a limestone 50 cm thick. Smit et al. (2004) interpreted this limestone as backwash and crater inll after the Chicxulub impact and maintained that no foraminifera are present in this unit. Arz et al. (2004) identied a planktic foraminiferal assemblage, but considered some of them as reworked in keeping with the backwash and crater-inll interpretation. In contrast, Keller et al. (2004a) and Keller et al. (2004b) reported a late Maastrichtian zone CF1 planktic foraminiferal assemblage (including the index species Plummerita hantkeninoides), which indicates deposition occurred during the last 300 ky of the Maastrichtian. In addition, they reported ve glauconite-rich layers in the limestone, each of which took tens of thousands of years to be deposited. The common presence of trace-fossil burrows in the glauconite layers and the limestone indicates a ourishing epibenthic and endobenthic invertebrate fauna at that time of deposition. Paleomagnetic data reveal that deposition occurred during C29r below the KTB, as also indicated by latest Maastrichtian carbon isotope signals (Keller et al., 2004a; Keller et al., 2004b). These indicate a long period of quiet sediment deposition between the time of the Chicxulub impact and the KTB mass extinction with the impact predating the KTB by perhaps 300 ky, as earlier observed in northeastern Mexico (Keller et al., 2003a). The Chicxulub crater results thus renewed the conict over the age of the Chicxulub impact, and the controversy over the origin and nature of deposition of the sandstone complex in Mexico and Texas has intensied to this day. This is particularly apparent in the consensus report by Schulte et al. (2010), in which 41 scientists concluded that the Chicxulub impact is the sole cause of the KTB mass extinction while ignoring, dismissing, or misrepresenting any evidence to the contrary. In 2005 we returned to Texas to test the northeastern Mexico and Chicxulub crater results in an area 1300 km from the impact location based on new drilling by DOSECC and outcrop studies of all exposed sequences. We chose this area for its undisturbed sedimentary record, complete stratigraphic sequences comparable to the El Kef KTB stratotype, the absence of signicant tectonic activity, excellent preservation of microfossils, and the presence of a sandstone complex with impact spherules. In addition, the Brazos River area affords relatively simple and inexpensive coring of only about 1735 m to recover the KT transition and upper Maastrichtian. These attributes make the Brazos River area the most important KT locality outside Mexico and critical to resolving the current controversy regarding the age of the Chicxulub impact and its potential kill effect. The main objectives of this study are: (1) determine the stratigraphy and completeness of the Brazos sections based on high-resolution quantitative planktic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and stable isotope stratigraphy, (2) evaluate the Ir anomaly as a KTB marker in Brazos

sections, (3) locate the KTB based on globally accepted identifying criteria, (4) determine the age of the sandstone complex, and (5) determine the age of the Chicxulub impact. By analyzing as many as eleven Brazos sequences based on the same interdisciplinary approach integrating microfossil biostratigraphy, stable isotope stratigraphy, PGE analysis, and Chicxulub impact ejecta, the controversy surrounding the KTB placement can be fully addressed and resolved. At the same time the Brazos sections can take their place as a regional depositional model detailing the events leading up to the KT mass extinction and into the early Danian.

The Brazos KT sections are located in east-central Texas along a 3 km stretch extending from Highway 413 south along the Brazos River of Falls County and its tributaries the Cottonmouth and Darting Minnow Creeks (Fig. 1). Numerous outcrops have been studied in this area since the middle 1970s, particularly in the Brazos River bed where a prominent sandstone complex with impact spherules can be observed (e.g., Hansen et al., 1987; Hansen et al., 1993a; Yancey, 1996; Heymann et al., 1998; Gale, 2006), although no sediments above are preserved and sediments below are poorly exposed and limited to less than 0.50 m. The oldest known Brazos River section is the Brazos-1 outcrop, located on the western embankment about 300 m south from the Hwy 413 Bridge across the Brazos River. This outcrop is now defunct, largely due to repeated excavation of the section to reveal its vertical dimension, the subsequent collapse of the river embankment, and the tons of river silt and mud that accumulated during the rivers ood stages. Other older studies include outcrops along the Cottonmouth (CM sections) and Darting Minnow Creeks (DMC sections) and at the entry of the Cottonmouth tributary to the Brazos River (Brazos-2 and Brazos-3, Fig. 1; Jiang and Gartner, 1986; Hansen et al., 1987; Hansen et al., 1993a; Hansen et al., 1993b; Keller, 1989a, 1989b; Barrera and Keller, 1990; Beeson, 1992). The best outcrop localities are found along the Cottonmouth Creek (CMC) and Darting Minnow Creek (DMC); each shows a prominent sandstone complex beneath a waterfall (Fig. 1). Heavy rains prior to 2005 resulted in collapse of the Cottonmouth Creek bank near the waterfall and exposed better outcrops, which were also collected and studied (Keller et al., 2007a, this report). In 1986, Thor Hansen and Earl Kaufman rotary-drilled two wells on a meadow about 150 m from Brazos-1 and a third well near Cottonmouth Creek. Labeling of these wells has varied over time. In l987 Hansen named these core KT1 to KT3 (written communications, 1987 to GK). But in Hansen et al. (l987) the two wells near Brazos-1 (KT1 & KT2) are simply referred to as core, with no further data apart from a generalized lithologic column. The rst lithologic description and biostratigraphy of these two cores was published by Schulte et al. (2006), who labeled them Brazos core 1 and Brazos core 2. The third well is near the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall and was rst studied by Keller (l989a, 1989b) and referred to as Brazoscore and subsequently referred to by Hansen et al. (1993a) as Core 2. To reduce confusion in labeling between these wells and the new Mullinax wells, we revert to the original labels of KT1 and KT2 for the old wells of Hansen and Kaufman near the Brazos-1 locality and KT3 for the Cottonmouth Creek well (Fig. 1). In 2005 three wells 75100 ft (23.4531.25 m) deep were drilled by DOSECC with a CS-500 rig. The rst well, Mullinax-1 (Mull-1), is located at the same GPS location (318 07.53 0 N, 968 49.30 0 W) as the old wells KT1 and KT2 (Fig. 1). This location was chosen to recover the expanded KT sequence of the nearby outcrop Brazos-1, which was also evident in the old wells KT1 and KT2, which encountered drilling disturbance (Thor Hansen, written communication, 1987). Mullinax-2 and 3 were drilled as overlapping wells 1.5 m apart on a meadow about

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LOCATION OF OUTCROPS AND WELLS

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LITHOLOGY

FIGURE 2.Lithology and description of the sandstone complex in well Mullinax-1. This sandstone complex is representative of most outcrops and wells. Variations include the type and size of clasts at the base, the number of upward-ning reworked spherule layers, and the number of hummocky cross-bedded sandstones. At distance from the submarine channels the sandstone complex is reduced to a 1015 cm sand layer or may disappear.

150 m from the Darting Minnow Creek waterfall (GPS Location 318 06.55 0 N, 968 50.28 0 W). Core recovery at Mullinax-1 was 95% and nearly 100% at Mullinax-2 and 3.

With the exception of Mullinax-2 and 3, all Brazos outcrops and wells show very similar lithologies of bedded claystones and mudstones interrupted by a prominent sandstone complex, also known as the impact-tsunami deposit (Bourgeois et al., 1988; Smit et al., 1996; Heymann et al., 1998; Schulte et al., 2006), event deposit or storm deposits associated with a sea-level lowstand (Keller, l989a; Yancey, 1996; Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a). Variations in the sandstone complex between outcrops consist mainly in the overall thickness of units, the number of individual sand layers, the number of upward-ning spherule-rich layers, and the nature and abundance of

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Eclasts at the base. One of the best illustrations of the sandstone complex and its diverse layers is seen in the core from Mullinax-1 (Fig. 2). The lithology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of this core were published in Keller et al. (2007a) and further discussed in Adatte et al. (this volume), and only a brief summary is given here.

Below the sandstone complex in Mullinax-1 and other wells and sections of the Brazos area, upper Maastrichtian sediments consist of organic-rich dark gray to black, bedded claystones and ssile shales (Fig. 2) with common macrofossils (Fig. 3E, F). Calcite content is relatively low (; 10%; Keller et al., 2007a). Within this unit is a 3 cm thick yellow clay layer, 4560 cm below the sandstone complex at the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall sections, which can be traced over 2030

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Mudstones, Sandstone Complex, and Impact Spherules

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FIGURE 3.Clasts at the base of the sandstone complex at A) Darting Minnow Creek and B) Cottonmouth Creek, may contain C) impact spherules. D) Reworked spherules in shell hash and glauconite. E) Ammonite Discoscaphites iris in upper Maastrichtian sediments of zones CF1CF2. F) Claystone with abundant shells of zones CF1CF2. G) Cottonmouth Creek waterfall outcrop with sandstone complex and Chicxulub impact layer separated by 4560 cm. H) Close-up of yellow clay layer that consists of cheto smectite derived from glass spherules altered to clay.

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m depending on outcrop exposures (Fig. 3G, H). A major negative d13C excursion in the yellow clay layer marks the presence of diagenetic calcite. At Mullinax-1 this yellow layer is not visible, though a negative d13C excursion also marks a diagenetically altered thin clay 35 cm below the sandstone complex. The yellow clay at Cottonmouth Creek consists of 100% cheto Mg-smectite derived from altered Chicxulub impact glass (Debrabant et al., 1999; Keller et al., 2003b; Keller et al., 2007a) and has the same composition as altered impact glass in the spherule-rich basal layers of the overlying sandstone complex. The yellow clay thus represents an older and presumably the primary impact spherule ejecta layer. Deposition of upper Maastrichtian claystones at Mullinax-1 and Cottonmouth Creek occurred in a middle-neritic environment that shallowed to inner-neritic depths by the time the sandstone complex was deposited, as indicated by macrofossils, benthic foraminifera, and low diversity planktic foraminifera (Keller, 1992; Keller et al., 2007a; Hart et al., this volume). In all Brazos outcrops, exposure of upper Maastrichtian sediments below the sandstone complex is limited, with the maximum exposure about 1 m in the Cottonmouth and Darting Minnow Creeks at or near the waterfalls (Fig. 1). The sandstone complex overlies the scoured surface of submarine channels that mark erosion during a low sea level and the subsequent inlling during the subsequent sea level rise. The thickness and lateral extent of the sandstone complex is variable. The thickest exposure (1.0 m) is found in the Darting Minnow Creek, but only about 150 m away in wells Mullinax-2 and 3 there is no trace of the sandstone complex. More commonly the sandstone is about 0.30.4 m thick with a similar sequence as in Mullinax-1 (Fig. 2), or reduced to a 10 cm sand layer (e.g., Brazos-2 and 3). The base of the sandstone complex commonly contains large (510 cm) lithied clasts and soft claystone clasts from underlying sediments (Fig. 3A, B). At Mullinax-1 (and KT1KT2) only soft small claystone clasts are present and the underlying 10 cm of the claystone layers are fractured. However, large clasts are described from the nearby Brazos-1 locality (Hansen et al., 1987; Yancey, 1996). In Cottonmouth and Darting Minnow Creek outcrops, lithied clasts are common (Fig. 3A, B) and some contain Chicxulub impact spherules, occasionally within mudcracks inlled by spherules (Fig. 3C; Keller et al., 2007a). These clasts demonstrate the presence of an older impact spherule deposit that was lithied and subaerially exposed prior to erosion and redeposition. The altered impact glass layer (yellow claycheto smectite) below the sandstone complex at Cottonmouth Creek waterfall likely represent the primary impact spherule layer (Fig. 3G, H). The clasts with impact spherules were likely eroded from a hardground near the shoreline, as suggested by mudcracks inlled with spherules. Above the erosion surface and rip-up clasts is a coarse, gray-green, poorly sorted, upward-ning sandstone with abundant shell fragments, glauconite, Chicxulub impact spherules, mudstone and phosphatic clasts, and reworked microfossils (Figs. 2, 3D). In Mullinax-1 and wells KT1KT2 there are three upward-ning glauconite- and spherule-rich units topped with ne sandstone, and two such units are observed at the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall outcrop. These discrete layers mark separate depositional events, possibly related to storms. In most outcrops and wells, the spherule-rich sandstone underlies one or more hummocky cross-bedded sandstone (HCS) layers that are strongly burrowed and truncated at the top (Fig. 2; Ophiomorpha nodosa, Thalassinoides sp., Planolites sp.; Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a). These HCS layers are likely tempestites. The overlying laminated silty mudstone with small burrows indicates decreased energy. A calcareous silty claystone marks the top of the sandstone complex, with upward-ning grain size limited to 1015 cm and Ca decreasing from 60% to 10%. The return to normal sedimentation is marked by dark bioturbated organic-rich claystone with burrows commonly inlled with framboidal pyrite indicating hypoxic condi-

tions. This low-oxygen environment prevailed throughout the 1 m interval up to the KT boundary. There is no lithological change across the KTB, except for the gradually more calcareous and lighter gray silty claystones in the lower Danian.

Wells Mullinax-2 and 3: Mudstones and Roots


Wells Mullinax-2 and 3 are located on the nearest meadow just 150 m from the Darting Minnow Creek waterfall with its thick sandstone complex (N 318 06.55 0 W 96850.28 0 , Fig. 1). DOSECC achieved nearly complete recovery, with only two minor core gaps of 10 cm and 20 cm in the early Danian (Fig. 4). Surprisingly, no sandstone complex was encountered. This demonstrates the localized distribution of these submarine channel deposits. Similarly to all other Brazos sections, the lower part of the analyzed sequence (117.3 m) of upper Maastrichtian sediments consists of bedded and burrowed dark gray to black organic-rich mudstone with few invertebrate shells, including the small ammonite Discoscaphites iris (Figs. 3E, 4), which is indicative of the uppermost Maastrichtian ammonite zone in North America (Neil Landman, written communication, 2005). Other ammonites in the Brazos area were documented by Kennedy et al. (2001). A sharp lithologic break occurs at 7.26 m and is followed by another sharp undulose contact at 6.86 m. The over 1 m interval above consists of a silty mudstone with weathered yellow streaks, pyrite, few fossils, and common roots up to 12 cm in length (Fig. 4). At 5.95 m is a gradational contact to a 20-cm-thick silty mudstone with roots, glauconite, clasts, and cracks with secondary gypsum along fractures and inlled with coarse quartzose sand (Fig. 4). This suggests a very shallow nearshore or swamp environment. A sharp contact at 5.55 m marks a hiatus and the end of this weathered interval. Above it dark gray silty mudstone with the rst Danian species indicates a deepening inner-neritic environment followed by ne-grained, bioturbated sandstone with gastropods, phosphate nodules, and some rootlets. Additional hiatuses are marked by the gradational contact at 4.5 m and a sharp undulose contact at 3.5 m.

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Fieldwork was conducted from 2005 to 2007. New outcrops were sampled in Cottonmouth Creek (CMA, B and C, CM4) about 700 m up-creek from the Brazos River (Fig. 1). The KT transition was rst sampled in two segments at 10 m (CMA), 20 m (CMC), and 30 m (CMB) from the waterfall. These locations are near the CM1 and CM4 localities of Hansen et al. (1987), Hansen et al. (1993a), Hansen et al. (1993b), and Keller (1989a). Heavy seasonal rains collapsed the steep creek walls of CMA and exposed the sequence at the waterfall (CMW), which was also collected and analyzed. Darting Minnow Creek (DMC) is most notable for its expanded sandstone complex (1.0 m), which forms a waterfall and was collected and labeled DMC-1. Sediments above the sandstone complex are inaccessible in the sand-lled creek bed, but some samples were obtained by using a steel pipe driven through the loose creek sand and into the in situ claystones below. Below the sandstone complex only about 1 m is exposed. The two overlapping wells Mullinax-2 and Mullinax-3 recovered the upper Maastrichtian through lower Danian on the meadow above the Darting Minnow Creek waterfall (Fig. 1). All outcrops and cores were measured, described, photographed, and sampled at an average of 510 cm intervals or closer through the KTB transition. Planktic foraminifera were processed using standard techniques (Keller et al., 1995). Samples were soaked overnight in dilute (10%) H2O2, then gently washed through sieve sizes 3863 lm, 63150 lm and . 150 lm to recover very small, small, and large planktic foraminifera. The washed residues were dried in the oven at 508C (higher temperature may alter the shell carbonate composition for isotope analysis). Core sample size was generally restricted to 35 cm3,

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MATERIALS AND METHODS

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FIGURE 4.Lithology and description of the Upper Maastrichtian Well Mullinax-3, zones CF1, CF2. Note the absence of a sandstone complex but presence of a strongly weathered interval with roots, mudcracks, pebbles, and several disconformities suggesting a coastal to lagoonal environment and temporary emergence.

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except for intervals where too few specimens were recovered for quantitative analysis and therefore sample size was doubled. Much larger samples were collected and processed from outcrops, which signicantly improved the chances of nding rare species and resulted in higher species richness for outcrop sections. Quantitative analysis was conducted on two size fractions, . 63 lm and . 150 lm, though for biostratigraphic purposes only the . 63 lm size fraction is presented. For each sample of the two size fractions an aliquot of 250300 specimens was picked whenever possible, mounted on microslides, and identied. Benthic specimens were counted in the same aliquots of the . 63 lm size fraction as an indicator of sea-level changes. The remaining residues were examined for rare species, and these were noted for data on species ranges. The 3863 lm size fraction was examined for very small species that may not be present in the larger size fractions, particularly in the early Danian. Quantitative data tables on planktic foraminifera and supplemental material of the Brazos River KTB sections are available in Appendix I. Stable isotopes are based on well-preserved specimens of the benthic foraminifer Lenticulina spp. in the size fraction 150250 lm with little or no sediment inlling chambers. For some sections bulk-rock isotope analysis was conducted. Heterohelix globulosa was previously analyzed for the KT3 section (Barrera and Keller, 1990). Stable isotope analysis was performed using a fully automated carbonate preparation system (GasBanch II) connected on-line to an isotope-ratio

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FIGURE 5.Planktic foraminiferal biozonation and KTB-dening criteria across the CretaceousTertiary transition at the El Kef and Elles stratotype and parastratotype sections of Tunisia based on Keller et al. (1995), Pardo et al. (1996), Li and Keller (1998a, 1998b) with comparison to the zonal scheme by Berggren et al. (1995) and the nannofossil zonation by Tantawy (2003). The KT boundary is dened by the mass extinction of all tropical and subtropical species and the rst appearances of Danian species. Supporting criteria include the boundary clay, the iridium anomaly (Rocchia et al., 1996), and the d13C shift.

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mass spectrometer (Delta Advantage, Thermo Finnigan, Bremen, Germany). Isotope-ratio values are reported relative to NBS-19 with d13C 1.95 (V-PDB). Precision, assessed on the basis of repeated measurements of the carbonate standard, was generally better than 0.06 for each analytical batch. Stable isotope data tables for the Brazos River KT sequences are available in Appendix II.

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DEFINITION AND PLACEMENT OF THE KT BOUNDARY

There should be no controversy over the placement of the CretaceousTertiary boundary (KTB), because this is one of the easiest stratigraphic horizons to identify globally. Hundreds of KT sections have been identied worldwide with little if any controversy, based on a uniform set of paleontologic and geochemical criteria. Indeed, controversy over the placement of the KTB is restricted to sections with Chicxulub impact spherules believed by some to represent the KTB event, but which in many expanded sections are stratigraphically below the KT boundary. The basis for choosing the KTB-identifying criteria is the El Kef stratotype and Elles parastratotype sections and point (GSSP) of

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ETunisia with the originally proposed criteria: (1) a lithological change from carbonate-rich Maastrichtian sediments to a black organic-rich boundary clay with a 34 mm thin oxidized red layer at the base, (2) an iridium anomaly concentrated largely in the red layer and Ni-rich spinels, (3) the mass extinction in marine plankton, particularly the extinction of all tropical and subtropical planktic foraminiferal species, (4) the rst appearance of Danian species within a few centimeters (; 5 cm) above the extinction horizon, and (5) a 23 negative shift in d13C values of marine carbonate (Fig. 5; Keller et al., l995; Keller et al., 2002; Remane et al., 1999). Among these, only extinction and evolution events are unique KTB-dening criteria. All others (Ir anomaly, clay and red layers, d13C shift) are KTB-supporting criteria that cannot stand alone as KT markers because they are not unique events (see Keller, this volume). The paleontological dening criteria and the d13C shift supporting criterion have remained remarkably consistent in hundreds of marine sequences worldwide even in the absence of a clay layer and Ir anomaly. Gradstein et al. (2004) proposed to reduce these KTB-identifying criteria to just the Ir anomaly associated with a major extinction horizon (see International Commission on Stratigraphy website on GSSPs). Molina et al. (2006) proposed to expand the KTB-dening

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criteria to any Chicxulub impact markers (e.g., Ir, spherules, tsunami deposits, and breccia assumed to have been caused by the impact) based on the assumption that this impact marks the KTB. This assumption is also the basis for the conclusion by Schulte et al. (2010) that the Chicxulub impact is KTB in age. In practice, this has resulted in circular reasoningthe Chicxulub impact is KTB in age, therefore the impact denes the KT boundary. It has also a priori eliminated testing the age of the Chicxulub impact based on stratigraphy (Keller, 2008). One cannot test the hypothesis that the Chicxulub impact caused the KT boundary mass extinction by dening the impact as the KT boundary. The two most common impact markers are the Ir anomaly and Chicxulub impact spherules. Both of them are problematic as KTBdening criteria (see review in Keller, 2008). Over the past 28 years, as the database on anomalous Ir concentrations has expanded, these criteria have proved less than reliable with multiple Ir anomalies of cosmic or volcanic origins above and below the mass extinction horizon in Mexico, Guatemala, Haiti, Texas, New Jersey, Austria, India, Indian Ocean, and elsewhere (Asaro et al., 1982; Michel et al., 1991; Graup et al., l989; Sawlowicz, 1993; Hansen et al., 1993a; Hansen et al., 1993b; Rocchia et al., 1996; Bhandari et al., 1994; Bhandari et al., 1995; Shukla et al., 2001; Keller et al., 2003a; Grachev et al., 2005; Stueben et al., 2005; Keller, 2008; Miller et al., 2010; Racki et al., 2011). Moreover, no iridium enrichment has been detected in association with the Chicxulub spherule layer, which suggests that these may be two different events. However, enriched Ir was recorded in a spherule-rich glauconitic claystone of one Brazos Riverbed section, though none was detected in the spherule-rich layers below, suggesting that this is not the original impact signal (Munsel, this volume; Gertsch et al., this volume). An Ir anomaly can therefore be supporting evidence for the placement of the KT boundary, but not the sole identifying criterion in the absence of unique biotic KTB markers. Chicxulub impact spherules as KTB criterion are also very problematic. These spherules occur in Maastrichtian sediments in northeastern Mexico and Texas, but are reworked into early Danian sediments in southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Haiti (Keller et al., 2003a; Keller et al., 2003b). The stratigraphically oldest Chicxulub spherule layer occurs near the base of the late Maastrichtian zone CF1 about 300 ky prior to the mass extinction (Keller et al., 2003a; Keller et al., 2007a; Keller, 2008). Juxtaposition of the mass extinction, Ir anomaly, and Chicxulub spherules has been observed only in condensed and often disturbed deep-sea sequences, such as Bass River, New Jersey and Blake Nose (Olsson et al., 1997; Norris et al., 1999; Norris et al., 2000; Keller this volume). Moreover, these characteristic vesicular glass spherules have not been found outside Central and North America, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. Microspherules found in KTB clays from various localities (e.g., Spain, Tunisia, Egypt, Israel, New Zealand) have varied non-impact origins and commonly consist of iron, pyrite framboids, glauconite, phosphate, or clay (Smit, 1999) with no link to Chicxulub impact glass. The most reliable paleontological and geochemical KTB criteria are: (1) the mass extinction of all specialized tropical and subtropical planktic foraminiferal species (2/3 of all species) at or near the KT boundary. (2) the rst evolutionary appearances of Danian species (Woodringina hornerstownensis, Parvularugoglobigerina extensa, formerly known as Globoconusa conusa, and Globoconusa daubjergensis) near the base of the boundary clay immediately following the mass extinction as observed at El Kef, Elles, Brazos sections, and elsewhere. (3) the negative d13C shift that marks the collapse of primary productivity in the aftermath of the mass extinction (Fig. 5). The d13C shift is a global oceanographic signal that provides an independent check on paleontologic and impact criteria, which is critical to avoid circular reasoning. The Ir anomaly is a KTBsupporting criterion, but it cannot be used in isolation. This is

particularly evident in the Brazos area, where multiple Ir anomalies are present, but none coincide with the mass extinction and the d13C shift (Gertsch et al., this volume). These KTB-dening and KTB-supporting criteria and the biozonation used in the Brazos studies are shown in Figure 5 based on the El Kef and Elles stratotype and parastratotype sections of Tunisia (Keller et al., 1995). In the Brazos sections, the placement of the KTB based on impact spherules at the base of the sandstone complex is inconsistent with standard KTB-dening criteria and has introduced much confusion and controversy. For example, Arenillas et al. (2006) and Schulte et al. (2008) argued that impact breccia in southern Mexico and impact spherules at the base of the sandstone complex in Mexico and Texas correlate with the Ir anomaly at the El Kef stratotype and therefore justify this KTB placement (see reply by Keller et al., 2008; Keller, this volume). The same argument was repeated in Schulte et al. (2010) to conclude that Chicxulub is KTB in age and the sole cause for the KTB mass extinction. There are grievous problems with this approach. (1) It is improper to use non-unique events (iridium, breccia, spherules) as KTB-dening criteria. (2) It is erroneous to assume age equivalence of the Ir anomaly and the Chicxulub impact spherules (and breccia) when no Ir anomaly has ever been recorded in Chicxulub impact spherule ejecta (or breccia) and many sites record a wide stratigraphic and temporal distance between the two. (3) It dees stratigraphic principles to dene the KTB, or any other stage or epoch boundary, based on assumptions of age equivalence of impact ejecta while ignoring the only truly unique KTB-dening criteria, the mass extinction, and the rst Danian species, which in localities with continuous and complete sedimentation records occur in stratigraphically higher levels. In this study the standard unique KTB-dening criteria and d13C shift supporting criterion are applied uniformly in all sections. The resultant stratigraphy can be globally correlated and the stratigraphic position and age of the Chicxulub impact evaluated independently of the KTB impact hypothesis and associated assumptions.

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BIOZONES

The biostratigraphic zonal scheme applied in this study is by Keller et al. (1995) for the Danian and the Cretaceous foraminiferal (CF) zonal scheme for the Maastrichtian by Li and Keller (1998a, 1998b). These authors replaced the Abathomphalus mayaroensis zone with four zones for a much improved age control for the late Maastrichtian (Fig. 5). In this study of the KTB transition of the Brazos River area only the top two biozones (CF1, CF2) were analyzed. Zone CF2: This zone denes the interval from the last appearance of Gansserina gansseri to the rst appearance of Plummerita hantkeninoides (65.6665.78 Ma; Fig. 5, Plate 1) and corresponds to the lower part of the Micula prinsii zone for a duration of 120,000 years. In the Brazos sections both size fractions (63150 lm, . 150 lm) in zone CF2 are dominated by H. globulosa, with common H. planata and H. navarroensis. Zone CF1, Plummerita hantkeninoides: Zone CF1 denes the total range of Plummerita hantkeninoides (Fig. 5, Plate 1), which spans the last 160,000 ky of the Maastrichtian (65.565.66 Ma) based on the revised time scale of Gradstein et al. (2004). This is a considerably shorter time interval for this zone than estimated by Pardo et al. (l996) Li and Keller, l998a, 1998b) based on the earlier time scale (Cande and Kent, 1995), which placed the KTB at 65.0 Ma. Zone CF1 corresponds to the upper part of Micula prinsii zone (Fig. 5). The smaller size fraction is dominated by H. globulosa, H. planate, and H. narvarroensis along with increasing abundance of Guembelitria cretacea. Zone P0: Zone P0 marks the KT boundary and is dened as the interval between the mass extinction of Cretaceous species and the rst appearance of Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina and/or P. longi-

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CretaceousTertiary boundary outcrops and wells drilled in 1986 and 2005 span about 3 km along the Brazos River and its tributaries, but are concentrated in three localities: (1) Brazos River near the Highway 413 bridge, (2) Cottonmouth Creek, and (3) Darting Minnow Creek (Fig. 1). Overall, the KT transition is similar in all sections, but there are signicant variations in the thickness of the sandstone complex and Danian biozones as a result of variable erosion and paleotopography. To gain a better understanding of the KT transition in this important area, all outcrops and subsurface wells were analyzed. Previously published sections (e.g., Brazos-1, KT3, CM1, CM4; Keller, 1989a) were re-examined, species identications were standardized, and taxonomic concepts updated. Stable isotope analysis was conducted on the benthic species Lenticulina and ne fraction sediment (3863 lm) in order to locate the KTB-characteristic d13C isotope shift. All KT sequences are presented here along with their history and discussed for the three localities.

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Previous Studies: The Brazos-1 section, or Brazos River section of early reports, is located on the west bank of the Brazos River about 300 m south of the Highway 413 Bridge across the Brazos River (Fig. 1). The rst published stratigraphic report of the area was based on this locality (Smith and Pessagno, 1973; Kocurek and Hansen, l982) and

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apertura (Fig. 5, Plate 3). (See previous section for the denition and identication of the KTB.) The negative d13C shift, the mass extinction of all large, complex tropical and subtropical species, and the rst appearance of Danian species (Parvularugoglobigerina extensa, Globoconusa daubjergensis, Woodringina hornerstownensis, W. claytonensi; Plates 2, 3) identify the KTB in the Brazos sections. In general, zone P0 is marked also by an abrupt lithological change from carbonate-rich Maastrichtian sediments to a dark clay layer devoid of carbonate and a thin red clay at the base enriched in iridium. However, in the Brazos sections there is no signicant lithological change across the KT boundary and no Ir anomaly was detected. This is likely the result of high sedimentation rates due to the shallow nearshore location of the area and high terrigenous inux (Keller et al., 2007a; Keller et al., 2009a). Zone Pla: This zone is dened by the range of Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina and/or P. longiapertura. Zone Pla can be subdivided based on the rst appearance of Parasubbotina pseudobulloides and Subbotina triloculinoides (Fig. 5, Plates 35). Earliest Danian species are generally small and frequently in the 3863 lm size fraction in subzone P1a(1), though they increase (63105 lm size fraction) in subzone P1a(2). Zone Pla is characterized by Parvularugoglobigerina longiapertura, P. eugubina, P. extensa, S. triloculinoides, P. pseudobulloides, C. midwayensis, and increasing abundances of Globoconusa daubjergensis (Plates 35). An early Danian zone Pla hiatus has been observed in many sections of the Tethys and worldwide (MacLeod and Keller, l991a, 1991b; Keller and Benjamini, l991; Keller, 2008), and may represent a global sea level change (Keller, 2002; Adatte et al., 2002). Zone P1b: This zone is dened as the interval between the last occurrence of Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina and/or P. longiapertura and the rst occurrence of Parasubbotina varianta (Plates 3, 4). A hiatus frequently marks this interval as indicated by the abrupt disappearance of P. eugubina and the simultaneous rst appearances of other species. Zone P1c: This zone denes the interval between the rst appearance of Parasubbotina varianta to the rst occurrence of Praemurica trinidadensis (Fig. 5). Zone P1c can be subdivided into P1c(1) and P1c(2) based on the rst occurrence of P. inconstans.

numerous studies have since described the lithostratigraphy of Brazos1 (Hansen et al., l987; Hansen et al., 1993a; Hansen et al., 1993b; Jiang and Gartner, l986; Keller, 1989a; Keller et al., 1989b; Keller, 1992; Montgomery et al., 1992; Beeson, 1992; Yancey, l996, Heymann et al., l998; Gale, 2006). Iridium investigations were reported by Ganapathy et al. (1981), Asaro et al. (1982), and Rocchia et al. (1996). The major Ir anomaly is reported from a thin red-brown clay and a 1 cm sand layer about 1720 cm above the sandstone complex coincident with the KTB identied by Jiang and Gartner (1986) based on nannofossils. Two minor Ir enrichments (0.3 to 0.4 pbb; Rocchia et al., 1996) occur in the laminated sandstone above the hummocky sandstone and above the sandstone complex (Fig. 6). Smith and Pessagno (1973) reported the rst Danian planktic foraminifera at the base of the sandstone complex. Based on these mutually contradictory data, Hansen et al. (1987, p. 242) concluded that the KTB should be properly placed at the base of the sandstone complex in accordance with the impact-tsunami interpretation of this unit. Subsequently, Smith and Pessagno (in Montgomery et al., l992) not only reafrmed their earlier observation but also reported the presence of Danian zone P1b species even below the sandstone complex, concluding that the sandstone and the Ir anomaly were deposited in the Danian. An earlier study by Keller (1989a) did not show the occurrence of Danian species in the sandstone complex or in the claystone below and placed the KTB at the Ir anomaly in accordance with the nannofossil data and rare isolated Danian specimens. Re-analysis of the Brazos-1 samples could not conrm this placement. Restudy of Brazos-1: In an effort to locate the globally recognized KTB in Brazos-1, two sets of samples were reanalyzed, species identications were standardized, and taxonomic concepts updated. Thor Hansen provided the original set over twenty years ago. Gerta Keller, Norman MacLeod, and Stefan Gartner collected the second set in 1992. In addition, stable isotope analyses were conducted on the benthic species Lenticulina and ne fraction sediment (3863 lm). Maastrichtian: Results show no signicant diversity or abundance changes in planktic foraminifera across the sandstone complex, except for the disappearance of four larger, specialized deeper-dwelling species (Racemiguembelina powelli, Globotruncana dupeublei, Globotruncanita stuarti, Heterohelix punctulata, Fig. 7; Abramovich et al., 2003). No change is apparent across the Ir anomaly about 20 cm above the sandstone complex. Three species disappear 1.05 m above the sandstone complex, and another 11 species disappear in the overlying 15 cm, marking an abrupt extinction horizon at 1.2 m. The gradually decreasing diversity between the sandstone complex and the KTB is accompanied by species dwarng (MacLeod et al., 2000), gradually decreasing abundance of the low-oxygen-tolerant Heterohelix globulosa, and concurrent increase in the disaster opportunist Guembelitria cretacea to . 60% by 1.3 m above the sandstone complex (Fig. 7) (Keller, 1989a, 1989b; Barrera and Keller, 1990; Keller et al., 2009a). Throughout this interval d13C values are characteristic of the late Maastrichtian. These data indicate deposition during the latest Maastrichtian zone CF1. KT Boundary: The KT-characteristic d13C shift in ne fraction carbonate begins at 0.95 m and in benthic species at 1.05 m above the sandstone complex (Fig. 7). The d13C decrease is gradual, reaching minimum values at 1.3 m and 1.4 m in benthic foraminifera and ne fraction, respectively, although the 10 cm sample spacing suggests that minimum values could have been reached 10 cm lower in the section (Fig. 7). The rst Danian species, Woodringina hornerstownensis, coincides with the onset of the d13C shift at 1.05 m followed by three other Danian species at 1.10 m (Parvularugoglobigerina extensa, Woodringina claytonensis, and Globoconusa daubjergensis; Plates 2, 3). Based on these data the KTB is placed at the onset of the d13C shift, the evolution of the rst Danian species at 1.05 m, and the extinction of

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most Cretaceous species 1015 cm above. The less abrupt extinction pattern compared with deep-sea sections is partly due to the higher sediment accumulation rate in shallow shelf environments, but is primarily due to the absence of most large tropical and subtropical deeper-dwelling species in the shallow-water Brazos area (Abramovich et al., 2003; Keller et al., 2009a; Keller et al., 2009b; Keller and Abramovich, 2009), which leaves mostly the ecologically more tolerant small species that survived the KTB for a short time (Fig. 7). This may explain the delayed disappearance of some Cretaceous species relative to the onset of the d13C shift and the rst Danian species, although the possibility of reworking and/or upward mixing due to bioturbation cannot be excluded. Danian: The rst Danian species (Woodringina hornerstownensis, W. claytonensis, Parvularugoglobigerina extensa, and Globoconusa daubjergensis) evolved almost immediately after the KTB mass extinction. Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina rst appears at 1.2 m and marks the zones P0P1a boundary (Fig. 5; Plates 2, 3). (Note that in Keller et al., 2008, the P0P1a boundary was placed at 1.5 m, though a subsequent search detected the marker species P. eugubina beginning at 1.2 m). The rst appearance (FA) of Parasubbotina pseudobulloides identies the P1a(1)P1a(2) subzone boundary at 1.7 m (Fig. 7, Plate 5). Danian species previously reported near the Ir anomaly (Keller, 1989a) or in the sandstone complex (Smith and Pessagno, 1973; Montgomery et al., 1992) could not be conrmed. This suggests that earlier ndings were likely due to outcrop contamination, as suggested

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FIGURE 6.Lithology and Ir distribution at Brazos-1. Major Ir concentrations occur at a 1-cm-thick rust-colored sand layer and tailing upwards. This Ir anomaly was previously identied as the KTB, though new analyses show it to be in the upper part of zone CF1 below the KTB.

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Eby the younger Danian age (zone P1b) and poor preservation of specimens illustrated by Montgomery et al. (1992).

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Wells KT1, KT2
Previous Studies: Brazos well KT1 is located close to the Brazos-1 outcrop (this is the core of Hansen et al., 1987, and Brazos Core 1 of Schulte et al., 2006). Well KT1 encountered drilling disturbance, and after recovering 10 cm of the sandstone complex and disturbed shale beneath, the hole was aborted (Thor Hansen, written communication 1988, 2005). Well KT2 was drilled within 2 m of well KT1 and recovered the sequence from the sandstone complex downward. In 1987, Thor Hansen provided samples from wells KT1 and KT2 to GK for analysis in order to test the gradual extinction pattern observed at the nearby Brazos-1 section. In KT1 the rst Danian species were observed about 1.5 m above the sandstone complex. This was inconsistent with Brazos-1 and the presumed KTB at the Ir anomaly 1720 cm above the sandstone complex (Jiang and Gartner, 1986; Keller, l989a). Hansen cautioned that this difference was likely due to the drilling disturbance encountered, and therefore the results were not published. Schulte et al. (2006) studied wells KT1 and KT2 and identied the rst Danian nannofossil species Biantholithus sparsus at 1.6 m and the rst Danian planktic foraminifera at 1.8 m above the sandstone complex. They described the 1.6 m interval as carbonate poor with no macrofossil shells and a signicant drop in the abundance of

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FIGURE 7.Planktic foraminiferal analysis, stable isotopes, and Ir concentrations at Brazos-1. Note that the mass extinction, the rst Danian species, and the d13C shift occur 1 m above the sandstone complex, whereas the Ir anomaly is within upper Maastrichtian sediments well below the KTB. The gradual decline in species richness reects the exclusion of deeper-dwelling species in this shallow, inner-neritic environment.

microfossil species. Speculating that microfossils in this interval could have been reworked, they left it as an unzoned barren interval, though suggestive of the late Maastrichtian Micula prinsii nannofossil zone. Nevertheless, they placed the KTB at the impact spherules at the base of the sandstone complex based on the assumption that the Chicxulub impact is KTB in age and therefore denes the KTB (Schulte et al., 2006; Schulte et al., 2008; but see Keller et al., 2008). This StudyMaastrichtian: For this study the planktic foraminifera of wells KT1 and KT2 were reanalyzed quantitatively, Ir concentrations measured and stable isotopes of bulk rock and the benthic foraminifer Lenticulina sp., Heterohelix globulosa, and Guembelitria cretacea were analyzed in an effort to determine the placement of the KTB (Fig. 8). Planktic foraminiferal assemblages above the sandstone complex (barren interval of Schulte et al., 2006) are low in diversity and dominated by small species (Heterohelix spp. and Guembelitria cretacea), similarly to all other Brazos sections. Deposition occurred during the latest Maastrichtian zone CF1 and the nannofossil Micula prinsii zone. The low abundance and low diversity in this interval is due to deposition in a very shallow, organic-rich and oxygen-poor environment after the sea-level drop that marks the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex (Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a; Keller et al., 2008). The maximum Ir enrichment is only 0.3 ppb and occurs just above the sandstone complex, coincident with a similar minor enrichment in Brazos-1. No Ir anomaly was detected correlative with the larger anomaly in Brazos-1, though this may be due to low sample resolution. d13C data show normal late Maastrichtian values above the

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sandstone complex. Thus, faunal and geochemical indicators show that Schulte et al.s (2006) barren and unzoned interval was deposited during the latest Maastrichtian zone CF1 and Micula prinsii zone and that their placement of the KTB at the base of the sandstone complex is not justied. KT Boundary: Three Danian species rst appear 1.6 m above the sandstone complex (Globoconusa daubjergensis, Parvularugoglobigerina extensa, Woodringina hornerstownensis; Plate 2). The same species occur in rapid succession at Brazos-1 between 1.05 and 1.10 m above the sandstone complex (Fig. 8) and are known to evolve in zone P0 almost immediately after the KT mass extinction at the El Kef and Elles stratotype and parastratotype sections, respectively (Fig. 5; Keller et al., 1995; Keller et al., 2002; Molina et al., 2006). The onset of the d13C shift coincides with the rst appearances of Danian species and decreases rapidly by 4 in the bulk-rock ne fraction, similarly to Brazos-1 (Fig. 8). These data place the KTB at 1.6 m above the sandstone complex, rather than at the base as proposed by Schulte et al. (2006) and Schulte et al. (2008); see also Keller et al. (2008). As in the nearby Brazos-1 section, there is no lithological change across the KTB and no iridium anomaly. Cretaceous species terminally decrease in relative abundances above the KTB, except for the concurrent increase in the disaster opportunist G. cretacea (Fig. 8). The low species richness in the shallow-water Brazos environment and hence exclusion of the larger, deeper-dwelling extinction-prone Cretaceous species results in a more gradual extinction pattern. This has been observed in shallow water sequences worldwide (e.g., Madagascar, Tunisia, Argentina, Denmark; Keller et

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FIGURE 8.Planktic foraminiferal analysis, stable isotopes, and Ir concentrations at the KT1 well show patterns similar to the nearby Brazos-1 section. Lower species richness is due to smaller sample size available and larger sample spacing, which may also account for the absence of an Ir anomaly. The KTB is 1.6 m above the sandstone complex, which may be due to drilling disturbance.

al., 1993; Keller et al., 1998; Keller et al., 2007b; Abramovich et al., 2002; Hart et al., 2005). Differences in the number of species between Brazos-1 and KT1 are largely due to the smaller sample size available from the KT1 core, which reduced the likelihood of nding rare species. The patterns of species occurrences and abundances are similar to Brazos-1 and other Brazos sections, although the expanded early Danian record may indicate some drilling disturbance, as suspected by Thor Hansen, and seem supported by the new well Mullinax-1. Early Danian: Low sample resolution and small sample sizes place limitations on the precise placement of Danian biozones. An alternative marker for the P0P1a boundary, in the absence of the index species Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina, is the trough after the d13C shift in Brazos sections. In KT1, this places the P0P1a boundary tentatively about 60 cm above the KTB, though given better sample resolution this interval is likely much smaller, as evident in well Mullinax-1, which was drilled at the same location as KT1. Cretaceous species disappear at the P0P1a transition, except for survivor species, which disappear in zone P1a, leaving Guembelitria cretacea as the sole long-term survivor. At 4.89 m there is an isolated occurrence of single well-developed large P. pseudobulloides, Subbotina triloculinoides, and G. pentagona (Plates 4, 5), which generally rst appear in zone P1c. Early forms of these species rst appear in the upper part of zone P1a and are generally small and poorly developed. These out-ofsequence morphotypes are here considered as likely contamination. The P1aP1b zone boundary is marked by the last occurrences of P. eugubina and P. longiapertura coincident with a decrease in Guembelitria and an increase in Globoconusa daubjergensis (Fig. 8), as well as increased abundance of macrofossil shells in all Brazos

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sections. In outcrops, this lithological change marks an unconformity. In KT1 the shell-rich silty claystone above the unconformity contains a characteristic zone P1b assemblage dominated by G. daubjergensis. The increased silt indicates a higher-energy and more oxygenated environment, supporting a more complex ecosystem, as conrmed by the increased abundance of macrofossils.

Well Mullinax-1
Mullinax-1 (Mull-1) was drilled at the same GPS location as wells KT1 and KT2 in order to recover a continuous and undisturbed upper Maastrichtian to lower Danian sequence. This goal was accomplished (see lithology section), though there is a coring gap of 75 cm in zone P1a (Fig. 9; Keller et al., 2007a). Planktic foraminifera in Mull-1 were analyzed quantitatively at 5 cm to 10 cm sample intervals and in two size fractions (. 63 lm and . 150 lm) to evaluate the response of small and large species to the KTB and Chicxulub impact events. For biostratigraphic purposes the . 63 lm size fraction is shown. Stable isotope analysis was performed on the benthic species Lenticulina and iridium concentrations were measured. Maastrichtian: The latest Maastrichtian zone CF1 index species, Plummerita hantkeninoides, is rare though relatively continuously present in the 75 cm below the sandstone complex, with additional occurrences at 9.55 and 9.7 m and a single specimen at 11.1 m (Fig. 9, Plate 1). By convention the zone boundary is usually placed at the rst relatively continuous occurrence of the index species, which would be at 9.7 m. However, the isolated specimen at 11.1 m is very well preserved and suggests that the CF1CF2 biozone boundary may be at

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FIGURE 10.View of Brazos River bed exposure of section BR1 during low water ow.

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the lower occurrence and the sporadic presence may be due to rarity and small sample size. d18O values (Lenticulina sp.) indicate peak warming between 10.7 and 11.1 m and between 9.5 and 10 m followed by the terminal

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FIGURE 9.Planktic foraminiferal analysis, stable isotopes, and Ir concentrations in the upper Maastrichtian to Danian sediments in well Mullinax-1. As in all other sequences the KTB is marked by the d13C shift, the rst Danian species, and species extinctions. Cretaceous species diversity is very low above the sandstone complex because the shallow, inner-neritic environment excludes all deeper subsurface dwellers. Note the absence of any signicant changes in diversity or abundance of species. The Ir concentration is at its maximum in a laminated ne sandstone near the top of the sandstone complex. Maastrichtian cooling. The single point negative d18O and d13C excursions in a thin clay layer 30 cm below the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex mask diagenetic alteration (Keller et al., 2007a). Similar negative excursions are observed at the Cottonmouth Creek CMAW section in the yellow clay layer that marks altered Chicxulub impact spherules. No signicant change occurs in d18O and d13C values across the sandstone complex or in the 50 cm above it before gradually decreasing towards the KTB (Fig. 9). Between the onset of the terminal Maastrichtian cooling and the base of the sandstone complex, species richness gradually decreased by 9 species concurrent with the sea-level fall that culminated in innerneritic depth. All disappearing species are deeper-water dwellers (Li and Keller, 1998a; Abramovich et al., 2003) that lost their habitat during the sea-level fall (Keller and Abramovich, 2009). The dominant species, which are all surface or near-surface dwellers and tolerant of environmental changes, show no signicant changes across the sandstone complex and sea-level fall, though overall diversity is reduced. Benthic foraminifera show a dramatic increase in abundance to 60% at the base of the sandstone complex and continuing into the early Danian zone P1a (Fig. 9). This reects the sea-level fall and subsequent gradual sea-level rise. A signicant Ir anomaly (1.4 ppb) was detected in the laminated silty mudstone above the burrowed HCS. High Ir values tail off in the upward-ning interval at the top of the sandstone complex (Figs. 2, 9). In contrast, this same interval at Brazos-1 shows only about 0.4 ppb (Figs. 6, 7), and the maximum concentration is in a thin sand layer 20

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FIGURE 11.A) Brazos Riverbed-1 (BR1) section exposing the sandstone complex and underlying claystones during low water ow. B) Lithology and Ir concentrations of the Brazos Riverbed section BR1. In this sandstone complex the Ir anomaly is concentrated in a thin spherule-rich layer (sample 10).

cm above the sandstone complex. This stratigraphic difference could be explained by the topographic variation of the Brazos area, with higher sediment deposition in topographic lows and more erosion at topographic highs. No elevated Ir concentrations were detected in the claystones upsection or at the KT boundary in Mullinax-1, KT1, Brazos-1, or any other Brazos section analyzed. KT Boundary: The KTB in Mullinax-1 is well marked by the rst appearances of three Danian species (Woodringina hornerstownensis, Globoconusa daubjergensis, Parvularugoglobigerina extensa, Plates 2, 3) and the negative d13C shift at 0.8 m above the sandstone complex (Fig. 9). At this interval, H. globulosa abruptly decreases and G. cretacea increases to dominate the assemblage, as characteristic in all KTB sections. As in other Brazos sections, the mass extinction in this shallow-water environment is reduced in terms of numbers of species extinct at the KTB due to the exclusion of all larger specialized species that mark this event in deeper-water environments (Keller et al., 2009a). Only few Cretaceous survivor species (heterohelicids, guembelitrids, hedbergellids) are present in the early Danian. The KTB at 0.8 m above the sandstone complex, as compared with 1.6 m in core KT1 at the same location, is puzzling. It could be explained by signicant topographic variation within just a few meters, or expansion of the interval in KT1 due to drilling disturbance, as earlier suggested by Thor Hansen. Danian: In Mullinax-1 the rst appearances of P. eugubina and P. longiapertura, which mark the P0P1a zone boundary, occur 15 cm above the KTB near the end of the d13C minimum which began at the KTB, as also observed at Brazos-1. A 75 cm core gap is present near the base of zone P1a(1), and as a result most of zone P1a is missing. Including the core gap, zone P1a spans 1.05 m in Mullinax-1, as

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compared with 1.5 m estimated for zone P1a in core KT1. The top 0.5 m of Mullinax-1 is in zone P1b.

Brazos Riverbed-1

The sandstone complex is exposed in the Brazos River bed and can be accessed when the water table is very low (Fig. 10). From a biostratigraphic point of view these sections are limited in that only 10 20 cm of the underlying zone CF1 sediments are exposed and no sediments above the sandstone complex are preserved. Thus the KTB is not present in these sections. However, these sections are useful in that they reveal the intricacy of the sandstone complex, with its alternating depositional environments, burrowing horizons, and multiple spherule-rich layers. Gale (2006) documented these sections, concentrating on the multiple truncated burrowing horizons and concluded that deposition occurred as a series of seasonal storm sedimentation events, or tempestites during a low sea level. Iridium analysis reveals enrichment of 1.2 ppb at the erosion surface of a thin (2 cm) glauconite- and spherule-rich layer (Fig. 11, sample 10). The Ir distribution in the Brazos sections is fully discussed in Munsel et al. (this volume).

Cottonmouth Creek Waterfall Sections (CMW-CMA-CMB)


Cottonmouth Creek has the best outcrop exposure of KT sequences near a small waterfall over the sandstone complex. In 2005, the collapse of a steep creek bank about 10 m from the waterfall provided the best exposure of the sandstone complex and underlying claystones

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FIGURE 12.A) Cottonmouth Creek CMA outcrop is located about 10 m from the waterfall and shows the same sequence of Chicxulub impact layer (yellow cheto smectite) below the sandstone complex. B) At the CMB section about 20 m down the Cottonmouth Creek the sandstone complex consists of a 20 cm sand layer. This section has good exposure of early Danian sediments.

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FIGURE 13.A) The Cottonmouth Creek waterfall section being cleaned after collapse of the creek bank. B) This section shows excellent exposure of the thin yellow clay between 45 and 60 cm below the sandstone complex, which very likely is the primary Chicxulub impactspherule layer, now altered to cheto smectite. The base of the sandstone complex has two to three reworked spherule layers, which are also marked by impact glass altered to cheto smectite. The KT boundary at this locality is about 40 cm above the top of the sandstone complex.

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FIGURE 14.Planktic foraminiferal analysis, stable isotopes, and Ir concentrations in the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall CMAW and CMB composite section (CMB is 20 m down the creek). As in all other sequences the KTB, marked by the d13C shift, the rst Danian species, and species extinctions, is above the sandstone complex. Cretaceous species diversity is low due to the shallow, inner-neritic environment. A sharp negative isotope excursion marks diagenetic alteration of the impact-glass in the yellow clay. Note the absence of any signicant changes in diversity or abundance of species across the impact layer. Enhanced Ir concentrations occur between the KTB and sandstone complex.

(section CMA) (Fig. 12A). About 25 cm above the sandstone complex, dark gray claystones grade into soil. For this reason, the interval above the sandstone complex, including the KTB and the early Danian, was collected in the CMB section about 20 m downstream (Fig. 12B). Stratigraphic, geochemical, and mineralogical results of the combined CMA-CMB sections were published in Keller et al. (2007a). Subsequently, heavy rains collapsed the steep creek banks near the waterfall, covering up the CMA outcrop but exposing a new sequence at the waterfall. During eldwork in 2007 this section was cleared and sampled in detail (Fig. 13A, B, section CMW). Analytical results of CMW are identical to those from CMA and are therefore combined as CMAW. The interval above the sandstone complex is based on the overlapping datasets of CMA and CMB, which are combined in the composite section CMAW-CMB (Fig. 14). Biostratigraphy is based on planktic foraminifera (. 63 lm), calcareous nannofossils (Tantawy, this volume), stable isotopes of the bulk ne fraction, and Lenticulina species. Maastrichtian: In the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall area (CMAW) the 1.05 m of claystone below the sandstone complex and 40 cm above it show gradually decreasing planktic foraminiferal assemblages deposited during the latest Maastrichtian zone CF1 and Micula prinsii zone (CC26b, Fig.14). As in all other Brazos sections, Heterohelix and Guembelitria dominate the assemblages. The decrease in species richness accelerates in the sandstone complex and above, although there is no signicant change in the dominant species abundances. As in other Brazos sections, this decrease can be explained by the sea-level fall from middle-neritic to inner-neritic depths (Keller et al., 2007a;

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Keller et al., 2008). Because all Brazos sections are located within a small area (; 6 to 7 km2), the same factors should dominate all, with small variations due to paleotopography of the sea oor. Throughout this interval, stable isotope values remain relatively stable, except for a sharp negative excursion in a yellow clay layer at 45 cm below the sandstone complex. A negative d13C excursion is also recorded in a clay layer at 30 cm below the sandstone complex in core Mullinax-1 (Fig. 9). These negative d13C excursions are likely due to diagenetic alteration. Ir concentrations are within background levels from below the yellow clay through the sandstone complex, with slightly increased values (0.30.6 ppb) in the 40 cm above the sandstone complex (Fig. 14). The yellow clay layer is the most exciting discovery in the Cottonmouth Creek CMAW-CMB sections. It is 34 cm thick, interbedded in claystones 4560 cm below the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex (Fig. 13B), and can be traced laterally over 2030 m before it dips below the creek bed level. Originally the yellow clay was thought to be a bentonite (Hansen et al., 1987). Bentonite originates from altered volcanic glass and consists of 80 90% montmorillonite (a member of the smectite group). Similarly, altered impact spherules consist predominantly of montmorillonite. Mineralogical analysis of the yellow clay layer and the two reworked impact spherule layers at the base of the sandstone complex reveal 100% Mg montmorillonite, or cheto smectite (Fig. 13B; Keller et al., 2007a). This means the smectite origin could be either altered volcanic glass or Chicxulub impact glass. However, since the smectite of the yellow clay and the layers of reworked impact spherules are identical,

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FIGURE 15.Lithology and Ir concentrations at Cottonmouth Creek CM4 section, located about 100 m down creek from CMB. This section has a 10-cm-thick sandstone (HCS) layer with increased Ir concentrations above it.

and since there are no minerals of volcanic origin present in the yellow clay (Schulte et al.s (2010) claim of sanidine could not be conrmed), we can assume that the cheto smectite is derived from altered Chicxulub impact spherules. In addition, cheto smectite has been documented from impact glass spherule layers in Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico (Debrabant et al., 1999; Keller et al., 2003b). The altered impact-spherule layers at the CMAW sections (yellow clay and two spherule-rich layers in the sandstone complex) are strong evidence that the Chicxulub impact predates the sandstone complex. Further strong evidence in support of the pre-KT age comes from lithied clasts with impact spherules at the base of the sandstone complex in various sections (Fig. 3; Keller et al., 2007a). KT Boundary: The KTB and mass extinction is well marked at 40 cm above the sandstone complex by the negative d13C excursion and the rst appearance of three Danian species (Woodringina hornerstownensis, Globoconusa daubjergensis, Parvularugoglobigerina extensa; Fig. 14, Plates 2, 3). There is no lithological change and no Ir anomaly at the KT boundary, although elevated Ir concentrations (0.3 to 0.6 ppb) were measured below. The mass extinction is gradual, as also observed at Mullinax-1, KT1, and Brazos-1. Most species range 1020 cm into the basal Danian, possibly as a result of reworking and/ or upward excavation by burrowing invertebrates (Rodriguez-Tovar et al., 2009). At least six and possibly eight species range into zone P1a and are known as short-term survivors (Heterohelix globulosa, H. navarroensis, H. dentata, Hedbergella monmouthensis, Globigerinelloides aspera, and possibly Pseudoguemelina costellifera and P. costulata (Barrera and Keller, 1990; Pardo and Keller, 2008). As in all KTB sections, Guembelitria cretacea is the sole long-term survivor and rapidly increased to dominate assemblages above the KTB. Danian: Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina and P. longiapertura rst appear 20 cm above the KT boundary, but these P0P1a marker species are rare and may not represent the rst evolutionary occurrences. For this reason, the P0P1a zone boundary is tentatively

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set at the rst peak of the negative d13C excursion at 10 cm above the KT boundary. The subzone P1a(1)P1a(2) is dened by the rst appearances of Parasubbotina pseudobulloides and Subbotina triloculinoides (Plates 4, 5) at 1.08 m above the sandstone complex. In the CMAW-CMB section subzone P1a(2) is very condensed or missing, with zone P1b juxtaposed over P1a(1). This is suggested by the absence of P. eugubina, above the rst appearances of P. pseudobulloides and S. triloculinoides, the abrupt disappearances of the survivor H. globulosa and the early Danian P. extensa, and the abrupt increase in Globoconusa daubjergensis, all coinciding with a lithologic change from dark claystone to light gray silty claystone (Fig. 14). In addition, well developed Danian species . 150 lm characteristic of zone P1b and P1c rst appear above this lithological change and mark a hiatus. Calcareous nannofossils indicate the NP1aNP1b boundary near this lithologic change (Tantawy, this volume).

Cottonmouth Creek CM4 Sections


In 1987 Hansen collected two Cottonmouth Creek sections labeled CM1 and CM4, which are about 120 m apart and were analyzed as a composite section for planktic foraminifera (Keller, 1989a) and macrofossils (Hansen et al., 1993a; Hansen et al., 1993b). The CM4 section was collected downstream from CMB (Fig. 15). We recollected the CM4 section up to 1.8 m above the sandstone complex and found no difference, except that the limestone concretions are 0.8 m above the sandstone complex, rather than 0.6 m as noted by Keller (l989a) Keller (1989b), and Hansen et al. (1993a). The difference can be ascribed to measurement error or slight outcrop variation. We reanalyzed planktic foraminifera to update species concepts and search for rare species, conducted stable isotope measurements on the benthic Lenticulina spp. and planktic Heterohelix globulosa, and measured Ir concentrations. Figure 15 shows the litholog and outcrop collected in 2007. Figure 16 shows the biostratigraphy, faunal, and

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FIGURE 16.Planktic foraminiferal analysis, stable isotopes, and Ir concentrations in the Cottonmouth Creek CM4 section, located about 100 m down creek from CMB. This section is similar to CMB, including the Ir concentrations between the sandstone and KTB.

isotope analyses based on the 2007 sample collection and the updated dataset of Keller (l989a). The lithology, biostratigraphy, diversity, and relative species abundance variations of the CM4 section are very similar to CMB, although the latter section ends at 1.4 m above the sandstone complex. Maastrichtian: Species richness in CM4 is low (20 species) and reects the shallow, inner-neritic environment in the 35 cm above the sandstone complex. Heterohelix globulosa dominates and Guembelitria cretacea is the second most common species, as also observed in all other Brazos sections (Fig. 16). No Danian species are present, contrary to the report by Keller (l989a). Stable isotopes reect late Maastrichtian values. In the absence of Danian species and absence of the d13C shift, this interval must be considered as latest Maastrichtian, consistent with other Brazos sections. This study, therefore, does not support the KT placement at the top of the sandstone complex by Keller (1989a). Hansen et al. (1993a) reported an Ir anomaly of 0.6 to 1.1 ppb in the 10 cm above the sandstone complex. Newly measured Ir concentrations reveal a diffuse pattern of elevated iridium with peak values of 0.6 and 0.5 ppb at 1 cm and 20 cm above the sandstone complex, respectively, and background values of 0.2 ppb persisting into the early Danian (Figs. 15, 16). Similarly, Ir concentrations were measured in the CMAW-CMB section up to 40 cm above the sandstone complex (Fig. 14). As in all Brazos sequences, the Ir distribution is complex, in variable lithologies and stratigraphic layers, without a single peak anomaly and difcult to interpret (see Gertsch et al., this volume). Therefore, it cannot be used to identify the KT boundary in the Brazos sections. KT Boundary: The KTB is marked by the mass extinction, the rst Danian species (P. extensa, W. hornerstownensis, W. claytonensis, G. daubjergensis) and the onset of the d13C shift at 35 cm above the sandstone complex. Heterohelix globulosa decreases and Guembelitria

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cretacea dominates in the early Danian (Fig. 16). There is no lithological change at the KTB. Because of the low species richness in this shallow inner-neritic environment, as a result of the exclusion of all deeper water dwelling species that went extinct at the KTB, the mass extinction at CM4 as well as in other Brazos sections is gradual. Most Cretaceous species present are tolerant of signicant environmental changes and range 1020 cm above the KTB, with some Cretaceous survivors ranging into zone P1a (Fig. 16), as rst observed at the El Kef stratotype section (Keller, 1988). Danian: Zone P0 spans about 15 cm (to FA P. eugubina), though the exact thickness depends on sample spacing. The d13C shift reached its maximum at about 18 cm above the KTB. As in the CMAW-CMB section, zone P1a(1) ranges up to the lithologic change and unconformity 0.600.65 m above the KTB. The upper part of zone P1a, or subzone P1a(2), is therefore missing. This is indicated by the simultaneous FA of Parasubbotina pseudobulloides and Subbotina triloculinoides, a decrease in G. cretacea abundance, an abrupt increase in G. daubjergensis, and abrupt disappearances of survivor species (Fig. 16). Zone P1b marks the interval up to the FA of Subbotina varianta (Plate 4) and is characterized by peak abundance in Globoconusa daubjergensis and decreased Guembelitria abundance. This trend is reversed in the upper part of zone P1b and reects a change in the environment.

Previous Studies: Thor Hansen rst collected the Cottonmouth Creek CM1 section in 1987 and supplied a set of samples for analysis to G. Keller (l989a) who published the planktic foraminiferal record as part of a composite section with CM4. The CM1 section was likely collected at or near the waterfall outcrops CMA and CMW (Fig. 1). This is evident by the very similar litholog described and illustrated for

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Cottonmouth Creek CM1 Section

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FIGURE 17.Lithologic comparison of Cottonmouth CMAW with the CM1 section of Hansen et al. (l987) and Keller (l989a) shows that CM1 is also from outcrops near the waterfall. Note that Hansen observed the yellow clay layer and labeled it as bentonite.

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CM1 by Hansen et al. (1987), as shown in Figure 17 in comparison with the CMAW section using the same lithology symbols. The main difference between CM1 and CMAW is the 20 cm thicker sandstone complex, which is likely due to lateral variation in thickness of these channel deposits. Hansen et al. (l987) also noted a Thalassinoides burrow crosscutting the HCS layers (Fig. 17). Such burrows were also noted in Mullinax-1 and the Riverbed outcrops (Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a). Most notable is Hansens description of a thin orange-limonite bentonite with a scoured top about 50 cm below the sandstone complex and the bentonite altered to orange limonite at the base of the sandstone complex. The lower bentonite and discontinuity above it correspond to Keller et al.s (2007a) yellow clay between 4560 cm below the sandstone complex in CMA and CMW, which was

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interpreted as altered Chicxulub impact glass spherules (Figs. 13B) (Keller et al., 2007a). The upper orange (Fe) stained bentonite at the base of the sandstone complex corresponds to the two layers of reworked impat spherules (Fig. 13B). The obvious similarities between CM1 and CMAW obviate the need to reproduce the faunal record of CM1 (Keller, l989a), inasmuch as this record is already documented for CMAW (Fig. 14).

ECottonmouth Creek Well KT3


Previous Studies: Cottonmouth Creek well KT3 was drilled in 1986 by Thor Hansen and Earl Kauffman on a meadow about 150 m from the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall (Fig. 1). Keller (l989a) analyzed the planktic foraminifera and labeled the well Brazos core. Barrera and

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FIGURE 18.Planktic foraminiferal analysis and stable isotopes in the Cottonmouth Creek well KT3, located at about 150 m from the Cottonmouth waterfall. The KTB is well marked above the sandstone complex by the mass extinction, the rst Danian species and the d13C shift.

Keller (1990) conducted stable isotope analysis on the benthic foraminifer Lenticulina sp. and planktic Heterohelix globulosa and demonstrated that H. globulosa was a KTB survivor based on Danian d13C signals in specimens from the Danian. In these studies, samples were analyzed at 2.5 cm to 5 cm intervals from 50 cm below the sandstone complex through the early Danian zone P1a and at 20 cm sample spacing above and below this interval. Preliminary paleomagnetic data for core KT3 was done by W. Gose (written communication, 1987) and published in Hansen et al. (1993a). However, the Maastrichtian signals are erratic and difcult to interpret or correlate with biostratigraphic data. Follow-up studies by two laboratories have been unsuccessful to obtain paleomagnetic or magnetic susceptibility signals of the new Mullinax wells due to the very high clay content. This Study: Planktic foraminifera of KT3 were reanalyzed for this study to update species concepts, search for rare species, and compare the sequence with the new outcrops and Mullinax wells. Well KT3 is very similar in all aspects to the other Brazos sections, except that the sandstone complex is less than 20 cm thick and contains more common foraminifera that may or may not be reworked. For this reason, species abundance and isotopic data are shown across the sandstone where they show relatively minor abundance changes (Fig. 18). Maastrichtian: The upper Maastichtian below the sandstone complex has species richness in zone CF1 comparable to that in Mullinax-1 and CMAW sections. Total species richness varies between 30 and 37 species and abruptly decreases in the sandstone complex and above it (Fig. 18). The gradual decrease in species richness begins below the sandstone complex and can be attributed to the sea-level fall that culminated in scoured channels and deposition of the sandstone complex. Within this decreasing trend the unusual peak of 37 species at

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the base of the sandstone complex marks reworked species at the unconformity, as also suggested by the increased abundance of benthic species. Throughout the interval below the sandstone complex, across it, and up to the KTB, dominant species show normal variations. As in all Brazos sections, Heterohelix globulosa is the dominant species, followed by Guembelitria cretacea, H. planata, H. dentate, and H. navarroensis. Guembelitria populations show a signicant decrease in the sandstone complex with the concurrent increase in H. globulosa and H. planata/dentata. It is unclear whether this reects a change in the environment or differential preservation reducing the abundance of the fragile G. cretacea specimens. Zone CF1 index species Plummerita hantkeninoides is rare and sporadically present, with the rst occurrence at about 1.4 m below the sandstone complex. Stable isotopes show 12 uctuations in planktic and benthic values (Barrera and Keller, 1990). However, they cannot be directly compared with those of Mullinax-1 because of lower sample resolution at 2025 cm sample spacing as compared with 5 cm in Mullinax-1. The negative excursion in the sandstone complex probably reects diagenetic alteration. KT Boundary: The KT boundary is marked by the onset of the d13C shift in Lenticulina sp. and H. globulosa, the extinction of all but survivor species, and the FA of G. daubjergensis, W. hornerstownensis, P. extensa, and Eoglobigerina eobulloides (Fig. 18, Plates 2, 3). The sporadic presence of Cretaceous species in the 1020 cm above the d13C shift is observed in all Brazos sections and is likely due to reworking. Eight other species are considered survivors, as suggested by their common occurrences in zone P1a and some at the base of P1b, including H. globulosa, H. navarroensis, H. dentata, H. planata,

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FIGURE 19.Lithology of the Brazos-2 section, located 30 m downstream from Brazos-3. Brazos-2 and Brazos-3 can be correlated in outcrops and show very similar lithologies with two limestone concretion layers above a burrowed glauconite-rich sandstone layer (Photos by Dale Beeson).

Hedbergella monmouthensis, Guembelitria cretacea, Globigerinelloides aspera, P. costulata, and P. costellifera. Guembelitria cretacea is the sole long-term survivor. Stable isotope analysis of H. globulosa in well KT3 show that this species has Cretaceous values below the KTB, rapidly shifts across the boundary in parallel with Lenticulina sp., and retains Danian values in the Danian, including one sample in P1a (dotted line, Fig. 18). Danian d13C values were also measured for H. globulosa and G. cretacea in well KT1 and outcrop CM4 (Fig. 8, 16). This conrms that H. globulosa is a KTB survivor, as rst observed by Keller (1988), Keller (1989a) and Barrera and Keller (1990), as well as the survivorship of other species (Pardo and Keller, 2008). Danian: The rst appearance of Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina may not be present in KT3 because of a 15 cm core gap. For this reason, the zones P0P1a boundary is tentatively placed just below the core gap and coincident with the trough of the d13C shift, which marks this boundary elsewhere in Brazos sections (e.g., Mullinax-1, KT1, Brazos-1, CMAW-CMB, CM4). The rst appearances of Parasubbotina pseudobulloides and Subbotina triloculinoides coincide with a sudden increase of G. daubjergensis to 40%, as also observed in other sections (Figs. 79, 14, 16). This suggests a short hiatus with the upper part of zone P1a, or subzone P1a(2) missing, as also indicated by a lithologic change to silty shale with shells. Above the hiatus zone P1b is dominated by Guembelitria spp. and G. daubjergensis. The same hiatus was documented in other Brazos sections (e.g., KT1, CMAWCMB, CM4; Figs. 8, 14, 16).

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Previous Studies: Brazos-3 is located near the entry of the Cottonmouth Creek tributary to the Brazos River, and the same

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sequence is exposed at Brazos-2 about 30 m downstream along the embankment of the Brazos River (Fig. 1). These sections were reported by Hansen et al. (1987) and Beeson (1992) and collected by Keller and MacLeod in l990. At the same time Keller and Beeson collaborated on these sections. During eldwork in 2007, these outcrops were covered by mudbanks left from the previous ood. For this study both Beesons samples and Kellers samples were available. This Study: Brazos-2 and Brazos-3 can be lithologically correlated based on two distinct marly limestone layers with concretions about 2530 cm apart (Fig. 19). At Brazos-3, the sandstone complex is exposed near the base of the exposure and consists of a single 10 cm thick coarse glauconite, phosphate and shell-rich sandstone layer with burrows. A 1 cm thick Fe-stained sand marks the base of this layer. At Brazos-2, this sand layer is buried just below the base of the outcrop exposure, but it can be excavated (Fig. 19). Above and below the sand layer are silty claystones with common shells and burrows. Two peaks of elevated Ir concentrations (0.50.7 ppb) occur just above the sandstone and below the KTB in both localities (Gertsch et al., this volume). Lithologically, Brazos-2 and Brazos-3 are very similar to the Cottonmouth Creek CM-4 section (Figs. 15, 16), including the elevated Ir concentrations above the sandstone layer. Maastrichtian: Planktic foraminifera at Brazos-3 reveal similar faunal turnovers as in other Cottonmouth Creek sections. The maximum Cretaceous species richness (30 species) occurs below the sandstone and gradually decreases upsection. The overall low diversity marks a shallow middle-neritic (, 100 m) environment with only rare and sporadic occurrences of the larger, ornate, deeper-dwelling globotruncanids (e.g., Globotruncana aegyptiaca, G. arca, G. rosetta, G. dupeublei) and multi-globular species (Planoglobulina brazoensis, Racemiguembelina fructicosa, R. intermedia; Fig. 20). The gradual diversity decrease above the sandstone reects the shallow, inner-

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FIGURE 20.Planktic foraminiferal analysis and Ir concentrations at the Brazos-3 section, located at the entry of Cottonmouth Creek into the Brazos River. This section is similar to other Cottonmouth Creek outcrops, except that the KTB is 10 cm above the sandstone layer, indicating greater erosion. Elevated Ir values are observed immediately above the sandstone layer and near the KTB. (Ir data from Rocchia, written communication, 1993).

neritic depth, which excludes most subsurface dwellers (Li and Keller, 1998a; Abramovich et al., 2003; Keller et al., 2009a). The change in water depth in the latest Maastrichtian can also be observed in the ratio of benthic and planktic species. In relatively deeper middle-neritic waters, planktics are more abundant than benthic species, as observed below the sandstone where benthics average 20 25%. Above the sandstone and into zone P1a, benthic species dominate by 5565% indicating very shallow, inner-neritic conditions, as also observed in Mullinax-1 (Fig. 9). KT Boundary: The KT boundary is marked by the FA of Parvularugoglobigerina extensa and Woodringina hornerstownensis followed by Globoconusa daubjergensis at 12 cm above the KTB. As in all other Brazos sections, extinctions are gradual, rather than sudden, due mainly to the low diversity and exclusion of the large extinctionprone deeper-dwelling species and the presence of survivors and other possibly reworked small species above the KTB. Commonly present species are considered survivors (e.g., Pseudoguembelina costulata, Globigerinella aspera, Hedbergella monmouthensis, Heterohelix dentata, H. navarroensis, H. globulosa, G. cretacea). Among these, H. globulosa is dominant and begins the terminal decrease at the KTB, whereas G. cretacea becomes dominant. Danian: Zone P1a (FA of P. eugubina) begins at 17 cm above the sandstone layer and continues to the top of the section. The FA of Parasubbotina pseudobulloides marks the subdivision between P1a(1) and P1a(2) at 50 cm above the sandstone (Fig. 20). The hiatus observed in many other Brazos sections was not observed, possibly due to outcrop limitations.

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The Darting Minnow Creek waterfall (DMCW section) is located about 1.2 km to the south of Cottonmouth Creek (Fig. 1). As in Cottonmouth Creek, a waterfall drapes over the resistant beds of the sandstone complex about 700 m up-creek from the Brazos River (Fig. 21). This outcrop is important in that it boasts the most expanded (; 1.0 m) sandstone complex in the Brazos area. Hansen et al. (1987) and Bourgeois et al. (1988) interpreted the lithology of this outcrop as the deposit of an impact-generated tsunami and therefore assumed to be KTB in age. However, the biostratigraphy of the section remained largely undocumented. Sediment exposure below the sandstone complex is poor and limited to about 1 m. Sediments above the sandstone complex are buried in the creek bed and largely inaccessible. The sandstone complex inlls a narrow incised valley of about 20 m width, as suggested by seismic studies (Mark Everett, personal communication, 2006). Lithology: During eldwork in 2004 to 2007 the DMC waterfall (DMCW) section was examined, described, photographed, and sampled at 510 cm intervals across the sandstone complex and ve samples were recovered from the creek bed above (Fig. 22). The lithology is similar to other Brazos outcrops. An erosional surface marks the base of the 1 m thick sandstone complex. Below are dark gray claystones with common shell fragments. Above the unconformity is a 10-cm-thick glauconite and shell hash with common lithied clasts, some of which contain impact spherules and occasional mudcracks inlled with spherules (Fig. 3A, D). These lithied clasts

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Darting Minnow Creek Waterfall Section DMCW

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provide evidence of an earlier spherule depositional event that was followed by subaerial exposure, lithication, erosion, and transportation (Keller et al., 2007a). A 10-cm-thick glauconite- and spherule-rich layer with small mudclasts overlies the lithied clast-rich interval, followed by a 20-cmthick glauconite and shell hash with some spherules. The upper 60 cm consist of laminated, glauconitic sandstone layers alternating with hummocky crossbeds (Fig. 22). Dark gray claystones overlie the sandstone complex but are poorly exposed in the creek bed. Five samples were taken from the creek bed above the sandstone complex at about 1015 cm intervals by digging below the loose sand to the underlying claystones. These samples span about 0.5 m above the sandstone complex. A major lithologic change from dark gray claystone to gray siltstone with large Ophiomorpha burrows marks a hiatus about 1 m above the sandstone complex. Maastrichtian: No anomalous Ir concentrations were detected in the sandstone complex. Planktic foraminifera are of lower diversity and lower abundance than in other Brazos sections (e.g., Cottonmuth Creek and Brazos River to the north; Fig. 1). Latest Maastrichtian assemblages consist of 1520 species, except below the sandstone complex, where reworking is ubiquitous. Heterohelix globulosa and G. cretacea dominate the assemblages (Fig. 22). The latest Maastrichtian zone CF1 index species (P. hantkeninoides) was not observed, but it is present in the nearby Mullinax-2 and Mullinax-3 wells, which indicates that deposition below the sandstone complex occurred within zone CF1, as in all other Brazos sections. Only Cretaceous survivor species are consistently present (heterohelicids, hedbergellids, globigerinellids, guembelitrids, pseudoguembelinids). Other species are rare and sporadic. Large, deeper-dwelling species are absent. An inux of species into this assemblage is observed in the 20 cm below the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex, raising species richness to 25. Many of these specimens show signs of reworking (e.g., poor preservation, discoloration, broken specimens), which suggests an inux of eroded sediments due to the sea-level fall prior to the scouring of the channel and subsequent inlling by the sandstone complex. Similar reworking was observed in well Mullinax-3. KT Boundary: Unlike other Brazos sections, there is a major KTB unconformity. This is evident by the subzone P1a(2) assemblage directly overlying the sandstone complex, including G. daubjergensis, W. hornerstownensis, E. eobulloides, E. edita, P. extensa, P. pseudobulloides, S. triloculinoides, and G. pentagona. This diverse Danian assemblage characterizes the upper part, subzone P1a(2), of the P. eugubina zone (P1a) and indicates that the uppermost Maastrichtian above the sandstone complex, the KTB and zone P0, and P1a(1) intervals are missing (Fig. 4). Survivor species are still common in P1a(2) and benthic species are dominant (. 70%; Fig. 22). Clues to the major KT unconformity in the DMC area can be gained from lithology and foraminiferal assemblages compared with other Brazos sections. Planktic foraminiferal assemblages at the DMCW section are overall similar to other Brazos sections in species composition, but they differ in lower diversity and overall smaller morphologic sizes of species. Benthic foraminifera are also of very low diversity and very small size (, 100 lm) and dominated by small lowoxygen tolerant Epistominella minuta. Claystones above and below the sandstone complex are organic-rich with abundant pyrite framboids indicating low-oxygen (hypoxic) conditions. Planktic and benthic foraminifera are few in these organic-rich sediments, and the dwarfed species sizes indicate high-stress conditions. In the sandstone complex low planktic species richness and dwarng coupled with high percentage of benthic specimens reects reect very shallow, innerneritic conditions with high energy and high terrigenous inux. A period of subaerial exposure and erosion is indicated by the spherulerich lithied clasts with mudcracks at the base of the sandstone complex (Keller et al., 2007a), and nondeposition appears to have

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FIGURE 21.Darting Minnow Creek waterfall (DMCW) section has the most expanded sandstone complex but poor exposure of sediments above and below.

continued well into the early Danian. The nearby Mullinax-2 and 3 wells provide further clues.

Darting Minnow Creek Wells Mullinax-2 and Mullinax-3

The DMC waterfall section with its expanded sandstone complex piqued our interest to drill two wells with overlapping cores to assure that a complete sedimentary sequence could be recovered. We located wells Mullinax-2 and 3 on the nearest meadow (Fig. 23), which is about 150 m from the DMC waterfall, and recovered the upper Maastrichtian sequence to 23.7 m depth below surface. The KT transition interval from 3 to 11 m was analyzed for this study. Surprisingly, no sandstone complex was encountered. (See description of lithology.) Maastrichtian: Mullinax-3 was analyzed from 3 m to 11 m depth for both small (. 63 lm) and larger (. 150 lm) size fractions in order to evaluate assemblage changes and biotic stress conditions. The . 63 lm fraction is shown for biostratigraphic purposes. Samples were analyzed at 5 cm and 10 cm intervals, with closer spacing in intervals approaching the KT boundary (Fig. 24). Within the root zone interval, contamination was avoided by carefully sampling claystones not cut by rootlets. A total of 5.5 m of upper Maastrichtian sediments in Mullinax-3 were analyzed for this study. The entire interval is in nannofossil Micula prinsii zone and planktic foraminiferal zones CF1 and CF2 (Fig. 24). Zone CF1 spans 3 m, which is comparable to Mullinax-1. This expanded interval appears to be due to high sediment accumulation rates as a result of increased terrigenous inux in this nearshore area. Planktic foraminiferal assemblages are similar to those observed in other Brazos well sections, with some important differences (e.g., Mullinax-1, KT3). Although the same survivor species dominate, Heterohelix globulosa is more dominant than in other Brazos sections and Globigerinelloides aspera is more common. This may reect the shallower water depth, salinity variations, and low oxygen conditions at Mullinax-3. All other species are sporadically present. Species richness is variable in this late Maastrichtian interval, with lower diversity near the base (1725 species) and maximum diversity (2530 species) between 7 and 10 m. In the interval of maximum diversity, 2/3 of the assemblages consist of larger species (. 150 lm), which are rare and sporadically present. They may indicate a deeper environment accommodating more species, or a shallower environment

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FIGURE 22.Litholog and foraminiferal analysis of the Darting Minnow Creek waterfall (DMCW) section shows lower species diversity and higher abundance of benthic foraminifera below the sandstone complex, which indicates a shallower, inner-neritic environment than at Cottonmouth Creek. Above the sandstone complex, the uppermost Maastrichtian and lower Danian zone P0 and subzone P1a(1) are missing due to either erosion or nondeposition.

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with in situ assemblages contaminated by erosion and reworking. The latter appears more likely, as suggested by the very shallow environment above it, where species richness drops abruptly from 2530 to 1015 species. This diversity drop coincides with a lithological change at 6.95 m to a silty mudstone with common rootlets, which continue to the KTB unconformity at 5.5 m, except for one sample at 5.9 m (Fig. 24). The sample at 5.9 m contains common reworked specimens in a glauconitic sandy mudstone with clasts, phosphate nodules, oysters, gastropods, and desiccation cracks. Desiccation cracks in the sediments are lled with coarse sand and are rimmed by secondary gypsum, which suggests increased evaporation and temporary subaerial exposure. Only dwarfed survivor species are common through this interval, but they decrease rapidly below the KTB unconformity. In particular, H. globulosa decreased from 60% to 15%, whereas the disaster opportunist G. cretacea increased from 15% to 50%, which indicates increased stress conditions prior to the KTB unconformity (Fig. 24). These data indicate that sea level likely fell through the upper part of zone CF2 and the lower part of CF1 to culminate in subaerial exposure in Mullinax-3, coeval with the formation of the sandstone complex and unconformity in the nearby

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EDMCW section, and the sandstone complex in all other Brazos sections. Wells Mullinax-2 and 3 are thus important for their very different lithology below and across the KT boundary interval, for the absence of a sandstone complex with impact spherules, and for the presence of frequent disconformities and erosion surfaces and common roots, indicating a coastal to lagoonal environment. Details of the lithology were described in the section on lithology (see also Adatte et al., this volume). KT Boundary: The KT unconformity is marked at 5.45 m by a sharp lithologic change from the sandy mudstone and weathered light brown sediments surrounding rootlets and cracks to dark gray mudstone above. This mudstone contains a well-developed early Danian subzone P1a(2) (upper P. eugubina zone) assemblage (G. daubjergensis, P. eugubina, P. extensa, W. claytonensis, W. hornerstownensis, P. pseudobulloides, E. eobulloides, E. edita; Fig. 24), which indicates that the uppermost Maastrichtian in zone CF1, the KTB zone P0, and the lower part of P. eugubina zone are missing due to erosion and/or nondeposition at this unconformity. The extent of this hiatus is similar to that at the nearby DMC waterfall outcrop, but the hiatus differs in the latter section where thick sandstone inlls an incised valley.

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CORRELATION OF SECTIONS

Brazos River Sections: Transect 1

The Brazos sections can be grouped into three distinct areas based on geographic and paleoenvironmental locations, lithology, stable isotopes, and biostratigraphy. Transect 1 consists of Brazos Riverbed outcrops, Brazos-1, and wells Mullinax-1 and KT1-KT2 (Fig. 1). All have similar sandstone complexes with multiple reworked spherule layers, laminated sands, and one or more hummocky cross-bedded sandstone layers at relatively constant thickness of 4050 cm (Fig. 25). Biostratigraphy places the sandstone complex in the middle or upper part of zone CF1, depending on the amount of erosion and downcutting at the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex. Since zone CF1 spans the last 300 ky of the Maastrichtian based on the time scale of Cande and Kent (1995), but only 160 ky based on the time scale of Gradstein et al. (2004), the sandstone complex was likely deposited as much as 100150 ky or as little as 6070 ky before the KTB. Organic-rich, dark gray claystones with burrows, shells, and late Maastrichtian planktic foraminiferal assemblages of zone CF1 overlie the sandstone complex. Lithology, stable isotopes, and mineralogical data in this interval are similar to the claystones below the sandstone complex (Keller et al., 2007a). The KTB as dened by standard paleontological and stable isotope criteria (e.g., mass extinction, evolution of rst Danian species, and negative carbon isotope shift) is 0.8 to 1.0 m above the sandstone complex in Mullinax-1 and Brazos-1, respectively (Fig. 25). Note that the 1.6 m interval observed in the old KT1 well may be due to drilling disturbance (see section on lithology). Alternatively, basin or trough deposition could account for the double thickness, although this seems less likely since the sections were drilled next to each other. In all three sections the KTB is marked by the negative d13C shift that characterizes the KTB and mass extinction event globally. Brazos River Transect 1 sections thus show a clear stratigraphic separation between the sandstone complex and the KTB that dees any cause-and-effect relationship between the two. Anomalous Ir concentrations in sediments are commonly used to identify the KTB based on the assumption that the Ir inux is the result of the Chicxulub impact and that this impact caused the KT mass

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Danian: A hiatus may be present in P1a(2) at 4.5 m, as suggested by the abrupt disappearance of Cretaceous survivor species. The last occurrence of P. eugubina marks the P1aP1b boundary at 4 m subsurface depth and above a short core gap. A major lithologic change at 3.45 m marks another unconformity and the zones P1bP1c boundary (rst appearance of Subbotina varianta). The shallow water environment in Mullinax-3 is also reected by the stable isotope data of planktic and benthic foraminifera (Fig. 24). d13C values for the benthic Lenticulina spp. and planktic Heterohelix globulosa and Pseudoguembelina costulata are largely overlapping with minimal surface-to-deep gradient, as would be expected in very shallow water environments. A minor though distinct surface-to-deep gradient is apparent in the d18O values that likely reect salinity effects and possibly warmer surface waters. There are two major isotope excursions. One is near the base of zone CF1 and stratigraphically corresponds to a similar excursion in CMAW associated with the yellow clay that represents the primary Chicxulub impact spherule ejecta layer now altered to cheto smectite (Figs. 14). The second excursion is across the KTB and begins in the root zone interval where d13C and d18O values decrease by 3 permil in planktic foraminifera and to a lesser extent in benthic foraminifera. This negative d13C shift partly represents the productivity drop across the KTB, but may be amplied by the shallow water conditions and multiple emersions (e.g., salinity effects and paleosoil formation). Recovery in subzone P1a(2) reects the global trend. The negative shift near the top of the analyzed interval coincides with a hiatus.

FIGURE 23.Location of Darting Minnow Creek wells Mullinax-2 and 3, located on a meadow about 150 m from the waterfall DMCW section. Drilling was done by DOSECC.

extinction. Brazos sections do not support these assumptions. No anomalous Ir concentrations are observed at the KTB. Instead, Ir enrichments are at variable stratigraphic levels, usually associated with laminated sandstone or clay layers, sometimes within the sandstone complex and most often just above it and reaching background concentrations well below the KTB. At Brazos-1, the Ir anomaly is double peaked, with the maximum concentration (1.4 ppb) at the base of a thin (1 cm) sand layer about 1720 cm above the sandstone complex (Fig. 6; Rocchia et al., 1996). The second, broad Ir anomaly begins above the thin sand layer with concentrations of 0.9 ppb and tails upward to 0.3 ppb over 17 cm (Fig. 25). The KTB is 80 cm above the Ir peak concentration (Fig. 7). However, at the Brazos River bed outcrop BR1, the maximum Ir concentrations (1.2 ppb) are recorded in a thin spherule-rich clayey layer between sandstones in the middle of the sandstone complex (Figs. 11, 25). In contrast, at Mullinax-1 the maximum Ir concentrations (1.5 ppb) are recorded near the base of the laminated sandstone at the top of the sandstone complex. Above this maximum, Ir values decrease to background over 20 cm. No anomalous Ir concentrations are present at the KT boundary 1 m above the Ir anomaly (Figs. 9, 25). At the same locality in well KT1 Ir values above the sandstone complex reach just 0.3 ppb and remain at background values through the early Danian. No samples were available from the sandstone complex for Ir measurements. These studies show that although there is no precise stratigraphic consistency in the position of the Ir anomalies in the Brazos sections, the anomalies tend to fall just above the sandstone complex and signicantly below the KT boundary. The Brazos River section BR1 may be one exception, though this remains unknown since no sediments could be recovered above the sandstone complex. The relatively minor stratigraphic variations in the level of Ir enrichments may be due to topographic variations with variable sediment accumulation rates in high and low areas, or postdepositional alteration of Ir concentrations (Gertsch et al., this volume).

Cottonmouth Creek Sections: Transect 2


This transect includes all sections analyzed along the Cottonmouth Creek between the waterfall and the Brazos River, including Brazos-2

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FIGURE 24.Planktic foraminifera and stable isotope analyses of planktic and benthic foraminifera of well Mullinax-3 reveal a major KTB hiatus similar to the DMCW section, but no sandstone complex. Instead, root traces below the KTB indicate an estuarine to marshy environment below the KTB and probably correlative with the sandstone complex in DMCW. In this shallow interval only the most environmentally tolerant species are present, and in very low numbers. Reworking accounts for the inux of additional Cretaceous species in the 0.5 m below the KTB.

and 3 (Fig. 1). In this transect, the sandstone complex is best developed (65 cm thick) and most similar to transect 1 near the waterfall where two reworked spherule layers and two hummocky cross-bedded layers are present (Figs. 13, 26). Over a distance of only 20 m the sandstone complex is reduced to 1520 cm and then to just one 10 cm thick hummocky cross-bedded layer at 120150 m down creek (Fig. 12). At the entry of the Cottonmouth Creek into the Brazos River, just a 10-cmthick glauconitic sand layer marks the sandstone complex (Fig. 19). This lateral thinning of the sandstone complex reveals the nature and local variations of incised valleys in the shallow inner-neritic Brazos environment. Compared with Brazos River sections of Transect 1, sediment deposition likely occurred in a shallower, possibly subtidal to lagoonal environment during the KT transition, including deposition of the sandstone complex, as further discussed below. Sediments below the sandstone complex consist of dark gray, organic-rich claystones with variable abundances of shells and burrows. A prominent thin (3 cm) yellow clay layer is 4560 cm below the sandstone complex in the Cottonmouth Creek waterfall area. This yellow clay consists of cheto smectite derived from altered Chicxulub impact glass, similar to the clay altered impact glass in the two reworked impact-spherule layers near the base of the sandstone complex (Fig. 13B; Keller et al., 2007a). No samples were available from the KT3 core to test for this yellow clay. Overlying the sandstone complex is a dark gray organic-rich claystone with common burrows, scattered shells, and pyrite framboids, suggesting a stagnant lagoonal environment. The abrupt lithologic change marks a disconformity in most sections. This is also apparent by the 2040 cm interval between the sandstone complex and the KTB, as compared with 80100 cm in the Brazos River transect 1.

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The KTB is identied by standard criteria (e.g., mass extinction, rst Danian species, d13C shift) well above the sandstone complex, similar to transect 1 (Fig. 26). Stable isotope data are shown for the KT3 well and the CMAW-CMB and CM4 outcrops (Figs. 14, 16, 18). Ir concentrations are variable, but the stratigraphic position is similar in all sections. Maximum concentrations (0.60.7 ppb) are generally recorded in the sediments immediately above the sandstone complex (except for CMAW), followed by one or two additional peaks (0.50.6 ppb) below the KTB (e.g., CMAW, CMB, CM4, Brazos-2, Brazos-3; Fig. 26). In CM4, Brazos-3, and Brazos-2, Ir concentrations are slightly elevated (0.30.4 ppb) in zone P0, though not in CMB or CMAW. Ir measurements in the sandstone complex and claystones of the CMAW section show background values (, 0.1 to 0.2 ppb). This iridium distribution pattern is overall similar to transect 1 in that peak concentrations are at or above the sandstone complex and below the KTB, but it differs in the precise stratigraphic position, probably as a result of erosion and/or condensed sedimentation. The variable Ir enrichments may reect the nature and rate of sediment deposition rather than the original signal. Remobilization and concentration of Ir could also explain the observed pattern (see Gertsch et al., this volume). Whether or not the original Ir inux occurred at the KTB or was associated with the much earlier Chicxulub impact cannot be determined based on the Brazos sections.

Only two localities are available in the Darting Minnow Creek transect (Fig. 27). In the DMC waterfall section, the sandstone complex

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Darting Minnow Creek: Transect 3

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FIGURE 25.Correlation of transect 1 of the Brazos River sections shows very similar thickness of the sandstone complex and a large interval (; 1 m) of uppermost Maastrichtian sediments between the sandstone complex and the KTB. Note that the KTB is marked by independent KTBdening criteria (extinction, evolution) and the d13C shift, a global KTB-supporting criterion. The Ir anomaly is well below the KTB.

is well developed and about 1 m thick with repeated sandstone layers truncated by erosion. Impact spherules are abundant in the glauconitic and shell hash sandstone in the lower 30 cm, including spherules within lithied clasts, some with desiccation cracks inlled with spherules that reveal the presence of an older spherule layer eroded and redeposited (Fig. 3; Keller et al., 2007a). The uppermost Maastrichtian and early Danian (zones P0 and P1a(1)) are missing at an unconformity above the sandstone complex. No Ir anomaly was detected in the claystones. Abundant Ophiomorpha burrows in gray siltstone mark another unconformity at about 11.5 m above the sandstone complex. In Mullinax-3, only 150 m from the DMC waterfall, there is no evidence of a sandstone complex. Instead, a paleosol and rootlets mark a shallow (mangrove?) coastal to lagoonal environment. The KTB unconformity is of the same magnitude as in the DMCW section. The Darting Minnow Creek sections thus reveal a signicantly shallower environment than Cottonmouth Creek or Brazos River sections. Whereas the latter reect a relatively deeper inner-neritic environment to the north, Cottonmouth Creek reects a shallower, possibly subtidal to lagoonal environment with further shallowing to intertidal swamp or marsh conditions in the Darting Minnow Creek area to the south.

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EDISCUSSION KT Boundary and Chicxulub Impact


Placement of the KT boundary in the Brazos sections has been controversial, primarily because of ideological convictions, namely the belief that the Chicxulub impact caused the KT mass extinction and therefore any impact evidence (iridium, impact spherules, and/or impact breccias) must dene the KTB (e.g., Bourgeois et al., 1988; Hansen et al., 1993a; Smit et al., 1996; Rocchia et al., 1996; Arenillas et al., 2006; Schulte et al., 2006; Schulte et al., 2008; Schulte et al., 2010). This approach has been favored mainly because it conrms the popular KTB impact hypothesis. But it has also led to circular reasoningChicxulub is KTB in age, therefore Chicxulub denes the KTBand hindered objective evaluation of the age and nature of the Chicxulub impact and its environmental consequences. Clearly, Chicxulub impact evidence cannot dene the KTB when the age of the impact itself is under dispute and ample evidence indicates that this impact predates the KTB in northeastern Mexico, the Chicxulub crater on Yucata n, and in Texas (Keller et al., 2003a; Keller et al., 2004a; Keller et al., 2004b; Keller et al., 2007a). This study yields further

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evidence that Chicxulub impact spherules are stratigraphically well below the KTB and that an Ir anomaly alone is unreliable as KTB marker (Figs. 25, 26; see also Keller, 2008). The KTB must be dened based on a set of internationally accepted and globally recognized paleontologic dening criteria, namely the mass extinction of all tropicalsubtropical planktic foraminifera and evolution of the rst Danian species. In addition, supporting criteria include the d13C shift, global Ir anomaly, and the KTB clay layer. In the Brazos area only the d13C shift is a useful KTB-supporting criterion. An Ir anomaly is frequently considered a KTB-dening criterion, but it is not a unique signal and is unreliable in Brazos sections. As the global iridium dataset has accumulated, so have the queries regarding the origin, nature, and original stratigraphic position of this signal (Graup et al., l989; Grachev et al., 2005; Keller, 2008; Miller et al., 2010; Racki et al., 2011; Gertsch et al., this volume). Nowhere is this problem more apparent than in the Brazos sections where Ir concentrations are never found at the KTB or in the impact-spherule layer(s) and there is no consistent pattern of Ir distribution (Figs. 25, 26). An Ir anomaly therefore may be supporting evidence for the KTB, provided that it coincides with independent paleontological and oceanographic supporting criteria, but by itself it cannot dene the KTB. In this study we documented the position of the KTB based on standard paleontological and d13C criteria, as well as stratigraphically located Ir concentrations and impact-spherule layers. We never found Ir

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FIGURE 26.Correlation of transect 2, Cottonmouth Creek sections, shows decreasing thickness of the sandstone complex from the waterfall to the Brazos River. In all sections the KTB is above the sandstone complex and elevated Ir concentrations occur in the interval above the latter. The thickness of the claystone between the sandstone complex and the KTB decreases towards the Brazos River and is overall more reduced compared with the Brazos River transect to the north. This is likely due to the shallower depositional environment and increased erosion towards the south.

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anomalies and impact spherules in the same stratigraphic horizons, and they were never found at the KTB. Note that the Ir anomaly in a thin spherule-rich layer in the sandstone complex of the Brazos River section (BR1, Fig. 11) is associated with reworked spherules and limited to just one of multiple spherule-rich clay layers in this sandstone complex. It can therefore not be considered the primary Ir fallout from an impact. Multiple impact-spherule layers are present in the sandstone complex of most Brazos sections, and all are reworked from an older (primary) deposit, as indicated by lithied clasts with spherules (Fig. 3; Keller et al., 2007a). The primary impact-spherule layer was discovered in a thin yellow clay layer 4560 cm below the sandstone complex (Figs. 12, 13). This yellow clay consists of glass-altered clay (montmorillonite or cheto smectite) characteristic of volcanic or impact glass. The absence of any other volcanic minerals, and the presence of this cheto smectite also in two reworked spherule layers at the base of the sandstone complex, indicate that the clay was derived from altered impact spherules (Keller et al., 2007a), as also observed in impact-spherule layers of Belize and Guatemala (Debrabant et al., 1999; Keller et al., 2003b). The Brazos data thus unequivocally demonstrate the stratigraphic separation of the KTB and the Chicxulub impact-spherule ejecta, as well as the stratigraphic separation of the KTB and the sandstone complex with its reworked impact-spherule ejecta.

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Age of the Chicxulub Impact

FIGURE 27.Correlation of transect 3, Darting Minnow Creek sections, shows the most expanded sandstone complex at the waterfall, but absence in Mullinax-3 only about 150 m away. The corresponding interval to the sandstone complex shows a highly weathered claystone with roots, clasts, pebbles, and mudcracks. This reveals a coastal to lagoonal environment to the south. about 300 6 30 ky (Keller et al., 2002; Keller et al., 2003a; Keller et al., 2004a; Keller et al., 2004b; Keller et al., 2009b). These calculations were based on the older time scale (Cande and Kent, 1995; Berggren et al., 1995). Gradstein et al. (2004) placed the KTB around 65.5 Ma, but this age is currently also under revision based on zircon dating which suggests that paleomagnetic chron 29r below the KTB may be signicantly shorter (Bowring, personal communication, 2008; Rene, personal communication, 2008). Because these age revisions are still under study, we refrain from applying new age calculations for the Chicxulub impact. However, the new ages are likely to signicantly shorten the time interval between the KTB and the Chicxulub impact.

The database of 11 Brazos sections reveals the sequence of events from the Chicxulub impact to deposition of the sandstone complex, which inlls scoured submarine channels, and a consistent stratigraphic separation between the sandstone complex and the KTB mass extinction. In all Brazos sections, the claystones below the sandstone complex contain low-diversity microfossil assemblages indicative of the latest Maastrichtian nannofossil Micula prinsii and planktic foraminifer CF1 zones. At Mullinax-1, KT3, and CMAW the CF1 index species (Plummerita hantkeninoides), which spans the last 300 ky of the Maastrichtian based on the time scale of Cande and Kent (1995) (Pardo et al., 1996) or the last 160 ky based on Gradstein et al. (2004), rst appears up to 2.5 m below the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex (Figs. 9, 14, 18). At the CMAW sections, the primary Chicxulub impact-glass layer (now altered to cheto smectite) is in zone CF1 4560 cm below the unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex. In previous studies based on sections from northeastern Mexico the age of the Chicxulub impact was estimated as predating the KTB by

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EDepositional Environment, Climate, and Sea-level Changes


Brazos sections are unique in that they reveal three stratigraphically separate events: the Chicxulub impact, a sea-level fall accompanied by sandstone deposition, and the KTB mass extinction (Fig. 28). The only other area where these three events can be observed is in northeastern Mexico, though the sandstone complex is much thicker (18 m) and

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FIGURE 28.Interpretation of the Brazos depositional environment during the late Maastrichtian and early Danian based on sedimentology, faunal analysis, stable isotopes, and sea-level changes.

Upper Maastrichtian below the Sandstone Complex: Lithologic, foraminiferal, and stable isotope data from the Brazos sections indicate that sediment deposition during the upper Maastrichtian below the sandstone complex occurred in a middle-shelf to inner-shelf environment with high terrigenous inux from the nearby continental areas. Planktic foraminiferal assemblages show relatively low diversity (2530 species) due to the general absence of larger, deeper-waterdwelling species that are typical of middle-shelf to inner-shelf environments (Keller and Abramovich, 2009). In all Brazos sections, there are only few larger, complex and specialized species (e.g., globotrncanids, planoglobulinids, racemiguembelinids), and these are rare and sporadically present. Given the depth ranking of planktic species in the water column based on stable isotopes (Abramovich et al., 2003), this indicates that the paleodepth at Brazos prior to the sandstone complex was probably less than 100 m. A major unconformity at the base of the sandstone complex marks erosion and scouring of submarine channels associated with a sea-level drop and a sequence boundary (Yancey, 1996; Gale, 2006; Keller et al., 2007a; Adatte et al., this volume). Foraminifera in this sandstone complex are largely reworked. During the latest Maastrichtian zones CF1CF2, sediment deposition occurred in two phases of rapid climate warming. The rst rapid warming occurred at the base of CF1 and the second in the lower part of CF1. This interval is followed by rapid cooling accompanied by

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the interval between it and the KTB reduced or missing (Lopez-Oliva and Keller, 1996; Keller et al., 2003a). This difference is likely due to the very different environmental settings: shallow inland seaway in Texas vs. deep upper slope in northeastern Mexico with high terrigenous sediment inux from the rising Sierra Madre Oriental to the west (Fig. 29).

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decreasing species diversity and a falling sea level prior to deposition of the sandstone complex (Fig. 9). The climate warming in CF1 reects the global climate warming recognized near the end of the Maastrichtian, which is frequently attributed to Deccan volcanism (e.g., Kucera and Malmgren, 1998; Li and Keller, 1998a, 1998c; Olsson et al., 2001; Abramovich and Keller, 2003; Nordt et al., 2003; Wilf et al., 2003; MacLeod et al., 2005; Keller and Abramovich, 2009). In deep-sea sections, the CF1 climate warming generally shows a single peak that is close to the KTB (e.g., Li and Keller, 1998a). In contrast, in Brazos sections this warming consists of two pulses and precedes the latest Maastrichtian cooling. These differences can be easily explained by the lower sediment accumulation rates (condensed sedimentation) in the deep sea, as compared with the high sediment accumulation rates in the shallow-shelf Brazos sections. Indeed, this is the rst expanded latest Maastrichtian climate and sea-level record, plus the evidence of the Chicxulub impact that reveals environmental conditions during the latest Maastrichtian prior to the KTB. Based on correlation of Mullinax-1 with CMAW (Figs. 9, 14), the Chicxulub impact represented by the yellow clay altered impact-glass spherule layer (cheto smectite) struck Yucata n during the early part of the end-Maastrichtian cooling phase and just preceding the sea-level fall that resulted in erosion and deposition of the sandstone complex. Apart from this prominent 3-cm-thick yellow clay altered impactspherule layer, there is no lithological change in claystone deposition, no signicant change in species abundances, and no species extinctions (Keller et al., 2009a). However, a disconformity is observed above the yellow clay layer (Hansen et al., 1987; Keller et al., 2007a; Keller, this study) and suggests increased current activity and possibly erosion.

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Upper Maastrichtian Sandstone Complex: Maximum cooling and the sea-level lowstand occurred perhaps less than 100150 ky prior to the KTB and were marked by deposition of the sandstone complex (Figs. 9, 28). This sandstone complex is commonly interpreted as an impact-generated tsunami event and marking the KTB (e.g., Bourgeois et al., 1988; Smit et al., 1992; Smit et al., 1996; Smit et al., 2004; Heymann et al., 1998; Smit, 1999; Schulte et al., 2006; Schulte et al., 2008). However, the stratigraphic position clearly places this event well below the KTB in all Brazos sections (Figs. 2527). The sandstone deposition, the maximum abundance of benthic foraminifera, and the decreased diversity and abundance of planktic foraminifera indicate that by this time sea level had dropped to innerneritic depths. Submarine channels or incised valleys formed at very shallow water depths to the north (Mullinax-1, Brazos-1, KT1; Fig. 25), and intermittent estuarine to subaerial conditions prevailed to the south (e.g., Darting Minnow Creek and Mullinax-2 and 3; Fig. 27). Coincident with the sea-level fall, planktic foraminifera decreased in diversity and abundance due to elimination of deeper subsurface habitats and high-stress conditions due to nutrient inux from terrigenous runoff. Benthic foraminifera reached their maximum diversity and abundance, exceeding 65% of the foraminiferal assemblages. However, reworking within the sandstone complex may have affected these abundance numbers. There is signicant variation in the thickness of the sandstone complex from north to south in the Brazos area. The most expanded sandstone complex is observed in the Darting Minnow Creek waterfall section (DMC) where the unconformity at the base contains large lithied clasts with spherules and desiccation cracks inlled with spherules (Fig. 3). Only 150 m away in wells Mullinax-2 and 3, there is no sandstone complex, but a weathered silty claystone 1 m thick with roots, clasts, and mudcracks indicates subaerial exposure in a coastal to lagoonal environment. Thus, the Darting Minnow Creek localities represent the shallowest sequences in the Brazos River area. In all sections with a well developed sandstone complex an inux of clasts, abundant glauconite, spherules, and shell hash overlies the basal unconformity and forms two to three upward-ning spherulitic sandstones (Mullinax-1, CMAW-CMB, BR-1; Figs. 2, 11, 12, 28) that mark separate depositional events (possibly tempestites). Periods of rapid sediment inux alternated with normal sedimentation, including well-sorted sand, multiple episodes of suspension settling, upwardning sand layers, and burrowed horizons. Two or more hummocky cross-bedded units overlie the spherule-rich units, and laminated ne sand layers mark decreasing hydrodynamic conditions. The presence of truncated large and small burrows indicate colonization of the sea oor by burrowing invertebrates, which were wiped out by the sudden inux of sands during tempestites (Gale, 2006). The top of the sandstone complex shows upward-ning calcareous mudstones followed by the return to claystone deposition (Fig. 2). These sedimentary patterns are inconsistent with tsunami formation or a single depositional event. They reect long-term sediment deposition in a shallow nearshore environment with repeated high-energy events (e.g., seasonal tempestites).

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KT Transition above the Sandstone Complex: Foraminifera are of signicantly lower diversity (1520 species) and generally very small, dwarfed size above the sandstone complex (MacLeod et al., 2000; Keller and Abramovich, 2009). These assemblages indicate a high-stress inner-neritic environment after the sea-level fall and gradually increasing across the KTB and into the early Danian. There is no evidence of a major hiatus at the KTB in Brazos sections, except in the Darting Minnow Creek area, where the uppermost Maastrichtian and the lower part of zone Pla (subzone P1a(1)) are missing at a major unconformity. In all Brazos sections, an unconformity and a sea-level drop occurred at the zone P1aP1b boundary and may indicate a sequence or parasequence boundary.

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FIGURE 29.Paleolocation of the Brazos sections in the shallow interior seaway close to land. In contrast, northeastern Mexico sections are located on the upper slope at about 500 m depth, where sandstone complexes with abundant Chicxulub impact spherules were deposited in deep submarine channels. In both localities, scouring of submarine channels and subsequent inlling occurred during the latest Maastrichtian sea-level fall and following sea-level rise. In both localities the Chicxulub impact-spherule ejecta predate the sandstone complex, which predates the KTB.

Variations in sediment deposition from north to south continued between the sandstone complex and the KTB due to paleotopography. This is indicated by the more expanded sedimentary records of Brazos1, Mullinax-1, and KT1-KT2 sections between the top of the sandstone complex and the KTB (Fig. 25). In contrast, Cottonmouth Creek sections show much reduced sedimentation and some erosion in this interval (Fig. 26). The shallowest area and closest to the shoreline is found at the Darting Minnow Creek localities, where uppermost Maastrichtian and lowermost Danian sediments (P0 to upper P1a) are missing at an unconformity, presumably due to a combination of subaerial exposure, nondeposition, and erosion. During the interval between the top of the sandstone complex and the KTB, sea level continued to rise, and climate remained cool followed by warming into the basal Danian and a major drop in primary productivity (d13C shift; Figs. 9, 28). There is no lithologic change at the KTB and no Ir anomaly. Maximum ooding was reached in zone P0. Claystone deposition with low carbonate and increasing clay and organic contents prevailed through the early Danian. Lowdiversity microfossil assemblages, the presence of few macrofossil shells, and burrows inlled with pyrite framboids mark inner-neritic dysoxic conditions high in inux of terrestrial organic matter.

The mass extinction at Brazos is frequently identied as occurring at the base of the sandstone complex, based on the reduction in diversity, abundance and size of microfossils, and near absence of macrofossils above. These low-diversity Maastrichtian assemblages above the sandstone complex are assumed to be due to selective settling from the water column after the tsunami event in the post-impact catastrophe (Hansen et al., 1987; Smit et al., 1996; Schulte et al., 2006; Schulte et al., 2008). This interpretation fails to take into account that settling from the water column can be demonstrated only for the rst 1020 cm above the sandstone complex and not for the entire 80100 cm interval up to the KT boundary in Mullinax-1, KT1, and Brazos-1 sections (Keller et al., 2007a; Keller et al., 2009a; Adatte et al., this volume).

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PLATE 1.SEM illustrations of characteristic and/or common upper Maastrichtian planktic foraminifera from zone CF1 in the Brazos sections (Cottonmouth Creek and Mullinax-1). Scale bar 50 lm. 1, 2. Plummerita hantkeninoides Bro nnimann. Mullinax-1, sample 110, 52, 11.09 m. 3. Rugoglobigerina reicheli Bro nnimann. Mullinax-1, sample 89, 43, 9.8 m. 4. Rugoglobigerina macrocephala Bro nnimann. Mullinax-1, sample 85, 43, 9.55 m. 5, 6. Rugoglobigerina rugosa (Plummer). 5. Mullinax-1, sample 85, 43, 9.55 m. 6. Mullinax 1, sample 85, 43, 9.55 m.

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CONCLUSIONS

stratigraphic and temporal separation of three major events: (1) the primary Chicxulub impact-spherule ejecta layer in Maastrichtian claystones, (2) a prominent sandstone complex with reworked impact spherules at the base, also deposited during the late Maastrichtian, and (3) the KTB mass extinction 40100 cm above the sandstone complex.
 High-resolution quantitative planktic foraminiferal analysis, stable

 The sandstone complex with its reworked Chicxulub impact

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isotopes, and sedimentology of 11 outcrops and wells along the Brazos River reveal these sections as among the most complete KT sequences worldwide and comparable with the El Kef stratotype in Tunisia.

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spherules at the base is the most prominent feature of the Brazos sections and is frequently, but erroneously, identied as the KTB deposit generated by the Chicxulub impact. Deposition occurred in the late Maastrichtian zone CF1 during a sea-level fall to innerneritic depths, which carved submarine channels that were subsequently inlled with eroded and transported sediments. Long-term deposition is evident by upward-ning units, burrowed

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7. Heterohelix globulosa (Ehrenberg). Mullinax-1, sample 88, 44, 9.73 m. 8. Heterohelix planata (Cushman). Mullinax-1, sample 88, 43, 9.73 m (1617). 9. Pseudoguembelina hariaensis Nederbragt. Mullinax-3, sample 34, 42, 6.55 m. 10. Pseudoguembelina palpebra Bronnimann and Brown. Note the relatively large sized pores. Mullinax-1, sample 90, 43, 9.89 m. 11. Pseudoguembelina costulata (Cushman). sample 98, 51, 10.4 m. 12. Heterohelix navarroensis, Mullinax-1, sample 73, 42, 9.13 m. 13. Globigerinelloides volutus, Mullinax-3, sample 66, 51, 8.69 m. 14, 15. Globigerinelloides aspera (Ehrenberg). Mullinax-1, sample 359, 243, 40.47 m. 16. Globigerinelloides multispinus (Lalicker). Mullinax-3, sample 61, 53, 8.38 m, specimen with two lateral ultimate chambers.

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 The Brazos River sections are unique in that they contain the

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The common and selective occurrence of Cretaceous species in this interval along with Cretaceous carbon isotope signals and absence of Danian species clearly indicates that deposition occurred during the uppermost Maastrichtian, albeit in a high-stress environment. In this interval organic-rich dark claystones with burrows frequently inlled by pyrite and the presence of pyrite framboids indicate deposition in a quiet, nutrient-rich, and possibly eutrophic, low-oxygen environment. In this environment, the small species size, low diversity but high species abundance are indicative of high-stress conditions that are typical of shallow marginal environments globally (e.g., inner-neritic to estuarine environments) as documented from Madagascar (Abramovich et al., 2002), southern Tunisia, Argentina, and Denmark (Keller et al., 1993; Keller et al., 1998; Keller et al., 2007b; Hart et al., 2005). In the Brazos area these environmentally catastrophic conditions were not caused by the Chicxulub impact, but rather by the sea-level fall from middle-neritic to inner-neritic depths and high inux of terrigenous nutrients (Keller et al., 2007a). This is indicated by the major increase in benthic abundance (. 60%), the disappearance of all subsurfacedwelling planktic foraminifera, and the disappearance of all larger species (. 150 lm). Only surface dwellers and small low-oxygen tolerant species survived in this shallow environment (Keller and Abramovich, 2009). Thus, the reason for the low diversity and small species size is high environmental stress associated with inner-neritic depth.

and truncated erosion surfaces, and 23 upward-ning impactspherule layers.


 Lithied clasts with impact spherules and mud cracks at the base of

the sandstone complex indicate the presence of an older primary impact-spherule deposit that was exposed in nearshore areas or topographic highs, lithied, eroded, and redeposited in submarine channels.
 The primary Chicxulub impact-ejecta layer was discovered 4560

cm below the sandstone complex in a 3-cm-thick yellow clay layer in the upper Maastrichtian claystones deposited during planktic foraminiferal zone CF1. This yellow clay consists of cheto smectite derived from altered impact-glass spherules, as also apparent in the 23 layers of reworked impact spherules at the base of the sandstone complex (Keller et al., 2007a). based on globally recognized dening criteria, the mass extinction of planktic foraminifera, the evolution of the rst Danian species, and the d13C shift, a globally recognized supporting criterion. black organic-rich claystones with pyrite framboids, burrows, shells, and dwarfed high-stress, low-oxygen tolerant late Maastrichtian planktic foraminifera deposited in a shallow, inner-neritic environment. There is no lithologic change across the KTB. the lower part of zone CF1 occurred in a middle-shelf environment (, 100 m) that shallowed to inner-shelf depth (030 m) near the end of the Maastrichtian, followed by a rising sea level across the KTB. High abundance of benthic relative to planktic foraminifera reects this shallowing sea. Iridium concentrations are complex, with multiple small anomalies between the sandstone complex and below the KT boundary, but not coinciding with either the KTB or the impact-spherule layer. at or near the KT boundary and mass extinction in Brazos sections. The same observation was made in sections throughout northeastern Mexico and the Chicxulub impact crater. the same stratigraphic level in the Brazos sections, nor have they been observed in the same stratigraphic level in Mexico or Central America.

 The KTB is up to 1 m above the sandstone complex and is identied

 Sediments between the sandstone complex and KTB consists of

 Sediment deposition during the upper Maastrichtian zone CF2 and

 No Iridium anomaly is present at the KTB in the Brazos sections.

 Chicxulub impact-glass spherule deposits are not found in sediments

 Chicxulub impact-spherule ejecta and Ir concentrations are never at

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PLATE 2.Late Maastrichtian Zone CF1 and Early Danian Zones P0 and P1a, Brazos core Mullinax-1, and Cottonmouth Creek CMA-CMB, scale bar 50 lm for 18, scale bar 10 lm for 917. 14. Globoconusa daubjergensis (Bronnimann). Mullinax-1, sample 5, 11, 5.63 m. 5. Guembelitria trifolia (Morozova). CMB, sample 1, 0 cm, zone CF1. 6, 7. Guembelitria cretacea Cushman. Mullinax-1, sample 5, 11, 5.63 m. 8. Guembelitria irregularis Morozova. Mullinax-1, sample 16, 31, 7.07 m. 9. Woodringina claytonensis Loeblich and Tappan. Mullinax-1, sample 11, 21, 6.03 m. 10, 11, 1317. Woodringina hornerstownensis Olsson. Mullinax-1, sample 5, 11, 5.63 m, sample 11, 21, 6.03 m. 12. Guembelitria danica Hofker. Mullinax-1, sample 15, 21, 6.24 m.

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PLATE 3.Early Danian Zones P0, P1a and P1b, Brazos core Mullinax-1 and Cottonmouth Creek CMA-B section, scale bar 10 lm. 17. Parvularugoglobigerina extensa (Blow). (14) Mullinax-1, sample 11, 21, 5.94 m. (57) CMB, sample 12, 60 cm. 8, 12. Parvularugoglobigerina longiapertura (Blow). Mullinax-1, sample 16, 31, 7.07 m, sample CMB sample 16, 78 cm. 911. Parvularugoglobigerina eugubina (Luterbacher and Premoli Silva). (9) CMB, sample 8, 39 cm, (1011) Muillinax-1, sample 6, 11, 5.70 m. 1315. Eoglobigerina trivialis (Subbotina). Millinax-1, 6, 11, 5.70 m.

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PLATE 4.Early Danian Zones P1a and Pb, Cottonmouth Creek CMA-B and CM4 sections. Scale bar 50 lm. 13. Eoglobigerina eobulloides Morozova. CMB, sample 12, 60 cm, zone P1a (1). 4, 8, 12. Globigerina (Eoglobigerina) taurica Morozova. (4, 8) CM4, sample 14, 125 cm, Zone P1a(1), (12) CMB sample 23, 115 m, zone P1a(2). 57. Eoglobigerina edita (Subbotina). CM4, sample 8, 6070 cm, zone P1a(1). 911, 1316. Globigerina (Eoglobigerina) pentagona Morozova. (911) CM4, sample 18, 165 cm, zone P1b, (1316) CMB sample 24, 125 cm, zone P1a(2).

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PLATE 5.Early Danian zone P1c. Cottonmouth Creek CM4, Scale bar 50 lm. 13. Parasubbotina varianta (Subbotina). CM4, sample 17, 155 cm, zone P1c. 46. Parasubbotina pseudobulloides (Plummer). CM4, sample 13, 115 cm, zone P1b.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We thank the reviewers Alfonso Pardo and Ahmed El-Sabbagh for their comments and suggestions. We are grateful to Jerry Baum for sharing his expertise in sequence stratigraphy and leading the drilling effort, Tom Yancey for sharing his intimate knowledge of the Brazos outcrops, splitting cores, and description of lithology. We thank Dale Beeson for sharing samples from Brazos 2 and 3. A special thank you to the owners of the Brazos Rose Ranch, Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie and Jackie Mullinax, who not only permitted drilling on their land but also took intense interest in the geology and so graciously hosted our many visits. We gratefully acknowledge the drilling crew of DOSECC and logging support from Schlumberger during two drilling phases. The material of this study is based upon work supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation through the Continental Dynamics Program and Sedimentary Geology Program under NSF Grants EAR-0207407 and EAR-0447171. Analytical work (PGE and stable isotopes) was carried out with the nancial support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG Project STU 169/34.

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