Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event
|Subdivision of the Cretaceous system
according to the ICS, as of 2017.
The Cenomanian-Turonian boundary event, or the Cenomanian-Turonian extinction event, the Cenomanian-Turonian anoxic event (OAE 2), and referred to in Europe as the Bonarelli Event, was one of two anoxic extinction events in the Cretaceous period. (The other being the earlier Selli Event, or OAE 1a, in the Aptian.) The OAE 2 occurred approximately 91.5 ± 8.6 Ma, though other estimates are given as 93-94 Ma.
The event brought about the extinction of the Spinosauridae, Pliosauridae, and Ichthyosauria. Coracoids of Maastrichtian age were once interpreted by some authors as belonging to ichthyosaurs, but these have since been interpreted as plesiosaur elements instead. Other animals lost some diversity as well. Although the cause is still uncertain, the result starved the Earth's oceans of oxygen for nearly half a million years, causing the extinction of approximately 27 percent of marine invertebrates. This global environmental disturbance increased atmospheric and oceanic temperatures. Boundary sediments show an enrichment of trace elements, and contain elevated δ13C values.
One possible cause was sub-oceanic volcanism, possibly the Caribbean large igneous province, with increased activity approximately 500,000 years earlier. During that period, the rate of crustal production reached its highest level for 100 million years. This was largely caused by the widespread melting of hot mantle plumes under the oceans at the base of the lithosphere. This resulted in the thickening of the oceanic crust in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This volcanism would have sent large quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, leading to global warming. Within the oceans, the emission of SO2, H2S, CO2, and halogens would have increased the acidity of the water, causing the dissolution of carbonate, and a further release of carbon dioxide. When the volcanic activity declined, this run-away greenhouse effect would have likely been put into reverse. The increased CO2 content of the oceans could have increased organic productivity in the ocean surface waters. The consumption of this newly abundant organic life by aerobic bacteria would produce anoxia and mass extinction. The resulting elevated levels of carbon burial would account for the black shale deposition in the ocean basins.
- Anoxic event
- Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event
- Extinction event
- Timeline of extinctions
- Geologic time scale
- Biostratigraphy of the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary in the Eastern Carpathians (Dâmboviţa Valley): preliminary observations
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- "Submarine eruption bled Earth's oceans of oxygen - environment - 16 July 2008". New Scientist. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
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- Mid Cretaceous (Aptian – Turonian) Planktic And Benthic Foraminifera From Israel: Zonation And Markers The Ministry Of National Infrastructures Geological Survey Of Israel
- Cenomanian/Turonian stage boundary event in the north-west Pacific: Marine biodiversity and palaeoceanographic background Division of Geology, Earth Sciences, Resources and Environmental Engineering Specialization, Major in Environment, Resources and Materials Science Engineering, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Waseda University A doctoral dissertation (Dr. Sci.), Waseda University, Tokyo, February 2006
- First evidence for the Cenomanian–Turonian oceanic anoxic event (OAE2, ‘Bonarelli’ event) from the Ionian Zone, western continental Greece
- Micropalaeontology and Stratigraphy of the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary in the Lusitanian Basin, Portugal