The K-T boundary in Oman: Identified using magnetic susceptibility field measurements with geochemical confirmation

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Recognizing distal ejecta marker horizons and correlating these among widely separated sections is typically difficult in the absence of visually distinctive marker beds. Here we propose a magnetic susceptibility (MS) field method to locate such horizons, and explore the K-T boundary interval at Abat, Oman, as a test of the method. A distinctive pattern of high MS values was used to approximately locate the K-T boundary interval in a sequence of platform carbonates, which were then sampled in detail. Whole-rock geochemical enrichments in Ir, V, As, Ni, Co, Zn and Zr and a large negative carbon isotope anomaly confirmed the inferred boundary location. Common microspherules whose chemistry reflects the whole-rock geochemistry are associated with the boundary interval. The association suggests that the microspherules formed during or as a result of the impact. The geochemical record at the Abat locality shows two levels where Ir is high (>1 ppb) suggesting input from two impacts, separated in the section by 1.35 m. The upper level is chosen as the boundary interval based on the high Ir (1.19 ppb), δ13C negative excursion ( ∼ 7‰), and distinctive MS pattern. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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