Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Desmond Moser

Second Advisor

Dr. Guy Plint


The Western Canada foreland basin contains a rich record of Upper Cretaceous marine

  • | and tectonic change, yet is sparse in biostratigraphically useful fauna that permit

  • | continental and global correlation. However, numerous extensive bentonites have been

1 mapped in Cenomanian strata and traced into the U.S. portion of the basin where

relationships to globally correlated ammonite zones can be determined. The X, A-X and Bighorn River bentonites provide important calibration points for the Cenomanian Stage. Single zircon crystals from these bentonites were chemically-abraded and dated using high-precision U-Pb ID-TIMS geochronology techniques. The Pb/ U weighted-mean ages are: 95.87±0.10 Ma for the X-bentonite, 95.67±0.15 Ma for the A-X bentonite, and 94.29±0.13 Ma for the Bighorn River Bentonite (2a confidence level). These new ages establish a more precise maximum age for the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary and allow for more accurate measurements of the timing and rates of Cenomanian tectonic and eustatic activity in western North America.



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