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A bioclast-based astronomical timescale for the Maastrichtian in the type area (southeast Netherlands, northeast Belgium) and stratigraphic implications: the legacy of P.J. Felder

  • Norbert Keutgen (a1)
Abstract

The present paper, dedicated to the legacy of local geologist–engineer Peter Jozef (Sjeuf) Felder, who died in 2009, confirms his view that bioclasts constitute a valuable tool in the correlation of outcrops and borehole cores across the type area of the Maastrichtian Stage in the vicinity of Maastricht. His approach of interpreting changes in bioclast contents as having been influenced by Milankovitch cyclicity has here been applied successfully to the entire sedimentary complex of Maastrichtian (latest Cretaceous) age in the study area. In the present approach, results are corroborated by index fossils, mainly dinoflagellate cysts but also calcareous nannofossils, which allow correlation with the Stevns-1 core reference section in eastern Denmark. With the exception of local remnants of Belemnella obtusa Zone age, the Maastrichtian Stage in its type area encompasses the last 4.6 Ma of the Cretaceous Period (i.e. the Belemnella sumensis/Acanthoscaphites tridens Zone up to the K/Pg boundary). P.J. Felder's bioclast analyses have enabled the detection of twelve 400 kyr eccentricity cycles of Milankovitch cyclicity in the area. However, the section is not continuous; there is a hiatus of c.700 kyr between the Gulpen and Maastricht formations at the ENCI-HeidelbergCement Group quarry. In addition, smaller hiatuses, usually in the range of several 20 kyr cycles, have been detected in the upper Maastricht Formation.

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