The base of the Campanian Stage does not have a ratified Global Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP); however, several potential boundary markers have been proposed including the base of the Scaphites leei III ammonite Zone and the base of the paleomagnetic Chron C33r. Calcareous nannofossil assemblages from the Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Formation in the central Western Interior Seaway, USA were analyzed from two localities to determine relevant biohorizons and their relationships to these potential boundary markers. In a previous study, the Aristocrat Angus 12-8 core (Colorado) was astrochronologically dated and constrained using macrofossil zonations and radiometric ages. The Smoky Hill Member type area (Kansas) provides an expanded interval with good to excellent nannofossil preservation. Five biohorizons are useful for recognition of the Santonian/Campanian transition within the Smoky Hill Member type area, and three are useful in the Aristocrat Angus 12-8 core. The first occurrences (FOs) of Aspidolithus parcus parcus and Aspidolithus parcus constrictus, as well as the last occurrences (LOs) of Zeugrhabdotus moulladei, Helicolithus trabeculatus specimens larger than 7 μm, and Zeugrhabdotus biperforatus are in close stratigraphic proximity to the base of the Scaphites leei III Zone and the base of Chron C33r.
- Calcareous nannofossils
- Niobrara Formation
- Santonian/Campanian Stage boundary
- Western Interior Basin
ASJC Scopus subject areas