Molluscan carbonate geochemistry and paleoceanography of the Late Cretaceous western interior seaway of North America
Morrison, Joan O.
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North Amerlc8 W8S inundated by fJ major eplcontlnental sea during ihe C:retaceo.us Period. The sOljihw6rd transgression of th.e northern Boreal See along the ~\festern Interior Seaway resulted in a meetlng with the northward edv6nclng waters from the GUlf of Mexico (Obradovich and Cobban, 1975). Th1s link was 1n eXlstence by late Albien time and 6llowed for the comm1ngl1ng of the prol1ferous Arctic and Gulf rnar1ne faunas (F1g. 1). By early Campanlan time, there was a widening of B6ffln Bay wlth a slrnult8neous subsidence 1n the Arct1c Archlpelago and Sverdrup 6as1n (W11liam and Stelck, 1975). Williams and Burk (1964) found 6 break 1n the marines sedlmentatlon in the f1anltoba area, suggesting Bland corlnectlon from the Dlstrlct of Keewatln through eastern M6fl1toba to the lake Sl~perlor reglon, lmplying that the only dlrect connection between the Interlor Sea with Baffln Bay, was yia the Arct1c. This hiatus was also documented by Meek and Hayden (1861) ln the United states between the Niobrara and Pierre Format1ons. Jeletzky (1971) suggested that the retreat of the sea towards the east was by a serles of strong pulses resultlng in the regression of the Campanlan and M66str1chtlan seas. During ttle Cretaceous1 the r1s1ng Corl1111era caused the western shoreline of the Interlor Sea to migrate eastwards and the Cordillera'l detritus produced deltaic cornplexes from the Mackenzie Valley to Ne\N Mexlcoo The foreland basin was continually subslding and thls down\",arplng aided in the eastward m1gration of the western shorel1ne. Thls also lndicates that trle water 'tIes becom1ng deeper in the central Plains sect10n of the Seaway (Fig. 2).