Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results (1992) 120: 951-960. Paper number 53. Copyright 1992, Ocean Drilling Program. Used by permission.


A synthesis of the Cretaceous calcareous nannofossil, foraminifer, terrestrial and marine palynomorph, macrofauna, and macroflora data from drill sites on the Central Kerguelen Plateau indicates a complex sedimentary history spanning the Albian through the Maestrichtian. Nonmarine Albian sediments from the eastern part of the central plateau record the initial colonization and subsequent succession of plant communities on the basaltic islands left by edifice-building events during the Early Cretaceous. The eastern and northern parts of the central plateau foundered during the early Late Cretaceous. Disconformity-bounded sequences of pelagic calcareous sediment accumulated there throughout the Cenomanian to early Campanian. Following a widespread hiatus of sedimentation in the mid-Campanian, more continuous pelagic sedimentary sequences accumulated on the eastern and northern parts of the central plateau. This chalk sedimentation was abruptly terminated by the introduction of volcaniclastic debris flows in the northern area, but continued uninterrupted on the eastern margin of the central plateau. The western part of the central plateau entered the marine realm during the Cenomanian, although it remained at shallow (neritic) depths throughout the Cenomanian to Coniacian. A bryozoan-molluscan-foraminifer bank and bank-related facies complex developed in the western central plateau during the early Campanian. Sedimentation in this complex was interrupted during the mid-Campanian, but it resumed during the late Campanian. Water over the western bank facies belt remained very shallow throughout the late Campanian and Maestrichtian.