Experimental evidence for the global acidification of surface ocean at the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary: the biogenic calcite-poor spherule layers

The massive amount of impact-generated atmospheric CO2 at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary (KPB) would have accumulated globally in the surface ocean, leading to acidification and CaCO3 undersaturation. These chemical changes would have caused a crisis of biocalcification of calcareous plankton and enhanced dissolution of their shells; these factors together may have played a crucial role in forming the biogenic calcite-poor KPB spherule layers observed at numerous oceanic sites and marine (now on land) sites in Europe and Africa. Experimental data and observations indicate that the deposition spherule layer probably lasted only a few decades at most.



Premović, P. I., 2009. Experimental evidence for the global acidification of surface ocean at the Cretaceous–Palaeogene boundary: the biogenic calcite-poor spherule layers. International Journal of Astrobiology 8: 193-206. Article (subscription required).

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