The Late Cretaceous world consisted of many
isolated land masses. This was due to:
During the Cenomanian Stage (~100 Ma ago) sea
levels rose dramatically to 200 m
higher than present levels. This is known as the Cenomanian marine
transgression. Inland seas flooded up through midwestern parts of the U.S.
nearly reaching the Canadian border, and much of central and western Europe was
under water. In Europe the marine transgression produced a shift from
continental sediments of the Wealden to the chalk.
Towards the end of the Late Cretaceous there was a rapid fall of global sea level
to a low point. This reduced the area of shallow marine environments.
- the effect of a dramatic rise in sea level which flooded continental areas
and produced major inland seas.
- extensive continental rifting.
The global climate was warm and moist but cooler than that in Jurassic (210 to
140 Ma ago) times. In Britain it was possibly rather arid.
The arrangement of the continents and oceans encouraged warm waters at the
equator to circulate towards the poles. This resulted in climate to be less
variable from the equator to the polar regions; an equable global climate.
Read on to discover more about the climate in the Late Cretaceous, how it
changed and the evidence for this.
| Early Cretaceous
| Late Cretaceous |
| Palaeontological Evidence
| Sedimentological Evidence
| Isotope Evidence |
| Further Reading
| Climate Change Home Page
| KT Event Links
| Back to Bristol Palaeontology Homepage |