Introduction


Early Cretaceous


Mid-Cretaceous



Late Cretaceous



Palaeontological
Evidence



Sedimentological
Evidence



Isotope Evidence



Summary



Glossary



Further Reading



Climate Change Home Page



KT Event Links



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Bristol Palaeontology
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Late Cretaceous


General

The Late Cretaceous world consisted of many isolated land masses. This was due to:
  • the effect of a dramatic rise in sea level which flooded continental areas and produced major inland seas.
  • extensive continental rifting.
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.


Climate 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.

 
 

| Intro | Early Cretaceous | Mid-Cretaceous | Late Cretaceous |

| Palaeontological Evidence | Sedimentological Evidence | Isotope Evidence |

| Summary | Glossary | Further Reading | Climate Change Home Page | KT Event Links | Back to Bristol Palaeontology Homepage |