International Association of Sedimentologists funds Johan Maastrichtian Geo-Heritage project
Dr Johan Vellekoop (FWO senior postdoctoral researcher) received funding from IAS (International Association of Sedimentologists) to carry out a high-resolution sedimentological and geochemical study of the Geulhemmerberg Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary succession in the type-Maastrichtian (Netherlands). More info about the financing here
The K/Pg boundary and the events before the major mass extinction can be studied in quarries located near the Dutch - Belgian border. These quarries, where the Maastrichtian, the uppermost stage of the Cretaceous was first defined by André Dumont a Belgian geologist from the Université de Liège in 1849, were recently decommissioned and in order to preserve their geological record Joahn initiated the “Maastrichtian Geoheritage Project”, to preserve the geological heritage of the type Maastrichtian by digital imagery and archiving of rock samples. So far two quarries have been imaged and sampled at 5 cm sample spacing; Hallembaye (2018) and ENCI (2019). Together, these quarries represent nearly the entire Maastrichtian stage, except for the very top, i.e. the transition to the Danian. This database allows for the integration of a detailed paleoenvironmental record across the K/Pg boundary in a long-term Maastrichtian record. Therefore, this IAS project makes it possible sample and analyse the stratigraphic succession of the GBS at a very high resolution. There is a lot more to learn from this exceptional site, and this is Johan goal for the coming years.