Larsen Basin

Continental Drilling of the Cretaceous-Paleogene

The overriding scientific objective of the continental drilling to be considered is to acquire a much needed reference core of Earth’s high southern latitudes for the mid-Cretaceous through late Paleogene. This period of time, from approximately 110 to 34 million years ago (Ma), includes many of the most important states, changes and excursions in deep-time Earth system history (Fig. 2). Yet, records from the far southern hemisphere for this important interval are under-represented or even absent amongst our present knowledge base. As a result, scientific products with great impact on society — climate models, for example — cannot be fully assessed against the geological record, thus limiting the accuracy and resolution of the insight they provide.

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