Platinum metals (Pd, Ir, Pt) and Au were determined by radiochemical neutron activation analysis (RNAA) on Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary samples collected at Gubbio, Italy. In addition, about thirty elements were determined by instrumental NAA (INAA) for both the Cretaceous and the Tertiary layer samples, as well as the boundary clay samples. Iridium and other Pt metals were observed to be similarly enriched, relative to CI-chondrite, in the boundary layers, i.e., they occur in chondritic ratios. On the other hand, correlations among the metals are not very good, suggesting that Pt metals were not incorporated into clay materials in a single phase, but rather, they behaved separately according to their own solution chemistries. In the Gubbio section, the chemical composition does not change so much across the K-T boundary layer, except for Ir (and possibly other Pt group elements) and is very similar to that of the "North American shale composite (NASC)". Arsenic and Sb were observed not to be anomalously enriched in the Gubbio K-T boundary layers. This implies that their abundances cannot be a clue in elucidating an event which must have happened at the K-T boundary period. NASC-normalized REE abundance patterns for the boundary samples show characteristic features due to some REE precipitation out of seawater. REE abundances are not variable among the Cretaceous, the Tertiary, and the boundary samples, suggesting that conditions for precipitation and sedimentation were similar across the K-T boundary at Gubbio.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology