Reconstructing latitudinal terrestrial temperature gradients at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary: testing the 'Equable Earth' hypothesis

Regions: Sahtu Settlement Area

Tags: physical sciences, geology, mineral exploration, minerals

Principal Investigator: Jerrett, Rhodri (1)
Licence Number: 16595
Organization: The University of Manchester
Licensed Year(s): 2019
Issued: Jul 23, 2019
Project Team: Emily Dearing Crampton-Flood; Rhodri Jerrett

Objective(s): To examine whether equator-to-pole mean annual temperature gradients were substantially reduced during the ‘Greenhouse’ climate states.

Project Description: The research team have chosen this site in the Northwest Territories to collect coal samples from, as it contains the Cretaceous-Paleogene sandstone and iridium-anomaly that places the ages of these coals in that period. The team will access pristine coal samples by excavating the weathered rock back by 1 m (using spade and shovel). They will then sample a vertical profile by collecting coal samples approx. 3 cm x 3cm x 3cm using a chisel and pick axe. The team will be collecting approximately 100 samples from this section (approx. 8 m vertical profile). After the sample collection is completed, the research team will place back the excavated section which will heal the exposed areas and look aesthetically like it did before.

The team will undertake the excavation in the field in a responsible and timely manner, to ensure as little disturbance to the natural environment as possible. After completing the sample collection of the unweathered coals, the team will place the excavated section back onto the exposed part to cover and heal the excavated site.

The team will split the coal samples into two, forming an 'A' and a 'B' sample. One half of the sample will be analyzed at the University of Manchester using destructive methods (freeze drying, crushing and lipid extraction). The other half will be stored at the University of Manchester rock repository.