Sedimentary carbon isotopic profiles of the K-Pg boundary in Montana

The K-Pg mass extinction is known to coincide with a major shift in the global carbon cycle, which is usually reflected in carbon isotopic values of most materials preserved from this time period. This isotope excursion is often used as a method of identifying or confirming the presence of the K-Pg boundary at a site. Along with an undergraduate student (Jacob Honeck) and collaborators at other institutions, we are working to determine if the carbon isotope signal from organic carbon can be identified reliably and consistently from a terrestrial depositional environment in the Hell Creek are of Montana. We have designed collection techniques to address the complicating factors of changing depositional environments and modern surface weathering.