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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022 OA / An update on the Maastrichtian Geoheritage Project

Johan Vellekoop, Pim Kaskes, Matthias Sinnesael, and John WM Jagt (2022)

An update on the Maastrichtian Geoheritage Project

In: 11th International Cretaceous Symposium, Warsaw, Poland 2022, Abstract Volume, pp. 352-353.

The youngest time interval of the Cretaceous is known as the Maastrichtian Age, a reference to the strata exposed in the area surrounding the city of Maastricht, in the Netherlands-Belgium border region (Jagt 2001). The stratigraphic succession at the original type-locality of the Maastrichtian (adjacent to the former ENCI quarry, south of Maastricht) only covers the upper part of the Maastrichtian Stage as defined nowadays. However, recent integrated bio- and chemostratigraphic revision by Vellekoop et al. (2022) has shown that in combination with similar lithological sequences at other quarries in the region (e. g., Hallembaye, Curfs), a substantial part of the Maastrichtian Stage is represented. Over the past centuries, the type-Maastrichtian strata have provided a wealth of paleontological data. Despite its importance to the global geological community, most of the quarries in the region have been closed over the last decades. Instrumental quarries such as that of Curfs have already been out of commission for more than a decade, while others, such as the ENCI quarry, were recently closed. Because the soft limestone rocks weather easily and become overgrown rapidly, access to and study of the Maastrichtian rock succession in its type area is becoming very limited. To preserve the geological heritage of this original type-locality of the Maastrichtian, in 2018 we initiated the ‘Maastrichtian Geoheritage Project’. The goal of this project is to preserve the geological heritage of the Maastrichtian type area by (1) digital imagery, using drone photogrammetry and Differential GPS Base & Rover to generate high-resolution and georeferenced 3D models of the most important quarries in the Maastrichtian type region; and (2) archiving rock samples of these quarries for future research. Over the past years, we collected high-resolution (5 cm spacing) reference sample sets from the Hallembaye (2018) and ENCI (2019) quarries, and generated detailed geo-referenced 3D models for both quarries. For the next few years, several other instrumental quarries will be targeted. The acquired sample sets have already spurred a range of stratigraphic, geochemical and paleontological studies (e.g. Vellekoop et al. 2022), including detailed profiles of carbon isotope data and major and trace element concentrations, and many more to come. Moreover, the Maastrichtian Geoheritage Project sample sets will be made available for collaboration with other researchers in the field. Jagt, J.W.M., 2001. The historical stratotype of the Maastrichtian: A review. In: Odin, G.S. (Ed.), The Campanian-Maastrichtian Boundary, pp. 711–722. Elsevier Science B.V. Vellekoop, J. et al. 2022. A new age model and chemostratigraphic framework for the Maastrichtian type area (southeastern Netherlands, northeastern Belgium). Newsletters on Stratigraphy [accepted]
Abstract of an Oral Presentation or a Poster
Maastrichtian, Cretaceous, Maastricht, Limburg, Limburg prov., stratigraphie
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