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The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction and the Chicxulub Impact in Texas

Edited by Gerta Keller and Thierry Adatte

Abstract

One of the liveliest, contentious, and long-running scientific debates began over three decades ago with the discovery of an iridium anomaly in a thin clay layer at Gubbio, Italy, that led to the hypothesis that a large impact caused the end-Cretaceous mass extinction. For many scientists the discovery of an impact crater near Chicxulub on Yucatan in 1991 all but sealed the impact-kill hypothesis as proven with the impact as sole cause for the mass extinction. Ever since that time evidence to the contrary has generally been interpreted as an impact-tsunami disbturbance. A multi-disciplinary team of reserachers has tested this assertion in new cores and a dozen outcrops along the Brazos River, Texas. In this area undisturbed sediments reveal a complete time stratigraphic sequence containing the primary impact spherule ejecta layer in late Maastrichtian claystones deposited about 200-300 thousand years before the mass extinction.

Bibliographic Information

Title: 
The End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction and the Chicxulub Impact in Texas
Editors: 
  • Gerta Keller
  • Thierry Adatte
Publisher: 
SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Publication date: 
2011
Copyright holder: 
  • SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
DOI: 
10.2110/sepmsp.100
ISBN electronic: 
978-1-56576-309-8
Series: 
SEPM Special Publication
Volume: 
100

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