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

TitleThe End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction and the Chicxulub Impact in Texas
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2011
Series EditorKeller, G, Adatte, T
Series VolumeSEPM Special Publication Volume 100
PublisherSEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
ISBN Number9781565763098

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.  PDF