The Chicxulub Impact and K-T Mass Extinction in Texas

TitleThe Chicxulub Impact and K-T Mass Extinction in Texas
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsKeller, G
Series TitleBulletin of the South Texas Geol. Soc.
Document NumberXLVII (9)
Date Published05/2007
InstitutionSouth Texas Geol. Soc.
CitySan Antonio

The K-T sequences along the Brazos River of Falls County, Texas, provide the most important and critical information regarding the age and biotic effects of the Chicxulub impact outside of Mexico. New investigations based on outcrops and new cores drilled by DOSECC and funded by the National Science Foundation reveal a complex history of three tectonically undisturbed and stratigraphically well-separated events: the Chicxulub impact spherule ejecta layer, a sea-level lowstand sandstone complex, and the K-T mass extinction. The newly discovered Chicxulub impact spherule layer is the oldest of the three events and marks the time of the impact about 300,000 years before the K-T boundary (base of zone CF1), consistent with similar observations from NE Mexico and the Chicxulub crater core Yaxcopoil-l. The sea level lowstand sandstone complex predates the K-T boundary by about 100,000 years and contains clasts with Chicxulub impact spherules eroded from the original impact spherule layer. The third event is the K-T boundary mass extinction, which is not linked to the Chicxulub impact. These results indicate that a combination of impacts (Chicxulub and K-T), volcanism and climate changes caused increasingly stressful environmental conditions that culminated in the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.  PDF