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Book Chapter

Annealing the Chicxulub Impact: Paleogene Yucatàn Carbonate Slope Development in the Chicxulub Impact Basin, Mexico

By
Michael T. Whalen
Michael T. Whalen
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
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Sean S.P. Gulick
Sean S.P. Gulick
Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, J.J. Pickle Research Campus, 10100 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78758, USA
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Zulmacristina F. Pearson
Zulmacristina F. Pearson
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775, USA
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Richard D. Norris
Richard D. Norris
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 301 Vaughan Hall, MS-0244, La Jolla, Californi\a 92093, USA
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Ligia Perez Cruz
Ligia Perez Cruz
Instituto de Geofisica, Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, CP 04510, Mexico
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Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi
Jaime Urrutia Fucugauchi
Instituto de Geofisica, Universidad Nacional Autόnoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City, CP 04510, Mexico
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

Stratigraphic analysis of the Yaxcopoil-1 core (Yax-1) and seismic analysis of offshore two-dimensional (2D) seismic data provide insight into the Paleogene history of the Chicxulub impact basin and Yucatàn platform development. Ten facies were identified based on core and petrographic analysis. Slope sediments include redeposited and background facies. The former are carbonate supportstones and finer-grained facies with evidence of soft sediment deformation deposited as gravity flows. Background facies are shales and mud-wackestone interpreted as sub-storm wave base suspension deposits. Depositional setting ranged from a steep bathyal slope inside the crater rim to neritic outer carbonate platform environments of the seaward prograding Yucatàn platform.

Through sequence stratigraphic analysis of Yax-1, we documented five sequences based on identification of transgressive and maximum flooding surfaces and facies stacking patterns. Biostratigraphic ages are equivocal, but they imply that sequences 1 and 2 are Early Paleocene, sequences 3 and 4 are Early Eocene, and sequence 5 is Middle Eocene. Coarse-grained redeposited carbonates in lower sequences 1 to 4 indicate slope gravity flow processes. Upper sequence 3 records the first evidence of fine-grained turbidites, indicating progradation of the Yucatàn platform. By the top of sequence 4, facies indicate that the platform margin had prograded over the position of Yax-1.

Seismic analysis identified six units, the lower five of which appear to correlate with cored Yax-1 sequences. The geometry and distribution of seismic units A and B indicate deposition confined to the western and central parts of the basin. Unit C, with two sets of clinoforms, records a major progradational event in the eastern part of the basin likely related to Yax-1 sequence 3 turbidites. Mainly parallel reflectors in seismic units D and E indicate relatively level bottom conditions similar to the environments of facies in upper sequence 4 and 5. The tops of units D and E, in proximal settings, are erosionally truncated. This unconformity marks the base of unit F, which is characterized by discontinuous reflectors and is restricted to the northeastern portion of the basin.

Stratal patterns in seismic units C to E are more controlled by relative sea-level change, as suggested by the development of clinoforms and regional unconformities. If Chicxulub and others like the Chesapeake Bay structure are representative, large marine impacts in tectonically quiescent regions may dominate local depositional environments for millions to tens of millions of years postimpact before returning control to eustasy.

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Contents

SEPM Special Publication

Deposits, Architecture, and Controls of Carbonate Margin, Slope and Basinal Settings

Klaas Verwer
Klaas Verwer
Statoil ASA, Sandsliveien 90 5124, Bergen, Norway
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Ted E. Playton
Ted E. Playton
Chevron Energy Technology Company, 1500 Louisiana St, Houston, Texas 77002, USA
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Paul M. (Mitch) Harris
Paul M. (Mitch) Harris
Chevron Energy Technology Company, 1500 Louisiana St, Houston, Texas 77002, USA
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
105
ISBN electronic:
9781565763241
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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