Detritus in K/T boundary clays of western North America; Evidence against a single oceanic impact
Published:January 01, 1990
V. L. Sharpton, B. C. Schuraytz, K. Burke, A. V. Murali, G. Ryder, 1990. "Detritus in K/T boundary clays of western North America; Evidence against a single oceanic impact", Global Catastrophes in Earth History; An Interdisciplinary Conference on Impacts, Volcanism, and Mass Mortality, Virgil L. Sharpton, Peter D. Ward
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Understanding the crustal signature of impact ejecta contained in the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary layer is crucial to constraining the possible site(s) of the postulated K/T impact event. The relatively unaltered clastic constituents of the boundary layer at widely separated outcrops within the Western Interior of North America are not compatible with a single oceanic impact but require instead an impact site on a continent or continental margin. On the other hand, chemical compositions of highly altered K/T boundary layer components in some marine sections have suggested to others an impact into oceanic crust. We suspect that post-depositional alteration within the marine setting accounts for this apparent oceanic affinity. If, however, this is not the case, multiple simultaneous impacts, striking continent as well as ocean floor, would seem to be required.