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Did the Mjølnir asteroid impact ignite Barents Sea hydrocarbon source rocks?

By
Henning Dypvik
Henning Dypvik
Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1047, Blindern, No 0316 Oslo, Norway
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Wendy S. Wolbach
Wendy S. Wolbach
Department of Chemistry, DePaul University, 1036 W. Belden Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA
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Valery Shuvalov
Valery Shuvalov
Institute of Geosphere Dynamics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 38 Leninsky Prospect, Building 1, 119334 Moscow, Russia
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Susanna L. Widicus Weaver
Susanna L. Widicus Weaver
Departments of Chemistry and Astronomy, University of Illinois, Roger Adams Lab 164, Box 23-5, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Organic-rich shales of Late Jurassic age make up the main source rock for oil and gas in large parts of the Arctic. These sediments, which locally may contain more than 15% total organic carbon (TOC), covered the target area of the Mjølnir impact. We suggest that the extreme richness of organic matter and highly volatile components in the target rock resulted in colossal and intense fires in the impact area, both in the air and on the seafloor. This hypothesis is supported by numerical simulations and explains the large quantities of soot that have been found in samples associated with the Mjølnir impact.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

The Sedimentary Record of Meteorite Impacts

Kevin R. Evans
Kevin R. Evans
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J. Wright Horton, Jr.
J. Wright Horton, Jr.
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David T. King, Jr.
David T. King, Jr.
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Jared R. Morrow
Jared R. Morrow
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Geological Society of America
Volume
437
ISBN print:
9780813724379
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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