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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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