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Impact spherule-bearing, Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sand body, Shell Creek stratigraphic section, Alabama, USA

By
David T. King, Jr.
David T. King, Jr.
1
Department of Geology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849-5305, USA
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Lucille W. Petruny
Lucille W. Petruny
2
Astra-Terra Research, Auburn, Alabama 36831-3323, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2007

At the Shell Creek stratigraphic section, Wilcox County, Alabama, a 35–75-cm-thick, Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) boundary sand body crops out over an area of ∼200 m2. This sand body consists of (1) a basal impact spherule-bearing, coarse to medium sand and (2) an overlying fine sand with hummocky-type cross-lamination. This K-T boundary sand body probably represents postimpact, shelf sedimentation events involving (1) gravity-driven resedimentation of reworked impact spherule-bearing sands and (2) energetic wave reworking of the impact spherule-bearing, gravity-driven deposits or other subsequently deposited sands. Most impact spherules from Shell Creek are spherically shaped grains (∼1 mm in diameter) that are now hollow, or were hollow prior to secondary calcite filling. Most impact spherules from Shell Creek consist of an outer shell, which is composed of smectitic clays, and an inner region of open space or sparry calcite. Most of these impact spherules still retain vesicles that attest to their former molten condition. This stratigraphic section represents the most easterly U.S. Gulf Coastal Plain occurrence of abundant impact spherules in a Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary sand body.

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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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