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Core samples from the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)–U.S Geological Survey (USGS) Eyreville B core, located in the central crater of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, were studied to determine the degree to which postimpact hydrothermal activity is recorded in secondary minerals and fluid inclusions. The Chesapeake Bay impact event occurred ~35 Ma ago on the siliciclastic continental shelf of eastern North America, in up to several hundred meters of water. The combination of hot materials, such as impact melts and suevite breccias, with overlying crater-fill material and seawater is hypothesized to have led to postimpact hydrothermal circulation. Secondary minerals are distinguished from pre-impact minerals by textural features such as the presence or absence of shock metamorphic effects. Minerals in veins and cavities that are shown to have formed after the impact include secondary calcite, chalcedony, phillipsite, clinoptilolite-heulandite, mordenite, and montmorillonite. Some secondary calcite contains liquid-only fluid inclusions with trapping temperatures constrained to be less than or equal to ~50 °C. Salinities of the inclusion fluids are mostly around 4.3 ± 1 wt% NaCl equivalent, or ~43 ± 10 g/L total dissolved solids. This salinity is similar to that of the anomalously saline groundwater that currently exists within the crater-fill material, and that could be relict brine that originated just after the impact.

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