Abstract

Compositions and textures of melt rocks from the upper part of the Chicxulub structure are typical of melt rocks at other large terrestrial impact structures. Apart from variably elevated iridium concentrations (<1.5 to 13.5 ± 0.9 ppb) indicating nonuniform dissemination of a meteoritic component, bulk rock and phenocryst compositions imply that these melt rocks were derived exclusively from continental crust and platform-sediment target lithologies. Modest differences in bulk chemistry among samples from wells located ∼40 km apart suggest minor variations in relative contributions of these target lithologies to the melts. Subtle variations in the compositions of early-formed pyroxene and plagioclase also support minor primary differences in chemistry between the melts. Evidence for pervasive hydrothermal alteration of the porous mesostasis includes albite, K-feldspar, quartz, epidote, chlorite, and other phyllosilicates, as well as siderophile element-enriched sulfides, suggesting the possibility that Chicxulub, like Sudbury, may host important ore deposits.

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