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The K/T mass extinction, Chicxulub and the impact-kill effect

Gerta Keller, Liangquan Li, Wolfgang Stinnesbeck and Ed Vicenzi
The K/T mass extinction, Chicxulub and the impact-kill effect
Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France (July 1998) 169 (4): 485-491


The Chicxulub structure on Yucatan is now commonly believed to have been formed by the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary bolide impact that caused the catastrophic extinction of organisms from dinosaurs to microplankton. However, the mass extinction began well before the K/T boundary and the kill-effect that may be directly attributed to a K/T impact is relatively small (only planktonic foraminifera and nannoplankton affected), highly selective (only tropical-subtropical species extinct) and restricted to low latitudes. Moreover, key evidence cited in support of Chicxulub as K/T impact crater is still controversial (e.g., impact origin of glass), or contradictory : the so-called "impact-generated megatsunami deposits" in northeastern Mexico contain burrowing horizons that indicate deposition occurred over an extended period of time. This database suggests a multi-event scenario that includes a pre-K/T event (impact or volcanism) that formed the spherule deposits in northeastern Mexico and a K/T event (Ir anomaly, mass extinction) with both events coinciding with climatic and sea level fluctuations during the last 200-300 kyr of the Maastrichtian.

ISSN: 0037-9409
EISSN: 1777-5817
Coden: #02538
Serial Title: Bulletin de la Societe Geologique de France
Serial Volume: 169
Serial Issue: 4
Title: The K/T mass extinction, Chicxulub and the impact-kill effect
Affiliation: Princeton University, Department of Geosciences, Princeton, NJ, United States
Pages: 485-491
Published: 199807
Text Language: English
Summary Language: French
Publisher: Societe Geologique de France, Paris, France
References: 54
Accession Number: 1999-014829
Categories: Stratigraphy
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
N16°00'00" - N21°38'60", W92°00'00" - W86°49'60"
N14°30'00" - N32°43'00", W117°00'00" - W86°45'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Karlsruhe, DEU, Federal Republic of Germany
Country of Publication: France
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 199906
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