Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination
GEOREF RECORD

Gauss's theorem, mass deficiency at Chicxulub Crater (Yucatan, Mexico), and the extinction of the dinosaurs

J. O. Campos-Enriquez, H. F. Morales-Rodriguez, F. Dominguez-Mendez and F. S. Birch
Gauss's theorem, mass deficiency at Chicxulub Crater (Yucatan, Mexico), and the extinction of the dinosaurs
Geophysics (October 1998) 63 (5): 1585-1594

Abstract

Using Gauss's theorem, we estimated the mass deficiency of the Chicxulub impact structure (Yucatan, Mexico) from its gravity anomaly. The mass deficiency obtained from the residual gravity anomaly map ranges between 1.06X10 (super 16) and 1.67X10 (super 16) kg. Because the gravity anomaly has approximately radial symmetry, we also estimated the mass deficiency from selected profiles. In this way, we obtained slightly lower mass deficiencies (6.16X10 (super 15) to 1.35X10 (super 16) kg). The central gravity high, which is supposed to be associated with the central structural high, has a mean excess mass of 1.93X10 (super 14) kg. By assuming a mean density contrast of 100 kg/m (super 3) between the country rock and the sedimentary and brecciated rocks, we estimated the equivalent total mass (1.60X10 (super 17) to 4.34X10 (super 17) kg) and volume (6.16X10 (super 13) to 1.67X10 (super 14) m (super 3) ) of breccias and sedimentary rocks responsible for the gravity anomaly. These figures represent lower bounds on the mass and volume ejected from the impact crater. They represent estimates made from geophysical principles and data, and compare well with independent estimates based on other principles such as scaling relations. According to actual estimations of the sulfur dioxide mass generated by the Cretaceous-Tertiary impact and our results, only a small fraction (about 1%) of the anhydrite in the target strata was vaporized.


ISSN: 0016-8033
EISSN: 1942-2156
Coden: GPYSA7
Serial Title: Geophysics
Serial Volume: 63
Serial Issue: 5
Title: Gauss's theorem, mass deficiency at Chicxulub Crater (Yucatan, Mexico), and the extinction of the dinosaurs
Affiliation: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Instituto de Geofisica, Mexico City, Mexico
Pages: 1585-1594
Published: 199810
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 53
Accession Number: 1999-015908
Categories: StratigraphyApplied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 2 tables, geol. sketch map
N17°00'00" - N25°00'00", W92°00'00" - W84°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: IPN-ESIA-Ticoman, MEX, MexicoUniversity of New Hampshire, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 199906
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal