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The iridium (Ir) anomaly at the Cretaceous/Tertiary (C/T) boundary can be explained by dissolution of normal pelagic limestones producing an insoluble clay residue containing Ir-rich meteoritic material. Further concentration of Ir and other trace metals in the clay can be explained by deposition under reducing conditions. Clay-mineral analyses indicate that the boundary clay is similar to locally derived clays in the limestones above and below the boundary, and contains no detectable exotic components. This supports a terrestrial origin for the boundary clay.

The genesis of the boundary clay is attributed to changes in ocean chemistry (pH and oxygenation), leading to...

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