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Evidence favoring a major impact event at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary includes enrichments of siderophile elements and diagnostic indicators of shock metamorphism. Recently, however, proponents of an endogenic cause for the K/T mass extinctions have challenged this evidence, suggesting instead that volcanic processes can account not only for the K/T boundary's chemical signature but for its shocked minerals as well. Support for the latter contention has been drawn from reports of shocked minerals in volcanic terrains, and charges that certain large structures, characterized by intense deformation, central uplift, and indications of shock metamorphism, are actually volcanic “cryptoexplosion” features that have...

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