Abstract

Diamonds, up to 30 µm in size, were found in the iridium-rich layer from the K-T boundary site at Arroyo El Mimbral and the spherule bed from Arroyo El Peñon, northeastern Mexico. Stepped heating experiments indicate two or more isotopically distinct diamond components with carbon isotopic compositions characteristic of a mixture of carbon sources. The diamonds' crystal form is cubic—not the hexagonal polymorph of diamond, lonsdaleite, which has been used previously to infer formation due to shock transformation of graphite. The size, crystallography, and mineralogic associations of K-T diamonds are similar to those of impact-produced diamonds from the Ries crater in Germany where both shock transformation of graphite and a mode of formation by condensation from a vapor plume have been inferred. The discovery of impact-produced diamonds in association with high Ir contents for these sediments supports their impact origin, K-T age, and the inference that their source was from the buried impact crater of Chicxulub on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico.

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.