Abstract

A distinctive mixture of reworked microfossils, impact-derived materials, and lithic fragments occurs in sediments at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the basinal Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. We have named this mixture the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary “cocktail.” Lithologic and paleontologic evidence suggests that the cocktail was deposited by giant sediment gravity flows, apparently triggered by the collapse of continental margins around the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Chicxulub impact. As most microfossils in the gravity-flow units are reworked, biostratigraphy provides only maximum ages. Recognition of the cocktail is a reliable way to identify Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary deposits in the basinal Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

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