Abstract

A grid of 33 seismic reflection profiles collected on the West Florida Shelf (Gulf of Mexico) reveals evidence of impact-induced seismic shaking and subsequent erosion of the Upper Cretaceous Selma–Pine Key depositional sequence across a wide region (∼102.3 × 103 km2) of the buried Cretaceous carbonate platform. These attributes can be traced from outcrops at the Florida Escarpment to locations as far as ∼300 km into the interior of the platform. This evidence suggests a platform-interior provenance for much of the massive Chicxulub impact deposit that borders the base of the Florida Escarpment and adjacent northern Gulf of Mexico continental slope. This report opens a new window on the widespread destructive power of seismic energy released by large bolides striking shallow continental shelves.

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