This study presents a new classification of a ∼100-m-thick crater suevite sequence in the recent International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP)-International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) Expedition 364 Hole M0077A drill core to better understand the formation of suevite on top of the Chicxulub peak ring. We provide an extensive data set for this succession that consists of whole-rock major and trace element compositional data (n = 212) and petrographic data supported by digital image analysis. The suevite sequence is subdivided into three units that are distinct in their petrography, geochemistry, and sedimentology, from base to top: the ∼5.6-m-thick non-graded suevite unit, the ∼89-m-thick graded suevite unit, and the ∼3.5-m-thick bedded suevite unit. All of these suevite units have isolated Cretaceous planktic foraminifera within their clastic groundmass, which suggests that marine processes were responsible for the deposition of the entire M0077A suevite sequence. The most likely scenario describes that the first ocean water that reached the northern peak ring region entered through a N-NE gap in the Chicxulub outer rim. We estimate that this ocean water arrived at Site M0077 within 30 minutes after the impact and was relatively poor in rock debris. This water caused intense quench fragmentation when it interacted with the underlying hot impact melt rock, and this resulted in the emplacement of the ∼5.6-m-thick hyaloclastite-like, non-graded suevite unit. In the following hours, the impact structure was flooded by an ocean resurge rich in rock debris, which caused the phreatomagmatic processes to stop and the ∼89-m-thick graded suevite unit to be deposited. We interpret that after the energy of the resurge slowly dissipated, oscillating seiche waves took over the sedimentary regime and formed the ∼3.5-m-thick bedded suevite unit. The final stages of the formation of the impactite sequence (estimated to be <20 years after impact) were dominated by resuspension and slow atmospheric settling, including the final deposition of Chicxulub impactor debris. Cumulatively, the Site M0077 suevite sequence from the Chicxulub impact site preserved a high-resolution record that provides an unprecedented window for unravelling the dynamics and timing of proximal marine cratering processes in the direct aftermath of a large impact event.
Formation of the crater suevite sequence from the Chicxulub peak ring: A petrographic, geochemical, and sedimentological characterization
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Pim Kaskes, Sietze J. de Graaff, Jean-Guillaume Feignon, Thomas Déhais, Steven Goderis, Ludovic Ferrière, Christian Koeberl, Jan Smit, Axel Wittmann, Sean P.S. Gulick, Vinciane Debaille, Nadine Mattielli, Philippe Claeys; Formation of the crater suevite sequence from the Chicxulub peak ring: A petrographic, geochemical, and sedimentological characterization. GSA Bulletin 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B36020.1
Download citation file: