The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary

Schulte, Peter and Alegret, Laia and Arenillas, Ignacio and Arz, José A. and Barton, Penny J. and Bown, Paul R. and Bralower, Timothy J. and Christeson, Gail L. and Claeys, Philippe and Cockell, Charles S. and Collins, Gareth S. and Deutsch, Alexander and Goldin, Tamara J. and Goto, Kazuhisa and Grajales-Nishimura, José M. and Grieve, Richard A. F. and Gulick, Sean P. S. and Johnson, Kirk R. and Kiessling, Wolfgang and Koeberl, Christian and Kring, David A. and MacLeod, Kenneth G. and Matsui, Takafumi and Melosh, Jay and Montanari, Alessandro and Morgan, Joanna V. and Neal, Clive R. and Nichols, Douglas J. and Norris, Richard D. and Pierazzo, Elisabetta and Ravizza, Greg and Rebolledo-Vieyra, Mario and Reimold, Wolf Uwe and Robin, Eric and Salge, Tobias and Speijer, Robert P. and Sweet, Arthur R. and Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Jaime and Vajda, Vivi and Whalen, Michael T. and Willumsen, Pi S. (2010) The Chicxulub Asteroid Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary. Science, 327 (5970). 1214 -1218. DOI

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The Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary ~65.5 million years ago marks one of the three largest mass extinctions in the past 500 million years. The extinction event coincided with a large asteroid impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, and occurred within the time of Deccan flood basalt volcanism in India. Here, we synthesize records of the global stratigraphy across this boundary to assess the proposed causes of the mass extinction. Notably, a single ejecta-rich deposit compositionally linked to the Chicxulub impact is globally distributed at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The temporal match between the ejecta layer and the onset of the extinctions and the agreement of ecological patterns in the fossil record with modeled environmental perturbations (for example, darkness and cooling) lead us to conclude that the Chicxulub impact triggered the mass extinction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2010AREP;
Subjects: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Journal or Publication Title: Science
Volume: 327
Page Range: 1214 -1218
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2011 01:06
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:02

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