Geological and archaeological implications of strontium isotope analysis of exposed bedrock in the Chicxulub crater basin, northwestern Yucatán, Mexico

Gilli, Adrian and Hodell, David A. and Kamenov, George D. and Brenner, Mark (2009) Geological and archaeological implications of strontium isotope analysis of exposed bedrock in the Chicxulub crater basin, northwestern Yucatán, Mexico. Geology, 37 (8). 723 -726. DOI 10.1130/G30098A.1

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Abstract

The surface geology of the site of the Chicxulub impact crater in northwestern Yucatán, Mexico, has not been studied extensively since the discovery of the crater almost two decades ago. Strontium isotope (87Sr/86Sr) measurements in carbonate rock outcrops reveal near-uniform strontium signatures of 0.70905 inside the ring of cenotes (water-filled sinkholes), which represents the rim of the crater basin. Measured strontium isotope ratios were used to infer rock ages, employing the marine Sr isotope curve. We estimate the age of the exposed limestone within the Chicxulub crater basin to be late Miocene to early Pliocene, representing the age of the youngest sediment fill. Discovery of a large terrain of near-uniform strontium isotope ratios in northwestern Yucatán offers new geoarchaeological opportunities to track ancient Maya migration and determine sources of manufactured goods. Our results have implications for applying the Sr isotope method to Maya archaeological sites, such as Mayapán, the last Maya capital, and Chichén Itzá.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 09AREP; not entered
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Geology
Volume: 37
Page Range: 723 -726
Identification Number: 10.1130/G30098A.1
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 17:44
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:03
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2366

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