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The Chicxulub asteroid impact and mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

Schulte Peter 1, * Laia Alegret 2 Ignacio Arenillas 2 José A. Arz 2 Penny J. Barton 3 Paul R. Bown 4 Timothy J. Bralower 5 Gail L. Christeson 6 Philippe Claeys 7 Charles S. Cockell 8, 9 Gareth S. Collins 10 Alexander Deutsch 11 Tamara J. Goldin 12 Kazuhisa Goto 13 José M. Grajales-Nishimura 14 Richard A. F. Grieve 15 Sean P. S. Gulick 16 Kirk R. Johnson 17 Wolfgang Kiessling 18 Christian Koeberl 19 David A. Kring 20 Kenneth G. Macleod 21 Takafumi Matsui 22 Jay Melosh 23 Alessandro Montanari 24 Joanna V. Morgan 10 Clive R. Neal 25 Douglas J. Nichols 17 Richard D. Norris 26 Elisabetta Pierazzo 27 Greg Ravizza 28 Mario Rebolledo-Vieyra 29 Wolf Uwe Reimold 18 Eric Robin 30 Tobias Salge 31 Robert P. Speijer 32 Arthur R. Sweet 33 Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi 34 Vivi Vajda 35 Michael T. Whalen 36 Pi S. Willumsen 35
* Corresponding author
Abstract : 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
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Submitted on : Friday, April 26, 2013 - 10:10:12 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 3:10:39 AM

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Schulte Peter, Laia Alegret, Ignacio Arenillas, José A. Arz, Penny J. Barton, et al.. The Chicxulub asteroid impact and mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2010, 327 (5970), pp.1214. ⟨10.1126/science.1177265⟩. ⟨cea-00818136⟩

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