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Impact mineralogy and chemistry of the cretaceous-tertiary boundary at DSDP site 576We have identified the K/T boundary in pelagic clay sediments from cores at DSDP Site 576 in the western North Pacific. Detailed geochemical and trace mineralogical analyses of this boundary section are in progress and initial results indicate similarities and differences relative to the only other clay core investigated in detail; DSDP Site 596, a locality in the western South Pacific. Peak Ir concentrations of 13 ng/g in DSDP Hole 576B are virtually identical with those observed in the South Pacific, but in the North Pacific this peak is much narrower and the integrated Ir fluence of 85 ng cm(exp -2) is 4 times lower (320 in Hole 596). Of the 34 elements measured, only Ir and Cr were found to have anomalous concentrations in K/T boundary samples. Trace mineral residues were obtained by washing away clays and sequential chemical leaches (including HF) to remove typical hydrogenous and biogenous sediment components (e.g., zeolites and radiolarian opal). We attempted to quantitatively recover the entire trace mineral assemblage for grains greater than 30 micrometers in diameter. Our mineral residues were dominated by two phases: quartz and magnesioferrite spinel. Other non-opaque mineral grains we have positively identified were trace K-feldspar, plagioclase, corundum, and muscovite. Of these only K-feldspar exhibited planar deformation features (PDF). We have not found abundant plagioclase, as in the South Pacific suggesting that this phase was either not preserved in the North Pacific, or that in the south, it has a non-impact (i.e., volcanic) source. PDF in quartz were commonly obscured by secondary overgrowths on the surfaces of quartz grains, presumably from diagenetic reprecipitation of silica dissolved from opaline radiolarian tests that are common in these sediments. However, careful examination revealed that most grains had multiple sets of PDF. Of the 133 quartz grains greater than 30 micrometers analyzed, 62 percent showed evidence of shock. The largest shocked grain recovered to date had a maximum diameter of 160 micrometers, consistent with other sites in the Pacific.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bostwick, Jennifer A.
(California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Kyte, Frank T.
(California Univ. Los Angeles, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Lunar and Planetary Inst., Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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