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Shock induced reaction in Chicxulub target materials (CaSO4 and SiO2) and their relation to extinctionsThe global platinum element rich layer, the presence of shocked quartz grains (in some cases with stishovite), and the observation of a tektite-rich layer, precisely at the K-T boundary, are the three major arguments for the extinction bolide impact hypothesis of Alvarez et al. Tektites (spherules) from Beloc in Haiti and Mimbral in Mexico received particular interest because of their geological proximity to the Chicxulub impact structure, which is a leading candidate for at least one of the K-T impact craters. Although in most localities the original glass has weathered to clay minerals, some shock-induced glass is found in outcrops and drill cores which is used for Ar-38/Ar-39 dating. The glassy tektites were found to be chemically similar and coeval at 65.0 Ma with Chicxulub melt rock. Two kinds of K-T spherules were discovered: (1) a silic black glass; and (2) a yellow glass, enriched in Ca, Mg, and S. The high sulfur content of the glass and the abundance of anhydrite (CaSO4) in the carbonate-evaporite sequence observed in Drill Holes Y-1 and Y-2 at Chicxulub prompted studies of calcium sulfate devolatization. Further discussion of our experiments is presented.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Chen, Guangqing
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Ahrens, Thomas J.
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, 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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