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Modelling of dispersal and deposition of impact glass spherules from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary depositThe dispersal of glass spherules or tektites from a bolide impact with the Earth is modelled as ballistic trajectories in standard atmosphere. Ballistic dispersal of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact glass spherules found in Haiti and Mimbral, Mexico requires a fireball radius in excess of 50 km but less than 100 km to account for the observed distribution. Glass spherules from 1 and up to 8 mm in diameter have been found at the KT boundary at Beloc in Haiti, at Mimbral, Mexico, and at DSDP Sites 536 and 540 in the Gulf of Mexico corresponding to paleodistances of 600 to 1000 km from the Chicxulub crater. In Haiti the basal and major glass-bearing unit at the KT boundary is attributed to fallout on basis of sedimentologic features. When compared with theoretical and observed dispersal of volcanic ejecta, the grain size versus distance relationship of the KT boundary tektite fallout is extreme, and rules out a volcanic fallout origin. At a comparable distance from source, the KT impact glass spherules are more than an order of mangitude coarser than ejecta of the largest known volcanic events. We model the dispersal of KT boundary impact glass spherules as ballistic ejecta from a fireball generated by the impact of a 10 km diameter bolide. Mass of ejecta in the fireball is taken as twice the bolide mass. Melt droplets are accelerated by gas flow in the fireball cloud, and leave the fireball on ballistic trajectories within the atmosphere, subject to drag, depending on angle of ejection and altitude. The model for ballistic dispersal is based on equations of motion, drag and ablation for silicate spheres in standard atmosphere.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Espindola, J. M.
(Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico Mexico City, Mexico)
Carey, S.
(Rhode Island Univ. Narragansett., United States)
Sigurdsson, H.
(Rhode Island Univ. Narragansett., 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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