NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server
The interaction of the cretaceous-tertiary extinction bolide with the atmosphere, ocean, and solid earthA number of investigations, including those reported by Orth et al. (1981), have provided physical evidence for the impact of an extraterrestrial object on earth 65 million years ago. This time corresponds to the end of the cretaceous period. This impact could, therefore, be responsible for the observed extinction of biological species at the end of the Mesozoic era. Among the species becoming extinct are found also flying and walking dinosaurs, which include all land animals that had masses greater than 25 kg. The present investigation is concerned with a study of the possibilities for the collision of earth with 10 km-size object, and the consequences produced by such a collision. It is found that the penetration of the atmosphere by the bolide creates a temporary hole in the atmosphere. The resulting flow fields can inject melt droplets and finely commuted solid particles into the atmosphere. Short-term effects of heating, followed by dust induced worldwide cooling, may provide several mechanisms for the observed extinction of the species.
Okeefe, J. D. (California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States) Ahrens, T. J. (California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA, United States)
August 11, 2013
October 1, 1981