Two large meteorite impacts at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

David Jolley, Iain Gilmour, Eugene Gurov, Simon Kelley, Jonathan Watson

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33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The end Cretaceous mass exinction has been attributed to a single asteroid impact at Chicxulub on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. The discovery of a second smaller crater at Boltysh in the Ukraine with a similar age has raised the possibility that a shower of asteroids or comets impacted Earth close to the K/Pg boundary. Here we present palynological and d13C evidence from crater fill sediments in the Boltysh impact crater. Our analyses demonstrate that a post-impact flora formed on the ejecta layer, was in turn devastated by the K/Pg events. The sequence of floral recovery from the K/Pg event is directly comparable with that in mid North America. We conclude that the Boltysh crater pre-dated Chicxulub by as little as 2,000 years, a timescale that constrains the likely origin of the bodies that formed the two known K/Pg craters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-838
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume38
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

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    Jolley, D., Gilmour, I., Gurov, E., Kelley, S., & Watson, J. (2010). Two large meteorite impacts at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Geology, 38(9), 835-838. https://doi.org/10.1130/G31034.1