• Impact lithologies and their emplacement in the Chixulub impact crater: Initial results from the Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project, Yaxcopoil, Mexico

      Kring, D. A.; Hörz, F.; Zurcher, L.; Urrutia Fucugauchi, J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2004-01-01)
      The Chicxulub Scientific Drilling Project (CSDP), Mexico, produced a continuous core of material from depths of 404 to 1511 m in the Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) borehole, revealing (top to bottom) Tertiary marine sediments, polymict breccias, an impact melt unit, and one or more blocks of Cretaceous target sediments that are crosscut with impact-generated dikes, in a region that lies between the peak ring and final crater rim. The impact melt and breccias in the Yax-1 borehole are 100 m thick, which is approximately 1/5 the thickness of breccias and melts exposed in the Yucatán-6 exploration hole, which is also thought to be located between the peak ring and final rim of the Chicxulub crater. The sequence and composition of impact melts and breccias are grossly similar to those in the Yucatán-6 hole. Compared to breccias in other impact craters, the Chicxulub breccias are incredibly rich in silicate melt fragments (up to 84% versus 30 to 50%, for example, in the Ries). The melt in the Yax-1 hole was produced largely from the silicate basement lithologies that lie beneath a 3 km- thick carbonate platform in the target area. Small amounts of immiscible molten carbonate were ejected with the silicate melt, and clastic carbonate often forms the matrix of the polymict breccias. The melt unit appears to have been deposited while molten but brecciated after solidification. The melt fragments in the polymict breccias appear to have solidified in flight, before deposition, and fractured during transport and deposition.
    • Osmium isotope constraints on the proportion of bolide component in Chicxulub impact melt rocks

      Gelnias, A.; Kring, D. A.; Zurcher, L.; Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.; Morton, O.; Walker, R. J. (The Meteoritical Society, 2004-01-01)
      The spatial distribution and amount of material transferred from the bolide involved in the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) event to the target rocks at Chicxulub is still poorly constrained. In this study, Re-Os isotopic analyses of impact melt breccias and lithic clasts from the Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) borehole were used to determine the distribution and proportion of the bolide component in the target rocks. Because of the much greater concentration of Os in chondritic meteorites compared to the target rocks, little addition of the bolide component would be necessary to greatly perturb the Os concentration and isotopic composition of target rocks. Hence, this is a very sensitive means of examining bolide contributions to the target rocks. For the examined suite of samples, the initial 187Os/188Os ratios vary from 0.19 to 2.3. Conservative mixing calculations suggest that the bolide component comprised as much as approximately 0.1%, by mass, of some samples. Most samples, however, have negligible contributions from the bolide. No samples have Os that is dominated by the bolide component, so for this suite of samples, it is impossible to fingerprint the chemical nature of the bolide using relative abundances of siderophile elements. These results suggest that the bolide did not contribute a significant amount of material to the target rocks. This may, in turn, indicate that most of the bolide was vaporized upon impact or otherwise ejected without mixing with the melt from the target.