The Chicxulub crater is a large meteorite crater. It was probably made by the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and other animals ~65 mya. It is partly in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico and partly underwater.
|Chicxulub impact structure|
|Diameter||180 km (110 mi)|
|Depth||20 km (12 mi)|
|Impactor diameter||10 kilometers (6.2 mi)|
|Age||66.043 ± 0.043 Ma |
|Bolide type||CM or CR type carbonaceous chondrite|
The bolide which formed the crater was at least 10 km (6 mi) in diameter. Evidence for the impact origin of the crater includes shocked quartz, a gravity anomaly, and tektites in surrounding areas. The age of the rocks and isotope analysis show that this impact structure dates from the end of the Cretaceous period, roughly 66 million years ago. The impact which caused the crater probably caused the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event.
In March 2010, following analysis of the available evidence covering 20 years' worth of data in the fields of palaeontology, geochemistry, climate modelling, geophysics and sedimentology, 41 international experts from 33 institutions reviewed available evidence. They said the impact at Chicxulub triggered the mass extinctions during the K-T boundary, including that of dinosaurs.
Scientists can now describe in detail how the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs produced its huge crater. The reconstruction of the event 66 million years ago was made possible by drilling into the remnant bowl and analysing its rocks.
Evidence of impactEdit
Scientists have found evidence of fallout from the asteroid impact. Excavations in North Dakota reveal fossils of fish and trees that were sprayed with rocky, glassy fragments that fell from the sky. The deposits also show evidence of being swamped with water. This was caused by the colossal sea surge caused by the impact.
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- Renne, P. R.; Deino, A. L.; Hilgen, F. J.; Kuiper, K. F.; Mark, D. F.; Mitchell, W. S.; Morgan, L. E.; Mundil, R.; Smit, J. (2013). "Time Scales of Critical Events Around the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary" (PDF). Science. 339 (6120): 684–687. Bibcode:2013Sci...339..684R. doi:10.1126/science.1230492. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 23393261. S2CID 6112274. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 3, 2018. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
- Earth Impact Data Base
- Schulte, Peter; et al. (2010). "The Chicxulub asteroid impact and mass extinction at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary". Science. AAAS. 327 (5970): 1214–1218. doi:10.1126/science.1177265. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 20203042. S2CID 2659741. Retrieved 5 March 2010.
- Rincon, Paul (2010-03-04). "Dinosaur extinction link to crater confirmed". BBC. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
- Amos, Jonathan 2019. Asteroid strike made 'instant Himalayas'. BBC News Science & Environment. 
- Amos, Jonathan 2019. Chicxulub asteroid impact: stunning fossils record dinosaurs' demise. BBC News & Environment.