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Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary exposed: Campeche Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico

Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary exposed: Campeche Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico
Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary exposed: Campeche Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico
We present the first multibeam bathymetric maps of the Campeche Escarpment, a Mesozoic carbonate platform in the Gulf of Mexico, which represents the closest Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary outcrops to the Chicxulub impact structure. The impact of an extraterrestrial-body ~ 65 million years ago on top of this platform is implicated in the end of the Cretaceous mass extinction and caused the largest debris flow yet described on Earth, which is found across the floor of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The location of the K-Pg boundary has been identified in the escarpment face by combining the new multibeam data with existing information from boreholes. The boundary is represented by an abrupt change in gradient on the escarpment face. The morphology of the escarpment combined with seismic data reveals that a significant amount of material is missing from the face, which failed catastrophically due to seismic shaking produced by the impact. The escarpment face is inferred to be an important source for the extensive debris flows triggered by the impact, whose deposits are found throughout much of the Gulf of Mexico.
Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, Debris flows, Chicxulub impact, Carbonate escarpments
0025-3227
392-400
Paull, C.K.
baf105b3-905a-4994-86bb-69cb5ec95743
Caress, D.W.
426db380-03e0-49db-886e-d87e1259eccb
Gwiazda, R.
d8ca5107-45cd-4e45-9e33-9ca402f6c61c
Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.
9aa95ad9-ae6b-4a55-a932-09c5245e4633
Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.
7c1e1249-f679-41d6-9865-29ea5d629147
Lundsten, E.
ba33498b-0134-454d-a237-22631a45761a
Anderson, K.
ef4598bc-7bac-4a63-8d41-ec30d6cfd2b6
Sumner, E.J.
dbba4b92-89cc-45d9-888e-d0e87e5c10ac
Paull, C.K.
baf105b3-905a-4994-86bb-69cb5ec95743
Caress, D.W.
426db380-03e0-49db-886e-d87e1259eccb
Gwiazda, R.
d8ca5107-45cd-4e45-9e33-9ca402f6c61c
Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J.
9aa95ad9-ae6b-4a55-a932-09c5245e4633
Rebolledo-Vieyra, M.
7c1e1249-f679-41d6-9865-29ea5d629147
Lundsten, E.
ba33498b-0134-454d-a237-22631a45761a
Anderson, K.
ef4598bc-7bac-4a63-8d41-ec30d6cfd2b6
Sumner, E.J.
dbba4b92-89cc-45d9-888e-d0e87e5c10ac

Paull, C.K., Caress, D.W., Gwiazda, R., Urrutia-Fucugauchi, J., Rebolledo-Vieyra, M., Lundsten, E., Anderson, K. and Sumner, E.J. (2014) Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary exposed: Campeche Escarpment, Gulf of Mexico. Marine Geology, 357, 392-400.

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present the first multibeam bathymetric maps of the Campeche Escarpment, a Mesozoic carbonate platform in the Gulf of Mexico, which represents the closest Cretaceous–Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary outcrops to the Chicxulub impact structure. The impact of an extraterrestrial-body ~ 65 million years ago on top of this platform is implicated in the end of the Cretaceous mass extinction and caused the largest debris flow yet described on Earth, which is found across the floor of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The location of the K-Pg boundary has been identified in the escarpment face by combining the new multibeam data with existing information from boreholes. The boundary is represented by an abrupt change in gradient on the escarpment face. The morphology of the escarpment combined with seismic data reveals that a significant amount of material is missing from the face, which failed catastrophically due to seismic shaking produced by the impact. The escarpment face is inferred to be an important source for the extensive debris flows triggered by the impact, whose deposits are found throughout much of the Gulf of Mexico.

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More information

Published date: 1 November 2014
Keywords: Cretaceous/Paleogene boundary, Debris flows, Chicxulub impact, Carbonate escarpments
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 371820
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/371820
ISSN: 0025-3227
PURE UUID: 60a4d6c0-4ee0-4992-9f24-b760317c8493

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Nov 2014 11:01
Last modified: 15 Jul 2019 21:38

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