Coeval 40Ar/39Ar ages of 65.0 million years ago from Chicxulub crater melt rock and Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary tektites

Carl C. Swisher, José M. Grajales-Nishimura, Alessandro Montanari, Stanley V. Margolis, Philippe Claeys, Walter Alvarez, Paul Renne, Esteban Cedillo-Pardo, Florentin J.M.R. Maurrasse, Garniss H. Curtis, Jan Smit, Michael O. McWilliams

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261 Scopus citations

Abstract

40Ar/39Ar dating of drill core samples of a glassy melt rock recovered from beneath a massive impact breccia contained within the 180-kilometer subsurface Chicxulub crater in Yucatán, Mexico, has yielded well-behaved incremental heating spectra with a mean plateau age of 64.98 ± 0.05 million years ago (Ma). The glassy melt rock of andesitic composition was obtained from core 9 (1390 to 1393 meters) in the Chicxulub 1 well. The age of the melt rock is virtually indistinguishable from 40Ar/39Ar ages obtained on tektite glass from Beloc, Haiti, and Arroyo el Mimbral, northeastern Mexico, of 65.01 ± 0.08 Ma (mean plateau age for Beloc) and 65.07 ± 0.10 Ma (mean total fusion age for both sites). The 40Ar/39Ar ages, in conjunction with geochemical and petrological similarities, strengthen the recent suggestion that the Chicxulub structure is the source for the Haitian and Mexican tektites and is a viable candidate for the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)954-958
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume257
Issue number5072
DOIs
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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