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      The Chicxulub asteroid impact and mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary.

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      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

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          Abstract

          The Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary approximately 65.5 million years ago marks one of the three largest mass extinctions in the past 500 million years. The extinction event coincided with a large asteroid impact at Chicxulub, Mexico, and occurred within the time of Deccan flood basalt volcanism in India. Here, we synthesize records of the global stratigraphy across this boundary to assess the proposed causes of the mass extinction. Notably, a single ejecta-rich deposit compositionally linked to the Chicxulub impact is globally distributed at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The temporal match between the ejecta layer and the onset of the extinctions and the agreement of ecological patterns in the fossil record with modeled environmental perturbations (for example, darkness and cooling) lead us to conclude that the Chicxulub impact triggered the mass extinction.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science (New York, N.Y.)
          American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
          1095-9203
          0036-8075
          Mar 05 2010
          : 327
          : 5970
          Affiliations
          [1 ] GeoZentrum Nordbayern, Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schlossgarten 5, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany. schulte@geol.uni-erlangen.de
          Article
          327/5970/1214
          10.1126/science.1177265
          20203042
          bf35c42f-b97e-4d2d-8e76-4e6ba0bdbbb9

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