Assessing event magnitude and target water depth for marine-target impacts: Ocean resurge deposits in the Chicxulub M0077A drill core compared

Ormö, Jens & Gulick, Sean & Whalen, Michael & King, Jr, David & Sturkell, E. & Morgan, J.. (2021). Assessing event magnitude and target water depth for marine-target impacts: Ocean resurge deposits in the Chicxulub M0077A drill core compared. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Vol. 564, Doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.116915

The rim wall of water formed from even a modestly-sized marine impact may be kilometers in height. Although modeling has shown that this wave swiftly breaks and relatively rapidly loses energy during outwards travel from the impact site, the portion of the rim wall that collapses inwards may generate a resurge flow with tremendous transport energy. Here we compare the deposits generated by this ocean resurge inside one of the largest marine-target craters on Earth, the 200-km wide Chicxulub crater, Yucatán Peninsula, México, with resurge deposits (breccias) in eight drill cores from five other marine-target craters in Sweden and the United States. Examination of the wide range of cored locations within the craters, and target water depths (H) relative to modeled projectile diameters (d) reveal a high correlation between location, average clast frequency (〈N〉), and d/H from which any of the four variables can be obtained. The relationship shown here may provide an important tool for diagnosing marine impact cratering processes where there is limited understanding of crater size and/or paleobathymetry.

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