The Chicxulub Impact in the Gulf of Mexico: Early Results from IODP Exp. 364

Wednesday, December 21, 2016 - 4:00pm
Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas Austin
Morrill 129

Chris Lowery finished his PhD here at UMass in May 2015. Since then he has been a post-doc at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas Austin. Earlier this year, Chris was invited to participate in an Integrated Ocean Discovery Program expedition to core the impact crater buried on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. This is the impact that caused the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period 66 million years ago. The IODP Exp. 364 science team recently published a paper in Science. See attached papers and abstract for the talk below.

Chris will be here Wednesday afternoon and will give a talk at 4 pm in Room 129. Hope you can make it.
The Chicxulub Impact in the Gulf of Mexico: Early Results from IODP Exp. 364
The Chicxulub Impact triggered the end Cretaceous Mass Extinction that wiped out 75% of life on earth and dramatically altered the course of Earth History. It was an incredibly violent event, which created transient mountains higher than the Himalayas, threw so much material into the atmosphere that the friction caused by it falling back to earth ignited wild fires over (at least) a large part of the globe and blotted out the sun for several years, and triggered a massive earthquake and train of tsunamis that reshaped the Gulf of Mexico Basin. This is a relatively young crater, and the only one on earth with an unequivocal peak ring. In April-May of this year, IODP Expedition 364 drilled into the Chicxulub Crater to investigate how peak rings form, how kill mechanisms caused by the impact might have driven the mass extinction, how life recovered after the impact, and whether this unique environment might provide a habitat for deep biosphere life today. In this talk I will provide an overview the calamities wrought by the Chicxulub Impact, and some of the exciting initial results from our analyses of the core thus far.
Key Links:
(pdfs of the Morgan et al. paper in Science, and the News and Views about the article, are attached below)
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