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Volume 27 Issue 10 (October 2017)

GSA Today

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Article, pp. 4-8 | Full Text | PDF (669KB)

Chicxulub and the Exploration of Large Peak-Ring Impact Craters through Scientific Drilling

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David A. Kring1, Philippe Claeys2, Sean P.S. Gulick3, Joanna V. Morgan4, Gareth S. Collins4, and the IODP-ICDP Expedition 364 Science Party

1 Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
2 Analytical, Environmental and Geo-Chemistry, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, Brussels 1050, Belgium
3 Institute for Geophysics and Dept. of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78758, USA
4 Dept. of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London SW7 2AZ, UK


The Chicxulub crater is the only well-preserved peak-ring crater on Earth and linked, famously, to the K-T or K-Pg mass extinction event. For the first time, geologists have drilled into the peak ring of that crater in the International Ocean Discovery Program and International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (IODP-ICDP) Expedition 364. The Chicxulub impact event, the environmental calamity it produced, and the paleobiological consequences are among the most captivating topics being discussed in the geologic community. Here we focus attention on the geological processes that shaped the ~200-km-wide impact crater responsible for that discussion and the expedition’s first year results.

Manuscript received 3 July 2017; Revised manuscript received 26 July 2017; Manuscript accepted 28 July 2017; Published online 8 Sept. 2017

© The Geological Society of America, 2017.