The University of Arizona

First petrographic results on impactites from the Yaxcopoil-1 borehole, Chicxulub structure, Mexico

M. G. TUCHSCHERER, W. U. REIMOLD, C. KOEBERL, R. L. GIBSON, D. de BRUIN

Abstract


The ICDP Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) borehole located 60 km south-southwest of the center of the Chicxulub impact structure intercepted an interval of allogenic impactites (depth of 795-895 m). Petrographic analysis of these impactites allows them to be differentiated into five units based on their textural and modal variations. Unit 1 (795-922 m) comprises an apparently reworked, poorly sorted and graded, fine-grained, clast-supported, melt fragment-bearing suevitic breccia. The interstitial material, similar to units 2 and 3, is permeated by numerous carbonate veinlets. Units 2 (823-846 m) and 3 (846-861 m) are groundmass-supported breccias that comprise green to variegated angular and fluidal melt particles. The groundmass of units 2 and 3 comprises predominantly fine-grained calcite, altered alkali element-, Ca-, and Si-rich cement, as well as occasional lithic fragments. Unit 4 (861-885 m) represents a massive, variably devitrified, and brecciated impact melt rock. The lowermost unit, unit 5 (885-895 m), comprises highly variable proportions of melt rock particles (MRP) and lithic fragments in a fine-grained, carbonate-dominated groundmass. This groundmass could represent either a secondary ydrothermal phase or a carbonate melt phase, or both. Units 1 and 5 contain well-preserved foraminifera fossils and a significantly higher proportion of carbonate clasts than the other units. All units show diagnostic shock deformation features in quartz and feldspar clasts. Our observations reveal that most felsic and all mafic MRP are altered. They register extensive K-metasomatism. In terms of emplacement, we suggest that units 1 to 3 represent fallout suevite from a collapsing impact plume, whereby unit 1 was subsequently reworked by resurging water. Unit 4 represents a coherent impact melt body, the formation of which involved a significant proportion of crystalline basement. Unit 5 is believed to represent an initial ejecta/ground-surge deposit.

Keywords


Petrography;Impact structure;Impactites;Suevites;Chicxulub

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