The University of Arizona

Foraminiferal biostratigraphy and paleoenvironmental reconstruction at Yaxcopil-1 drill hole, Chicxulub crater, Yucatán Peninsula



The Yaxcopoil-1 (Yax-1) drill hole comprises Cretaceous limestones and calcarenites, the K/P boundary cocktail unit (including impact breccia), and a Danian marly clay layer overlain by calcareous marls. The biostratigraphy, paleobathymetry, and environmental turnover across the K/P interval were inferred after analyzing the planktic and benthic foraminiferal assemblages. The Cretaceous samples only contain a few poorly preserved planktic foraminifera of a middle Campanian to Maastrichtian age, while low-diversity benthic foraminiferal assemblages suggest a sufficient nutrient supply to the sea floor and a shallow neritic, occasionally stressed environment. The impact breccia and the redeposited suevite are overlain by a 46 cm-thick dolomitic calcareous sandstone unit that contains scarce, reworked planktic foraminiferal specimens. This unit probably represents the uppermost part of the initial infill of the crater. The uppermost centimeters of this unit are bioturbated, and its top represents a hiatus that spans at least the G. cretacea, Pv. eugubina, and part of the P. pseudobulloides biozones. This unit is overlain by a 3-4 cm-thick marly clay layer that represents a condensed layer. Benthic foraminiferal assemblages suggest a low food supply to the sea floor and environmental instability during the deposition of the marly clay layer. The increase in diversity of the assemblages indicates that the environmental conditions improved and stabilized from the G. compressa biozone toward the A. uncinata (P2) biozone. The Danian planktic and benthic foraminiferal assemblages indicate a deeper, probably bathyal environment.


K/T boundary;Chicxulub;Foraminifera

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