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A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact

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Title: A steeply-inclined trajectory for the Chicxulub impact
Authors: Collins, G
Patel, N
Davison, T
Rae, A
Morgan, J
Gulick, S
IODPICDP Expedition 364 & Third-Party Scientists
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The environmental severity of large impacts on Earth is influenced by their impact trajectory. Impact direction and angle to the target plane affect the volume and depth of origin of vaporized target, as well as the trajectories of ejected material. The asteroid impact that formed the 66 Ma Chicxulub crater had a profound and catastrophic effect on Earth’s environment, but the impact trajectory is debated. Here we show that impact angle and direction can be diagnosed by asymmetries in the subsurface structure of the Chicxulub crater. Comparison of 3D numerical simulations of Chicxulub-scale impacts with geophysical observations suggests that the Chicxulub crater was formed by a steeply-inclined (45 -60° to horizontal) impact from the northeast; several lines of evidence rule out a low angle (< 30°) impact. Asteeply-inclined impact produces a nearly symmetric distribution of ejected rock and releases more climate-changing gases per impactor mass than either a very shallow or near-vertical impact.
Issue Date: 26-May-2020
Date of Acceptance: 27-Feb-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/78189
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-15269-x
ISSN: 2041-1723
Publisher: Nature Research
Start Page: 1
End Page: 10
Journal / Book Title: Nature Communications
Volume: 11
Issue: 5
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/.
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/N000803/1
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
IODP-ICDP Expedition 364 Science Party
Third-Party Scientists
Publication Status: Published online
Article Number: 1480
Online Publication Date: 2020-05-26
Appears in Collections:Earth Science and Engineering
Faculty of Engineering