Fingerprinting the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary impact with Zn isotopes

Mathur, Ryan, Mahan, Brandon, Spencer, Marissa, Godfrey, Linda, Landman, Neil, Garb, Matthew, Pearson, D. Graham, Liu, Sheng Ao, and Oboh-Ikuenobe, Francisca E. (2021) Fingerprinting the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary impact with Zn isotopes. Nature Communications, 12 (1). 4128.

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Abstract

Numerous geochemical anomalies exist at the K-Pg boundary that indicate the addition of extraterrestrial materials; however, none fingerprint volatilization, a key process that occurs during large bolide impacts. Stable Zn isotopes are an exceptional indicator of volatility-related processes, where partial vaporization of Zn leaves the residuum enriched in its heavy isotopes. Here, we present Zn isotope data for sedimentary rock layers of the K-Pg boundary, which display heavier Zn isotope compositions and lower Zn concentrations relative to surrounding sedimentary rocks, the carbonate platform at the impact site, and most carbonaceous chondrites. Neither volcanic events nor secondary alteration during weathering and diagenesis can explain the Zn concentration and isotope signatures present. The systematically higher Zn isotope values within the boundary layer sediments provide an isotopic fingerprint of partially evaporated material within the K-Pg boundary layer, thus earmarking Zn volatilization during impact and subsequent ejecta transport associated with an impact at the K-Pg.

Item ID: 69960
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2041-1723
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021, corrected publication 2021 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/.
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2022 00:26
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3703 Geochemistry > 370303 Isotope geochemistry @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280107 Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences @ 100%
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