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Impact ejecta at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary
Schaller, M.F.; Fung, M.K.; Wright, J.D.; Katz, M.E.; Kent, D.V. (2016). Impact ejecta at the Paleocene-Eocene boundary. Science (Wash.) 354(6309): 225-229.
In: Science (Washington). American Association for the Advancement of Science: New York, N.Y. ISSN 0036-8075, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Schaller, M.F.
  • Fung, M.K.
  • Wright, J.D.
  • Katz, M.E.
  • Kent, D.V.

    Extraterrestrial impacts have left a substantial imprint on the climate and evolutionary history of Earth. A rapid carbon cycle perturbation and global warming event about 56 million years ago at the Paleocene-Eocene (P-E) boundary (the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum) was accompanied by rapid expansions of mammals and terrestrial plants and extinctions of deep-sea benthic organisms. Here, we report the discovery of silicate glass spherules in a discrete stratigraphic layer from three marine P-E boundary sections on the Atlantic margin. Distinct characteristics identify the spherules as microtektites and microkrystites, indicating that an extraterrestrial impact occurred during the carbon isotope excursion at the P-E boundary.

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