“A Journey Into the Chicxulub Impact Crater” –Death of an Epoch 66 Million Years Ago (WATCH Today’s ‘Galaxy’ Stream)




When the Chicxulub asteroid slammed into Earth about 66 million years ago, it obliterated 80 percent of Earth's species, blasted out a crater 200 kilometers across, and signaled an abrupt end to the Cretaceous Period. The impact, its catastrophic effects, and its aftermath have engrossed scientists and the public alike since it was first discovered.





In spring 2016, the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and International Continental Scientific Drilling (ICDP) drilled into the Chicxulub crater off the coast of Mexico. The expedition targeted Chicxulub crater's peak ring and overlying rock sequences. Peak rings, as seen on the moon, form when rocks rebound into a peak inside the crater. The peak then collapses, leaving a center ring of rock within the larger crater. The expedition is helping answer important questions about the Chicxulub impact event and peak-ring crater formation on planetary bodies.



Highlights of IODP-ICDP Expedition 364 are featured in the October 2017 issue of GSA Today, and on Tuesday, 24 October, an entire keynote session at the GSA Annual Meeting will be devoted to the expedition. In the session, geologists will take us back to the first moments and years following the impact.


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