Using the AMGC Oxygen clumped isotope facilty, high temperature (> 300ºC) calcium carbonate fragments are identified deep within the Chicxulub crater in Yucatan. These unique grains likely result from the impact-induced decarbonation of the limestones forming part of the Yucatan target rock and the following back-reaction of the CaO with available CO2 in secondary "hot" CaCO3. Such recombination reactions indicate that the volume of impact-released CO2 is significantly less than estimated in most models. This factor must be considered when evaluating the total amount of volatiles released by the cratering process and the climatic perturbations that followed leading to the biosphere crisis, the K-Pg mass extinction and the dinosaur demise.
This is the last paper from the PhD thesis of Dr. Pim Kaskes at the VUB published this month in the new high impact journal PNAS Nexus.
Read the paper in OA here.
Pim is now a post-doctoral research at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, group G-Time and still working on the K-Pg event, testing the link between the Chicxulub impact and the peak production of Deccan flood volcanism.