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Sci Adv. 2018 Feb 7;4(2):eaao2994. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aao2994. eCollection 2018 Feb.

Anomalous K-Pg-aged seafloor attributed to impact-induced mid-ocean ridge magmatism.

Author information

1
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota, 116 Church Street Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.
2
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oregon, 1272 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403, USA.

Abstract

Eruptive phenomena at all scales, from hydrothermal geysers to flood basalts, can potentially be initiated or modulated by external mechanical perturbations. We present evidence for the triggering of magmatism on a global scale by the Chicxulub meteorite impact at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, recorded by transiently increased crustal production at mid-ocean ridges. Concentrated positive free-air gravity and coincident seafloor topographic anomalies, associated with seafloor created at fast-spreading rates, suggest volumes of excess magmatism in the range of ~105 to 106 km3. Widespread mobilization of existing mantle melt by post-impact seismic radiation can explain the volume and distribution of the anomalous crust. This massive but short-lived pulse of marine magmatism should be considered alongside the Chicxulub impact and Deccan Traps as a contributor to geochemical anomalies and environmental changes at K-Pg time.

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