Current Research in EEPS Seminar: Dr. Ted Moore – University of Michigan
Geologic Evidence for the Global K/Pg Tsunami
The Cretaceous – Paleogene bolide impact is probably the most disastrous natural event in the past 100 m.y. It led directly to the extinction of a large portion of the plant and animal species on earth. It sent debris far into the stratosphere and had devastating effects on the islands in the Caribbean and on the land surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. It generated a large tsunami that swept onto North , Central, and South American shores. The near-field effects of this tsunami have been well documented; however, farther afield and globally the effects have only recently been modeled. This simple, but ingenuous, recreation of the tsunami links a model of the impact itself with an ocean wave model that carries the tsunami around the globe. Both the tsunami pathway and the velocity of bottom water motion are described. Did the modelers get it right? Here we look at 136 cored sections that sample the K/Pg boundary interval as well as over 29 marine sections studied on land to see where the sections are complete and where they have been eroded. The preponderance of complete sections is found in the Mediterranean, the South Atlantic, the North Pacific, and the Indian Oceans. These results are consistent with the modeled pathway and strength of the tsunami.