Evidence for a Major Meteorite Impact on the Earth 34 Million Years Ago: Implication for Eocene Extinctions

Science  21 May 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4548, pp. 885-886
DOI: 10.1126/science.216.4548.885


A deep-sea core from the Caribbean contains a layer of sediment highly enriched in meteoritic iridium. This layer underlies a layer of North American microtektites dated at 34.4 million years ago and coincides with the extinction of five major species of Radiolaria. It is suggested that a massive, chemically undifferentiated meteorite collided with the earth, producing the tektites and leading to extinctions 34 million years ago.