A Tsunami Deposit at the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary in Texas

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Science  29 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4865, pp. 567-570
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4865.567


At sites near the Brazos River, Texas, an iridium anomaly and the paleontologic Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary directly overlie a sandstone bed in which coarse-grained sandstone with large clasts of mudstone and reworked carbonate nodules grades upward to wave ripple-laminated, very fine grained sandstone. This bed is the only sandstone bed in a sequence of uppermost Cretaceous to lowermost Paleocene mudstone that records about 1 million years of quiet water deposition in midshelf to outer shelf depths. Conditions for depositing such a sandstone layer at these depths are most consistent with the occurrence of a tsunami about 50 to 100 meters high. The most likely source for such a tsunami at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary is a bolidewater impact.

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