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Title: Ichnofabrics and Facies in the Paleocene of Chicxulub: A Record of the Recovery of Life Post-Impact
IODP/ICDP Expedition 364 recovered ~829 m of core at Site M0077 including ~110 m of post-impact, (hemi)pelagic Paleogene sedimentary rocks overlying the Chicxulub impact crater peak ring formed from suevite, melt rock, and granitic basement. The transition between suevite and Paleocene limestone (Unit 1F) is a remarkable fining upward package of gravel to sand-sized suevite (Unit 2A) overlain by the laminated carbonate-rich Unit 1G that records deposition of fine-grained material post-impact and contains a mix of Late Cretaceous and earliest Danian taxa. This study concentrates on the overlying Unit 1F. The ichnofabric index (ii, 1-6 indicating no bioturbation to complete homogenization), provides a semiquantitative estimate of burrow density to help assess the return of life to the crater. Unit 1F is ~10 m thick with a sharp contact at the base of a green claystone (ii 2) that overlies Unit 1G. It consists of cm-dm interbedded blue-gray marlstone (ii 2) grading upward into gray to blue-gray wacke/packstone (ii 3-5). Contacts between facies are mostly gradational due to burrowing. The upper 3 m of the unit is a yellow-brown burrowed packstone (ii 4) intercalated with gray marlstone (ii 2). The uppermost 7.5 cm is calcite cemented with 1 cm wide burrows (ii more » 3-4) and fine to coarse sand size clasts including foraminifera. The upper surface of the unit is a hardground with an ~2 Myr unconformity overlain by Eocene rocks. The first well-defined burrows occur in the upper 30 cm of Unit 1G. Unequivocal burrows (ii 2) that disturb sedimentary facies occur in overlying Unit 1F with values of 3-5 recorded in the overlying 10 cm indicating significant disruption of primary sedimentary structures. The iis in Unit 1F vary between 2 and 5 with rare laminated intervals without bioturbation (ii 1). Values of ii correlate well with facies changes, i.e. marlstones display lower iis than more carbonate-rich facies, implying a depth and/or redox control on burrower distribution. The ii data indicate that burrowers were re-established in the crater before the end of deposition of Unit 1G. The lowest Danian zone Pα is documented in the lowermost part of Unit 1F. Trace makers were thus active by the earliest Danian with an increase in abundance and diversity during the lower Danian, indicating a rapid and continuous return of benthic life to the crater. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1737199
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10161131
Journal Name:
AGU reference shelf
ISSN:
2329-1389
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Introduction: IODP/ICDP Expedition 364 recovered core from 505.7-1334.7 m below the seafloor (mbsf) at Site M0077A (21.45° N, 89.95° W) atop the peak ring in the Chicxulub impact structure. The core penetrated Paleogene sedimentary rocks, impactrelated suevite, melt rock, and granitic basement [1]. Approximately 110 m of post-impact, hemipelagic and pelagic sedimentary rocks were recovered, ranging from middle Eocene (Ypresian) to basal Paleocene (Danian) in age [1]. The transition between suevite and basal Paleocene sedimentary rocks is a remarkable succession of fining upward gravel to sand-sized suevite (Unit 2A) overlain by laminated carbonate-rich siltstone (Unit 1G, “impact boundary cocktail” [2]) that records the settling of fine-grained material postimpact [1]. This study concentrates on the carbonaterich Paleocene sedimentary rocks of overlying Unit 1F [1]. The degree of bioturbation, or ichnofabric index (II) [3, 4], provides a semiquantitative estimate of the density of burrowing within sedminentary facies. Collection of II data within the context of facies analysis thus yields insight into the initial and then continued disturbance of sediment by burrowing organisms recording the return of life to the crater (Fig. 1). Unit 1G: The unit extends from 616.58-617.33 mbsf (Fig. 1) and consists mainly of dark brown to dark grayish brownmore »calcareous siltstone but is complex with several different lithologies and post-depositional pyrite nodules that disrupt bedding. The base of the unit is a sharp, stylolitized contact overlain by two ~1 cm thick, normally graded beds. Overlying, up to 617.17 mbsf, the siltstone contains internally finely laminated cm-scale beds that alternate between dark brown and grayish brown. Above, up to 616.97 mbsf is a package with mm bedded couplets of dark brown and grayish brown calcareous siltstone that grade upward into similarly colored cm bedded couplets that then thin upward into mm bedded couplets again. Above this interval bedding is indistinct and appears to be obscured by soft sediment deformation from 616.66- 616.97 mbsf. The upper part of the unit is slightly deformed with greenish marlstone and interbedded lighter gray siltstone displaying a distinct downwarp from 616.58-616.66 mbsf. Rare oval structures, that are potential individual burrows, occur down to 616.65 mbsf. Unit 1F: The unit records the remainder of the Paleocene and extends from 607.27-616.58 mbsf (Fig. 1). The base of the unit is a sharp contact at the base of a greenish claystone (II 2) that overlies Unit 1G [1]. It consists dominantly of interbedded light gray to light bluish gray wackestone and packstone (II 3-5) and light to dark bluish gray marlstone (II 2) at cm-dmscale. All lithologies contain wispy stylolites. The lower portion of the unit (616.58 and 607.74) is cyclic with cm-dm-scale bedding and light greenish-blue to bluish marlstone bases (II 2-3) that grade upward into light gray or light bluish gray wackestone and packstone (II 3-5). Contacts between lithologies are usually gradational due to burrowing. The upper portion of the unit from 610.25 to 607.74 mbsf is a light yellowish brown burrowed packstone (II 4) intercalated with gray marlstone (II 2). The uppermost 7.5 cm is calcite cemented with 1 cm wide burrows (II 3-4). Clasts are fine to coarse sand size and include foraminifera. The upper surface of this unit is a hardground and minor unconformity overlain by Eocene rocks [1]. Ichnofabric Index: II data provides a window onto the return of life post-impact (Fig. 1). Rare structures in the upper most sandy suevite (Unit 2A) and in Unit 1G (Core 40R-1) resemble bioturbation structures but may also represent fluid escape [1]. The first welldefined oval structures that appear to be burrows occur in the upper part of Unit 1G (Fig. 1, 616.58-616.65 mbsf). Unequivocal burrows (II 2) that disturb sedimentary facies occur just above, at 616.56 mbsf in Unit 1F (Fig. 1). II of 3-4 are reached 5-6 cm above indicating significant disruption of original sedimentary strutures. An II of 5 is first documented at 616.16 mbsf (Fig. 1). Above this level through the Paleocene succession II largely varies between 2 and 5 with rare laminated intervals (II 1). Bioturbation intensity correlates well with facies changes and more marly facies display lower levels of bioturbation than more carbonate- rich facies. This correlation implies a depth and/or paleoredox control on the distribution of bioturbating organisms. Discussion: II and the return of life: The II data indicate that burrowing organisms were likely reestablished in the crater before the end of deposition of Unit 1G. Biostratigraphic analyses document a mix of Late Cretaceous and earliest Danian taxa within Unit Lunar and Planetary Science XLVIII (2017) 1348.pdf 1G and lowermost Danian zone Pα documented in the lowermost part of Unit 1F down to 616.58 mbsf [1]. P1a taxa occur down to 616.29 mbsf with P1b-P4 recorded upward through 607.27 m [1]. Burrowing organisims were thus active by earliest Danian indicating a rapid return of life to the crater. Hydrocode modeling implies that much of the deformation and peak ring formation was completed within minutes of the impact [5]. Deposition and reworking of impact breccia by tsunami and seiches likely extended for several days [6]. More refined estimates for the return of life to the crater may be possible with more detailed analysis of the deposition of laminae within Unit 1G that records marine settling of fine-grained material that may have taken days to months.« less
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The cores offer a direct record of glacial history offshore from a drainage basin that receives ice exclusively from the WAIS, which allows clear comparisons between the WAIS history and low-latitude climate records. Today, warm Circumpolar Deep Water (CDW) is impinging onto the Amundsen Sea shelf and causing melting of the undersidemore »of the WAIS in most places. Reconstructions of past CDW intrusions can assess the ties between warm water upwelling and large-scale changes in past grounding-line positions. Carrying out these reconstructions offshore from the drainage basin that currently has the most substantial negative mass balance of ice anywhere in Antarctica is thus of prime interest to future predictions. The scientific objectives for this expedition are built on hypotheses about WAIS dynamics and related paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic conditions. The main objectives are 1. 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We collected almost-continuous cores from the Pleistocene through the Pliocene and into the late Miocene. At Site U1533, we drilled 383 m (70% recovery) into the more condensed sequence at the lower flank of the same sediment drift. The cores of both sites contain unique records that will enable study of the cyclicity of ice sheet advance and retreat processes as well as bottom-water circulation and water mass changes. In particular, Site U1532 revealed a sequence of Pliocene sediments with an excellent paleomagnetic record for high-resolution climate change studies of the previously sparsely sampled Pacific sector of the West Antarctic margin. Despite the drilling success at these sites, the overall expedition experienced three unexpected difficulties that affected many of the scientific objectives: 1. The extensive sea ice on the continental shelf prevented us from drilling any of the proposed shelf sites. 2. The drill sites on the continental rise were in the path of numerous icebergs of various sizes that frequently forced us to pause drilling or leave the hole entirely as they approached the ship. The overall downtime caused by approaching icebergs was 50% of our time spent on site. 3. An unfortunate injury to a member of the ship's crew cut the expedition short by one week. Recovery of core on the continental rise at Sites U1532 and U1533 cannot be used to precisely indicate the position of ice or retreat of the ice sheet on the shelf. However, these sediments contained in the cores offer a range of clues about past WAIS extent and retreat. At Sites U1532 and U1533, coarse-grained sediments interpreted to be ice-rafted debris (IRD) were identified throughout all recovered time periods. A dominant feature of the cores is recorded by lithofacies cyclicity, which is interpreted to represent relatively warmer periods variably characterized by higher microfossil abundance, greater bioturbation, and higher counts of IRD alternating with colder periods characterized by dominantly gray laminated terrigenous muds. Initial comparison of these cycles to published records from the region suggests that the units interpreted as records of warmer time intervals in the core tie to interglacial periods and the units interpreted as deposits of colder periods tie to glacial periods. The cores from the two drill sites recovered sediments of purely terrigenous origin intercalated or mixed with pelagic or hemipelagic deposits. In particular, Site U1533, which is located near a deep-sea channel originating from the continental slope, contains graded sands and gravel transported downslope from the shelf to the abyssal plain. The channel is likely the path of such sediments transported downslope by turbidity currents or other sediment-gravity flows. The association of lithologic facies at both sites predominantly reflects the interplay of downslope and contouritic sediment supply with occasional input of more pelagic sediment. Despite the lack of cores from the shelf, our records from the continental rise reveal the timing of glacial advances across the shelf and thus the existence of a continent-wide ice sheet in West Antarctica at least during longer time periods since the late Miocene. Cores from both sites contain abundant coarse-grained sediments and clasts of plutonic origin transported either by downslope processes or by ice rafting. If detailed provenance studies confirm our preliminary assessment that the origin of these samples is from the plutonic bedrock of Marie Byrd Land, their thermochronological record will potentially reveal timing and rates of denudation and erosion linked to crustal uplift. The chronostratigraphy of both sites enables the generation of a seismic sequence stratigraphy not only for the Amundsen Sea rise but also for the western Amundsen Sea along the Marie Byrd Land margin through a connecting network of seismic lines.« less
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Constraining the time interval from initial crustal extension and plate rupture to the initial generation of igneous ocean crust, 3. Constraining vertical crustal movements during breakup, and 4. Examining the nature of igneous activity from rifting to seafloor spreading. In addition, the sediment cores from the drill sites targeting primarilymore »tectonic and basement objectives will provide information on the Cenozoic regional environmental development of the Southeast Asia margin. Expedition 368 was planned to drill at two primary sites (U1501 and U1503) at the OMH and Ridge C, respectively. However, based on drilling results from Expedition 367, Expedition 368 chose to insert an alternate site on Ridge A (Site U1502). In total, the expedition completed operations at four sites (U1501, U1502, U1504, and U1505). Site U1503, however, was not completed beyond casing to 990 m because of mechanical problems with the drilling equipment that limited the expedition from 25 May 2017 to the end of the expedition to operate with a drill string not longer than 3400 m. New alternate Site U1504 proposed during Expedition 367 met this condition. Site U1505 also met the operational constraints of the 3400 m drill string (total) and was an alternate site for the already drilled Site U1501. At Site U1501, we cored to 697.1 m in 9.4 days, with 78.5% recovery. We also drilled ahead for 433.5 m in Hole U1501D and then logged downhole data from 78.3 to 399.3 m. In 19.3 days at Site U1502, we penetrated 1679.0 m, set 723.7 m of casing and cored a total of 576.3 m with 53.5% recovery, and collected downhole log data from 785.3 to 875.3 m and seismic data through the 10¾ inch casing. At Site U1503, we penetrated 995.1 m, setting 991.5 m of 10¾ inch casing, but no cores were taken. At Site U1504, we took 40 rotary core barrel (RCB) cores over two holes. The cored interval between both holes was 277.3 m with 26.8% recovery. An 88.2 m interval was drilled in Hole U1504B. At Site U1505, we cored 668.0 m with 101.1% recovery. Logging data was collected from 80.1 to 341.2 m. Operations at this site covered 6.1 days. Except for Site U1505, we drilled to acoustic basement, which prior to the expedition, except for Site U1501, had been interpreted to be crystalline basement. A total of 6.65 days were lost due to mechanical breakdown or waiting on spare supplies for repair of drilling equipment. At Site U1501 on the OMH, coring ~45 m into the acoustic basement sampled highly lithified sandstone to conglomerate of presumed Mesozoic age overlain by siliciclastic Eocene pre- to synrift sediments of Oligocene age and topped by primarily carbonaceous postrift sediments of early Miocene to Pleistocene age. Site U1502 on Ridge A was cased to 723.7 m. At this site, we recovered 180 m of hydrothermally altered brecciated basalts comprising sheet and pillow lavas below deep-marine sediments of Oligocene to late Miocene age. Coring was not performed within the upper 380 m (~Pliocene–Pleistocene) at Site U1502. At Site U1503 on Ridge C, 991.5 m of casing was installed in preparation for the planned deep drilling to ~1800 m, but no coring was performed due to mechanical failures, and the site was abandoned without further activity. Coring at Site U1504 on the OMH ~45 km east of Site U1501 recovered metamorphic schist to gneiss (greenschist facies) below late Eocene (?) carbonate rocks (partly reef debris) and early Miocene to Pleistocene sediments. At Site U1505, we cored to 480.15 m through Pleistocene to late Oligocene mainly carbonaceous ooze followed at depth by early Oligocene to late Eocene siliciclastic sediments. 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