Two large meteorite impacts at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary

Jolley, D . W.; Gilmour, I.; Gurov, E.; Kelley, S. P. and Watson, J. (2010). Two large meteorite impacts at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. Geology, 38(9) pp. 835–838.



The end Cretaceous mass extinction has been attributed to a single asteroid impact at Chicxulub on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. The discovery of a second smaller crater at Boltysh in the Ukraine with a similar age has raised the possibility that a shower of asteroids or comets impacted Earth close to the K/Pg boundary. Here we present palynological and del13C evidence from crater fill sediments in the Boltysh impact crater. Our analyses demonstrate that a post-impact flora formed on the ejecta layer, was in turn devastated by the K/Pg events. The sequence of floral recovery from the K/Pg event is directly comparable with that in mid North America. We conclude that the Boltysh crater pre-dated Chicxulub by approximately 2ky - 5ky a timescale that constrains the likely origin of the bodies that formed the two known K/Pg craters.

Viewing alternatives


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions