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Enrichment of chalcophile elements in seawater accompanying the end-Cretaceous impact event

Maruoka, Teruyuki*; Nishio, Yoshiro*; Kogiso, Tetsu*; Suzuki, Katsuhiko*; Osawa, Takahito ; Hatsukawa, Yuichi*; Terada, Yasuko*

Chalcophile elements are enriched in the Cretaceous-Paleogene (KPg) boundary clays from Stevns Klint, Denmark. As concentrations of Cu and Ag correlate with those of Ir, we suggest that these elements were supplied to the oceans by processes related to the end-Cretaceous meteorite impact. Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence images reveal that Cu and Ag exist as trace elements in pyrite grains or as discrete phases specifically enriched in Cu or Ag. Based on their affinities with Cu, Ag and Ir, iron oxides/hydroxides and organic matter are potential candidates for scavenging carriers. Chalcophile elements adsorbed on iron oxides/hydroxides might be released during reductive dissolution of iron oxides/hydroxides and might be incorporated into pyrite produced simultaneously with the reductive dissolution of iron oxides/hydroxides. Both iron oxides/hydroxides and chalcophile elements were possibly released from the KPg target rocks (i.e., sedimentary rocks in this case) by impact heating.

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Category:Geosciences, Multidisciplinary

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