The Chicxulub impact crater and its influence on the regional hydrology in Northwestern Yucatan, Mexico


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Publication Date

January 2011


In 1980 Luis Alvarez et al. proposed a revolutionary theory: the large mass extinction that occurred at the Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) limit (65 million years ago) was a consequence of the impact of a large bolide with Earth (Alvarez et al. 1980). This theory was considered highly controversial, particularly because it took over a decade to “discover” the crater. However, research about these phenomena on Earth became relevant only a couple of decades ago. The investigations on some important craters, such as Sudbury crater (e.g., Dressler and Sharpton 1999), Manson crater (e.g., Grieve 1989), Popigai crater (e.g., Masaitis et al. 1999), and Ries crater (e.g., Stöffler 1977; Hörz et al. 1983; Newsom et al. 1990; Von Engelhardt 1990), along with about 120 other craters discovered so far on the surface of Earth, proved that these events are not as rare as once thought. With the discovery of Alvarez et al. (1980) it was also proposed that these kinds of phenomena might have had a relevant, if not main, role in the evolution of life on Earth. In this chapter we present a brief summary of the importance of the Chicxulub impact crater, its discovery, and how it influences regional hydrogeology.


Chicxulub, Regional Hydrogeology, Northwest Yucatan, Mexico




Vol. 3 (2011-01).