Talk:Chicxulub crater

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Featured article Chicxulub crater is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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We need a separate article for the asteroid![edit]

There is now sufficient enough of a data on the asteroid to merit "Chicxulub asteroid" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tofoo (talkcontribs) 01:08, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Chicxulub crater in fiction[edit]

Does anyone know of the Chicxulub crater being featured in fiction? I just finished reading Karl Schroeder's Permanence, which featured an extinct alien race called the Chicxulub; they were named because they were the ones who caused the Chicxulub crater 65 million years ago. Interesting book...

If there are other examples of Chicxulub being featured in fiction, maybe we could add a "Chicxulub crater in fiction" section?Shnakepup (talk) 18:00, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Douglas Preston's "Canyon" deals with the Chicxulub impact and dinosaur extinction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:46, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

one of the cyphers in Dead Space 2's menu's reads "The answer is Chicxulub" in the unitology script. (it's on the leaderboards page; push to the right on the right stick.) (talk) 23:44, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Chicxulub is the center of action in "Dead Space: Martyr" a novelization prequel to the game of the same name written by B.K. Evenson. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)


I feel a context map is needed, to show the area in relation to the rest of the world.


I used to have a video clip showing the animation of the Chicxulub impact, but I can't find it on the internet anymore. If I find it I'll add the link.--Ixfd64 05:03, 2005 May 12 (UTC)

Removed broken link [[* Images from geological surveys]] RWFanMS 09:44, 2005 March 07 (EST)

this is not fact.[edit]

"The impact caused giant tsunamis in all directions, which hit the Caribbean island of Cuba especially hard" seems to imply that this subject is fact, and in fact there is evidence of giant tsunamis and the subsequent devestation in the Caribbean, despite the event happening 65 million years ago. Perhaps we can amend the article to reflect that the events following the impact are not known for sure, but it is [theorised] that the following happened.Nambio 20:27, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree. If I remember correctly, Cuba may not have existed at the time of the Yucatan impact and was possibly created as a result of the impact.

Certainly not a result of the impact. Cuba and other Antilles islands are a part of submerged mountain chain. Besides it is nowhere near the impact structure, which is pretty much invisible on the ground.--JyriL talk 09:40, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
Can we change the title "Part of Multiple Impact?" to something like "Multiple Impact Theory" to better reflect quality standards? It's a minor edit as best. SSJPabs 04:56, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm dubious about Cuba being around then too, at least in the form implied here, so I've deleted that part of the sentence. I'd be happy to see it come back if it's sourced. -- Avenue (talk) 08:53, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

no scientific theory is fact[edit]

The statement in the article that "the theory is not universally accepted" is unnecessary. All scientific theories are just that -- theories, models. They are open to, and welcome, skepticism ... so long as that skepticism is based in observations. Science attempts to explain things using the best observations and reasoning based on those observations. Theories *approach* facts, but never become facts ... any observation may eventually cause reconsideration and modification of the model.

This is a very basic part of understanding science and the meaning of the word theory. Scientific theories, unlike all others, are *based* in the known facts. We can't *observe* the event, so we can never be *certain* what happened. This is the -good- part about science.

The paper cited with the statement is very interesting. But the last line in section "Part of a multiple impact" indicates differences of opinion. A perfect example of skepticism based in observation, and a sign that the discussion will be around longer than we will.Twang 8 April 2006

Actually, it should be referred to as a hypothesis. A theory is considered the most reliable set of data, facts, experimental evidence, scientific laws, etc. For instance the Theory of Plate Tectonics, or the Atomic Theory, are in essence not in any doubt since so much evidence supports these concepts. - Parsa

(talk) 18:10, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Even gravity and evolution are theories, but they're also facts.


Hey, could someone post up the pronunciation of 'Chicxulub' in IPA for me please? ZephyrAnycon 02:27, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

I just came here to write precisely the same request. I'm assuming it's like Chikh-ZOO-lub, but hard to tell. — Donama 14:29, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

To whomever added the IPA pronunc.: there's a discrepancy between the final vowel in this rendering and that given on the Chicxulub, Yucatán page. Are both acceptable variants? I know the name of my town can be pronounced a number of different ways. ZephyrAnycon 06:17, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Hey all--as one who does not speak IPA, could a EZ-Reader version be posted, like the Chikh-ZOO-lub above? THANKS! jengod 05:08, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Good requests. Since, statistically speaking, nobody uses IPA, and nobody understands it. Tempshill (talk) 17:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

My brother-in-law was a Ph.D. student of Alan Hildebrand's, and he always pronounced it Chick-Shoo-Loob, with the emphasis on 'Chick' and with the 'oo' in 'Shoo' being quite short in duration. (Sorry, I don't know any fancy phonetic alphabets. Ling 201 was a long time ago...) Perhaps one of the following films would hold an answer:

Chicxulub (American drama):
Crater of Death (British documentary):
Chicxulub la huella de un gigante (Mexican documentary):

JanRu (talk) 01:35, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

-Maya + spanish + english-

The pronunciation is rather tricky, even for us, spanish-speaking mexicans, since the phonetics of maya are produced from the stomach, but the last post is very close:

the X in maya has the sound "ch", so, the closest to actual maya would be: Chick-choo-loob

(Mariormx (talk) 23:48, 23 July 2008 (UTC)mariormx)

My understanding is that X is pronounced as SH in Mayan. That would make it Cheek-shoo-loob as stated by JanRu. - Parsa (talk) 18:14, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

I live in Merida, Yucatan right now and this last person is correct. People pronounce it Cheek-shoo-loob. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

OK. So Chick-shoe-lube. Got it.
...Or is it Chick-chew-lube.

It's ShiksaClub - Es, Eych, Eye, Kay, Es, Ey, See, El, Yew, Bee - ShiksaClub. LOL. ...Watched SciShow video on youtube about dinosaurs; got here; made an attempt to make you laugh.

OK, so if the pronunciation is close to "chick-chew-lube" or "chick-shoe-lube", why does the article still say it's pronounced "tfi-kfolu-b" or "tfikfulub"?
I'd call the first "tfy-kfohloo-bee" and the second "tfick-foo-lub" -- neither of which come close to "chick-chew-lube", and both of which sound like one of the great Old Ones in a story by H. P. Lovecraft.
Is anyone going to change the article to show the correct pronunciation? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
If you click on the link that is the IPA pronunciation, it's possible to work it out. That first symbol is not "tf", nor is it pronounced that way. It stands for the same sound as the "ch" in "children". IPA is certainly not ideal for me, either. I look forward to the day when we have audio for every entry! — Gorthian (talk) 23:22, 29 March 2016 (UTC)

Meteor or asteroid?[edit]

The lead says what hit earth 65 million yrs ago was an meteor... but is that the case? Wouldn't it be called an asteroid? Mikker (...) 21:09, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Metors burn up in the atmosphere. Meteorides hit the surface. FoolFromHell 00:55, 5 August 2007 (UTC) FoolFromHell

Nomenclature is a mess, but here we go. Meteors fly around and are up to 50 meters (or so) in size. Asteroids and comets are larger. If you see a "falling star" that is a meteor inside the atmosphere: a meteoroid. (Regardless, I think, of whether they burn up completely or not.) However, the OP is (understandably) incorrect in stating that the article mentions a meteor. It speaks of "meteorites", a word with different meanings, one of which is "an object" on the surface of a planet "that has come from elsewhere in space," regardless of the size. If I understand correctly, the Chicxulub meteorite never was a meteor. It must have been an asteroid or a comet. I have no idea which one. (There is no such thing as a metoride, as mentioned by FoolFromHell.) 19:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Broken/Non existent links[edit]

I have removed several links in the second section which didn't exist whatsoever. Just had an after thought that the links may have been sitting in waiting to be created, hope not - looks a lot tidier now though. (SJ Wright 14:58, 22 March 2007 (UTC))

People either create such dead links because they intend to create the article themselves, or more likely to encourage others to do so (or occasionally a previous article has been deleted or changed name). In the case of the Chicxulub article those dead links have mostly been there for several years (just check the page history), and in most cases they were to people who probably don't warrant a article, so I think you did the right thing by removing them. -Zamphuor 15:17, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

The link: is also broken. Should we remove it? --Ggeller 16:33, 27 March 2007 (UTC)


A new news article says that the asteroid that hit here 65 million years ago was a fragment from a larger asteroid collision that occured 160 million years ago. But that's a time difference of 95 million years. Why would a fragment from two asteroid colliding 160 million years ago suddenly hit earth 95 million years later? Kevin 14:36, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Because the collision was far, far away. It must have taken a long span of time to reach earth. That is just my thoughts on the subject. Also, the time frame is an estimation and could vary widely. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:13, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

GA review[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b (enough images: lack of images does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:

A very good article. At the moment, the only thing that is stopping me passing this is a lack of references in the Multiple impact theory section. I saw it uses {{for}}, so maybe you could steal some references from there, but at the moment it needs references. Hence, I have put this GA on hold until this can be fixed (within the next seven days). When it is, please drop me a note on my talk page and I'll rereview. Cheers, Daniel 05:43, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Much better now. I've added this to our list of GA's. Well done, David :) Daniel 11:04, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Image caption[edit]

If it's one of the Alvarezes holding the clay in the image, the image should state which Alverez, not just "Alvarez" as if there is only one. --Amaltheus (talk) 06:33, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

It's Walter. I added it into the caption. David Fuchs (talk) 12:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Name meaning[edit]

Can we get a better source for the "tail of the devil" translation? If the name is pre-Columbian, and I think it is, then "devil" (which in the article links to Satan) would have to be a mistranslation. --Ptcamn (talk) 07:17, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

According to Daniel Garrison Brinton[1]:

Pech always uses as the name of his town Chac Xulub Chen, which means “the well of the great horns,” probably because some huge antlers were found there, or were set up to mark the spot. The modern name Chic Xulub was probably applied to it as a parody, or a play on words. It means to cuckold one, to put horns on him.

--Ptcamn (talk) 07:25, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

According to Penfield, it's 'tail of the devil'; I'll have to go check some more sources, but Brinton's answer seems even more unlikely and is probably just a folk story for the name if anything. David Fuchs (talk) 12:47, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Some more:[2] [3] [4] [5] I think it's safe to say that Hildebrand's own college would not have screwed up on the translation. David Fuchs (talk) 12:49, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Brinton is far from infallible, but he was at least familiar with Mayan, and he quotes as a source a 16th century Mayan-Spanish dictionary that gives the definition "poner los cuernos; hacer cabron á uno". None of the sources you linked seem likely to actually have been written by people who know Mayan and thus know what the name means for themselves, but instead are repeating what other sources say, and so aren't actually independent verification. Does Penfield speak Yucatec? It could well be that "tail of the devil" is the folk story here. --Ptcamn (talk) 13:33, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Frankly, I've never heard it any other way, and so I trust Penfield and Hildebrand over Brinton. I'll get them on the phone if that's what it takes. David Fuchs (talk) 20:56, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

It's pretty obvious that the correct and original meaning of Chicxulub it's derived from the mayan word Ch’ik, meaning "flea". The 'ik particle means "to burn" "to sting" ('ik is also the Yucatecan word for Habanero chili so "it burns like fire" not by fire) and Xulub, meaning horn, so Chicxulub means more or less "Devil's horn Flea" or "that flea that stings you like the devil" because - like most of the yucatecan coastal line - it's infested with hemathophage Ceratopogonidae fleas, which can make your life a living hell when biting. This being obvious to anyone who had been / lives there. Sorry, no english references, just look for "pulga" (flea) and "cuerno" (horn) in the official Maya - Spanish dictionary here: Spanish wikipedia also mentions (without citation) this translation. Cheers Soparamens (talk) 21:56, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I've just found that Impact!: The Threat of Comets and Asteroids, which the article already cites, says this on the topic:

Does Chicxulub actually mean "tail of the devil"? Hildebrand says that he has been unable to find anyone who can confirm this claim. He has asked Maya experts who do not recognize the word at all. "Sign of the horns" was inferred by one, but that may not be correct either. He asked local Mayans and was amused by the best suggestion he heard: "The ticks are really bad here."

So there you go. --Ptcamn (talk) 08:06, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Annals of the Cakchiquels by Daniel Garrison Brinton mentions that a lot of place names in Guatemala for Mayan locales are rendered in Aztec because of the wars and alliances between different tribes and the Spaniards. Figures in the Maya Codices by Alfred M. Tozzer and Glover M. Allen contains more information about snakes and so on. BTW this topic has been gone over before, see thread for more on the real meaning. I suspect it is something more like that indicated in the previous link because of hints on native discussion pages that the meaning is a little risque. Hypatea (talk) 14:24, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I reverted you back. Regardless of what you think the name is, the point is it was named both for the crater and the perceived translation. What the actual translation is in this case, is immaterial. David Fuchs (talk) 17:45, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

The translation may have influenced the choice of name, but it doesn't make sense to say it was "named after" it. It's also misleading to refer to it as "the possible literal interpretation". "Mickey Mouse" is an equally "possible" interpretation, if all that is required for an interpretation to be regarded as "possible" is for someone who does not even know the language to make an unsubstantiated claim. --Ptcamn (talk) 19:01, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Ptcamn - the phrasing is clusmy and not really informative. You don't name something after a translation. A more sensible wording would be something like "Penfield states that the meaning of the Yucatec placename Chicxulub "tail of the devil" also influenced the choice of the name". I am also sceptical towards the translation of chicxulub as "tail of the devil" and I intend to check up on it.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 19:44, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Listen to the flippin' interview yourself then. That's how Penfield states it, clumsy though it may be. David Fuchs (talk) 20:28, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

"Discovery" section is great[edit]

Just wanted to say: The "Discovery" section is unusually great. It's not standard that a chronological sequence is presented this well in a Wikipedia science article. Tempshill (talk) 17:44, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree it's nicely written, but I'm concerned that it's oversimplified. In particular, it omits any mention of the discovery of the crater a decade earlier by Robert Baltosser (which was suppressed to keep proprietary information secret). See pages 18-20 of the Verschuur book for details (Google Books link). -- Avenue (talk) 19:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I based the section mainly on what I learned through an old PBS program and then went from there; I didn't hear anything about this chap before. Thanks for the link, I'll try to incorporate it into the section when I get a chance. David Fuchs (talk) 20:56, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I have a copy of Verschuur's book and could easily incorporate Baltosser's contribution if you like. Zamphuor (talk) 12:27, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Since Baltosser related to the gravity maps, I added in a line saying that he had 'seen them in the 60's, but due to corporate policy blah blah blah'. David Fuchs (talk) 12:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Fact not Theory[edit]

My insertion of "theory" after the KT-boundary link was reverted. This was the right thing to do: the KT-boundary is a fact of the sedimentary record which I confused with the meteor based theory (by equivocation on T in Theory vs. T in Tertiary (or whatever the era name is)). (talk) 19:36, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Osmium Research Challenging Impactor Size Estimate[edit]

This article published today in Science, and discussed in this press release, seems to challenge the impactor size estimates in the "Impact Specifics" section and in the introduction. In particular "they were able to use their model to estimate the sizes of the K-T impact to be 4 to 6 kilometers in diameter", much smaller than what is mentioned here. Shouldn't this new perspective be mentioned, and shouldn't the language be more equivocal on the size estimates, since the size is still a matter of debate and research? Rep07 (talk) 03:50, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Geology and Morphology Question[edit]

The entry under Geology and Morphology states, "The K-T boundary inside the feature is depressed...". If this is true, the Chicxulub impact could not have created the K-T boundary, which according to the Alvarez results was created by an impact by an exterrestrial body. Clarification or correction is required. Virgil H. Soule (talk) 12:44, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Created the Gulf of Mexico?[edit]

The crater seems to be located in nearly the exact center of the Gulf of Mexico, with the Gulf forming more than a half circle around it. Is there a relationship between the Gulf's shape and the impact event? IIRC, there exist other bodies of water that were created as a result of such events. SharkD (talk) 04:23, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Edit: If you take a 12 " globe and put a penny in the U shaped area west of the Yucatan Peninsula it is obviously Circular. So North America, and Central America have moved westward a few hundred Kilometers since the Date of the Impact. (talk) 21:44, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

According to Gulf_of_Mexico#Geology, there has been a suggestion that the Gulf of Mexico is an impact structure. However the idea there was that the impact might have occurred at the Permian-Triassic boundary, not the K-T. -- Avenue (talk) 16:41, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

The North Atlantic began rifting in the western Tethys Ocean beginning in the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods. By the Cretaceous, the central part of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico began rifting and spreading as Africa separated from North America. Eventually South America totally separated from North America and a seaway existed between the two allowing ocean circulation for a time between what is now the Pacific and Atlantic. Later in the Cenozoic Era, the isthmus of Panama formed closing off the seaway. The Gulf is the result of plate tectonics not impact. - Parsa (talk) 18:23, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

OK, thanks. The geometry of the area's features just seemed strange to me. However, one would expect that if it were an impact event that the geology of the surrounding area would be more similar. In fact the US Gulf Coast is very flat, and the Mexican Gulf Coast is very mountainous. I suppose the angle of impact could have influenced this, but then the impact crater would be elliptical in shape. SharkD (talk) 21:57, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


No date is clear for the impact in the article. The Earth Impact Database gives a date of 64.98 ± 0.05 Ma. That would actually put the impact after the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary of 65.5 ± 0.3 Ma. As the K-T extinction event article points out, it was probably multiple causes and multiple impact events that contributed to the extinction. The Shiva impact event may well have been closer in time to the K-T boundary and much larger than the Chicxulub event. - Parsa (talk) 18:37, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

These are precision values, not accuracy. So no contradiction here. Alliumnsk (talk) 17:31, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Anecdotal comment. In the historical period, Chicxulub became a major centre for the Meso-Americal Mayan culture. The longest calendrical period recognised by the Mayans was the alautun, being a little over 63 million years. So the Mayan civilisation became 'extinct' almost exactly 1 alautun after the more-spectacular event. Just thought I would record this oddity on the first day of the new Mayan b'ak'tun: --DStanB (talk) 10:25, 21 December 2012 (UTC)


please add interwiki link to the Turkish language. Thanks.

[[tr:Chicxulub krateri]] (talk) 01:41, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Added. I did not realize protection was still in effect; the page is now fully unprotected. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 02:35, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Energy of chicxulub impact[edit]

Old version:

The impactor's estimated size was about 10 km (6 mi) in diameter and may have released an estimated 400 zettajoules (4×10^23, or 400 sextillion joules) of energy, equivalent to 100 teratons of TNT (10^14 tons),[17][18] on impact. By contrast, the most powerful man-made explosive device ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba or Emperor Bomb, had a yield of only 50 megatons,[19] making the Chicxulub impact 2 million times more powerful.[20] Even the largest known explosive volcanic eruption, which released approximately 10 zettajoules and created the La Garita Caldera,[21] was substantially less powerful than the Chicxulub impact.

Current version:

The impactor's estimated size was about 10 km (6 mi) in diameter and is estimated to have released 4 * 10^23 joules of energy, equivalent to 100,000,000 megatons of TNT on impact.[17][18] By contrast, the most powerful man-made explosive device ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba, had a yield of only 50 megatons,[19] making the Chicxulub impact 2 million times more powerful.[20] Even the largest known explosive volcanic eruption, which released approximately 10^21J and created the La Garita Caldera,[21] was substantially less powerful than the Chicxulub impact.

The old version is obtuse, stating the impact energy three ways in the same units (using exotic SI prefixes). Megatons are more natural base units than teratons when discussing atomic bombs and such. Reference 18 is superfluous, since Bralower just sites Covey. Covey's paper isn't open access, but, Wolfram Alpha, and other Wikipedia entries corroborate the 10^8 Mt figure. We're linking to Tsar Bomba, so we don't need to throw the translation in the parenthetical phrase on top of everything else. --CKL

Thanks to David Fuchs for correcting the multiplication operator formatting. --CKL

At the risk of sounding pedantic, I would point out that while the Chicxulub impact may have released 2 million times more energy than the Tsar Bomba, it is scientifically inaccurate to declare it to have been "2 million times more powerful". The power of an exothermic event is dependent not only on the quantity of energy released, but also on the time taken for said energy to be released. If one accepts that the fission-fusion reaction of the Tsar Bomba released 50 megatons of energy in only 3.9 * 10^ -8 s, one might be tempted to believe that the average power of the Tsar Bomba may have been greater than that of the Chicxulub impact, if only for an unimaginably brief period. Do we even have any estimates on the speed with which the Chicxulub impact may have released it's 100 million-megaton whackload?

Perhaps the words "...., making the Chicxulub impact 2 million times more powerful" might be replaced with "..., making the Chicxulub impact 2 million times greater in magnitude", since the word "magnitude" avoids the sticky variable of time.[User:Infraspinatus|Infraspinatus]] (talk) 04:22, 22 October 2009 (UTC) Well, I found the text in march 14 stating 2 billion times and with megatons, but the math does not agree with Richter scales examples in other wikipedia article, so I corrected it. If I'm wrong, please, let me know!

Heating or cooling?[edit]

The section entitled "effects" states, in two consecutive sentences:

The shock production of carbon dioxide caused by the destruction of carbonate rocks would have led to a dramatic greenhouse effect.[1] Another consequence of the impact is that sunlight would have been blocked from reaching the surface of the earth by the dust particles in the atmosphere, cooling the surface dramatically.

Since Greenhouse effect means, according to the first sentence in the article, "The greenhouse effect is the heating of the surface of a planet....", it's saying that the effect of the impact was simultaneously heating and cooling. So, which was it? Nibios (talk) 18:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Heating, believe it or not, can lead to global cooling. The dramatic rise in CO2 would cause a greenhouse effect immediately after the impact; one scientist described it as if the oven was on broil. After that, though, the dust particles would be carried by wind around the world, leading to a sustained period of cooling. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 18:18, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Surely there must have been more scientific studies done on whether cooling or warming followed. I would have thought at first there would have been particulate cooling, but as the particles fell out of the stratosphere, the raised CO2 levels would have taken over, causing warming for tens of thousands of years, until chemical weathering reduced CO2 levels. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 20 August 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^ Hildebrand, Penfield, et al.; 5.


What is the mechanism by which the submerged crater creates cenotes? Drutt (talk) 12:19, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

The crater was at one time completely filled with water. The water infiltrated caves and the like and over time created the sinkholes around the crater's edge. Cenotes aren't just created by craters, rather their presence in rings was evidence of a impact formation. The cenote article is pretty helpful in understanding them. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 13:14, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Animation doesn't cycle[edit]

The GIF animation in the "Impact specifics" section doesn't cycle. This means that the animation may have finished by the time you read to that portion of the article. SharkD (talk) 06:17, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

The animation does still not cycle but stays as a single picture. Can it be fixed? Siffuor Kuzmuus (talk) 20:23, 1 October 2010 (CEST) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
I'm unsure of why it does not loop. On older browsers it may not register correctly at all. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 20:46, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Artist Renderings/Impression[edit]

Artist's rendering of bolide impact

Does anybody else think that 'Chicxulub impact - artist impression.jpg' does not belong on this page? The work is a stylistic interpretation which is very far from scientifically accurate. This picture would go well in a child's fantasy novel, but you would never see an image like this in any encyclopedia. I think that it should be removed.Stevielist (talk) 02:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Interesting that the image was sourced from a JPL page, though. [6]Johnmc (talk) 10:16, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree. I've no background in geology or any related field, but even to me that picture looks ridiculous.Cxk271 (talk) 15:21, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't love it either, but here's some background about a previous discussion on possible pictures. For all its faults, I prefer this one.

"Artist's rendering"'s suggests a lot of imagination/speculation and a lack of evidence. I too think it should be removed.-- (talk) 00:22, 16 July 2012 (UTC)

Magnetic anomally and settlement?[edit]

Artist's rendering of the gravity anomaly map of the Chicxulub Crater area. Red and yellow are gravity highs; green and blue are gravity lows. White areas indicate multiple sinkholes, "cenotes". The shaded area is the Yucatan Peninsula.[1]

Has anyone ever speculated that the people of Chicxulub settled there because of the relatively strong gravitational anomaly? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:27, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Not as far as I know. If I did hear such speculation I'd laugh at it publicly, then tear it's multiple levels of implausibility apart slowly.
But - were you talking about a magnetic anomaly or a gravitational anomaly? They are different forces, or did you not know? Aidan Karley (talk) 00:10, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

The USGS has a magnetic anomaly map of North America located at It appears there is a large anomaly zone around Chicxalub. I don't know about people settling, however, I've never seen this picture before and thought it was relevant enough merit discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:36, 9 May 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ Short, Sr., Nicholas M. "Crater Morphology; Some Characteristic Impact Structures". NASA. Retrieved March 2010.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

Multiple impacts ; dinosaurs died out for some other reason[edit]

It's good to see that Keller's work is well described. The strength of the "Chicxulub killed the dinosaurs" meme in the popular media belies the fact that many serious problems with the theory have long been known and expressed in the technical press. Keller's work really does throw a big spanner into the meme. (Note - the Alvarez's general hypothesis isn't challenged. The community accepts that the effects of a major impact can be severe, up to and including major extinctions. Even if the Alvarez's hadn't brought the idea into general appreciation, Shoemaker-Levy 9 would have made the point.) Whatever it was that led to the extinction of the (non-avian) dinosaurs, it's nearly certain that it wasn't the Chicxulub impactor. So, why is the article linked into the "dinosaurs project" mentioned in the headers of this page?

Concerning the multiple-impact hypothesis - the Silverpit structure is very strongly challenged as being an impact crater. In fact, serendipitously, I see that there was a debate about this just this evening gone. Aidan Karley (talk) 00:32, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

Location of Merida[edit]

I wonder if the Chicxulub impactor played any indirect role in the location of the city of Merida. I notice that the city appears to be close to or on the boundary of the transient crater... would the transient crater's rim have any effects or characteristics noticable by the medieval Maya/ Renaissance Spaniards? — Rickyrab | Talk 06:45, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

I would not imagine much. I'm uncertain as to how strong the EM distortions are in the region, but I can't imagine that are that significant to those not looking for them. Stronger physical features like cenotes, etc., are clustered far away from the site. It's possible, but I don't know enough about the topography to make any guess. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 12:38, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Chicxulub Animation[edit]


This animation doesn´t work, could anybody fix it?. Thanks

The Mediawiki software cannot correctly scale animated GIF images. When it scales them, you just see the first image. You can see the image by visiting this link. I'll add a note to the image caption have people visit that link so they can see it animate. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 18:32, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
So for the past ~4 years the image has simply been left broken? (I have no clue how to fix it either way) Henk Poley (talk) 18:40, 17 April 2014 (UTC)

Multiple impact theory[edit]

Along with this impact theory, studies have been undertaken around Hudson Bay, a Canadian mediterranean with high accuracy global positioning system, and has confirmed an isostatic rebound rate that is happening fastest around Hudson Bay along with "Greenland". Impact might have caused a flood, also resulting in an ice age. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Arviatlands (talkcontribs) 21:19, 21 December 2011 (UTC)


Are there any estimates of the speed that the meteorite was moving at when it hit? I've heard 100,000 km/s and km/h, but I could find anything in the article.

Geology Morphology Section[edit]

The geology morphology section states, "...quantities of feldspar and augite, normally only found in impact-melt rocks, are present." Perhaps there is confusion only on my part. Does this say that FELDSPAR and AUGITE are "only found in impact melt rocks"? or does it say that the QUANTITIES of these are normally found only in impact rocks?

Augite and Feldspar are common in non impact melt rocks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:53, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

I've removed the rather questionable augite/feldspar bit. The ref for it was a 1975 paper on the Mistastin Lake crater. The microcrystalline andesitic rocks reported from Chicxulub do contain microscopic clots and grains of feldspar and pyroxenes, but so would most any andesite. Definitely not "only found in impact melt rocks" in general. The other rocks reported at the site are carbonates, sandstone, marl and breccias ... so yes at Chicx the feldspars and pyroxenes are found only in the melt rocks, simply because they aren't found in sedimentary strata there. Vsmith (talk) 02:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Size of crater[edit]

In the first paragraph, I notice that it mentions the "impacting bolide that formed the crater was at least 10 km (6 mi) in diameter." According to Purdue University, this is closer to 10 Miles in diameter (17500 m) as mentioned on the page — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Edit: I am getting similar values. My Latest of the Nth recalculations gives 17.159 km Diameter at a combined velocity of 67.83 +/- 0.02 km/sec. and an Earth Radius of 4910.332 KM, and an Escape Velocity of 7.854 273 Km/sec. The results can be highly variable depending on the " ejecta efficiency " of the impactor ( most likely an asteroid ). The Volume of the Ejecta is only around 20% or less of the Volume of the Transient Impact Crater's Volume. Lots of Energy is lost making a far larger Complex Impact Crater, a Big Tsunamis, a 470 km radius Fireball, Heating everything for thousands of kilometers in every direction to well past ignition temperatures, creating light, an 11.1 Richter Earthquake, and an Antipodal shock wave focus the made the Deccan Traps ( layered lava flows ) in India. It is the unknown efficiency of making an ejecta layer in which the uniformly thick layer was about 21 cm thick, but the rest of the Ejecta is up to 15 meters thick in Mexico that makes it difficult to determine the total volume of the Ejecta, and then even more difficult to determine how far above or below 20% Ejecta Efficiency the actual value really is.

The Easiest approach is to use the " EARTH IMPACT EFFECTS PROGRAM " From Purdue U., and from Imperial College, London. Plug in Numbers like 17.0, 17.1, 17.2, km .......etc, and see what the changes do to the final crater Radius, and then compare it to the diameter of the Penny On the Globe where the distance around is just over 40,000 km around the globe. The globe is 2 x Pi x 6" = 37.699" around. The Penny is about 0.75 inches across. A Nickel is about 0.85 inches across. These calculate to 796 and 902 km diameters. This is far larger than the 180 km diameter Cenote (Sink holes in Limestone ) Ring.

As an asside: The Density of Rocky Planets can be calculated from the Rocky Planet Density Equation.

Density ( Rocky Planet) = ( 1 + Pi ) X 10^-9 * R^3....+....( 1 + sqrt 2) X 10^-1 * R....+ 2900 Kg/m^3

The first term is the tri-axial coefficient of compression. The second term is the Uni-axial coefficient of self gravitational compression. The third term is the Average Density near the Planets surface ( In the Crust ). For Earth the third term is about 15% Granitic Rock Density, and 85% Basaltic Rock Density.

You need the density of a planet ( a function of the Radius in Kilometers), the Volume of the Planet ( a sphere), and thus the mass of the Planet ( Density X Volume ) to derive the Planets escape velocity for a given Radius (in Kilometers ). It is the Escape Velocity of the Planet that allows the first approximation of the Impossible ( 100 % ) Ejecta Volume. That is Energy In = Energy Out. That is 1/2 M X v (escape)^2 = 1/2 m (impactor) X V^2 (Earth Plus Asteroid).

The Earth Moves at 29.78 km/ second, and Impactors move a higher Velocities as they can come from behind, and hit Earth at a combined velocity around 11 km/sec., or the can come from in front, and collide at a head on combined velocity of over 72 Km/sec. Both Extremes are exceedingly rare ( 0.5 % Each ). The Highest Percentage is a low angle annular impact at 19 %. Take an Immage of the Earth and draw 10 concentric Rings. The 10 rings " hit " percentage is from outer to inner 19%, 17%, 15%,.........5%, 3%, 1%. Chicxulub's impact angle was at 25 +/- 5 Degrees to the horizontal, it hit in either rings 9,8, or 7. For it to Spray Ejecta to the North West it must have been a " Head On " Type of Impact in the summer time . Probably at Night.

You have to Play with the Globe, tilt it to the Left, have the globe moving from left to right, and the impactor moving from right to Left, and hit at 25 degree angle to the globes surface, with Chicxulub about 0.35 degrees North of the Equator at the time of Impact. This takes some Imagination, and Thinking to work it out. It also helps to draw it using scales, and Hole templates. ....... Mike Clark, Golden, Colorado (talk) 23:09, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

recent evidence correlates timing of crater creation and demise of dinosaurs[edit]


PaulReiber (talk) 20:44, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

I recommend edits regarding whether the comet/asteroid which caused this crater also caused the extinction of nonavian dinosaurs. While I'm willing to reword things, It'd be better if someone with deeper subject knowledge undertook the effort.

Edit: If the Impactor is large enough, and makes a crater over approximately 100 km in diameter, the Energy will travel through the Earth, and come to a Focal point and fracture the crust. Thus an Antipodal Lava Flow of long duration is a by product of a very large impact 180 degrees away from the Lava Flow. Two Pairs come to mind. At 252.17 MYA, the Wilkes Land Impact Crater (Under the Antarctic Ice) was Antipodal to the Siberian Traps. and around 65 to 66 MYA, the Chicxulub Impact Crater was Antipodal to the Deccan Traps in India. This accounts for 2 of the Five Big Ones.

The Extinctions tend to come on some Multiple of a 31.11 Million year " Half cycle. or a 62.22 Million Year full Cycle. The Big Ones seem to come in the 186.66 million year " Hexa- half cycle " ( 6 X 31.11 ) with some variability as one would expect. That is 65.51 + 186.66 = 252.17. 252.17 + 186.66 = 438.83. 438.83 + 186.66 = 625.49. There have been roughly 20 extinction events, but only 5 were big ones. That is a simple division of 625.49 / 31.11 = 20.10575378. Fortunately it will a long time to extinction No 21. Check out " Cyclicity of Extinction Events ". End Edit.........Mike Clark, Golden Colorado. (talk) 23:57, 14 August 2016 (UTC)

"During the past 540 million years, five major mass extinctions have occurred on Earth. Several of them have been linked to volcanic eruptions during the formation of large flood basalts (1, 2). However, the situation is not clearcut for the most recent mass extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary (∼66 million years ago), when nonavian dinosaurs became extinct. Around the time of the K-Pg boundary, a series of large eruptions formed the Deccan flood basalts. However, in 1980, Alvarez et al. (3) argued that the K-Pg boundary coincided with the impact of a large asteroid or comet. On page 684 of this issue, Renne et al. (4) provide new evidence that the age of Chicxulub asteroid impact and the K-Pg boundary coincide precisely."

There is the section Chicxulub and mass extinction. 1) What needs to be changed? and 2) Quote the supporting references for those changes. Cheers, BatteryIncluded (talk) 03:41, 15 August 2016 (UTC)

Location of crater[edit]

This page gives the coordinates of the crater as "21° 24′ 0″ N, 89° 31′ 0″ W" (WGS84). The List of impact craters in North America article shows it as "21°20′N 89°30′W" and does not identify the datum. Neither article cites a source for its coordinates.

Various scientific papers give other positions. For example, Gulick et al. gives this short summary: Circular features in the gravity field are centered near the town of Chicxulub Puerto, but estimated coordinates for the crater center differ from this position by ~1–7 km [e.g., Hildebrand et al., 1995; Sharpton et al., 1996; Morgan et al., 1997]. All measurements and figures presented in this review use the crater center of 89.54 W, 21.3 N of Morgan et al. [1997]

I am not qualified to pick a winner from among these papers, but Wikipedia should at least use the same figure everywhere and say where it came from. Anyone want to fix this up? (talk) 22:18, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Second largest impactor?[edit]

Forgive me if I am wrong somehow. The intro states that, "The crater is"... "the second of the largest confirmed impact structures on Earth". Please see WP's list of confirmed impactors . Omegamultiverse (talk) 02:49, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

impact energy comparison doesn't make sense[edit]

This section as stands: The Chicxulub impactor ... delivered an estimated energy equivalent of 240,000 megatons of TNT (1.0×1021 J).[22] By contrast,... the most energetic known volcanic eruption, which released an estimated energy equivalent of approximately 240 gigatons of TNT (1.0×1021 J) and created the La Garita Caldera,[24] delivered only 0.1% of the energy of the Chicxulub impact.

These energies are the same but the article claims the impact is 1000 times greater than the eruption. One of these three numbers must be wrong. Anational (talk) 04:14, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Actual size of the Impactor was significantly Larger than 10 km in Diameter, and the Combined Velocity was higher too.[edit]

The actual size of the Impactor was far larger at a diameter of 18.6866 km and a combined atmospheric entry velocity of 68.895 km / second. Plus or minus 1.115 km / second. The energy available was far higher too at 2.43 E 25 Joules = 5.81 E 9 Megatons of TNT. The source Earthquake had a magnitude of 11.1. The Transitional Crater had a diameter of 157 km ( Upper, outer Paraboloid ) including ejecta, and 144 km diameter ( inner, lower Paraboloid ) at a time within three seconds of impact. The associated depths were 61.124 km for 157 km diameter and 50.912 km for 144 km diameter. A summation of 44 % of the material was ejected with half (91,300 km^3 ) being sprayed to the north west, and ( 91,300 km ^3 ) going into orbit and being distributed more uniformly over the surface of the Earth at an average depth of 27.3 cm. The remaining amount of ( 232,400 km ^3 ) forming the lower, non ejected, transitory paraboloidal hole in the ground ( 56 % of the material ). The total amount of materials moved was 415,000 km^3. At the time of impact, India was antipodal to Chicxulub, so the result was the energy being focused thru the Earth to India where the Energy focus fractured India from below and allowed the formation of the Deccan Trapps ( 2 million years of volcanism ). The radius of the Earth, at the time of impact was approximately 5159.1 km, the planets density was 4714 kg/ m^3 and the surface gravity was about 6.795 m / sec^2. The Escape velocity was 8,373.39 m / sec^2 .

To find the " Impossible " 100 % energy transfer you use conservation of energy: where 1/2 m X V^2 = 1/2 M x v^2. To find the ratio of the uniformly distributed Ejecta you just take the ratio of the square of the resultant incoming velocity divided by the square of the Escape velocity ( 68.895 ) ^2 / ( 8.37339 ) ^2 = 67.6975 : 1. This is the same as the volume of the distributed eject divided by the volume of the Impactor . That is 91,300 / 67.6975 = 1348 km^3. This gives a diameter of 13.65753 km if and only if the the density of the Impactor is the same as the density of the Target rock. Since the density of the Impactor is higher, the "impossible" 100 % transfer of energy Impactor size is smaller at 13.65753 km in diameter. For 3000 kg/ m^3 Impactor versus 2750 kg / m^3 Target, the Diameter is only 13.3895 km across ( for " Impossible" 100 % Transfer ).

The actual size of the Real Impactor diameter is larger by a factor of the cube-root of "e" times the 100 % energy Transfer Diameter. That is a diameter of 13.3895 x 1.395612425 = 18.68655256 km (minimum ). I rounded to 18.6866 km. The Volume is greater than or equal to " e " times the Volume of the 100% energy transfer Impactor Energy Transfer Volume. I used a freely available program called the Earth Impact Effects Program - Imperial College - London ( 3 Authors ). It can be found by most search engines.

I do not pretend to understand most of the ( 65* ) equations in the Earth Impact Effects Program, but it seems to work. (talk) 17:18, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

You're either one of the scientists from the 2016 project, you somehow had access to their data or you are a genius of extraordinary magnitude if you figured this out on your own last year, because much of it has since been confirmed. Xyxer (talk) 13:18, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
This looks like some very good original research. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 09:22, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

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Hypothesis on how Mars killed the dinosaurs[edit]

I've been theorizing for over a decade that asteroids, comets, and moons are formed from intense volcanic eruptions that ejected beyond orbit or directly into it. I bet if you examined the composition of the Chicxulub crater, orbits, and source composition - there could be a good chance that the Arsia Mons volcano from Mars caused this crater and I am requesting a motion from those with more knowledge to be open minded before immediate denial and rejection. I present the following facts:

  • The gravity of Mars is a third of that of Earth
  • The escape velocity is half that required on Earth
  • Mars is about half size of the Earth
  • Mars has the tallest volcanoes in the solar system and Arsia Mons is 12 miles high (about 2.25 times the height of Everest)
  • The width of the summit of Arsia Mons is 72 miles

Article below mentions Pink Granite that was weaker and lighter than regular granite

Paper below draws hypothesis on granite originating from Mars volcanoes

Extra article follows:

If the two had any correlation, the gravity of Mars could explain why the granite was weaker and lighter found in the samples in the crater. [Hypothesis by Alex Lieberman] unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:47, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia doesn't publish original research. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:55, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

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Article is probably going to need meaningful modification[edit]

In light of the 2016 drill at the Chixulub peak ring and recent (2017) release of their findings, the scale of this event has changed and been revised upward. For example, the estimate of the impactor is now 15 km rather than 9. That profoundly changes every single estimate that we've been working with, including the crater size itself. I'm not a Wikipedia guru, I don't know exactly what the protocol is for handling a pretty important article in light of new and highly reliable science that meaningfully shifts a standing narrative but I went ahead and made some very basic mods on the impactor size per bulletproof-reliable sources (BBS and Nat Geo, citing primary source data). In looking the article over, it's apparent that a lot of the existing data is reliant on figures that have since been revised and will probably need changing. Some of these changes might be a bit painful (for example, cool little animated graphics based on a now-dated understanding) but the bottom line here is this event was even bigger than we had initially thought, every narrative and mathematical estimation that is reliant on a 9km impactor needs to be revised, as do most of the theories involving the subsequent extinction event. Xyxer (talk) 11:01, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

Yes, but we need to wait for WP:reliable sources to update the details. We don't re-do based on our interpretation of the BBC report. There is no rush. Vsmith (talk) 12:44, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
So, primary source data made by an international consortium of the premier scientists in the field is being reported by the BBC and National Geographic, that is not a 'reliable source' for this article? Impossible standard. Nobody is saying there's a 'rush' but when new (and superior) science comes out that invalidates old hypotheses and that science is published in the most reliable secondary media sources out there, the Wiki information changes by the standards of every other article.. but you're suggesting not here. What make this article different? Xyxer (talk) 05:50, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
And in your rush it seems you remove content and a reference. Please be more careful. Vsmith (talk) 13:05, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
I removed content that has since been rendered obsolete by the 2016 findings. As will be the case with all obsolesced facts, there will be old reliable sources, but they're not valid in light of new evidence, which moves the evidentiary bar forward. I'll be making changes to reflect these new facts. Xyxer (talk) 13:15, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

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