On impact and volcanism across the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary

Pincelli M. Hull*, André Bornemann, Donald E. Penman, Michael J. Henehan, Richard D. Norris, Paul A. Wilson, Peter Blum, Laia Alegret, Sietske J. Batenburg, Paul R. Bown, Timothy J. Bralower, Cecile Cournede, Alexander Deutsch, Barbara Donner, Oliver Friedrich, Sofie Jehle, Hojung Kim, Dick Kroon, Peter C. Lippert, Dominik LorochIris Moebius, Kazuyoshi Moriya, Daniel J. Peppe, Gregory E. Ravizza, Ursula Röhl, Jonathan D. Schueth, Julio Sepúlveda, Philip F. Sexton, Elizabeth C. Sibert, Kasia K. Śliwińska, Roger E. Summons, Ellen Thomas, Thomas Westerhold, Jessica H. Whiteside, Tatsuhiko Yamaguchi, James C. Zachos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

176 Citations (Scopus)


The cause of the end-Cretaceous mass extinction is vigorously debated, owing to the occurrence of a very large bolide impact and flood basalt volcanism near the boundary. Disentangling their relative importance is complicated by uncertainty regarding kill mechanisms and the relative timing of volcanogenic outgassing, impact, and extinction. We used carbon cycle modeling and paleotemperature records to constrain the timing of volcanogenic outgassing. We found support for major outgassing beginning and ending distinctly before the impact, with only the impact coinciding with mass extinction and biologically amplified carbon cycle change. Our models show that these extinction-related carbon cycle changes would have allowed the ocean to absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide, thus limiting the global warming otherwise expected from postextinction volcanism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
Issue number6475
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
IODP USSSP Post-Expedition Activity award and Yale University support to P.M.H.; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) funding (grants BO2505/8-1 and EH 89/20-2) to A.B.; Yale Peabody Museum support to M.J.H.; Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and FEDER funds (CGL2017-84693-R) to L.A.; DFG funding (grant VO687/14) to S.J.B.; a Richard Foster Flint Postdoctoral Fellowship (Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University) to D.E.P.; DFG funding (grant number FR2544/2) to O.F.; NSF funding (EAR-132552) and American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (grant PRF#52822-DN18) to D.J.P.; DFG funding (grants RO1113/3, RO1113/4, and RO1113/8) to U.R.; the NASA Exobiology Program (grant NNX09AM88G) to R.E.S.; the Danish Council for Independent Research/Natural Sciences (DFF/FNU) (grant 11-107497) to K.K.Ś.; NSF funding (OCE 1536611) to E.T.; DFG funding (grant WE5479/3) to T.W.; and a NERC (NE/K006800/1) and Royal Society Wolfson award to P.A.W.

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