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2004 Annual Science Report

University of Washington Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Causes of Mass Extinctions: Testing Impact Models_Kring

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

In the past year the University of Arizona module of the University of Washington-led Astrobiology node (1a) completed a petrological and provenance study of Triassic/Jurassic (T/J) boundary sediments from British Columbia, testing the impact-mass extinction hypothesis, (1b) provided splits for C-isotope analyses to determine the extent of productivity collapse and the possible role of other, non-impact processes; (2a) sampled a second suite of T/J boundary sediments from Nevada, (2b) began a petrological and provenance study of them, and (2c) provided splits for C-isotope analyses; (3) completed a study of the ignition threshold of impact-generated wildfires and demonstrated the T/J-era Manicouagan impact event could have produced continental-scale wildfires (this study augments the previous year’s study of the effect of a continental-scale impact air-blast produced by the Manicouagan impact event); and (4) completed a study of impact-generated acid rain trauma following the Chicxulub impact event and its possible role in the Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary mass extinction event.