Shelf hypoxia in response to global warming after the Cretaceous- Paleogene boundary impact

Johannes Vellekoop, Lineke Woelders, Niels van Helmond, Simone Galeotti, Jan Smit, Caroline P Slomp, Henk Brinkhuis, Philippe Claeys, Robert Speijer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The Chicxulub asteroid impact at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary resulted in one of the most abrupt global warming events in the past 100 m.y., presenting an analogue to current global warming. Here, we present high-resolution geochemical, micropaleontological, and palynological records of the Brazos-1 (Texas, USA), Stevns Klint (Denmark), and Caravaca (Spain) K-Pg boundary sections to assess the rapid environmental changes during the global warming following the brief K-Pg boundary impact winter. Warming during the first millennia after the impact is associated with hypoxic bottom waters at the studied shelf sites, as indicated by molybdenum enrichments, causing major stress for benthic communities. We attribute this decline in dissolved oxygen to a combination of decreased gas solubility and ocean ventilation resulting from the warming of the sea water, and increased oxygen demand in shelf bottom waters due to increased nutrient inputs and associated high productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-686
Number of pages4
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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