Basinward transport of Chicxulub ejecta by tsunami-induced backflow, La Popa basin, northeastern Mexico, and its implications for distribution of impact-related deposits flanking the Gulf of Mexico
Ejecta-bearing strata are present at the top of Cretaceous foreland-basin deposits throughout the La Popa basin in northeastern Mexico. In the southeast part of the basin, locally thick (as much as 4.6 m) ejecta-rich conglomeratic strata occupy valley-like features at a bathymetric break that separated Maastrichtian upper shoreface from lower shoreface and prodelta depositional settings. Clast-supported textures, normally graded planar conglomerate-sandstone couplets, upcurrent-dipping low-angle cross-laminae, sparse paleocurrent data, and transported fossils indicate deposition by south- to southeast-directed turbulent, supercritical flow. In the northwest part of the basin, ejecta grains are present but less common in correlative deposits. Sediment, ejecta, and organisms were eroded from shoreward environments and transported basinward by backflow of run-up surge(s) emplaced against the continent by one or several tsunami(s). High-discharge, supercritical offshore-directed flow provides a mechanism for transport of voluminous, ejecta-bearing sediment and late Maastrichtian marine organisms into deep-water Gulf of Mexico settings.