Seismic imaging and attribute analysis of Chicxulub Crater central sector, Yucatán Platform, Gulf of Mexico



Chicxulub Crater, formed ~66Ma ago by an asteroid impact on the southern Gulf of Mexico, is the best preserved of the three large multi-ring basins in the terrestrial record. The crater structure is characterized by a semi-circular concentric ring pattern, marking the crater basin, peak ring, terrace zone and basement uplift. Analysis of a grid of 19 seismic reflection profiles using seismic attributes, marker horizons, contour surfaces and 3-D views is used to investigate the stratigraphy of the central zone. We used interactive software and routine applications to map the impact breccias, breccia-carbonate contact and post-impact carbonates. Four horizons marked by high-amplitude reflectors representing high-impedance contrasts were identified and laterally correlated in the seismic  images. Complex trace attribute analysis was applied for petrophysical characterization. Surface contour maps of base and top of stratigraphic packages were constructed, which mapped the impactites and post- and pre-impact carbonate stratigraphy. Basin floor, marked by the contact between the impact breccias and overlying carbonates is shown by laterally discontinuous high-amplitude reflectors. Discontinuous scattered reflectors interpreted as the upper breccias beneath the crater floor, have an average thickness of ~300msm. The Paleogene sedimentary units are characterized by multiple reflectors with lateral continuity, which contrast with the seismic response of underlying breccias. The basal Paleocene sediments follow the basin floor relief. Upwards in the section, the carbonate strata are characterized by horizontal reflectors, which are interrupted by a regional unconformity. Onlap/downlap packages over the unconformity record a period of sea level change.


Chicxulub Crater; Structure; Stratigraphy; Seismic attributes; Yucatan Platform; Gulf of Mexico

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            Facultat de Ciències de la Terra                       Geociències Barcelona                           Institut de Diagnosi Ambiental                    Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona           
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