Wild Fires

65 million years ago when the supposed asteroid collided with the earth, it is believed that great wild fires were ignited.

According to Melosh and others (1990) the heat and fallout from the ejecta plume caused many small fires which in a matter of weeks covered the entire globe.

The first piece of evidence supporting wild fires at the K/T boundary came from Tschudy and others (1984). After analyzing the clays the group found large quantities of fusinite, carbonized wood material that is found in coal.

More evidence appeared in the late 1980s as a group of scientists analyzed the clay at well known K/T boundary sites such as Woodside Creek, Stevns Klint, Gubbio and deep sea drilling project site 605. All the sites were enriched in the netene, the polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon. This compound is apparently produced in resin wood fires (Ramdahl, 1985).

This global fire would have increased the effects of the impact ejecta (e.g. coldness and darkness). It would also have given rise to CO2 (a greenhouse gas) causing the earth to warm.

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