The peninsula is the exposed portion of the larger Yucatán Platform, all of which is composed of carbonate and soluble rocks, being mostly limestone although dolomite and evaporites are also present at various depths. The whole of the Yucatán peninsula is an unconfined flat lying karst landscape. Sinkholes, locally called cenotes are widespread in the northern lowlands.
According to the Alvarez hypothesis, the mass extinction of the dinosaurs at the transition from the Cretaceous (K) to the Tertiary (T) Periods (the K-T Boundary) 65 million years ago was caused by an asteroid impact somewhere in the greater Caribbean Basin. The deeply buried Chicxulub Crater is centered off the north coast of the peninsula near the town of Chicxulub. The now-famous "Ring of Cenotes" (visible in NASA imagery) outlines one of the shock-waves from this impact event in the rock of ~65 millions years of age, which lies more than 1 km below the modern ground surface near the centre, with the rock above the impact strata all being younger in age. The presence of the crater has been determined first on the surface from the Ring of Cenotes, but also by geophysical methods, and direct drilling with recovery of the drill cores.
Sea Kayak With the Experts
Sea kayak the southern Yucatan with Island Expeditions, leading paddling trips since 1987!
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The Undiscovered Yucatan
We explore 200 miles south of Cancun and avoids the overly developed areas of the Yucatan, near the Belize border...