The impact scenario depicted is for a 17-km diameter impactor with a density of 2630 kg m3 and a speed of 12 km/s. Evolution of the crater up to 5 min after impact is depicted. Shown are cross-sections through the numerical simulation along the plane of trajectory, with \(x=0\) defined at the crater centre (measured at the pre-impact level; \(z=0\)); the direction of impact is from right to left. The upper 3 km of the pre-impact target, corresponding to the average thickness of sedimentary rocks at Chicxulub, is tracked by tracer particles (sandy brown). Deformation in the crust (mid-grey) and upper mantle (dark grey) is depicted by a grid of tracer particles (black). Tracer particles within the peak-ring material are highlighted based on the peak shock pressure recorded (white–blue colour scale); melted target material (>60 GPa) is highlighted in red.