The study of shock-metamorphic features of the Zagami meteorite revealed pseudotachylite-like melt veins with inhomogeneous chemistry and schlieren structure of silica-glass and alkali feldspar melt glass. The feldspar occurs as diaplectic glass in the interstitial area indicating short-time (few seconds) quenching of shock pressure during the impact event, with post-shock annealing. At several locations, apatite needles were identified, which are formed by fluids (cold water with dissolved ions) after the crystallization of cumulate magmatic minerals. Phosphates also could form in impact melts due to circulation of fluids after the impact event. The other signature for the high shock temperature is the presence of Ca–Ti-rich pyroxenes and titanomagnetite, which indicate temperature above 1,200 °C. The formation of silica-rich melt in interstitial area has two scenarios: (a) fractional melting of the Martian crust or (b) formation by pseudotachylite-like impact melting. According to textural observations (schlieren pattern), we propose an impact origin of the large amount of silica-rich melt in this meteorite. Pseudotachylite-like textures were mentioned earlier in terrestrial impact craters; however, we first propose them to form in a Martian meteorite based on their similarity of texture with terrestrial pseudotachylites.
The Mócs chondrite was studied by optical microscopy, element mapping, as well as scanning electron microscope backscattered electron (SEM—BSE) imaging, in order to gain a better understanding of the thermal metamorphic as well as post-shock annealing evolution and the mineralogical signatures in this meteorite. The studied thin section of Mócs meteorite contains 26 chondrules with a variety of chondrule textures, which are characterized by a blurry rim. The chondrules mostly consist of pyroxene and olivine, whereas feldspars occur only in the recrystallized groundmass, chondrule mesostasis, and mineral melt inside and beyond the shock veins. It was found that the matrix was completely recrystallized. According to the scanning electron microscope and optical microscope observations mentioned above, it can be concluded that the Mócs chondrite is a 6.5 petrographic type.
We investigated three types of shocked feldspar in the Asuka-881757,531-2 sample with midinfrared spectroscopy (reflectance mode). Under the petrographic microscope three types of site were characterized by (1) undulatory extinction, (2) undulatory extinction with isotropic patches and decreased interference color, and (3) isotropic, lath-shaped feldspars, which is indicative of maskelynite. The IR emissivity maximum (Christiansen feature=CF) changes with the chemical composition of feldspar. One of the Christiansen composition features exhibits a wave length peak of 1234 cm−1 for anorthite; another feature appears at 1245 cm−1 for maskelynite (Palomba et al. 2006).
With the help of IR spectroscopy we observed three vibrational types in our spectra: (1) peaks of depolimerization of SiO4 tetrahedra (500–650 cm−1, 950–1150 cm−1), (2) peaks of stretching and bending vibrational modes of SiO6 octahedra (750–850 cm−1), and (3) Si-O stretching vibration of SiO4 units (Johnson and Hörz 2003; Johnson et al. 2003, 2007). All these vibration types were observed at the less shocked sites. In the spectrum of highly shocked maskelynite only a broader band close to 1000 cm−1 was observed, which is the main vibrational band of maskelynite (Palomba et al. 2006). The calculated FWHM showed the disordering rate of shocked feldspars. On the basis of the measurements it could be concluded that the estimated shock pressure range gradually increases from 17–35 GPa for different degrees of undulatory sites, to 35–45 GPa for maskelynite sites.
Shock-driven annealing of pyroxene and shock deformation of olivine were analyzed in a recently found H chondrite called Csátalja. The most characteristic infrared (IR) spectral shape of shock-annealed sub-grained pyroxene was identified: the strongest peak occurs at 860 cm−1 with a smaller shoulder at 837−840 cm−1, and small bands are at 686, 635−638, and 1,044−1,050 cm−1. The appearance of forbidden bands in pyroxene and shift of band positions to a lower wave number in olivines clearly demonstrate the crystal lattice disordering due to shock metamorphism. The shock annealing produced mixed dark melt along fractures, which consists of feldspar−pyroxene and olivine−pyroxene melt. The dark shock melt at sub-grain boundaries of shocked pyroxenes and along fracture of pyroxenes is characterized by elevated Ca, Na, and Al content relative to its environment, detected by element mapping. So far, shock deformation of pyroxene and olivine was not studied by IR spectroscopy; this method has turned out to be a powerful tool in identifying the mixed composition of shock melt minerals. Further study of shock annealing of minerals, together with the context of shock melting at sub-grain boundaries, will provide a better understanding of the formation of high P–T minerals.
Ringwoodite, produced by shock metamorphism, is common in and adjacent to melt veins in highly shocked chondrites. Although ringwoodite can be crystallized from the silicate melt in the shock-veins or pockets, a major part of the easily observed ringwoodite in shock veins is formed by the transformation of olivine in host-rock fragments entrained in the melt or olivine along shock-vein margins. In this paper we examine the microstructures and textures of ringwoodites from NWA 5011 L-chondrite in order to better understanding the transformation mechanisms of ringwoodite by optical microscope. Finally, we attempt to locate the source region of L-type chondrites in three different impact scenarios of the L parent body.
Quartz grains from the Ries impact structure containing shock-induced microstructures were investigated using Scanning Electron Microscopy in cathodoluminescence (SEM-CL), secondary electron (SEM-SE) and back-scattered electron (SEM-BSE) modes as well as Mott–Seitz analysis. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the mechanism by which CL detects Planar Deformation Features (PDFs) in quartz, which is one of the most important indicators of shock metamorphism in rock-forming minerals. PDFs are micron-scale features not easily identified using optical microscopy or scanning electron microscopy. The CL spectrum of PDFs in quartz that has suffered relatively high shock pressure shows no or a relatively weak emission band at around 385 nm, whereas an emission band with a maximum near 650 nm is observed independent of shock pressure. Thus, the ~385 nm intensity in shocked quartz demonstrates a tendency to decrease with increasing shock metamorphic stage, whereas the 650 nm band remains fairly constant. The result indicates that the emission band at 385 nm is related to the deformed structure of quartz as PDFs.