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A closer look at cathodoluminescence of shocked quartz at the K/T boundary

By
Michael R. Owen
Michael R. Owen
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Mark H. Anders
Mark H. Anders
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April A. Barber
April A. Barber
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Peter D. Condon
Peter D. Condon
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Mark G. Haughton
Mark G. Haughton
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Published:
January 01, 1990

We examined 1,065 shock-deformed quartz grains from five Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary sites in the Raton Basin, Colorado, and New Mexico, with cathodolum-inescence (CL) petrography. When grouped into general CL color categories, Raton Basin grains were 37.4 percent brown and 62.6 percent blue. Brown CL is thought to be associated with quartz from low-grade metamorphic rocks, so more than one third of the shocked grains were from this rock type. Almost all the blue CL quartz was medium to dark blue, broadly corresponding to quartz derived from intrusive igneous and high-grade metamorphic rocks.

These data support the conclusions of a study by Owen and Anders (1988) which found no significant volcanic contribution to the shocked quartz at the K/T boundary. The proportions of brown- and blue-luminescing quartz in the present study differ from those of the previous study probably because of different sample preparation procedures and operator judgment.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Global Catastrophes in Earth History; An Interdisciplinary Conference on Impacts, Volcanism, and Mass Mortality

Virgil L. Sharpton
Virgil L. Sharpton
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Peter D. Ward
Peter D. Ward
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Geological Society of America
Volume
247
ISBN print:
9780813722474
Publication date:
January 01, 1990

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