Shock metamorphism of siliceous volcanic rocks of the El'gygytgyn impact crater (Chukotka, Russia)
Published:January 01, 2005
Eugene P. Gurov, Christian Koeberl, Wolf Uwe Reimold, Franz Brandstätter, Kassa Amare, 2005. "Shock metamorphism of siliceous volcanic rocks of the El'gygytgyn impact crater (Chukotka, Russia)", Large Meteorite Impacts III, Thomas Kenkmann, Friedrich Hörz, Alex Deutsch
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The 18-km-diameter El'gygytgyn crater is located on the Chukotka peninsula, northeastern Russia. It represents the only currently known impact structure formed in siliceous volcanics, including tuffs. The impact melt rocks and target rocks provide an excellent opportunity to study shock metamorphism of volcanic rocks. The shock-induced changes observed in porphyritic volcanic rocks from El'gygytgyn can be applied to a general classification of shock metamorphism of siliceous volcanic rocks.
Strongly shocked volcanic rocks with phenocrysts converted to diaplectic quartz glass and partially melted feldspars as well as cryptocrystalline matrices are widespread in the El'gygytgyn crater. In particular, the following different stages of shock metamorphism are observed: (i) weakly to moderately shocked lavas and tuffs with phenocrysts and clasts of quartz and feldspars; (ii) moderately shocked volcanic rocks and tuffs with diaplectic glasses of quartz and feldspars; (iii) strongly shocked lavas and tuffs with phenocrysts of diaplectic quartz glass and fused glasses of feldspars in melted matrixes; and (iv) impact melt rocks and impact glasses. In addition, thin glassy coatings of voids in impact melt rocks have been observed.
While the shock-induced changes of clasts of framework silicates in these volcanic rocks do not differ from respective changes in other crystalline rocks, the fine-grained matrix of porphyritic rocks is converted into fused glass at the same shock pressures as feldspar minerals. No remnants of fine-grained quartz are preserved in matrix converted into fused glass by shock.