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Experimentally shock-loaded anhydrite: Unit-cell dimensions, microstrain and domain size from X-ray powder diffraction

By
Roman Skála
Roman Skála
Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany, and Czech Geological Survey, Klárov 3/131, CZ-118 21 Praha 1, Czech Republic
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Friedrich P. Hörz
Friedrich P. Hörz
National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration, Johnson Space Center, SR, Houston, Texas 77058, USA
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Falko Langenhorst
Falko Langenhorst
Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Universität Bayreuth, D-95440 Bayreuth, Germany and Institut für Geowissenschaften, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Burgweg 11, D-07749 Jena, Germany
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Published:
January 01, 2005

The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary is characterized by mass extinctions triggered by a large body impact into predominantly limestone-, dolomite-, and anhydrite-bearing sediments of the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. Decomposition of these volatile-rich minerals and associated deterioration of the atmosphere and hydrosphere rank among the most prominent kill mechanisms during this global catastrophe. As a consequence, we conducted optical and scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction studies of anhydrite (CaSO4) that was experimentally shock-loaded to pressures from 4 to 64 GPa to determine the shock damage and potential loss of volatiles as a function of shock stress. We did not find any decomposition products in any of the recovered samples. It appears that anhydrite is stable over a wide pressure range (up to 64 GPa). Peak widths of the X-ray diffraction powder patterns increase with peak shock pressure up to ∼50 GPa, yet the peaks become narrower again above this pressure, implying some recrystallization.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Large Meteorite Impacts III

Thomas Kenkmann
Thomas Kenkmann
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Friedrich Hörz
Friedrich Hörz
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Alex Deutsch
Alex Deutsch
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Geological Society of America
Volume
384
ISBN print:
9780813723846
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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