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Book Chapter

Impact melting in sedimentary target rocks: An assessment

By
G.R. Osinski
G.R. Osinski
1
Department of Earth Sciences/Physics and Astronomy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario N6A 5B7, Canada
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J.G. Spray
J.G. Spray
2
Planetary and Space Science Centre, Department of Geology, University of New Brunswick, 2 Bailey Drive, Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 5A3, Canada
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R.A.F. Grieve
R.A.F. Grieve
3
Earth Sciences Sector, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0E4, Canada
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Published:
January 01, 2007

Despite being present in the target sequence of ∼70% of the world's known impact structures, the response of sedimentary rocks to hypervelocity impact remains poorly understood. Of particular significance is the relative importance and role of impact melting versus decomposition in carbonate and sulfate lithologies. In this work, we review experimental evidence and phase equilibria and synthesize these data with observations from studies of naturally shocked rocks from several terrestrial impact sites. Shock experiments on carbonates and sulfates currently provide contrasting and ambiguous results. Studies of naturally shocked materials indicate that impact melting is much more common in sedimentary rocks than previously thought. This is in agreement with the phase relations for calcite. A summary of the criteria for the recognition of impact melts derived from sedimentary rocks is presented, and it is hoped that this will stimulate further studies of impact structures in sedimentary target rocks. This assessment leads us to conclude that impact melting is common during hypervelocity impact into both crystalline and sedimentary rocks. However, the products are texturally and chemically distinct, which has led to much confusion in the past, particularly in terms of the recognition of impact melts derived from sedimentary rocks.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

The Sedimentary Record of Meteorite Impacts

Kevin R. Evans
Kevin R. Evans
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J. Wright Horton, Jr.
J. Wright Horton, Jr.
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David T. King, Jr.
David T. King, Jr.
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Jared R. Morrow
Jared R. Morrow
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Geological Society of America
Volume
437
ISBN print:
9780813724379
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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