Abstract

We report the occurrence of microscopic inclusions of shocked quartz plus a Zr phase and trace of Fe oxide crystallites in Australasian microtektites recovered from deep-sea sediment cores within 2000 km of Indochina. The shocked quartz and the Zr phase are interpreted as relicts of the target rock. Furthermore, the internal homogeneity of Australasian microtektites in terms of abundance of relict mineral inclusions, vesicles, and schlieren increases with distance from Indochina. This finding strengthens the current hypothesis that the source crater of the largest and youngest tektite strewn field on Earth is located in the Indochina region, as internal heterogeneity characterizes normal impact glass found in or near the source crater. This finding also indicates that the Australasian microtektites with the longest trajectories underwent the highest temperatures or were heated longer. The definition of microtektites should include the possible occurrence of microscopic relict inclusions as an indication of proximity to the source crater.

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