Abstract

Shock microstructures in refractory accessory minerals such as zircon and monazite provide crucial evidence for deciphering impact-related deformation in a wide variety of planetary materials. Here we describe the first occurrence of shock deformation in xenotime, YPO4, from a shocked quartz–bearing shatter cone in granite at the Santa Fe impact structure (New Mexico, USA). Backscattered electron imaging shows that shocked xenotime grains near the surface of a shatter cone contain multiple orientations of closely spaced planar fractures. High-resolution electron backscatter diffraction mapping reveals that some of the planar microstructures in {112} contain deformation twin lamellae that range from 50 nm to 200 nm in width on the polished surface and occur in up to three crystallographic orientations. Other features attributed to impact, such as planar low-angle boundaries and planar deformation bands, record crystal-plastic deformation. Shatter cone formation and co-existing shocked quartz constrain minimum shock pressure experienced by the xenotime grains to 5–10 GPa. An upper limit of 20 GPa is tentatively assigned based on the absence of YPO4 polymorphs and shock twins in co-existing zircon. We propose that {112} deformation twins in xenotime constitute a diagnostic record of shock metamorphism, similar to {112} twins in zircon; they have not previously been reported in nature and occur in a rock with conspicuous evidence of shock deformation. Documentation of deformation twins in xenotime, a widely applied U-Pb geochronometer, can be used to identify hypervelocity deformation in shocked rocks, detrital grains, and other materials, and may be particularly ideal for recording low-pressure (<20 GPa) impact conditions that do not produce diagnostic shock microstructures in zircon.

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