Abstract

Plagioclase and biotite phenocrysts in ignimbrites erupted from the Toba caldera, Sumatra, show microstructures and textures indicative of shock stress levels higher than 10 GPa. Strong dynamic deformation has resulted in intense kinking in biotite and, with increasing shock intensity, the development in plagioclase of planar features, shock mosaicism, incipient recrystallization, and possible partial melting. Microstructures in quartz indicative of strong shock deformation are rare, however, and many shock lamellae, if formed, may have healed during post-shock residence in the hot ignimbrite; they might be preserved in ash falls. Peak shock stresses from explosive silicic volcanism and other endogenous processes may be high and if so would obviate the need for extraterrestrial impacts to produce all dynamically deformed structures, possibly including shock features observed near the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary.

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