A new type of highly-vaporized microtektite from the Transantarctic Mountains

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Title: A new type of highly-vaporized microtektite from the Transantarctic Mountains
Authors: Van Ginneken, M
Genge, MJ
Harvey, R
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We report on the discovery of microtektites (microscopic impact glass spherules) in a glacial moraine near Larkman Nunatak in the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. The microtektites were identified based on their physical and chemical properties. Major and trace element compositions of the particles suggest that they may be related to the Australasian strewn field. This would further extend the current strewn field ~800 km southward. Depletion in volatiles and enrichment in refractory elements in Larkman Nunatak microtektites fit the volatilization trend defined by Australasian microtektites, suggesting that they may represent a new highly vapor fractionated member thereof. This observation is supported by their low vesicularity and absence of mineral inclusions. This discovery has strong implications for the formation of microtektites (i.e. their evolution with respect to the distance from the source crater). Finally, the discovery of potentially old (i.e. 0.8 Ma) microtektites in moraine has implications for the stability of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet in the Larkman Nunatak area over the last ~1 Ma and, as a consequence, the high efficiency of such moraines as traps for other extraterrestrial materials (e.g. micrometeorites and meteoritic ablation debris).
Issue Date: 6-Mar-2018
Date of Acceptance: 1-Mar-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/57799
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2018.02.041
ISSN: 0016-7037
Publisher: Elsevier
Start Page: 81
End Page: 94
Journal / Book Title: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume: 228
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0/).
Sponsor/Funder: Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: ST/M003167/1
Keywords: 0402 Geochemistry
0403 Geology
Geochemistry & Geophysics
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Earth Science and Engineering

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