Exploration of Tektite Formation Processes through Water and Metal Content Measurements
Watt, Nigel John DeWolfe McKinley, II
Lee, Cin-Ty A.
Master of Science
Impact events are a significant surface-modifying process on bodies lacking frequent resurfacing by atmospheric or igneous processes. To explore the effects of impacts on surface materials, we measured water and trace element compositions of tektites from Vietnam. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used for water measurements and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was used for trace element measurements. Consistent with previous investigations of tektites, we found that the samples are depleted in volatile metals (e.g., Zn, Pb) as well as in water compared to the average continental crust, though water contents are high for rocks melted at atmospheric pressure. While Zn and Pb concentrations are linearly correlated with each other, there is no correlation between H 2 O and Zn or Pb contents. Combined with water contents of other tektites in the Australasian strewnfield, our results demonstrate that the source impact occurred at a wet site near the Indochina peninsula.
Earth sciences; Planetology; Geochemistry