Multiple sets of crystallographically-oriented planar deformation features (PDFs) are generated by high-strain-rate shock waves at pressures of > 12 GPa in naturally shocked quartz samples. On surfaces, PDFs appear as narrow (50-500 nm) lamellae filled with amorphosed quartz (diaplectic glass) which can be etched with hydrofluoric acid or with hydrothermal alkaline solutions. In contrast, slow-strain-rate tectonic deformation pressure produces wider, semi-linear and widely spaced arrays of dislocation loops that are not glass filled. Etching samples with HF before examination in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) allows for unambiguous visual distinction between glass-filled PDFs and glass-free tectonic deformation arrays in quartz. This etching also reveals the internal 'pillaring' often characteristic of shock-induced PDFs. This technique is useful for easily distinguishing between shock and tectonic deformation in quartz, but does not replace optical techniques for characterizing the shock features.
Additional publication details
Distinguishing shocked from tectonically deformed quartz by the use of the SEM and chemical etching