The osmium isotope ratios and platinum-group element (PGE) concentrations of impact-melt rocks in the Chesapeake Bay impact structure were determined. The impact-melt rocks come from the cored part of a lower-crater section of suevitic crystalline-clast breccia in an 823 m scientific test hole over the central uplift at Cape Charles, Virginia. The 187Os/188Os ratios of impact-melt rocks range from 0.151 to 0.518. The rhenium and platinum-group element (PGE) concentrations of these rocks are 30-270?? higher than concentrations in basement gneiss, and together with the osmium isotopes indicate a substantial meteoritic component in some impact-melt rocks. Because the PGE abundances in the impact-melt rocks are dominated by the target materials, interelemental ratios of the impact-melt rocks are highly variable and nonchondritic. The chemical nature of the projectile for the Chesapeake Bay impact structure cannot be constrained at this time. Model mixing calculations between chondritic and crustal components suggest that most impact-melt rocks include a bulk meteoritic component of 0.01-0.1% by mass. Several impact-melt rocks with lowest initial 187Os/188Os ratios and the highest osmium concentrations could have been produced by additions of 0.1%-0.2% of a meteoritic component. In these samples, as much as 70% of the total Os may be of meteoritic origin. At the calculated proportions of a meteoritic component (0.01-0.1% by mass), no mixtures of the investigated target rocks and sediments can reproduce the observed PGE abundances of the impact-melt rocks, suggesting that other PGE enrichment processes operated along with the meteoritic contamination. Possible explanations are 1) participation of unsampled target materials with high PGE abundances in the impact-melt rocks, and 2) variable fractionations of PGE during syn- to post-impact events. ?? The Meteoritical Society, 2006.
Additional publication details
Confirmation of a meteoritic component in impact-melt rocks of the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Virginia, USA - Evidence from osmium isotopic and PGE systematics