Silicate glasses and sulfide melts in the ICDP-USGS Eyreville B core, Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Virginia, USA

Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
By:  and 



Optical and electron-beam petrography of melt-rich suevite and melt-rock clasts from selected samples from the Eyreville B core, Chesapeake Bay impact structure, reveal a variety of silicate glasses and coexisting sulfur-rich melts, now quenched to various sulfi de minerals (??iron). The glasses show a wide variety of textures, fl ow banding, compositions, devitrifi cation, and hydration states. Electron-microprobe analyses yield a compositional range of glasses from high SiO2 (>90 wt%) through a range of lower SiO2 (55-75 wt%) with no relationship to depth of sample. Some samples show spherical globules of different composition with sharp menisci, suggesting immiscibility at the time of quenching. Isotropic globules of higher interfacial tension glass (64 wt% SiO2) are in sharp contact with lower-surface-tension, high-silica glass (95 wt% SiO2). Immiscible glass-pair composition relationships show that the immiscibility is not stable and probably represents incomplete mixing. Devitrifi cation varies and some low-silica, high-iron glasses appear to have formed Fe-rich smectite; other glass compositions have formed rapid quench textures of corundum, orthopyroxene, clinopyroxene, magnetite, K-feldspar, plagioclase, chrome-spinel, and hercynite. Hydration (H2O by difference) varies from ~10 wt% to essentially anhydrous; high-SiO2 glasses tend to contain less H2O. Petrographic relationships show decomposition of pyrite and melting of pyrrhotite through the transformation series; pyrite? pyrrhotite? troilite??? iron. Spheres (~1 to ~50 ??m) of quenched immiscible sulfi de melt in silicate glass show a range of compositions and include phases such as pentlandite, chalcopyrite, Ni-As, monosulfi de solid solution, troilite, and rare Ni-Fe. Other sulfi de spheres contain small blebs of pure iron and exhibit a continuum with increasing iron content to spheres that consist of pure iron with small, remnant blebs of Fe-sulfi de. The Ni-rich sulfi de phases can be explained by melting and/or concentrating targetderived Ni without requiring an asteroid impactor source component. The presence of locally unaltered glasses in these rocks suggests that in some rock volumes, isolation from postimpact hydrothermal systems was suffi cient for glass preservation. Pressure and temperature indicators suggest that, on a thin-section scale, the suevites record rapid mixing and accumulation of particles that sustained widely different peak temperatures, from clasts that never exceeded 300 ?? 50 ??C, to the bulk of the glasses where melted sulfi de and unmelted monazite suggest temperatures of 1500 ?? 200 ??C. The presence of coesite in some glass-bearing samples suggests that pressures exceeded ~3 GPa. ?? 2009 Geological Society of America.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Silicate glasses and sulfide melts in the ICDP-USGS Eyreville B core, Chesapeake Bay impact structure, Virginia, USA
Series title Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
DOI 10.1130/2009.2458(20)
Issue 458
Year Published 2009
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
First page 447
Last page 468
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