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Information about impactites


Impactites are terrestrial rocks that were created or modified as a result of a meteorite impact event. There are 3 types: tektites, suevites and shatter cones.

1. Tektite

Tektites are a terrestrial rock that is transformed during a meteorite impact event. They are composed of homogeneous glass that is usually over 70% by weight of silica. After a large meteorite impact event, silica bearing minerals are ejected from the surface of the Earth into the atmosphere. This causes them to melt and form droplets which fall back to Earth, sometimes thousands of kilometers away from the original impact site. Occasionally tektites contain remnants of the meteorites that created them. Tektites take their name from Greek ‘tektos’ meaning ‘molten’. There are 3 main localities in the world: Moldavites, Indochinites and Libyan Dessert Glass.

Information about impactites.
Tektite, Moldavite

2. Suevite

Suevites are a type of terrestrial rock that formed during a meteorite impact event. They consist of angular fragments of native stones (breccia) that have sintered together due to a meteorite impact. They can be monomict or polymict depending on whether they have one or several types of stones within them. They are named after the Latin derivation for the Swabia province in Germany, where suevites were found near the Ries crater.

3. Shatter cone

Shatter cones are a geological feature that are only known to form as a result of a meteorite impact or a nuclear explosion. They are evidence that the bedrock has been subjected to extremely high pressures, in the range of 2–30 gigapascals. That is equivalent to a shock wave of to kilos per square meter. Shatter cones have a characteristic conical shape that radiates from the top outwards. Usually they are convex although sometimes they can be concave, especially when located next to a larger cone. In fine-grained rocks, they form an easily recognizable pattern with dozens of thin grooves around the cone. Usually shatter cones point upwards and towards the impact place.

Information about impactites.
Shatter cone

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