Aorounga and Gweni Fada impact structures, Chad: Remote sensing, petrography, and geochemistry of target rocks



Abstract— Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data was used to investigate the Aorounga and Gweni Fada impact structures in Chad as part of a new remote sensing study. We believe the results of various data treatments provide extensive new perspective on the macro-structural and topographic divisions for these two impact structures. Our remote sensing studies indicate revised diameters of Aorounga and Gweni Fada of 16 and 22 km, respectively. We selected samples from these two structures for their petrographic, geochemical, and Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopic characteristics. In samples from both structures, evidence for shock metamorphism was found in the form of single or multiple sets of planar deformation features in quartz, which confirms the impact origin for both the Aorounga and Gweni Fada structures. The crystallographic orientations of PDFs indicate maximum shock levels of 20–30 GPa for samples from the central parts of both structures. The PDF orientations are characteristic for the orientations observed elsewhere in shocked sandstones, with the higher angles in the orientation histograms being fairly abundant. Geochemically, the rocks are typical upper-crustal sandstones.