Impact melt rocks from the Paasselkä impact structure (SE Finland): Petrography and geochemistry




Abstract— Recently, samples of allochthonous melt rocks from the ˜10 km and ≤1.9 Ga Paasselkä impact structure, SE Finland, were obtained. In this study, we present a first detailed petrographic and geochemical description of clast-rich Paasselkä impact melt rocks. Shock metamorphic features comprise shocked feldspar grains, intensely shocked and toasted quartz, marginally molten and recrystallized clasts thought to have been diaplectic quartz glass, largely fresh and recrystallized feldspar glasses, decomposed biotite flakes, recrystallized fluidal silica glass (originally probably lechatelierite) in partially molten sandstone clasts, all set into a glassy to cryptocrystalline melt matrix. The degree of shock metamorphism of clasts suggests initial whole-rock melting at peak shock pressures of ≥35 GPa and post-shock temperatures of up to ˜1500 °C. Glass components vary in geochemical composition corresponding to the mixed character of the crystalline target rock (i.e., representing different monomineralic and mixed-mineral melts). Feldspar glasses and the fresh glassy to cryptocrystalline melt matrix indicate that the Paasselkä melt rocks are not intensely altered. The geochemical composition of the Paasselkä impact melt rocks is roughly consistent with the compositions of melt rocks from a number of impact structures located within the crystalline basement of the Baltic Shield.