The first MEMIN shock recovery experiments at low shock pressure (5–12.5 GPa) with dry, porous sandstone

Authors

  • Astrid KOWITZ,

    Corresponding author
    1. Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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  • Ralf T. SCHMITT,

    1. Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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  • W. UWE REIMOLD,

    1. Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
    2. Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
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  • Ulrich HORNEMANN

    1. Ernst-Mach-Institut, Am Klingelberg 1, 79588 Efringen-Kirchen, Germany
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Corresponding author. E-mail: astrid.kowitz@mfn-berlin.de

Abstract

Abstract– As part of the MEMIN research program this project is focused on shock deformation experimentally generated in dry, porous Seeberger sandstone in the low shock pressure range from 5 to 12.5 GPa. Special attention is paid to the influence of porosity on progressive shock metamorphism. Shock recovery experiments were carried out with a high-explosive set-up that generates a planar shock wave, and using the shock impedance method. Cylinders of sandstone of average grain size of 0.17 mm and porosity of about 19 vol%, and containing some 96 wt% SiO2, were shock deformed. Shock effects induced with increasing shock pressure include: (1) Already at 5 GPa the entire pore space is closed; quartz grains show undulatory extinction. On average, 134 fractures per mm are observed. Dark vesicular melt (glass) of the composition of the montmorillonitic phyllosilicate component of this sandstone occurs at an average amount of 1.6 vol%. (2) At 7.5 GPa, quartz grains show weak but prominent mosaicism and the number of fractures increases to 171 per millimeter. Two additional kinds of melt, both based on phyllosilicate precursor, could be observed: a light colored, vesicular melt and a melt containing large iron particles. The total amount of melt (all types) increased in this experiment to 2.4 vol%. Raman spectroscopy confirmed the presence of shock-deformed quartz grains near the surface. (3) At 10 and 12.5 GPa, quartz grains also show weak but prominent mosaicism, the number of fractures per mm has reached a plateau value of approximately 200, and the total amount of the different melt types has increased to 4.8 vol%. Diaplectic quartz glass could be observed locally near the impacted surface. In addition, local shock effects, most likely caused by multiple shock wave reflections at sandstone-container interfaces, occur throughout the sample cylinders and include locally enhanced formation of PDF, as well as shear zones associated with cataclastic microbreccia, diaplectic quartz glass, and SiO2 melt. Overall findings from these first experiments have demonstrated that characteristic shock effects diagnostic for the confirmation of impact structures and suitable for shock pressure calibration are rare. So far, they are restricted to the limited formation of PDF and diaplectic quartz glass at shock pressures of 10 GPa and above.

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