Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology | VOL. 177
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Ilmenite and magnetite microfabrics in shocked gneisses from the Vredefort impact structure, South Africa

Publication Date Sep 5, 2022

Abstract

We investigated microfabrics of shocked Archean gneisses from two, 10 m-deep drill cores located near the center of the Vredefort impact structure in an area that is characterized by a prominent, long-wavelength negative magnetic anomaly (< − 3000 nT) together with short-wavelength, high-amplitude anomalies attributed to lightning strikes. Planar fractures and feather features in quartz, which can be partially recrystallized, indicate shock conditions less than 20 GPa. Micrometer-sized magnetite and ilmenite along shock-related shear fractures in quartz and feldspar emanate from adjacent deformed coarse (> 100 µm) ilmenite and magnetite host grains. These fine-scaled veins suggest mobilization of magnetite and ilmenite during shear deformation of host Fe-phases and adjacent silicates, probably associated with frictional heating. Coarse ilmenite has fine-lamellar mechanical twins parallel to {10overline{1}1} and single (0001) twins, indicative of dislocation-glide-controlled deformation under non-isostatic stresses related to shock. A few µm-wide magnetite lamellae parallel to {10overline{1}1} and spheroidal magnetite (diameter ≈10 µm) within coarse ilmenite document exsolution after shock. Dauphiné twins associated with planar features in quartz imply cooling from 650 to 725 °C after shock, which accords with estimates of pre-impact basement temperatures from petrographic studies. The Curie temperature of magnetite is 580 °C; therefore, the central negative magnetic anomaly was produced as a thermoremanent magnetization acqu...

Concepts

Vredefort Impact Structure Negative Magnetic Anomaly Fractures In Quartz Feather Features Magnetite Host Long-wavelength Anomaly Host Grains Planar Features Planar Fractures Shock Conditions

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