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TitleLate Eocene impact ejecta: geochemical and isotopic connections with the Popigai impact structure
AuthorWhitehead, J; Papanastassiou, D A; Spray, J G; Grieve, R A F; Wasserburg, G J
SourceEarth and Planetary Science Letters 181, 2000 p. 473-487,
Alt SeriesGeological Survey of Canada, Contribution Series 2000038
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
AreaSiberia; Chesapeake Bay; Russian Federation; United States of America
Subjectsextraterrestrial geology; geochemistry; major element analyses; major element geochemistry; isotopic studies; rubidium-strontium ratios; strontium strontium ratios; rubidium strontium dating; neodymium geochemistry; samarium geochemistry; neodymium samarium dates; gneisses; Popigal impact structure; Chesapeake impact structure; Mistastin impact structure; Wanapitie impact structure; Logoisk impact structure; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site 216; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site 292; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site 462; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site 612; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site 315; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site 94; Ocean / Deep Sea Drilling Program site RC9-58; Cenozoic
Illustrationssketch maps; tables; plots; photomicrographs
AbstractLate Eocene microtektites and crystal-bearing microkrystites extracted from DSDP and ODP cores from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans have been analyzed to address their provenance. A new analysis of Nd and Sr isotopic compositions confirms previous work and the assignment of the uppermost microtektite layer to the North American tektites, which are associated with the 35.5 Ma, 85 km diameter Chesapeake impact structure of Virginia, USA. Extensive major element and Nd and Sr isotopic analyses of the microkrystites from the lowermost layer were obtained. The melanocratic microkrystites from Sites 216 and 462 in the Indian and Pacific oceans possess major element chemistries, Sr and Nd isotopic signatures and Sm-Nd, TCHUR, model ages similar to those of tagamite melt rocks in the Popigai impact structure. They also possess Rb-Sr, TUR, model ages that are younger than the tagamite TCHUR ages by up to ?1 Ga, which require a process, as yet undefined, of Rb/Sr enrichment. These melanocratic microkrystites are consistent with a provenance from the 35.7 Ma, 100 km diameter Popigai impact structure of Siberia, Russia, while ruling out other contemporaneous structures as a source. Melanocratic microkrystites from other sites and leucocratic microkrystites from all sites possess a wide range of isotopic compositions (E(143Nd) values of -16 to -27.7 and E(87Sr) values of 4.1-354.0), making the association with Popigai tagamites less clear. These microkrystites may have been derived by the melting of target rocks of mixed composition, which were ejected without homogenization. Dark glass and felsic inclusions extracted from Popigai tagamites possess E(143Nd) and E(87Sr) values of -26.7 to -27.8 and 374.7 and 432.4, respectively, and TCHUR and TUR model ages of 1640-1870 Ma and 240-1830 Ma, respectively, which require the preservation of initially present heterogeneity in the source materials. The leucocratic microkrystites possess diverse isotopic compositions that may reflect the melting of supra-basement sedimentary rocks from Popigai, or early basement melts that were ejected prior to homogenization of the Popigai tagamites. The ejection of melt rocks with chemistries consistent with a basement provenance, rather than the surface ~1 km of sedimentary cover rocks, atypically indicates a non-surficial source to some of the ejecta. Microkrystites from two adjacent biozones possess statistically indistinguishable major element compositions, suggesting they have a single source. The occurrence of microkrystites derived from a single impact event, but in different biozones, can be explained by: (1) diachronous biozone boundaries; (2) post-accumulation sedimentary reworking; or (3) erroneous biozonation.

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