The University of Arizona

Drill core LB-08A, Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana: Petrographic and shock metamorphic studies of material from the central uplift



During a recent drilling project sponsored by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Progam (ICDP), two boreholes (LB-07A and LB-08A) were drilled into the crater fill of the Bosumtwi impact structure and the underlying basement, into the deep crater moat and the outer flank of the central uplift, respectively. The Bosumtwi impact structure in Ghana (West Africa), which is 10.5 km in diameter and 1.07 Myr old, is largely filled by Lake Bosumtwi. Here we present the lithostratigraphy of drill core LB-08A (recovered between 235.6 and 451.33 m depth below lake level) as well as the first mineralogical and petrographic observations of samples from this core. This drill core consists of approximately 25 m of polymict, clast-supported lithic breccia intercalated with suevite, which overlies fractured/brecciated metasediment that displays a large variation in lithology and grain size. The lithologies present in the central uplift are metasediments composed dominantly of fine-grained to gritty meta-graywacke, phyllite, and slate, as well as suevite and polymict lithic impact breccia. The suevites, principally present between 235.6 and 240.5 m and between 257.6 and 262.2 m, display a fine-grained fragmental matrix (about 39 to 45 vol%) and a variety of lithic and mineral clasts that include meta-graywacke, phyllite, slate, quartzite, carbon-rich organic shale, and calcite, as well as melt particles, fractured quartz, unshocked quartz, unshocked feldspar, quartz with planar deformation features (PDFs), diaplectic quartz glass, mica, epidote, sphene, and opaque minerals). The crater-fill suevite contains calcite clasts but no granite clasts, in contrast to suevite from outside the northern crater rim. The presence of melt particles in suevite samples from the uppermost 25 meters of the core and in suevite dikelets in the basement is an indicator of shock pressures exceeding 45 GPa. Quartz grains present in suevite and polymict lithic impact breccia abundantly display 1 to (rarely) 4 sets of PDFs per grain. The shock pressures recorded by the PDFs in quartz grains in the polymict impact breccia range from 10 to ~30 GPa. We also observed a decrease of the abundance of shocked quartz grains in the brecciated basement with increasing depth. Meta-graywacke samples from the basement are heterogeneously shocked, with shock pressures locally ranging up to 2530 GPa. Suevites from this borehole show a lower proportion of melt particles and diaplectic quartz glass than suevites from outside the northern crater rim (fallback impact breccia), as well as a lack of ballen quartz, which is present in the external breccias. Similar variations of melt-particle abundance and shockmetamorphic grade between impact-breccia deposits within the crater and fallout impact breccia outside the crater have been observed at the Ries impact structure, Germany.


Bosumtwi Ghana Impact crater.;structures ;Impact;Suevitic rock;polymict Breccia

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