The University of Arizona

Geochemical characterization of moldavites from a new locality, the Cheb Basin, Czech Republic

Zdeněk ŘANDA, Jiř MIZERA, Jaroslav FRNA, Jan KUČERA

Abstract


Twenty-three moldavites from a new locality, the Cheb Basin in Western Bohemia, were analyzed by instrumental neutron activation analysis for 45 major and trace elements. Detailed comparison of the Cheb Basin moldavites with moldavites from other substrewn fields in both major and trace element composition shows that the Cheb Basin is a separate substrewn field. The geochemical data obtained are discussed with respect to the source materials and processes leading to formation of moldavites. The data show that three groups of Cheb Basin moldavites exist. Ten samples of group 1 are characterized by the lowest content of Al, Fe, Na, and other elements representing phyllosilicate minerals, and by high Ca + Mg contents related probably to carbonates. They resemble the "poisonous green" moldavites, a subgroup of the Southern Bohemian moldavites. Seven samples of group 2 and 6 samples of group 3 are similar to typical moldavites of the Southern Bohemian substrewn field. These two groups differ from each other mainly in Al contents; with higher contents of Al and the elements associated with phyllosilicate minerals (namely Ba and Sr), group 3 also resembles the Moravian moldavites. Significant positive correlations between K, Ca, Mg, and Mn found in group 2 of the Cheb Basin moldavites and the enrichment in these elements observed generally in all moldavites, as well as other facts, e.g., high K/Na and K/Rb ratios and the reduced conditions during formation of moldavites, have been attributed to possible contribution to the moldavite source materials of the ash produced by burning of vegetation and soil organic matter present at the pre-impact area.

Keywords


Tektites;Ries Impact crater;Moldavites;Impact processes

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