The University of Arizona

Impact melt rocks from the Paasselk impact structure (SE Finland): Petrography and geochemistry



AbstractRecently, samples of allochthonous melt rocks from the v10 km and ≤1.9 Ga Paasselk impact structure, SE Finland, were obtained. In this study, we present a first detailed petrographic and geochemical description of clast-rich Paasselk impact melt rocks. Shock metamorphic features comprise shocked feldspar grains, intensely shocked and toasted quartz, marginally molten and recrystallized clasts thought to have been diaplectic quartz glass, largely fresh and recrystallized feldspar glasses, decomposed biotite flakes, recrystallized fluidal silica glass (originally probably lechatelierite) in partially molten sandstone clasts, all set into a glassy to cryptocrystalline melt matrix. The degree of shock metamorphism of clasts suggests initial whole-rock melting at peak shock pressures of ≥35 GPa and post-shock temperatures of up to ~1500 °C. Glass components vary in geochemical composition corresponding to the mixed character of the crystalline target rock (i.e., representing different monomineralic and mixed-mineral melts). Feldspar glasses and the fresh glassy to cryptocrystalline melt matrix indicate that the Paasselk melt rocks are not intensely altered. The geochemical composition of the Paasselk impact melt rocks is roughly consistent with the compositions of melt rocks from a number of impact structures located within the crystalline basement of the Baltic Shield.


Impact melting;Paasselkä;Finland Impact crater;Geochemistry;Glass

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