The University of Arizona

Chemical variation within fragments of Australasian tektites

T. H. Son, C. Koeberl


In previous studies, intersample variation between compositions of different tektites from one particular group were studied and, in a few cases, major element variations within single tektites. No data for intra-sample trace element variations existed. Thus, we sectioned a Muong Nong-type tektite fragment from Vietnam and a splash-form tektite fragment from the Philippines into eleven and six pieces, respectively, and analyzed the individual fragments for major and trace element contents. 

The compositions obtained agree well with those found in previous studies, supporting argument that tektites have been derived from terrestrial upper crustal sediments. Chemical variations within the tektite fragments are present, but do not show any systematic trends, probably reflecting incomplete mixing of parent rocks. The intra-sample heterogeneity of the Muong Nong-type tektite is more pronounced than that in the philippinite. For the Muong Nong-type tektite, the intra-sample variation in the trace element contents is higher than that for the major elements, again reflecting target rock properties. For the philippinite the intra-sample variations mostly do not exceed the limits imposed by the precision of the analytical data, confirming that the splash form tektites are indeed well homogenized.

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