Maskelynite: Formation by Explosive Shock

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Science  10 May 1963:
Vol. 140, Issue 3567, pp. 670-671
DOI: 10.1126/science.140.3567.670


When high pressure (250 to 300 kilobars) was applied suddenly (shock-loading) to gabbro, the plagioclase was transformed to a noncrystalline phase (maskelynite) by a solid-state reaction at a low temperature, while the proxene remained crystalline. The shock-loaded gabbro resembles meteorites of the shergottite class; this suggests that the latter formed as a result of shock. The shock-loading of gabbro at 600 to 800 kilobars raised the temperature above the melting range of the plagioclase.