ArticlesSpecial Mineral Studies

Impact Metamorphism of Lunar Surface Materials

Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 671-672
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.671


Silicate grains from Tranquillity Base have shock-induced features ranging from internal fragmentation through complete disruption of the lattice to thermal melting. Half the crystalline grains with diameters less than 125 micrometers have features of shock equivalent to those produced in the laboratory at pressures greater than about 40 kilobars. One quarter have features indicative of pressures greater than 90 kilobars. These properties together with great quantities of melt glass and aluminum-26 in the fine-grained material are indicative of repeated shock-loading by meteoritic bombardment over long periods of time.