ArticlesSpecial Mineral Studies

Evidence and Implications of Shock Metamorphism in Lunar Samples

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Science  30 Jan 1970:
Vol. 167, Issue 3918, pp. 673-675
DOI: 10.1126/science.167.3918.673


Lunar microbreccias and loose regolith materials contain abundant evidence of shock metamorphism related to crater-forming meteorite impacts. Diagnostic shock effects include (i) planar features in a silica phase and feldspars, and lamellae in clinopyroxene, (ii) thetomorphic feldspar glass, (iii) heterogeneous glasses of rock and mineral composition, (iv) distinctive recrystallization textures, and (v) characteristic changes in crystal structure as indicated by x-ray diffraction analysis and measurements of refractive index. The microbreccias are produced from regolith materials (ejected fromz craters) by shock lithification. Some feldsparrich fragments may represent ejecta introduced from nonlocal sources, such as the lunar highlands.

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