Microtektites, Microkrystites, and Spinels from a Late Pliocene Asteroid Impact in the Southern Ocean

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Science  29 Mar 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 5001, pp. 1594-1597
DOI: 10.1126/science.251.5001.1594


The properties of glassy spherules found in sedimentary deposits of a late Pliocene asteroid impact into the southeast Pacific are similar to those of both microtektites and microkrystites. These spherules probably formed from molten silicate droplets that condensed from an impact-generate vapor cloud. The spherules contain inclusions of magnesioferrite spinels similar to those in spherules found at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, indicating that both sets of spherules are impact debris formed under similar physical and chemical conditions.

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