NOMENCLATURE & CLASSIFICATION

Written By Aubrey Whymark 2017


On the following pages I attempt to define the following:

     What is a tektite and how does it differ from other impactites?

     How do you orient a tektite?

     What are the various morphological and sculptural elements called?

     How can you subdivide and classsify tektites, regardless of strewnfield?

     What are the local and accepted names of tektites at different localities?


Please click on the sub-menus to discover more!

Not all impacts produce tektites

To make tektites you need the correct source rock. Man-made glass cannot be made out of any old rock. You need a rock high in silica. Same with tektites. To make a tektite the impact has to occur in a source rock high in silica (e.g. sandstone, siltstone, claystone and metamorphic equivalents). Weathering processes that concentrate silica by wind and water require an atmosphere. Tektites, for the most part, will therefore be confined to world with a present or past atmosphere.
 

Understanding the impact

Classification is essential to understanding an impact. You can compare a strewnfield with known source crater with another where the source crater is not known. Understanding how morphology and scultural elements differ with distance from the source crater provides a great deal of information.
 
ABOVE: A selection of tektites from Paracale, Philippines. How do we desccribe these and how do we classsify them. View the following pages for answers.

References for sub-pages


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Glass B. P. 1972 (b). Crystalline inclusions in a Muong Nong-type Indochinite. Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 16: 23-26.

Glass B. P. 1972 (c). Bottle-green microtektites. Journal of Geophysical Research. 77: 7057-7064.
 
Glass B. P. 1976. High-Silica (> 60 %) Lunar Glasses in an Apollo 14 Soil Sample: Evidence for Silicic Lunar Volcanism? Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 33: 79-85.
 
Glass B. P. 1986. Lunar Sample 14425: Not a Lunar Tektite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 50 (1): 111-113.
 
Glass B. P. 1990. Tektites and microtektites: key facts and inferences. Tectonophysics. Special Issue. Proceedings of the Workshop on Cryptoexplosions and Catastrophes in the Geological Record, with a special focus on the Vredefort Structure. 171 (1/4): 393-404.
 
Glass B. P. 2000. Cenozoic microtektite and clinopyroxene-bearing spherule layers in marine sediments. In: Detre, C. H. (ed.) Terrestrial and Cosmic Spherules. Proceedings of the 1998 Annual Meeting TECOS. Akadémiái Kladó, Budapest. 57-71.
 
Glass B. P., Barlow R. A. 1979. Mineral inclusions in Muong Nong-type indochinites: implications concerning parent material and process of formation. Meteoritics. 14 (1): 55-67.
 
Glass B. P., Burns C. A. 1987. A new term is needed to distinguish impact ejecta in the form of glassy spherules containing primary crystallites from microtektites. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 18th: 330-331.
 
Glass B. P., Burns C. A. 1988. Microkyrstites: A new term for impact-produced glassy spherules containing primarFF crystallites. Proceedings of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 18th: 455-458.
 
Glass B. P., Burns C. A., Lerner D. H., Sanfilippo A. 1984. North American tektites and microtektites from Barbados, West Indies. Meteoritics. 19: 228-229. (Abstract).
 
Glass B. P., Huber H., Koeberl C. 2004. Geochemistry of Cenozoic microtektites and clinopyroxene-bearing spherules. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 69: 3971-4006.
 
Glass B. P., Muenow D. W., Bohor B. F., Meeker G. P. 1997. Fragmentation and hydration of tektites and microtektites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 32: 333-341.
 
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Glass B. P., Wasson J. T., Futrell D. S. 1990. A layered moldavite containing baddeleyite. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 20th: 415-420.
 
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Harris R. S., Schultz P. H. 2006. Airesites: a new class of late Miocene tektites from Argentina. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 37th:  Abstract #2272.
 
Hassell E. 1936. Notes on the Ethnology of the Wheelman Tribe of South-Western Australia. Anthropos. 31: 279-711. (Tektites: 706-707).
 
Hildebrand A. R., Moholy-Nagy H., Koeberl C., Senftle T., Thorpe A. N., Smith P. E., York D. 1994. Tektites found in the ruins of the Maya city of Tikal, Guatemala. Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. 25th: 549-550.
 
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Hills L. 1915. Darwin glass, a new variety of tektites. Records of the Geological Survey of Tasmania, Dept Mines. No. 3: 1-16.
 
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References for classification:

Cleverly W. H. 1986. Australites from Hampton Hill Station, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 68 (4): 81-93.

Fenner C. 1934. Australites, Part I. Classification of the W. H. C. Shaw Collection. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. 58: 62-79.

Fenner C. 1940. Australites, Part IV. The John Kennett collection with notes on Darwin Glass and Bediasites. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. 64: 305-324.

McColl D. H., Hitchcock W. 2012. Microtektites found on Mainland Australia. Meteorite Magazine. 18 (1): 13-18.