TEKTITE LOCALITIES

Written By Aubrey Whymark 2013 - 2018
I have been fortunate enough to visit a number of tektite localities in the Australasian and Central European tektite strewn fields. Each locality is unique. Once you have your eye in and have a representative group of tektites you can often have a pretty good guess as to the precise find locality. This is because each locality is a different distance from the source crater and may be positioned centrally in an ejecta ray, or to one side. Once the tektite has landed it is then subject to variable degrees of transportation, burial (in different rocks of different chemistries, porosities and permeabilities), exposure to sea water or water tables (which may be seasonal and in which the water will have different chemistries and pH). The tektite may then be reworked and redeposited, possibly multiple times and in different circumstances. Each step acts to create a unique assemblage. 

A typical tektite that we find in the terrestrial environment has been water transported, so slightly rounded, and then exposed to slightly acidic waters that have resulted in pitting and U-grooves. More unique specimens have stayed pristine by avoiding transportation and being in a dry environment or in salty or sea water. Others have found themselves in more unusual alkaline environments and have been uniquely sculptured, often resulting in rare and highly collectable tektites. The geological histories of individual specimens and individual localities are unique and this is why many collectors seek out new localities and pay a premium for tektites from new or rare locations.

Distance from Source

Tektite assemblages show clear morphological variation dependent on distance from the source crater. The earliest ejected tektites formed from teh highest temperature melt and were ejected and re-entered at the highest velocities.
 
ABOVE: Belitung Island, Indonesia, in 2008.

Terrestrial alteration

On the ground the morphology and sculpture is altered by water transportation and etching by water of different chemistries. The tektites may go through multiple cycles of transportation, burial and etching.
 
ABOVE: Chlum Sand Pit, Czech Republic, in 2013.
ABOVE: Bicol, Philippines, in 2017.

Please view the sub-pages to see more localities.