Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 267–288 | Cite as

Shock metamorphism of quartz with initial temperatures −170 to + 1000° C

  • A. J. Gratz
  • W. J. Nellis
  • J. M. Christie
  • W. Brocious
  • J. Swegle
  • P. Cordier


Shock experiments on quartz single crystals with initial temperatures −170 to +1000°C showed that ambient temperature does not affect the type of defects formed but can lower the pressure of complete amorphization. The amount of glass recovered increases with both pressure and temperature, and the shock-induced phase transformation of quartz is temperature-activated with an apparent activation energy of <60 kJ/ mol. The phase transformation is localized along three types of transformation lamellae (narrow, s-shaped, and wide) which contain fractured and/or high-pressure phases. Transformation lamellae are inferred to form by motion of linear collapse zones propagating near the shock front. Equilibrium phases, such as stishovite, were not recovered and are probably not formed at high shock pressures: the dominant transformation mechanism is inferred to be solid-state collapse to a dense, disordered phase. Melting occurs separately by friction along microfaults, but no high-pressure crystal phases are quenched in these zones. Shock of quartz thus produces two types of disordered material, quenched melt (along microfaults) and diaplectic glass (in transformation lamellae); the quenched melt expands during P-T release, leaving it with a density lower than quartz, while recovered diaplectic glass has a density closer to that of quartz. At low pressures (< 15 GPa), quartz transforms mostly by shear melting, while at higher pressures it converts mostly along transformation lamellae. We find that shock paleopiezometers using microstructures are nominally temperature-invariant, so that features observed at impact craters and the K/T boundary require in excess of 10 GPa to form, regardless of the target temperature. Shock comminution will be much more extensive for impacts on cold surfaces due to lack of cementation of fragments by melt glass; shock on hot surfaces could produce much more glass than estimated from room-temperature experiments. Because of the shock-impedance mismatch between quartz specimen and steel capsule, the incident shock wave reverberates up to a final pressure. The dynamic compression process is quasi-isentropic with high strain rates. Preheating and precooling achieves final shock pressures and temperatures representative of single-shock states of room temperature quartz and of quartz on known planetary surfaces. Stress histories were calculated by detailed 1- and 2-dimensional computer simulations. The stress history throughout the sample is relatively uniform, with minor variations during unloading. Significant differences between impact pressures calculated by the shock-impedance-match method and specimen pressures calculated by computer simulations indicate the importance of modeling shock recovery experiments computationally.


Incident Shock Shock Pressure Stress History Incident Shock Wave Quartz Single Crystal 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Gratz
    • 1
  • W. J. Nellis
    • 2
  • J. M. Christie
    • 1
  • W. Brocious
    • 2
  • J. Swegle
    • 3
  • P. Cordier
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Solid DynamicsSandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.Université des Sciences et Techniques de LilleVilleneuve d'Ascq CedexFrance

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