Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Shock Metamorphism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_2232

Shock metamorphism is induced by the impact of high-speed meteorites onto the Earth’s surface. It is characterized by a short duration, high pressure and high temperature. Shock metamorphic rocks are located in meteorite craters. The impact mainly causes: (1) the mineral crystals to deform and break; (2) the formation of new high-pressure metamorphic minerals at the surface, such as coesite, stishovite, diamond and ‘impact glass’ (tektite, which was initially believed to be composed of a ‘glass meteorite’ but has been shown to be a type of impact glass); and (3) melting of minerals (such as magnetite) that are difficult to melt at normal temperatures. These three characteristics are the main markers for distinguishing shock metamorphism.

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