Microtektites in the Alpine foreland: evidence of a Chiemgau impact relationship

In the Chiemgau meteorite crater strewn field (Ernstson et al. 2010, and references therein) impact glasses are found widespread in various formations, and tektite-like bodies of a dense black glass with vesicles have attracted considerable attention (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1.Dense black glass particles from the Chiemgau impact strewn field frequently exhibiting tektite-like shape and twisted form similar to irghizites from the Zhamanshin impact crater. – Click to enlarge!

Only recently, outside the crater strewn field in the foothills of the Alps at some 1500 m altitude a systematic search for impact fallout has revealed not only abundant tiny iron silicide particles (e.g., minerals xifengite and gupeiite) but also microtektites widely distributed in the soils (Fig. 2, 3).

A more detailed report can be read HERE.

Added link:  Abstract presented at the LPSC 45th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 2014


Fig. 3. Microtektites from the soil in the foothills of the Alps near the Chiemgau impact crater strewn field. Optical microscope images, 100 µm scale bar in each case. – Click to enlarge!

Microtektites Alpine Foreland Chiemgau impact

Fig. 4. SEM micrographs of microtektite-like glass particles show
very strange surface features and bizarre forms exhibiting micrometer-sized glass filaments and twisted bodies. – Click to enlarge!