A Caltech Library Service

Age and provenance of the target materials for tektites and possible impactites as inferred from Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr systematics

Shaw, H. F. and Wasserburg, G. J. (1982) Age and provenance of the target materials for tektites and possible impactites as inferred from Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr systematics. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 60 (2). pp. 155-177. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/0012-821X(82)90001-2.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr analyses of tektites and other impactites can be used to place constraints on the age and provenance of target materials which were impact melted to form these objects. Tektites have large negative ε^(Nd)(0) values and are uniform within each tektite group while the ε^(Sr)(0) are large positive values and show considerable variation within each group. Chemical, trace element, and isotopic compositions of tektites are consistent with production by melting of sediments derived from old terrestrial continental crust. Each tektite group is characterized by a uniform Nd model age, T_(CHUR)^(Nd), interpreted as the time of formation of the crustal segment which weathered to form the parent sediment for the tektites: (1) ∼1.15 AE for Australasian tektites; (2) ∼1.91 AE for Ivory Coast tektites; (3) ∼0.9 AE for moldavites; (4) ∼0.65 AE for North American tektites, and (5) ∼0.9 AE for high-Si irghizites. Sr model ages, T_(UR)^(Sr), are variable within each group reflecting Rb-Sr fractionation and in the favorable limit of very high Rb/Sr ratios, approach the time of sedimentation of the parent material which melted to form the tektites. Australasian tektites are derived from ∼0.25 AE sediments, moldavites from ∼0.0 AE sediments, Ivory Coast tektites from ∼0.95 AE sediments. Possible parent sediments of other tektite groups have poorly constrained ages. Our data on moldavites and Ivory Coast tektites are consistent with derivation from the Ries and Bosumtwi craters, respectively. Irghizites are isotopically distinct from Australasian tektites and are probably not related. Sanidine spherules from a Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary clay have initial ε^(Nd) ∼ +2; ε^(Sr) ∼ +5 and are not derived from old continental crust or meteoritic feldspar. They may represent a mixture of basaltic oceanic crust and sediments, implying an oceanic impact. These isotopic results are also consistent with a volcanic origin for the spherules.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Wasserburg, G. J.0000-0002-7957-8029
Additional Information:© 1982 Elsevier Scientific. Received December 22, 1981. Revised version received June 10, 1982. We wish to thank B. Mason and the U.S. National Museum for providing many of the tektite samples used in this study. B.P. Glass kindly provided us with the microtektites used in the study. The Thailand, Cambodian, and high-Ca australite samples were donated by P. Pellas and the French Natural History Museum. We are grateful to S.R. Taylor for his interest in this work and for introducing us to the problem of irghizite genesis. D.A. Papanastassiou shared with us both the microtektite data presented here and his knowledge of things mass spectrometric. This work has been supported by NASA grant NGL 05-002-188.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANGL 05-002-188
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3718
Lunatic Asylum Lab403
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20131023-072624273
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:H.F. Shaw, G.J. Wasserburg, Age and provenance of the target materials for tektites and possible impactites as inferred from Sm-Nd and Rb-Sr systematics, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 60, Issue 2, September 1982, Pages 155-177, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42016
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:23 Oct 2013 15:13
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 04:37

Repository Staff Only: item control page