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Oxygen isotope studies on the origin of tektites

Taylor, Hugh P., Jr. and Epstein, Samuel (1962) Oxygen isotope studies on the origin of tektites. Journal of Geophysical Research, 67 (11). pp. 4485-4490. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/JZ067i011p04485.

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O^(18)/O^(16) ratios of thirteen tektites from Czechoslovakia, Libya, Texas, Indochina, Philippine Islands, Australia, Java, and Peru have been determined by the fluorine-extraction technique. All but one of these lie in relatively restricted range of O^(18)/O^(16) ratio, with δ = 9.6 to 10.4 per mil relative to the ocean-water standard. Tektites are therefore 0.5 to 1.5 per mil heavier than average granitic igneous rocks or about the same as average igneous quartz. The sample from Macusan, Peru (δ = 12.0), is anomalous and is probably not a true tektite. Six analyzed shales are isotopically heavier than tektites and show a much wider range in values (δ = 14.2, 14.8, 15.3, 15.5, 17.6, 18.2). Several detrital sedimentary rocks previously analyzed by Silverman and the present authors have δ values of 10.2 to 15.5; analyzed metasedimentary rocks have δ values of 12.1 to 15.7 per mil. Therefore, tektites are not sedimentary or metasedimentary material fused by lightning or by impact of an astronomical body with the earth. Chemically, tektites are unlike terrestrial igneous rocks, and their oxygen isotopic composition is unlike that of sedimentary or metasedimentary rocks. They therefore may be extraterrestrial objects.

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Additional Information:Copyright 1962 by the American Geophysical Union. (Manuscript received May 5, 1962.) We are indebted to Dr. Irving Friedman, who provided most of the tektite samples analyzed. Discussions with Dr. G. J. Wasserburg have proved to be very valuable. This work was supported by the Atomic Energy Commission, contract AT (11-1)-208. Mineral Industries Experiment Station Contribution 61-106. Contribution 1091, Division of Geological Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California.
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Atomic Energy CommissionAT (11-1)-208
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Caltech Division of Geological Sciences1091
Mineral Industries Experiment Station61-106
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141110-112952232
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Official Citation:Taylor Jr., H. P., and S. Epstein (1962), Oxygen isotope studies on the origin of tektites, J. Geophys. Res., 67(11), 4485–4490, doi:10.1029/JZ067i011p04485.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:51506
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:10 Nov 2014 20:51
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 19:12

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