Differentiation of Fe-Ni Spherules in Impact Glass

Miroslava Schaffer, Takeshi Kasama, Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski, A. Nicole MacDonald, C. Bender Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstract in journalResearchpeer-review


Metallic, micron sized Fe-Ni spherules are frequently reported from glasses formed during impact processes. They have a high preservation potential and are a valid indicator of impactor type. However, the details of their formation remain obscure and their potential as specific indicator of impact details unexploited. In this work on the impact glass from Wabar we report on of the relation between the simple spherules themselves and the hosting glass using SEM, and a detailed study of the spherules using a combination of FIB/SEM reconstruction and TEM. Overall, we identified a late stage differential contraction of the spherules in the hosting glass, facilitating mechanical separation of the spherules from the host. The structure of the spherules is consistent with entry of a small nugget of the meteorite and some associated air into the molten glass. The spherical shape is acquired as the molten glass induces melting of the metal and its minor components. While the metal is molten a density related differentiation of the light components like iron sulfide and voids results in the accumulation of these at or close to the surface of the spheres. With these principal processes being established the huge variation in the detailed sphere morphology can be rationalized.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5490
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue numberSupplement s1
Pages (from-to)A206-A206
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society - London, England
Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …
Conference number: 74


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society
CityLondon, England
Period01/01/2011 → …


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