Fulgurite Classification, Petrology, and Implications for Planetary Processes
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractA variety of fulgurites from diverse locations have been studied. Morphological features were measured and physical properties documented, and a classification scheme was developed. Three major types are introduced and described: Type I, Type II, and Type III, along with two minor types: Type IV and Melt Droplets. Fulgurites representative of each major taxonomic type were investigated using electron microprobe point analyses and x-ray mapping. A range of compositions were found, including nearly pure glass, detrital zircons with baddeleyite rims, Fe-metal with P-rich rims, and unusual Fe-Si metals. The fulgurite formation process is considered within the planetary context through a discussion of lightning detection and potential for formation on other terrestrial bodies. Finally, suggestions for future investigations are presented and discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College