• Planar deformation features and impact glass in inclusions from the Vredefort Granophyre, South Africa

      Buchanan, P. C.; Reimold, W. U. (The Meteoritical Society, 2002-01-01)
      The Vredefort Granophyre represents impact melt that was injected downward into fractures in the floor of the Vredefort impact structure, South Africa. This unit contains inclusions of country rock that were derived from different locations within the impact structure and are predominantly composed of quartzite, feldspathic quartzite, arkose, and granitic material with minor proportions of shale and epidiorite. Two of the least recrystallized inclusions contain quartz with single or multiple sets of planar deformation features. Quartz grains in other inclusions display a vermicular texture, which is reminiscent of checkerboard feldspar. Feldspars range from large, twinned crystals in some inclusions to fine-grained aggregates that apparently are the product of decomposition of larger primary crystals. In rare inclusions, a mafic mineral, probably biotite or amphibole, has been transformed to very fine-grained aggregates of secondary phases that include small euhedral crystals of Fe-rich spinel. These data indicate that inclusions within the Vredefort Granophyre were exposed to shock pressures ranging from <5 to 8-30 GPa. Many of these inclusions contain small, rounded melt pockets composed of a groundmass of devitrified or metamorphosed glass containing microlites of a variety of minerals, including K-feldspare, quartz, augite, low-Ca pyroxene, and magnetite. The composition of this devitrified glass varies from inclusion to inclusion, but is generally consistent with a mixture of quartz and feldspare with minor properties of mafic minerals. In the case of granitoid inclusions, melt pockets commonly occur at the boundaries between feldspar and quartz grains. In metasedimentary inclusions, some of these melt pockets contain remnants of partially melted feldspare grains. These melt pockets may have formed by eutectic melting caused by inclusion of these fragments in the hot (650 to 1610 degrees C) impact melt that crystallized to form the Vredefort Granophyre.