Woodleigh impact structure, Australia: Shock petrography and geochemical studies
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CitationReimold, W. U., Koeberl, C., Hough, R. M., McDonald, I., Bevan, A., Amare, K., & French, B. M. (2003). Woodleigh impact structure, Australia: Shock petrography and geochemical studies. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 38(7), 1109-1130.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractThe large, complex Woodleigh structure in the Carnarvon basin of Western Australia has recently been added to the terrestrial impact crater record. Many aspects of this structure are, however, still uncertain. This work provides a detailed petrographic assessment of a suite of representative drill core samples from the borehole Woodleigh 1 that penetrated uplifted basement rocks of the central part of this structure. Fundamental rock and mineral deformation data and high-precision chemical data, including results of PGE and oxygen isotopic analysis, are presented. The sampled interval displays likely impact-produced macrodeformation in the form of fracturing and breccia veining at the microscopic scale. Contrary to earlier reports that these breccias represent pseudotachylite (friction melt) or even shock/shear-produced pseudotachylitic melt breccia cannot be confirmed due to pervasive post-impact alteration. Abundant planar deformation features (PDFs) in quartz, in addition to diaplectic glass and partial isotropization, are the main shock deformation effects observed, confirming that Woodleigh is of impact origin. Over the investigated depth interval, the statistics of quartz grains with a variable number of sets of PDFs does not change significantly, and the patterns of crystallographic orientations of PDFs in randomly selected quartz grains does not indicate a change in absolute shock pressure with depth either. The value of oxygen isotopes for the recognition of meteoritic contamination, as proposed by earlier Woodleigh workers, is critically assessed. Neither INA nor PGE analyses of our samples support the presence of a meteoritic component within this basement section, as had been claimed in earlier work.