Meteorite impacts

Study shock-induced features in geological samples

Characterize and observe specific shock-induced features with hyperspectral cathodoluminescence mapping.

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What we can help you to achieve
  • Study the microstructure of rocks
  • Identify and understand indicators of impact related shock metamorphism
  • Distinguish between various deformation features
Cathodoluminescence map of shocked quartz grains

Studying shocked quartz grains

When subjected to a shockwave from a meteorite impact event, specific microscopic features can form in minerals such as quartz. Planar deformation features (PDFs) in quartz are an example of a shock-induced feature. PDFs in quartz are considered to be one of the most reliable indicators of impact related shock metamorphism and as quartz is highly abundant and stable it forms an ideal marker for this purpose.

Proper identification and understanding of PDFs is critical however, for a correct interpretation. In particular, the inability to distinguish between PDFs and other (tectonic) deformation features in optical microscopy can be problematic. By using scanning electron microscopy and cathodoluminescence, PDFs can be properly characterized and identified at the relevant length scales, preventing misidentification.

What can you achieve with cathodoluminescence?

Hyperspectral cathodoluminescence is a valuable tool in studying shocked quartz samples. CL emission can be used to study quartz grains containing distinct planar deformation features, both amorphous and healed, and provide additional information about the character and the crystallinity of PDFs.

False color hyperspectral RGB CL of planar deformation features associated with meteorite impact events SE image
Image slider showing a false color hyperspectral RGB CL (left) and corresponding SE image (right). The CL image shows planar deformation features associated with meteorite impact events. Images courtesy of Dr. Maartje Hamers (Utrecht University)

Use the right products to get the right results

Delmic CL solutions consist of powerful and user-friendly cathodoluminescence detectors, which can help you learn more about your geological sample.

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Delmic sales expert Daan van Oosten Slingeland