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Origin of tektitesThe origin of tektites has been obscure because of the following dilemma. The application of physical principles to the data available on tektites points strongly to origin from one or more lunar volcanoes; but few glasses of tektite composition have hitherto been reported from the lunar samples. Instead, the lunar silicic glasses consist chiefly of a material very rich in K2O and poor in MgO. The ratio of K2O/MgO is higher in these glasses than in any tektites reported. The solution of the dilemma seems to come from the study of some recently discovered terrestrial deposits of tektite glass with high values of K2O/MgO at the Cretaceous Tertiary boundary. These glasses are found to be very vulnerable to crystallization into sandine or to alteration to smectite. These end products are known and are more abundant than any terrestrial deposits of tektite glass. It seems possible that, in fact, the moon produces tektite glass, mostly of the high K2O-low MgO type; but on Earth these deposits are destroyed. The much less abundant deposits with lower K and higher Mg are observed because they survive. Other objections to the lunar origin hypothesis appear to be answerable.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
O'Keefe, John A. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Meteoritics
Volume: 29
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0026-1114
Subject Category
Distribution Limits