Science in China Series D: Earth Sciences

, Volume 43, Issue 5, pp 480–486 | Cite as

Characteristics in naturally and experimentally shocked chondrites: A clue to P-T conditions of impacted asteroids



The aim of this study is to compare the experimentally shock-induced features with those in naturally shocked chondrites and to test the feasibility of experimentally calibrating naturally induced features in shocked H- and L-chondrites. Samples of the Jilin chondrite (H5) were experimentally shock-loaded at the following peak pressures: 12, 27, 39, 53, 78, 83, 93 and 133 GPa respectively. Chondritic melts were first obtained at P>78 GPa and more than 60% melting was achieved at P~133 GPa. No high-pressure phases were observed in any of the shocked samples, neither in the deformed nor in the molten regions. Textural relations and mineral assemblages of the shocked samples are comparable to those encountered in the heavily shocked H-chondrite Yanzhuang but differ considerably from those found in heavily shocked L6 chondrites. Shock melt veins in L6 chondrites contain high-pressure polymorphs of olivine and pyroxene and high pressure liquidus phases. Scaling from shock experiments on millimeter-sized samples to natural shock features on kilometer-sized asteroids poses considerable problems in quantifying the P-T conditions during natural shock events on asteroids.


chondrite experiment shock characteristics asteroid P-T condition 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Chen, M., Xie, X., El Goresy, A., Nonequilibrium solidification and microstructures of metal phases in the shock-induced melt of the Yanzhuang (H6) chondrite, Meteoritics, 1995, 30: 28.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Chen, M., Sharp, T. G., El Goresy, A. et al., The majorite-pyrope solid solution+magnesiowustite assemblage: Constraints on the history of shock veins in chondrites, Science, 1996, 271: 1570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chen, M., Wopenka, B., El Goresy, A. et al., High-pressure assemblages in shock melt vein in the Peace River (L6) chondrite: compositions and pressure-temperature history, Meteoritics, 1996, 31: A27.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Stoffler, D., Keil, K., Scott, E. R. D., Shock metamorphism of ordinary chondrites, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 1991, 55: 3845.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sharp, T. G., Chen, M., El Goresy, A., Mineralogy and microstructures of shock-induced melt veins in the Tenham (L6) chondrite, LPS, 1997, 28: 1283.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Xie, X., Li, Z., Wang, D. et al., The new meteorite fall of Yanzhuang-a severely shocked H6 chondrite with black molten materials, Meteoritics, 1991, 26: 411.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dai, C., Wang, D., Jin, X., Shock-loading experimental study of Jilin meteorite, Chinese Science Bulletin, 1991, 36(23): 1984.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sears, D. W., Ashworth, J. R., Broadbent, C. P., Studies of an artificially shock-loaded H group chondrite, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 1984, 48: 343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Schmitt, R. T., Stoffler, D., Experimental data in support of the 1991 shock classification of chondrites, Meteoritics, 1995, 30: 574.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wang, D., Chen Y., Li, Z. et al., Introduction to Chinese Meteorites (in Chinese), Beijing: Science Press, 1993, 505.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Chen, M., Xie, X., Na behavior in shock-induced melt phase of the Yanzhuang (H6) chondrite, Eur. J. Mineral., 1996, 8: 325.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bogard, D., Horz, F., Johnson, P., Shock effects and argon loss in samples of the Leedey L6 chondrite experimentally shocked to 29–70 GPa pressures, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 1987, 51: 2035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    El Goresy, A., Wopenka, B., Chen, M. et al., Evidence for two different shock induced high-pressure events and alkali-vapor metasomatism in Peace River and Tenham (L6) chondrites, LPS, 1997, 28: 329.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiande Xie
    • 1
  • Ming Chen
    • 1
  • Chengda Dai
    • 1
  • A. El Goresy
    • 2
  1. 1.Guangzhou Institute of GeochemistryChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institute fur ChemieMainzGermany

Personalised recommendations