Signatures of Impacts in Quartz (Microstructures and Formation Mechanisms)

  • Jean-Claude Doukhan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 505)


The impact on the Earth surface of high velocity meteorite generates a high dynamic compression (up to several tens of GPa) during a very short time (10−6 to 1 s depending on the size of the impactor). It is accompanied by a severe temperature increase which can induce phase transitions toward high pressure polymorphs and local melting or even vaporization. Specific lattice defects are also produced in the shocked minerals which are considered as impact signatures. In quartz such specific defects are thin lamellae of mechanical twins and planar deformation features (PDF). These later ones are very straight and narrow bands of dense amorphous silica.


Shock Wave Differential Stress Mechanical Twin Meteorite Impact Crystalline Quartz 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Claude Doukhan
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire Structure et Propriétés de l’Etat Solide (UA CNRS 234)Université Sciences et Technologies de LilleVilleneuve d’Ascq-CedexFrance

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