Image: Impactite: Suevite
Impactite: Suevite (5 cm x 3 cm). Ries Crater, Bavaria, Germany.
- S Humphreys
- © Australian Museum
Glassy, molten rocks - impactities - can be produced directly by the high heat and pressure of a meteorite impact or just its shock wave, without projecting the molten material up into our atmosphere (tektites). Molten glass and rocks fractured by high pressure have been found near impact craters. The Ries Crater in southern Germany has molten rocks containing high pressure forms of silica, while other sites have 'shocked' quartz showing strain and fracturing, pulverised rock flour and shock breccia (rock fragmented and compacted by shock).