Impact‐induced chemical fractionation as inferred from hypervelocity impact experiments with silicate projectiles and metallic targets

1Clément Ganino,2,3Guy Libourel,4Akiko M. Nakamura,5Suzanne Jacomet,6Olivier Tottereau,2Patrick Michel
Meteoritics & Planetary Science (in Press) Link to Article []
1Université Côte d’Azur, OCA, CNRS, Géoazur, Sophia‐Antipolis, Valbonne, France
2Université Côte d’Azur, OCA, CNRS, Lagrange, Boulevard de l’Observatoire, Nice Cedex 4, France
3Hawai’i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, School of Ocean, Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawai’i at MānoaHonolulu, Hawai’i, USA
4Graduate School of Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan
5MINES ParisTech, PSL—Research University, CEMEF—Centre de mise en forme des matériaux, CNRS, UMR 7635Sophia‐Antipolis, France
6CRHEA, CNRS UPR 10Sophia Antipolis, France
Published by Arrangement with John Wiley & Sons

Hypervelocity impacts are common in the solar system, in particular during its early phases when primitive bodies of contrasted composition collided. Whether these objects are chemically modified during the impact process, and by what kind of processes, e.g., chemical mixing or gas–liquid–solid fractionation, are still pending questions. To address these issues, a set of impact experiments involving a multielemental doped phonolitic projectile and a metallic target was performed in a 3–7 km s−1 range of impact speeds which are typical of those occurring in the asteroid belt. For each run, both texture and chemistry of the crater and the ejecta population have been characterized. The results show that the melted projectiles largely cover the craters at all speeds, and that melted phonolitic materials are injected into fractures in the crater in the metallic target. Ejecta are generally quenched droplets of silicate impact melt containing metal beads. Some of these beads are extracted from the target, but we propose that some of the Fe metal beads are the result of reduction of FeO. A thin FeO‐SiO2‐rich condensate layer is found at the edge of the crater, suggesting that a limited amount of vapor formed and condensed. LA‐ICP‐MS analyses suggest, however, that within analytical uncertainties, no volatility‐controlled chemical fractionation of trace elements occurred in the ejecta. The main chemical fractionation during impact at such velocities and energies are the result of projectile‐target mixing.


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