Impact glasses from Belize represent tektites from the Pleistocene Pantasma impact crater in Nicaragua

Publication by LGL-TPE Earth & Environment on May 17, 2021. 

Tektites are terrestrial impact-generated glasses that are ejected long distance (up to 11,000 km), share unique characteristics and have a poorly understood formation process. Only four tektite strewn-fields are known, and three of them are sourced from known impact craters. Here we show that the recently discovered Pantasma impact crater (14 km diameter) in Nicaragua is the source of an impact glass strewn-field documented in Belize 530 km away. Their cogenesis is documented by coincidental ages, at 804 ± 9 ka, as well as consistent elemental compositions and isotopic ratios. The Belize impact glass share many characteristics with known tektites but also present several peculiar features. We propose that these glasses represent a previously unrecognized tektite strewn-field. These discoveries shed new light on the tektite formation process, which may be more common than previously claimed, as most known Pleistocene >10 km diameter cratering events have generated tektites.

Source:  Impact glasses from Belize represent tektites from the Pleistocene Pantasma impact crater in Nicaragua. Pierre Rochette, Pierre Beck, Martin Bizzarro, Régis Braucher, Jean Cornec, Vinciane Debaille, Bertrand Devouard, Jérôme Gattacceca, Fred Jourdan, Fabien Moustard, Frédéric Moynier, Sébastien Nomade & Bruno Reynard. Nature Communications Earth & Environment, May 17, 2021.


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