Original paper

Shock-induced crystal-plastic deformation and post-shock annealing of quartz: microstructural evidence from crystalline target rocks of the Charlevoix impact structure, Canada

Trepmann, Claudia A.; Spray, John G.


Two distinct types of shock-induced quartz microstructure in charnockitic target rocks and quartz veins of the Charlevoix impact structure are described. The dominant shock effects in the type 1 microstructure in charnockites at ∼2–4 km from the centre of the structure are planar deformation features (PDFs) parallel to rhombohedral planes of quartz. The abundance of different sets of these PDFs indicates a high hydrostatic component of the shock wave-associated stress (∼10–15 GPa). Evidence of crystal-plastic deformation due to high deviatoric stresses is absent. In contrast, PDFs parallel to the basal plane are predominant in the type 2 microstructure developed in rocks at ∼4–9 km from the centre of the structure, whereas rhombohedral PDFs are rare. This indicates a lower hydrostatic stress component (∼7–8 GPa), which correlates with a radial decrease in recorded peak shock pressure. The basal PDFs are revealed by transmission electron microscopy to represent mechanical Brazil twins, which record crystal-plastic deformation at high deviatoric stresses (McLaren et al., 1967). These findings imply that the deviatoric component of the shock wave-associated stress increases relative to the hydrostatic component with increasing distance from the centre of the impact structure.In the type 2 microstructure, numerous deformation bands, strong undulose extinction and cataclastic zones at the optical scale, as well as glide-dislocations and microcracks at the TEM scale, occur in association with basal PDFs, and are therefore also interpreted to be shock-induced. This is consistent with the observation that quartz from the outer part of the impact structure is devoid of similar features. Thus, the highly heterogeneous and localised glide-controlled deformation accompanied by mechanical twinning and microcracking recorded by the type 2 microstructure is suspected to be induced by the high deviatoric stresses and high loading rates during shock.Post-shock recovery is indicated in the type 1 microstructure by the actual microstructure of rhombohedral PDFs, dislocations in climb configuration and well-ordered low angle grain boundaries, as well as in the type 2 microstructure by the occurrence of small elongate subgrains with low angle grain boundaries paralleling low-index planes. This has probably taken place during annealing shortly after the impact event at quasi-static conditions and still sufficiently high post-shock temperatures, rather than during a separate regional thermal event.


transmission electron microscopyplanar deformation featuresmechanical brazil twinsshock effectspost-shockannealing