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MEMIN Sub-Project: Microscale shock processes in sandstone

Flugplatten und Probencontainer überstehen die Versuche nicht unbeschadet. Foto: EMI

MEMIN overview

Within the Multidisciplinary Experimental and Modelling Impact Research Network (MEMIN), this project is focused on low-grade shock metamorphism in porous and wet sedimentary rocks, specifically on quartz, one of the most abundant minerals in Earth´s upper crust and the most important mineral for shock barometry. The goals are

(i) to study the influence of porosity and water saturation on the development of shock effects and of progressive shock metamorphism,

(ii) the shock pressure calibration of these effects, especially in the range 5 to 15 GPa, to improve the shock classification scheme,

(iii) to analyze the shock-induced melting, and

(iv) to elucidate the formation of planar deformation features in quartz and SiO2 high-pressure phases.

Starting point for the investigations are shock recovery experiment with dry and water-saturated sandstone, and with quartzite. The evaluation of the shocked samples uses mineralogical methods, which are combined with numerical modeling (Project Numerical Modeling of Impact Cratering Processes) for the interpretation of the results.

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Duration: 07/2011 – 10/2016

Project website:

    Selected Publications:

    • Kowitz, A., Güldemeister, N., Reimold, W. U., Schmitt, R. T. and Wünnemann, K. 2013. Diaplectic quartz glass and SiO2 melt experimentally generated at only 5 GPa shock pressure in porous sandstone: Laboratory observations and meso-scale numerical modeling. Earth and Planetary Science 384, 17-26.
    • Kowitz, A., Schmitt, R. T., Reimold, W. U. and Hornemann, U. 2013. The first MEMIN shock recovery experiments at low shock pressure (5-12.5 GPa) with dry, porous sandstone. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 48, 99-114.
    • Buhl, E., Kowitz, A., Elbeshausen, D., Sommer, F., Dresen, G., Poelchau, M. H., Reimold, W. U., Schmitt, R. T. and Kenkmann, T. 2013 Particle size distribution and strain rate attenuation in hypervelocity impact and shock recovery experiments. Journal of Structural Geology 56, 20-33.
    • Kowitz, A., Güldemeister, N., Schmitt, R. T., Reimold, W. U., Wünnemann, K. and Holzwarth, A. 2016. Revision of existing shock classifications for quartzose rocks using low shock pressure recovery experiments (2.5-20 GPa) and meso-scale numerical modeling. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 51(10), 1741-1761.
    • Kowitz, A. 2016. Microdeformation in quartz experimentally shocked at low shock pressures – the effect of porosity and water saturation. Dr. rer. nat. thesis, Freie Universität Berlin, 191 p.
    • Mansfeld, U., Langenhorst, F., Ebert, M., Kowitz, A. and Schmitt, R. T. 2017. Microscopic evidence of stishovite generated in low-pressure shock experiments on porous sandstone: constrains on its genesis. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 52(7), 1449-1464.
    • Ebert, M., Kowitz, A., Schmitt, R. T., Reimold, W. U., Mansfeld, U. and Langenhorst, F. 2018. Localized shock induced melting of sandstone at low impact pressures (<17.5 GPa): An experimental study. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 53(8), 1633-1643.