Shock Metamorphic Features in the Archean Simlipal Complex, Singhbhum Craton, Eastern India: Possible Remnant of a Large Impact Structure

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Research Article

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Journal of the Geological Society of India


The Simlipal complex in eastern India is an elliptical structure with diameter of ca. 50 km coinciding with an elliptical region of high gravity. It overlies the Archaean basement of the Singhbhum craton and has a ring structure characterized by complex series of concentric ridges with inward dipping slopes. Quartz clasts in melt-breccias from the complex display diagnostic shock metamorphic features such as two to three sets of decorated and annealed planar deformation features (PDFs), spall and concussion micro-fractures, and the presence of coesite. They also preserve microstructures suggestive of crystallographically-controlled melting/amorphization along two or three planar directions, and within concussion micro-fractures. The inferred shock pressures in excess of 40–60 GPa are possible only during bolide impact. The Simlipal structure is possibly the remnant of a large complex impact crater having an original diameter of at least 50 km. Although zircons from an impact melt rock furnish a concordia age of 3107±14 Ma, in the absence of any unambiguous shock metamorphic effects in them, it is difficult to assign the age to the impact event. Therefore, the age of the impact is currently unconstrained.

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