VOLKHOVITES

 

Volkhovites are very small-sized, aerodynamically-shaped glasses having mafic to ultramafic compositions.  They were discovered in far-western Russia along the Volkhov River, southwest of St. Petersburg.  They have the texture & shapes of microtektites (= tiny impact splash glasses).  Published chemical analyses by the Russians indicate that volkhovites have bulk compositions consistent with kimberlites, lamproites, and carbonatites.  Their rare earth element compositions are similar to those seen in indochinites (= 700 k.y. impact splash glasses found throughout much of the southern portions of the Old World).

 

Despite their shapes and texture, the only available published interpretations of volkhovites conclude that they are not impact related, but are inferred to be outburst glasses from some not-yet-identified cryptovolcanic eruption center (see Skublov et al., 2007).  This conclusion appears to be influenced by pseudoscientific or fringe science thinking (see Izokh, 1997).  I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out that they are indeed impact related.

 

Locality: riverbank exposure on eastern side of the Volkhov River at the town of Kirishi, north of Novgorod, southwest of St. Petersburg, far-western Russia.  ~59 27 North latitude, ~32 01 East longitude.

 

Host materials & age: loamy glacio-fluvial sediments, Valday Glacial Interval, Late Pleistocene, 10-65 k.y.

 

Volkhovites - yellowish brown, greenish, and blackish specimens ranging from spheres to fused spheres to dumbbells to elongated threads of glass.

Scale: yellowish dumbbell-shaped specimen at lower right is 3 mm long.

 


 

Synthesized from info. in:

 

Izokh (1997) - Australian-Asian tektites and global catastrophe about 10,000 years ago caused by collision of the Earth with a comet.  Geologiya i Geofizika 38: 638-660.

 

Skublov et al. (2007) - Volkhovite: a new type of tektite-like glass.  Geology of Ore Deposits 49: 681-696.

 


 

 

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