Evidence for Localized High Temperature Hydrothermal Fluid Flow within the Sub-Crater Environment of the Rochechouart Impact Structure: Observations from a Polymict Breccia Dike

Simpson, S.L., Lambert, P. and Lee, M.R. (2015) Evidence for Localized High Temperature Hydrothermal Fluid Flow within the Sub-Crater Environment of the Rochechouart Impact Structure: Observations from a Polymict Breccia Dike. In: 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, The Woodlands, TX, USA, 16-20 Mar 2015,

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Abstract

Hypervelocity impacts into volatilebearing terrestrial targets can initiate hydrothermal circulation for a finite period of time; evidence for this is preserved in approximately one-third of impact structures on Earth [1, 2]. Hydrothermal environments can host extremophile life, and microbial communities have been found to colonize impact craters [3, 4]. The majority of impact structures on Earth have yet to be studied in great detail; many aspects of the post-impact environment such as the extent and duration hydrothermal circulation with respect to location within the structure as well as crater diameter, target composition and external influences, (paleogeography) are not fully understood.

We present evidence for high temperature hydrothermal fluid circulation within the sub-crater environment of the highly eroded, 23km diameter, Mesozoic Rochechouart impact structure located in west-central France [5]. This evidence is a new impact lithology that was found during a recent field campaign at a collection site located approximately 7.5km north-east of the structure's center. It is a highly porous, polymict lithic impact breccia dike containing carbonate mineralization found below the transient crater floor. Secondary hydrothermal mineral assemblages are diagnostic of a range of temperatures (>100°C to low temperature diagenetic).

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lee, Professor Martin
Authors: Simpson, S.L., Lambert, P., and Lee, M.R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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