• SAUMITRA MISRA

      Articles written in Journal of Earth System Science

    • Iron-nickel metallic components bearing silicate-melts and coesite from Ramgarh impact structure, west-central India: Possible identification of the impactor

      DWIJESH RAY SAUMITRA MISRA DEWASHISH UPADHYAY HORTON E NEWSOM ERIC J PETERSON ANAND DUBE MANAVALAN SATYANARYANAN

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      The Ramgarh structure (rim-to-rim diameter $\sim$2.4 km) in the Vindhyan Supergroup of sedimentary rocks (including sandstone, shale and minor limestone) of the Mesoproterozoic age in the west-central India, is India’s third confirmed asteroid impact crater. This eroded structure is roughly rectangular in shape and resembles to the Barringer Crater, USA. The presence of central peak and its current crater diameter/depth ratio of $\sim$12 well corroborate the range (10–20) of terrestrial complex asteroid impact craters. The mm-sized, iron-rich (FeO $\sim$50 wt.% in average), spherule-like particles, recovered from the alluvium inside the Ramgarh structure, have internal morphology similar to those of the accretionary lapilli described in known impact craters. The in-situ LA-ICP-MS analyses also suggested high Co–Ni (up to 13,000 and 2500 ppm, respectively)-rich areas locally within these spherules/lapilli. A few non-in-situ, mm-sized particles, recovered from the rim of the structure show the presence of coesite, one of the diagnostic indicators of shock metamorphism. A few fragments of iron-rich, Ca–Al–silicate glasses recovered from the soil inside the structure and outside of the western crater rim include the presence of dendritic magnetite with occasional inclusions of relict native iron. Our microprobe analyses confirm that these metallic irons contain high proportions of Co ($\sim$350–3000 ppm), Ni ($\sim$200–4000 ppm) and Cu ($\sim$2200–7000 ppm) and possibly could be the relict component of a Cu-rich iron meteorite impactor. The field observation and relative enrichment of compatible and incompatible trace elements in the spherule-like substance (recovered from the alluvium inside the Ramgarh structure) as compared to target rocks suggests that hydrothermal activity played an important role in the evolution of the crater.

    • Lunar feldspathic meteorite Dhofar 081: Petrochemical constraints on petrogenesis

      DWIJESH RAY SAUMITRA MISRA DAVID R NELSON

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      Two alternative petrogenetic models, plagioclase flotation and serial magmatism have been proposed to explain the origin of the lunar anorthositic crust, covering ${\sim}$80% of the lunar highland. In this study, we re-examine the possible relict igneous texture present in an inferred lunar highland breccia clast (area ${\sim}$1 mm$^{2}$) in the Dhofar 081 meteorite. Our new petrographic and in-situ mineral microprobe chemical data on this clast show this coarse grained (average grain size ${\sim}$0.5 mm) clast preserves relict igneous texture where subhedral, prismatic low-Ca pyroxene has intergrown with anhedral anorthitic plagioclase, suggesting its eutectic crystallization from its parent silicate magma. Absence of maskelynite and similarity of Na, K contents of plagioclase with the FAN assemblages negate the possibility of crystallization of the studied relict clast from an impact melt. The mineral-chemical data of Dhofar 081 suggest it is FAN (Ferroan anorthosite) in composition (after Warren in Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 13:201–240, 1985). Hence, intergrown crystallization of minerals in the present relict igneous clasts and other reported FAN samples argues against a cumulate origin of the lunar anorthosite. The orthopyroxenes present in the unbrecciated portion of this meteoritic clast include bimodal low- and high-iron geochemical sub-groups. The application of orthopyroxene and plagioclase thermobarometry (after Gasparik in Contrib. Mineral. Petrol. 96:357–370, 1987) on our new microprobe data, and also two-pyroxene thermometry (after Lindsley in Am. Mineral. 68:477–493, 1983; Putirka in Rev. Mineral. Geochem. 69(1):61–120, 2008) on our new microprobe data and synthesis of literature data constrain the pressure and temperature of crystallization of lunar anorthosite parent magma close to 8 kbar and 1050$^{\circ}$C, respectively. Application of Fo–An–Q experimental phase diagram at high pressure (up to 20 kbar) negates the possibility of generation of lunar anorthosite from a lherzolite source, the parent magma of these anorthosites probably lie on or close to Fo–An join of this phase diagram close to the spinel field.

      $\bf{Highlights}$

      $\bullet$ Lunar anorthositic meteorite represents the global highland crust of Moon.

      $\bullet$ Relict igneous clast of lunar anorthositic meteorite shows intergrown texture vis-a-vis eutectic crystallisation.

      $\bullet$ Pressure and temperature of crystallisation of parent magma close to 8 kbar and 1050$^{\circ}$C.

      $\bullet$ Serial magmatism is consistent to explain the textural and mineral-chemical characters and vis-à-vis petrogenesis of lunar anorthosite.

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