Ultraprecise age and formation temperature of the Australasian tektites constrained by 40Ar/39Ar analyses

Fred Jourdan, Sebastien Nomade, Michael T. D. Wingate, Ela Eroglu, Al Deino

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
First Published: 29 May 2019


“The Australasian tektites are quench melt glass ejecta particles distributed over the Asian, Australian, and Antarctic regions, the source crater of which is currently elusive. New 40Ar/39Ar age data from four tektites: one each from Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Australia measured using three different instruments from two different laboratories and combined with published 40Ar/39Ar data yield a weighted mean age of 788.1 ± 2.8 ka (±3.0 ka, including all sources of uncertainties) (P = 0.54). This age is five times more precise compared to previous results thanks, in part, to the multicollection capabilities of the ARGUS VI noble gas mass spectrometer, which allows an improvement of almost fourfold on a single plateau age measurement. Diffusion experiments on tektites combined with synthetic age spectra and Monte Carlo diffusion models suggest that the minimum temperature of formation of the Thai tektite is between 2350 °C and 3950 °C, hence a strict minimum value of 2350 °C.”