Saturday, July 28, 2007

How old are tektites? & Where are they found?

How old are tektites?
Tektites are geologically young, with a range of about 300,000 years to 35 million years. Many Australites are 610,000 to 750,000 years old. The North American tektites have been dated at 34.5 million years, and the Libyan Desert glass at 28 million years. The Bohemian and Moravian sites are dated at 14.7 million years, Aouelloul Crater at 3 million years and Ivory Coast tektites at about 1 million years.
Where are they found?
Tektites have been found only in certain parts of the world, spread over large areas called strewn fields, mainly in low latitudes. The three major areas are south-east Asia (especially Thailand and the Philippines), Australasia; Caribbean-North America; and Ivory Coast, West Africa.
Other areas include the Czech Republic (Bohemia); Slovakia (Moravia); Aouelloul Crater, Mauritania, Africa; the Libyan Desert; Irgiz, C.I.S.; Dalat, South Vietnam; Laos; Kwantung province, China; and Malaysia.
Microtektites are tiny particles of tektite dust found in deep sea sediment in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. They have the same composition as tektites from the North American and Australasian strewn fields.
Over 600,000 tektites have been found in south-east Asia (heaviest 15 kg) and about 100,000 in Australasia (heaviest 0.4 kg). About 2,000 (heaviest 91 g) have been found in the Caribbean-North American strewn field; 55,000 (heaviest 0.5kg) from Bohemia and Moravia and 200 (heaviest 79 g) from the Ivory Coast, West Africa.
Australian tektites have been found right across southern Australia, mainly below 25 degrees latitude, particularly within an east-west belt extending over Northern Territory, Queensland, most of South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania, and the southern parts of Western Australia.
Copyright © Australian Museum, 2004