PORTLAND – Outdoor adventures and significant new discoveries go hand in hand outside as we try to understand our world around us and that we even can aid mankind’s understanding of our world that can occur all the time.
For example, METEORITE “MOLDAVITES” AND “Muong Nong” TEKTITES are a relatively new mineral/ gemstone to science and jewelers; but not to European cave people who used to collect these encountered beautiful oddities for magical stones.
Readers, the cover photo shows a beautiful, possible “moldavite” found in Eastern Oregon and its neighbors are currently being tested now for a proper scientific classification or Identification or local conformation. The slide show will show some possible Oregon’s brilliant black layered “Muong Nong” TEKTITES also being tested!
First, what is a “Moldavite -tektite”?
According to Wikipedia:
“Moldavite(Czech: Vltavín) is an olive-green or dull greenish vitreoussubstance possibly formed by a meteoriteimpact. It is one kind of tektite.
It was namedby A. Dufrnoyfor the town of Moldauthein(Czech: Týn nad Vltavou) in Bohemia(the Czech Republic), where it occurs. It is sometimes cut and polished as an ornamental stone under the name of pseudo-chrysolite.”
“Moldavite’s bottle-green glasscolour led to its being commonly called Bouteillen-stein, and at one time it was regarded as an artificial product, but this view is opposed to the fact that no remains of glassworks are found in the neighborhood of its occurrence; moreover, pieces of the substance are widely distributed in Tertiaryand early Pleistocenedeposits in Bohemiaand Moravia. For a long time, it was generally believed to be a variety of obsidian, but its difficult fusibility and its chemical composition are rather against a volcanicorigin hypothesis…F. E. Suesspointed out that the nodulesor small masses of moldavite presented curious pittings and wrinkles on the surface, which could not be due to the action of water, but resembled the characteristic markings on many meteorites. Boldly attributing the material to a cosmicorigin, he regarded moldavite as a special type of meteorite for which he proposed the name of tektite.
To this type are also referred the so-called obsidian bombsand buttons from Australiaand Tasmania, known sometimes as australites, and called by R. H. Walcottobsidianites. Similar bodies have been found in Indonesiaand have been termed billitonite, from the isle of Belitungwhere they occur in tin-bearing gravels.
Usually they are flat, rounded or ellipsoidal bodies, sometimes surrounded by an equatorial girdle or rim, and often with a brilliant black superficial luster, as though varnished.
”It is also widely argued that the moldavite glass was formed 15 million years ago during the impact of a giant meteorite in present-day Nördlinger Ries. Splatters of rocks that were melted by the impact cooled while they were actually airborne and most fell in central Bohemia – traversed by Vltavariver (German: Moldau). As such the glass can be found in the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.
Isotopeanalysis of samples of moldavite have shown a beryllium-10 isotope composition typical of the Australasian and Ivory Coast tektites.”
There are typically two grades of moldavite: high quality often referred to as museum grade, and regular grade.Museum and regular grade moldavite can be told apart by the way they look: The regular grade pieces are usually darker and more saturated in their green colour, and the surface is seen as closely spaced pitting or weathering. This type sometimes appears to have been broken apart from a larger chunk.
The museum grade has a distinct tear-drop or fern-like pattern and is much more translucent than the regular grade. There is usually a fairly big difference in the price between the two.
The museum grade “flower bursts” are much more prized by the mineral collection connoisseur.
High-quality moldavite stones are often used in hand-crafted jewelry and thus enter the market away from mainstream jewelry fashions, more centered around art and craft, and as such have gained an almost cult status.”
- The total amount of Moldavite scattered around the world is estimated at 275 tons. There are now only fourmoldavite mines that are in full operation in the Czech Republic. It is predicted that in less than ten years from now commercial Moldavite mining will come to an end. After this time, there will be virtually no appreciable amount of gem-grade Moldavite left in the ground.
Another scientific research report explains more about THE RELATIVELY NEW SCIENCE OF TEKTITES!
- A 2002 “Bulletin of the Czech Geological Survey, Vol. 77, No. 4, 283–302, 2002 Czech Geological Survey” does an in-depth scientific analysis of these rare European Tektites”
“In the present paper, we briefly sum up the existing knowledge about their strewn fields and geology, about their properties, and their origin. The present survey should enable a detailed comparison with other groups of tektites and separation of primary differences from differences caused by earth history.
The extent of moldavite occurrences is a result of intensive denudation and redeposition of the initial strewn field. All regions of moldavite occurrences are spatially associated with regional basins and depressions.
The oldest moldavite-bearing sediments with very short-transported material are unsorted colluvio-fluvial gravelly sands and clays of Middle to Upper Miocene age. Fluvial transport of moldavites to more distant places determined their present distribution and led to a substantial lowering of their content in the sediments. Roughly 106 metric tons of moldavite matter (macrotektites) formed initially. Only about 1% of this mass has been preserved till the present. Most moldavites are splash-form moldavites.”
Their preservation in the conditions of continental sediments over a time period of about 15 m.y. is not probable. It is, however, a question whether they were formed or not. Moldavites represent the most acid group of tektites with silica content of around 80 wt%. They are relatively rich in K2O, too. On the other hand, they are characterized by low average contents of Al2O3, TiO2, FeO and Na2O.
These low Contents of TiO2 and FeO lead to their higher translucency, similarly as in georgianites.
In the same way as with other tektites, moldavites originated by fusion and ejection of porous target rocks during an oblique impact of a large meteorite. The impacting body – in the case of moldavites – was probably a chondrite 500–1000 m in diameter. Its impact also created the Ries crater at approximately 14.4–15.1 Ma.
Essentially, Readers, a space rock heats up entering the Earth’s atmosphere, just like a news story mentioned a recent man-made satellite fell and mostly burn up as it approaches the Earth’s surface. However, meteorites are rounded and harder than most man-made space debris!
Never the less, a cold space meteorite comes in super-heated or steaming in our moist air and impacts the cold soil, somewhat like a cold raindrop impact crater. However, a striking Meteorite’s are much more rare and larger and possibly near a molten stage.
One can drop a rock onto soft sandy soils to see a facsimile of a meteorite crater. Only this much larger molten hot rock digs deeper into the local geology strike site and blasts out a much larger hole or crater and the molten material ejected from the crater fly through the air!
Since natural Silica glasses, like continental granite’s quartz (SiO2) or sandstone, are the most common landscape component, the molten dribble or drool – tear shaped, molten ejected material is highly enriched with silica glass favored by jewelers and gemologists. Thus these “out of this world” beautiful stones were even pocketed by ancient cave men.
“Even the prehistoric man contributed, to a small extent, to the present-day distribution of moldavites. The oldest archaeological finds of moldavites are dated back to the Palaeolithic. Worked pieces of moldavites, associated with Paleolithic prehistoric remains, were found at the Gudenushohle”
Readers can spend more time on this GEOLOGIC REPORT website to learn more about tektites; But for brevity’s sake – here is nuts & bolts information!
Primary shapes, Depending on the conditions of their origin, different primary types of tektites were formed.
(i) splashform tektites,
(ii) (ii) Muong Nong-type tektites and
(iii) (iii) microtektites.
The most common group is the splash-form tektites in Europe.
Considering these rare jeweler’s stone’s age (16MYA), Microtektites or sand-size tektites is widely scattered and rarely found.
1) The initial shapes of all splash-form tektiteswere drops, which originated in the separation of bigger mass of tektite melt by shearing flow. Other shapes of splash-form tektites are the result of transformation of some parts of the original plastic drops by rotation(Trnka and Houzar 1991, Trnka 1999).
Most moldavites belong to this type. The most usual shape of splash-form moldavites is a drop(Konta 1980), elongated, flattened, bent or spirally curved to a different degree. Lenticular shapes (discs), three-axial ellipsoids, sphere-like bodies and dumb-bells are frequent, too. Discs have sometimes thickened edges.
2) “Layered tektites without total internal stress, which usually form bigger irregular angular pieces, are designated as Muong Nong type tektites(Lacroix 1935). They have characteristic shimmering structure, higher content of bubbles and foamy lechatelierite. Muong Nong types of tektites in typical forms and with all the above mentioned features are common only in Asia (indochinites).According to Rost (1966), only one big moldavite found near Lhenice in southern Bohemia is regarded as a Muong Nong type of tektite, thanks to its morphological features and to the absence of total internal stress.”
Readers, The slide show photo shows Muong Nong Tektites show layers somewhat like very common sedimentary rock -all around the world; but softer sedimentary rock layers typically are alternating light and dark layers represent lighter summer and dark winter stream flows. Warmer Summer sediments are lighter because Earth’s soil bacteria digest the seasonal darker organic components remaining in colder winter sediments.
Oddly, these three varieties of Muong Nong Tektites however appear like a varied colored plastic clay layers smashed or fused together! However,these varied colored molten silica flying in the atmosphere were bumped & pushed together while still fluid or plastic-hot and re-melted as one solid stone when cooled. Unlike stream sediments -stone that can be gouged or easily carved by a stainless steel knife, these tektites have a natural super-heated glass polish ( photo enhanced by water sheen) and metal will be left on these Tektites scratched by a stainless steel knife blade.
Essential parts of original shapes of Muong Nong type of tektites are preserved only very exceptionally in Indochina.
From them it is possible to deduce that these tektites had originally the shape of spoon-like bent drops with the weight attaining 100 kg. It seems evident that they went through airborne transport together with the splashforms. The Muong Nong tektites show evident traces of flight through the atmosphere, but their deformations are of primitive character (Futrell 1987, Trnka 1994, 1997a).
Rare specimens of moldavites are composed of two differently coloured parts with a sharp boundary. They originated by collision of molten moldavites before their impact on the Earth’s surface. More than fifty moldavites of this type were found in the South Bohemian area and about ten in Moravia (Bouška at al. 1982, Trnka and Houzar 1991).
Not all impacts result in the formation of tektites. According to David (1972) and Stoffler et al. (2002), tektites appear only with the oblique impact of the cosmic body. This is supported by the fact that tektites are today found in only one direction from the parent crater.
Another indispensable condition is the effect of strongly compressed air in front of the impacting body on the surface horizons (Remo and Sforza 1977, Delano and Lindsley 1982). The compressed atmosphere ejected material immediately before the crater-forming explosion. This condition makes it impossible for tektites to appear on the Moon and on other atmosphere-poor planets.
Dietz (1984) stressed that tektites are formed only during strong impacts, which create craters at least 10 km in diameter. The chemical composition of target rocks probably plays a certain role, because it strongly influences the character of the melted product and the possibility of glass formation. The proof of this is the relatively small variability of the chemical composition of tektites.
Let us leave the world focus now and ground back here in Oregon!
In Search of Ancient Oregon author mentions on page 131:
“For a very long time, the source of the Columbia River basalts seemed a mystery, though there were many hypotheses. The ideas…included proposals that Oregon over-ran a mid-oceanic ridge that continued its activity, Or that a meteorite crashed into eastern Oregon…The meteoritic suggestion, however, has always lacked credible scientific evidence. There are no shock minerals, geophysical sightings of buried circular structures, or anomalies of meteorite-induced chemistry in regional Middle Miocene soils.”
Stay tuned readers, these newly discovered possible “ rare moldavites & Muong Nong” TEKTITES ” in the Southfork of the John Day River may change or confirm a mysterious component of Oregon’s amazing geologic history some 16 million years ago!
Get outside and explore friends!
Columbus Day is October 10th and he was an ancient form of explorers. Your family can Join this unique league of Outdoor adventurers!
OTHER QUOTES TO CONSIDER:
“For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(1807 – 1885. American Poet)
Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.
Edith Sitwell, Taken Care Of, 1965
English biographer, critic, novelist, & poet (1887 – 1964)
Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.
Clare Ansberry, The Women of Troy Hill
The words ‘I am…’ are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.
A. L. Kitselman
All the men in my family were bearded and most of the women.
W. C. Fields
Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.
W. C. Fields
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