|The different rocks affected (or produced) by one or more hypervelocity impact(s) are called “impactites” (see, e.g., the reviews by French, 1998; Stöffler and Grieve, 2007). The classification and definition of the various impactites is complex and always discussed, nevertheless, using basic criteria, such as “microstructure, degree of shock metamorphism, and lithological components”, Stöffler and Grieve (2007) have defined the main types of impactites. Using additional criteria, such as “the mode of occurrence with respect to the parent impact crater and to the geological or structural setting of the impactites”, the same authors have established a subclassification of the main types of impactites. An illustrated overview of this classification is presented here; Definitions for each type of impactite is reported and discussed.
An impactite is defined as a “rock produced by impact metamorphism”, including “shocked rocks, impact breccias, impact melt rocks, (micro)tektites and impactoclastic airfall beds” (Stöffler and Grieve, 2007). The two main types of impactites occurring on Earth (i.e., impactites from single impacts) are subdivided into proximal and distal impactites. The so-called “impactites from multiple impacts” (Stöffler and Grieve, 2007) are not discussed here.
Explore proximal impactites and distal impactites.
Types of Impact Craters