Date(s) - 11/05/2022
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Categories No Categories


Prof. Aaron Cavosie, Space Science and Technology Centre, Curtin University



The unique mineralogy of Australian meteorite impact craters



Wednesday 11 May 2022

(venue open at 6.30pm for Show & Tell and socialising)



WA Lapidary and Rock Hunting Club Inc.
31 Gladstone Road, Rivervale



The study of Australian impact craters is currently experiencing a renaissance. Many new impact craters have been discovered and confirmed over the last decade, and our group in the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University continues to investigate a multitude of new sites. After a new site of a potential impact crater is discovered, a rather arduous process of searching for specific evidence to ‘confirm’ that the site has an origin from hypervelocity meteorite impact begins. The study of mineralogy plays a critical role in this process. The ‘renaissance’ aspect of the current revolution involves the study of accessory minerals, which are particularly useful to record a variety of impact processes as their refractory nature allows such evidence to be preserved over geologic time.

In this presentation I will describe examples from the Australian impact record of the types of diagnostic evidence that are needed in order to confirm an impact structure. In particular, I’ll discuss the different types of characteristic shock damage preserved in key minerals, such as quartz, zir

con, and others. I will also show examples of the first Australian occurrence of the high-pressure mineral reidite, and describe our ongoing collaborations with mineral exploration companies on the study of new impact structures encountered during exploration drilling.

Quintero, R.R., Cavosie, A.J., Cox, M.A., Miljković, K., and Dugdale, A. (2021) Australian impact cratering record: Updates and recent discoveries. Geological Society of America Special Paper, v. 550, p. 41-68. (feel free to email for a copy:

About the speaker

Aaron Cavosie is a geologist, geochemist, and planetary scientist. He has published 70+ peer-reviewed scientific papers, and serves as principal advisor of PhD, MS, and BS thesis students. He has received funding from U.S. National Science Foundation, NASA, Australian Research Council, and other agencies. Interests involve geochemistry, microstructure, and geochronology of accessory minerals as applied to both endogenic and exogenic processes, including origin of granite, Earth’s oldest rocks, origin of life, meteorites, and study of asteroid impact structures. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the Space Science and Technology Centre at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.