Ten splash-form tektites from the Australasian strewn field, with masses ranging from 21.20 to 175.00 g and exhibiting a variety of shapes (teardrop, ellipsoid, dumbbell, disk), have been imaged using a high-resolution laser digitizer. Despite challenges due to the samples' rounded shapes and pitted surfaces, the images were combined to create 3-D tektite models, which captured surface features with a high fidelity (≈30 voxel mm-2) and from which volume could be measured noninvasively. The laser-derived density for the tektites averaged 2.41 ± 0.11 g cm-3. Corresponding densities obtained via the Archimedean bead method averaged 2.36 ± 0.05 g cm-3. In addition to their curational value, the 3-D models can be used to calculate the tektites' moments of inertia and rotation periods while in flight, as a probe of their formation environment. Typical tektite rotation periods are estimated to be on the order of 1 s. Numerical simulations of air flow around the models at Reynolds numbers ranging from 1 to 106 suggest that the relative velocity of the tektites with respect to the air must have been <10 m s-1 during viscous deformation. This low relative velocity is consistent with tektite material being carried along by expanding gases in the early time following the impact.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/maps.12287
Journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science
Samson, C, Butler, S., Fry, C., Mccausland, P.J.A., Herd, R.K., Sharomi, O., … Ralchenko, M. (2014). 3-D laser images of splash-form tektites and their use in aerodynamic numerical simulations of tektite formation. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 49(5), 740–749. doi:10.1111/maps.12287