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PRIMARY SHAPE FORMATION: THE SPLASHFORM MORPHOLOGY

When the molten blobs of material were flung out from the impact site, not only were they projected forwards, but they were also rotating. The centrifugal forces of rotation change the morphology. The final morphology will depend on whether the molten tektite was rotating on 1, 2 or 3 axes. If the molten tektite is rotating evenly on 3 axes then a sphere will be formed. Rotation around two axes of a sphere created an oval shape, extending to a dumbbell with a greater speed of rotation, stretching even more then separating into two tear-drops. If a ‘wobble’ is added to this rotation, further shapes such as canoes may be formed. If the molten tektite rotates around 1 axis a disc or donut-like shape may be formed. The shape formation is best demonstrated in a diagrammatic way:

   

ABOVE:   Three axes of rotation results in a sphere.

ABOVE:   Two axes of rotation resulting in dumbbell then teardrop formation. 

  

ABOVE:   Two main axes of rotation, with a wobble. This may have formed some bent morphologies (although most likely occurred on impact with the ground) and canoes (with associated teardrops).

 

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