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Gunnison Crater Tektites, Colorado
CP
post Jan 4 2009, 11:34 AM
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We have a discoverer in our midst folks! happy088.gif emoticon-misc-004.gif With over 2 decades of field experience in prospecting/mining across several different mineral and gem arenas including diamonds, gold, etc. We are all very lucky to not only have his personal participation and knowledge shared here, but we are also able to see first hand what new discoveries can produce!
This is a very rare treat these days in my honest opinion. My grandfather was one of the men who discovered jade in Wyoming (mid 1930's) and I wish very much I would have had known him better and his personal experiences/history of discovery times!

So lets get on with the information (there will be lots) smile.gif
Johnny (Astrobleme) through many exhausting hours of work I'm sure, discovered an ancient crater formation here in Colorado around Gunnison. Now named the Gunnison crater, and has produced some very interesting tektites. Being part of Johnny's discovery I would imagine they helped prove out his crater theroy. (feel free to correct me if wrong Johnny) Tektite origin itself has been quite a discussion over years past and still is, but they are very very "dry" rocks. The pressure and heat that creates them are mind boggling!

Here is a link to the Gunnison Country Times article / news release.

Recently Johnny was looking for lapidary artists to work some tektites and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to work some into cabochons and jewelry. We are very happy to say that we (Denise and myself) got to be the first lapidary artists to work any of these tektites.
While I was cutting the slices to use for cabochons I noticed there were some metal inclusions which Johnny later examined under magnification and...........well I'll let him tell you about the possible new information found. It's very exciting! excited.gif

Here are a few pics to go along with this thread which I'm sure will be one to keep up on for the future! happy088.gif
These 2 pics (courtesy of Johnny) show arial views of the crater.

Attached Image


Attached Image


This is a pic of some rough pieces you all may recognize from the "what's this #28" thread. biggrin.gif
Attached Image

After getting his cabochons in hand he could examine them a bit more closely and sent us these 2 pics too share with everyone.

Attached Image


Attached Image


All this hypervelocity impact discussion has my mind goin' for sure!! atomic.gif laugh.gif smile.gif

More pics of the finished pieces made from these to follow.........
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amethystguy
post Jan 4 2009, 11:59 AM
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Great stuff. these are my favorite type of threads to read. good job Mr. Tonko on all the research and the discovery. I know you will post some info when you get a chance. Thats very cool, Dan, that you got to work with the stuff. keep us informed


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ASTROBLEME
post Jan 4 2009, 04:36 PM
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Hello Everyone:

Way back when, as a teenager, my family drove across the area practically every weekend during the summer in order to get to our favorite fishing hole on the Gunnison River. I never gave the odd granite outcrops that stood out from the surrounding volcanic terrain much thought until it started looking good for diamond prospecting a few years ago.

Here's a photo of an exposed granite outcrop on the northeast side of the remaining crater. I've added in the hand drawing with matching lines just to draw attention to the orientation of the displacement fractures as they are visible today. Tremendous pressures were needed to crack and shift the granite into the perfectly circular rim that measure 5 miles across.

[attachment=3139:NE_Rim.jpg]

The rim stands out starkly against the southern view from the City of Gunnison. I took this photo below of the crater rim from the highway near the Gunnison airport. You can see how the road turns left far off in the distance as it starts to curve around the remnant rim.

[attachment=3140:Airport_View.JPG]

Once I started finding geologic evidence of impact, I reviewed as much reference material as I could. I was shocked to learn that there never had been anyone looking at impact as the possible cause for the multiple ring dike structure known locally as Hartman Rocks. Several geologists had studied that area over the years and written various papers that suggested volcanic activity or plate tectonic deformation as the cause. My sampling indicated clearly it was formed by hyper-velocity impact but my theory was not well accepted at first.

Of course, I quickly staked mining claims and filed them with the Gunnison County Clerk and Recorder along with the BLM Colorado State Office in order to protect my interests in the gem quality tektite discovery. Under advice from the company's attorney, we subsequently filed for a registered trademark to futher protect the tektite find.

When I recently provided rough specimens to CP, the ones sent were only low grade in order to "experiment" to see if they would even be workable. CP has done an outstanding job on the first run with that poor material. It amazed me to see what they had done with rock that wasn't too pleasant to look at. I would highly recommend them for lapidary/jewelry work.

It was Dan and Denise that first noticed the metal in matrix. They certainly deserve credit for that discovery. Until they had cut into the material with the diamond saw, it had remained hidden from view. The metal is small fragments of the impactor that were sealed in the tektite/matrix when the debris cloud settled back into the crater. Being so dry and impervious, the tektite provided a safe environment to preserve the metal grains. Meteorites usually waste away through rusting and would not be expected to survive for nearly 1/3 of a billion years. I was surprised to hear from CP about the metal grains and I am still very excited about discovering what their composition is.

Sincerely,

ASTROBLEME


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"Some day this crater is going to be a greatly talked about place, and if the above credit is due, as is certainly the case, I would like to have it generally known for the sake of the children." Daniel Moreau Barringer 2/1/1912 in a letter about the Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona USA
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Denise
post Jan 5 2009, 11:19 AM
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Fantastic info Johnny! Colorado definately has some amazing history behind it.
Its a great place to be. happy088.gif

QUOTE
When I recently provided rough specimens to CP, the ones sent were only low grade in order to "experiment" to see if they would even be workable. CP has done an outstanding job on the first run with that poor material. It amazed me to see what they had done with rock that wasn't too pleasant to look at. I would highly recommend them for lapidary/jewelry work.


Thanks for the compliments Johnny, and the opportunity to work that amazing material!
So far sculpting the smallest piece (#5 pictured above) has been going very good! The hardness combination is a bit tricky to work, but I love the challenge....hehe
Working the "low grade" material was definately something to remember, especially knowing the history behind it.
Thanks again, and keep that great Gunnison Crater Tektite info coming. smile.gif

Here is a closeup picture of a piece of Gunnison Crater Tektite.
Attached Image


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amethystguy
post Jan 5 2009, 03:21 PM
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Great info once again. Good find on the metal fragments CP's!


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jim
post Jan 5 2009, 05:50 PM
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A very interesting read. Please continue! Jim
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ASTROBLEME
post Jan 5 2009, 05:57 PM
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Hello Everyone:

I would like to tell the story of my discovery of Gunnison Crater as this post progresses. Please understand that I sincerely want to do this not in order to brag or sell anything, but rather I feel that I owe something back to all those hard working, brave and hearty souls that went before me and to all those young, vibrant and excited souls prospecting after me far into the future. It is very important for everyone that loves prospecting to learn from others when given the chance. I thank all those that have helped me along with the pursuit of my passion for prospecting. Passing knowledge along is so very important! This Forum is such a valuable resource and Im sure others will agree that they would have benefitted from having something like this available when they started out prospecting for their first time.

As I'm sure everyone has heard a time or two, "HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF". While I can attest to this fact by personal experiences from several occasions, I am by no means the only witness to the phenomenon. Before I get into the details of my discovery of the Gunnison Crater, please take some time to read through the link I've posted below. There isn't anyone alive that can relate better to Daniel Moreau Barringer and understand his personal struggles more than I. Perhaps you can learn something from his history and my story that will follow. I believe that our stories are still pertinent with respect to prospecting overall, not just in the instance of meteorites or craters.

http://www.barringercrater.com/adventure/

Sincerely,

ASTROBLEME


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"Some day this crater is going to be a greatly talked about place, and if the above credit is due, as is certainly the case, I would like to have it generally known for the sake of the children." Daniel Moreau Barringer 2/1/1912 in a letter about the Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona USA
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CP
post Jan 9 2009, 03:40 PM
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QUOTE
I would like to tell the story of my discovery of Gunnison Crater as this post progresses. Please understand that I sincerely want to do this not in order to brag or sell anything, but rather I feel that I owe something back to all those hard working, brave and hearty souls that went before me and to all those young, vibrant and excited souls prospecting after me far into the future.


Two thumbs up Johnny happy088.gif happy088.gif ........thank you! cool.gif
Good read the Barringer article/story too.
I'm very much looking forward to more of your story as this progresses in time. Having actual impactor material from millions of years ago encased in the super dry tektite formation......WOW!! What stories could those metal fragments tell? chin.gif spock.gif



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ASTROBLEME
post Jan 14 2009, 06:18 PM
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Hello Everyone:

The New Year is underway and I hope everyone is safe and warm this winter.

I am now finalizing arrangements to have the composition of the metallic fragments that are trapped in the melt matrix determined. The high resolution accuracy of the data needed dictates which laboratory has the equipment and personnel expertise to perform the testing in order to get the job done properly. Please understand that this is a privately funded research effort but once the data is in, I'd be willing to share it with any of you that are interested.

Sincerely,

Johnny F. Tonko
President
Tonko Mining Company, Inc.
http://www.meteoritecrater.com/


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"Some day this crater is going to be a greatly talked about place, and if the above credit is due, as is certainly the case, I would like to have it generally known for the sake of the children." Daniel Moreau Barringer 2/1/1912 in a letter about the Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona USA
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CP
post Jan 15 2009, 03:51 PM
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Very cool news Johnny and I for one am very much looking forward to those results and what will be learned from them. happy088.gif
I had found an article with a study about pressure's and what kind this event could create but now I'm not able to find it again...... bash.gif laugh.gif But if I remember the numbers right it was somewhere between 100 or 1000 times the pressure created at ground zero of a nuclear blast! atomic.gif I'll keep looking for that article.
The pressure and heat that is instantly created can actually vaporize rock and dry out any H2O with the material! smiley-shocked003.gif

So the tektites pictured in this thread were involved within the actual impact crater itself and or the immediate fall back rim formation correct?

Can't wait to hear/read some more. excited.gif

CP


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amethystguy
post Jan 15 2009, 08:46 PM
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Of course we are interested in it Mr. Tonko. I like this step-by-step way of things. It keeps us very informed. thanks


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ASTROBLEME
post Jan 17 2009, 11:23 AM
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QUOTE (ColoradoProspector @ Jan 15 2009, 03:51 PM) *
So the tektites pictured in this thread were involved within the actual impact crater itself and or the immediate fall back rim formation correct?

CP


Dear CP:

You are correct in your understanding that these tektites were trapped by "fall back" of the excavated rock back into the crater after impact. The tektite is preserved within pieces of impact melt rock and the metallic fragments appear to be found only within the melt rather than inside the tektite.

Due to the ancient age of the Gunnison Crater, everything outside the remnant rim exposures is eroded away. I haven't yet been able to locate any impact melt rock or tektite occurring outside of the crater.

Sincerely,

ASTROBLEME


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Tonko Mining Company

"Some day this crater is going to be a greatly talked about place, and if the above credit is due, as is certainly the case, I would like to have it generally known for the sake of the children." Daniel Moreau Barringer 2/1/1912 in a letter about the Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona USA
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faaus
post Jan 20 2009, 12:46 AM
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I arrived a bit late into the fascinating story of the Gunnison Crater. I really appreciate and enjoy the privelige of looking over your should as you progress in unraveling the pertinent facts Astrobleme.

Thanks to you and the CP's for a riveting tale.

faaus
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CP
post Jan 23 2009, 04:29 PM
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You are very welcome Faaus and a big thanks to Johnny for providing us with his insight and story about the discovery and proving it to the rest of the world. happy088.gif

For those reading along in this thread, I had promised to keep an eye out for info about pressures/temps that are generated during one of these hypervelocity events. So far I've been able to find this on megatons in tnt as to explosive events as a comparison. Still not the same study I found previously but this gives you an idea of the power involved when an impact occurs. atomic.gif

QUOTE
TNT equivalent is a method of quantifying the energy released in explosions. The tonne of TNT is used as a unit of energy, approximately equivalent to the energy released in the detonation of this amount of TNT. (kiloton=1000 tons and megaton=1,000,000 tons)

The Little Boy atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, exploded with an energy of about 15 kilotons of

The 1908 Tunguska event, believed to have been caused by an impacting comet or meteoroid, is estimated to have had a force ranging from 1015 Mt.

Based on crater formation rates determined from the Earth's closest celestial partner, the Moon, astrogeologists have determined that during the last 600 million years, the Earth has been struck by 60 objects of a diameter of five kilometers or more. The smallest of these impactors would release the equivalent of ten million megatons of TNT and leave a crater 95 kilometers across. For comparison, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba, had a yield of 50 megatons.


Back to the search for the previous article. pcwhack.gif biggrin.gif
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ASTROBLEME
post Jan 24 2009, 12:46 PM
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HOT OFF THE PRESS!

I just found this book today as I was passing by the new release section. The picture of an impact event on the cover caught my eye and I picked it up. Having only made it through the first chapter this morning, I can already say that this is a must read for anyone that wants to understand more about the laws of nature.

The COSMIC CONNECTION: How Astronomical Events Impact Life On Earth
By Jeff Kanipe
Published 2009 by Prometheus Books
ISBN 978-1-59102-667-9

ASTROBLEME


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"Some day this crater is going to be a greatly talked about place, and if the above credit is due, as is certainly the case, I would like to have it generally known for the sake of the children." Daniel Moreau Barringer 2/1/1912 in a letter about the Barringer Meteorite Crater, Arizona USA
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