Libyan desert glass

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Libyan desert glass

Libyan desert glass (LDG), or great sand sea glass is a substance found in areas in the Libyan Desert. Fragments of desert glass can be found over areas of tens of square kilometers.

Geologic origin[edit]

Tutankhamun's pectoral features a scarab carved from desert glass.[1]

The origin of Libyan glass is uncertain. Meteoritic origins have long been considered possible, and recent research links the glass to impact features, such as zircon-breakdown, vaporized quartz and meteoritic metals, and to an impact crater.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8] Some geologists associate the glass with radiative melting from meteoric large aerial bursts, making it analogous to trinitite created from sand exposed to the thermal radiation of a nuclear explosion. Libyan glass has been dated as having formed about 26 million years ago. It was knapped and used to make tools during the Pleistocene.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tut's gem hints at space impact, BBC News, July 19, 2006.
  2. ^ Jan Kramers; David Block; Marco Andreoli (2013). "First ever evidence of a comet striking Earth". Wits University. Archived from the original on 2013-10-10. 
  3. ^ Kramers, J.D et al (2013): Unique chemistry of a diamond-bearing pebble from the Libyan Desert Glass strewnfield, SW Egypt: Evidence for a shocked comet fragment. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 382, 21-31
  4. ^ B. Kleinmann (1968): The breakdown of zircon observed in the Libyan desert glass as evidence of its impact origin. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 5, 497-501.
  5. ^ Weeks, R. (1984): Libyan Desert glass: A review. Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 67, 593-619.
  6. ^ Seebaugh, W. R. & Strauss, A. M. (1984): Libyan Desert Glass: Remnants of an Impact Melt Sheet. LUNAR AND PLANETARY SCIENCE XV, 744-745. [Abstract.]
  7. ^ Barbara Kleinmann, Peter Horn and Falko Langenhorst (2001): Evidence for shock metamorphism in sandstones from the Libyan Desert Glass strewn field. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 36, 1277-1282
  8. ^ Giovanni Pratesi, Cecilia Viti, Curzio Cipriani and Marcello Mellini (2002): Silicate-silicate liquid immiscibility and graphite ribbons in Libyan desert glass. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 66, 903-911.


  • V. de Michele (ed.): Proceedings of the Silica '96 Meeting on Libyan Desert Glass and related desert events, Bologna, 1997 Contents
  • P.A. Clayton / L.J. Spencer: Silica Glass from the Libyan Desert, Vortrag vom 09.11.1933 online

External links[edit]