The Fate of Carbon During Impact

The Earth's record of meteorite/asteroid impacts is key to understanding the delivery of volatiles and carbonaceous materials to the early Earth. The project would seek to utilize Raman imaging spectroscopy to map the distribution of carbonaceous materials within impacted terrestrial rocks and elucidate the nature of co-occurring minerals in these rocks.

From these observations, it may be possible to further analyze the minerals using microprobe and electron microscopy to understand the interaction of extraterrestrial carbonaceous materials delivered to the Earth during the impact process. Specific examples of carbonaceous species of interest that would be formed during the impact process are graphite, graphite whiskers, diamonds, and other high-temperature polymorphs.