Skip to main content


tektites Small fragments (usually 2.5–5.0 cm) of silica-rich, translucent black glass, found scattered over large areas (strewnfields) in particular regions of the Earth. Most tektites exhibit ‘splash’ shapes (tear-drops, dumb-bells, etc.) indicating a rapid cooling and solidification during flight. They are thought to have formed as ejecta from cometary or meteorite impacts on to silicate-rich rocks, most likely terrestrial, although this is still a matter of some controversy. The material would have melted on impact, been thrown up into the atmosphere or space, and landed, resolidified, far from the site of origin. The ages of known tektites range from around 0.7 to 35.0 Ma. Microscropic tektites (microtektites) have been recorded from ocean sediments off the Ivory Coast, off southern Australia, and from the Indian Ocean.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"tektites." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . 20 Jul. 2019 <>.

"tektites." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . (July 20, 2019).

"tektites." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved July 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.