Gold basin meteorite strewn field, Mojave desert, Northwestern Arizona: Relic of a small late pleistocene impact event

D. A. Kring, A. J.T. Jull, L. R. McHargue, P. A. Bland, D. H. Hill, F. J. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over 4450 meteorite specimens with a total mass of 168 760 g have been found in the Gold Basin (L4) strewn field over an area of 225 km2. The meteorite is a breccia, composed only of fragments of L-chondrite materials. The parent meteoroid had a kinetic energy equivalent to Ο5 to 50 ktons when it hit the top of the atmosphere. Cosmogenic nuclide studies indicate the meteorite has a terrestrial age of 15 000 ± 600 years, corresponding to the Late Pinedale portion of the Wisconsin Glaciation. Conditions in the Gold Basin, which is now part of the Mojave Desert, were wetter and cooler at the time of the fall. Mössbauer analyses indicate the sample is 30 to 35% oxidized. This is less than that in meteorites with similar ages found in eastern New Mexico, but comparable to that found in meteorites from the Sahara and the Nullarbor Region. Oxidation is likely to have occurred soon after the fall, when exposure to precipitation was at its maximum. Four other new meteorites were also found in the Gold Basin strewn field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1057-1066
Number of pages10
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Volume36
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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