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Meteorite hunting in Alaska

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Hi all,

As most of you know I've been a professional meteorite hunter for years. However, my expertise is limited to the southwestern part of the United States.

I know that many of you follow the work done in Antarctica a lot more closely than I do. I know that meteorites have been recovered there for over two decades and more recently in eastern Manitoba, Canada. All due to ancient glaciers and their movements. My questions are as follows:

1)Has anyone really searched for meteorites in other glacial areas such as Alaska?

2)Is there any reason to believe that meteorites wouldn't be found there? 3)Are the Alaskan glaciers old enough to sufficiently "catch" meteorites?

I may be planning a trip there and would like any advice on the subject.

Ruben Garcia

Phoenix, Arizona



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Hey Ruben, I think one the main differences between Antactica and Alaska is the fact that Antartica is a desert. Most of the same mechanisms that help unearth meteorites here in the southwestern deserts (deflation, ice rifting, etc) are happening down there too only there is a convergent plate boundary that helps gather the meteorites in a single location and the cold dry temperatures help preserve them.

I can't imagine Alaska is a conducive environment for meteorite preservation considering how wet and green the place is... You know it's one of those states that actually gets "four seasons" instead of two. :laught16: Maybe if you get above the arctic circle where it's a little more dry? I'm not sure, though If I were you I would probably read up on the geology of glaciers to understand exactly how they erode. I would think if there's constant freezing and thawing on a glacier this wouldn't help keep meteorites around for very long.

I'm not sure how old the glaciers are, maybe they've been around since the last ice age (~10,000 years). However I will say one thing (that you're well aware of)- old flat surfaces = higher meteorite probability, and glaciers defintely fall in this category so maybe it's worth a try. :shrug:

Good luck!


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Hi Ruben,

I have a lot of time on Glaciers. Even though Glaciers are old, most of the rocks are from the surrounding moraines or the rocky sides of the Glacier. I have gone down into quite a few Crevasses to 60 to 120 feet. You can see rocks deep in the ice. But I'm sure there not meteorites.

Antarctica is a field of ice and snow much like a desert. It's stationary whereas most Glaciers are not stationary. They move approximately 2 feet a year, depending on the topography. Many parts of the Ruth Glacier and the Matanusca (sp) Glacier are flat. You could even land a plane on them. But most of the small Glaciers, say 10 to 30 miles long, are filled with Crevasses, Moulins (tubular chutes) and Seracs (spires of ice). Not very conducive to walking or looking for meteorites, etc. You will need ropes, hardware and crampons.

When a Glacier cracks, say every 20 min. to an hour or so, it sounds like thunder in the ice field. Great experience. At times I would sleep over night on them. :coffeetime:

Here's a site that may help.


Here's some photo's if they down load

if the photo's don't work then e-mail me and I'll send them to you.


I was a Pararescueman in Alaska. A parachuting paramedic for plane crashes. We would parachute in and stabilize the patient's until a helicopter could retrieve them and take them to the hospital, etc. :outtahere:








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Hi Ruben,

If you've never been to Alaska, it's worth going. It the last great frontier other than the Oceans. The one thing I like about Alaska is the people. They are strong and honest folks. True to their word. :innocent0002: It's a hard life but a very good one. Ton's of fishing and hunting. You have to be careful not to wonder to close to mining claims. They have a dull sense of humor when it comes to their claims..... :tisc-tisc: You may approach them and tell them what your doing, most will say "have at it and good luck" One time my buddy and I were hiking and taking wild life photo's when two guy's came out of the brush with rifles. They just told us were not to go and we went on our way. :coffeetime:

Jim "bones" shorten :outtahere:

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