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Locating meteorites


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I am from Minnesota and will be working in Texas for the winter was going to try my luck at meteorite hunting in Texas but after reading in the Forum you all revising the gentleman to search for meteorites in Roosevelt County New Mexico my first week off I was thinking on going hunting between portals and Roswell maybe around Kenna have never been to the desert I plan on staying for a week just recently purchased a pulse induction metal detector any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Hey Pupil!

You are in the right area. All you need to do is get some land ownership info. Most of the area around Kenna is farmland and oilfield and most of it is private land. You will have no problem getting permission most anywhere but you are going to have to ask. And finding out who to ask is often the hardest part.

Just knocking on doors will get you a few acres. And a few acres is really all you need. But land research will get you lots of acres to hunt and inroads for the future.

Learn about the Caprock formation and the age of the surface. The older the better. It is fairly simple geology and it is easy to spot the most likely (oldest) areas to hunt. And blowouts are your friend. So some Google Earth, spotting an area with blowouts galore, locating and calling the owners and getting permission is the trick. 

Honestly that might be harder than locating a meteorite. There are lots of them in the area. If you know how to spot one and know how to pick the spot you will be successful. Lots of guys have found meteorites in the area.

...And you find mets when you start finding native artifacts. They naturally go hand in hand when hunting blowouts. So there are bonus items to the deal and they tip you off when you are on the right spot for mets.

It is easy to locate the Portales strewn field and get permission on a few acres to scour for a couple days. But don't neglect finding a big blowout and going big. You are more likely to be successful in this area than anywhere on the globe besides Antarctica and a few desert areas. It is one of the very best spots on the planet to hunt mets. 

FYI it isn't desert. It is New Texico. Kinda flat high plains grassland. The people there speak West Texan and you can hardly understand a word they say. You must cross the mountains to the west of Roswell to get into the desert area.

Good luck!

 

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That is good advice thank you I found this in my yard in Kansas City Missouri I was convinced it was a meteorite tested positive for nickel took it to a mineral and gem show and one of the meteorite men we're going to buy it send it to the lab but the nickel content was too sparse

15413757170688663305071522641020.jpg

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I have no idea about that one. There are way too many voids in there IMHO. But I am no expert by any means. 

Anyhoo, you have a good chance at finding a new rock to ponder in Eastern New Mexico. Lots of wide open spaces and plenty of room to roam. Keep us posted on your adventure!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update I believe the picture of the rock I found is native iron as I found it in Cameron Missouri where there is a known example of native iron from there. It looks very similar to their native iron rock found in Russia recently in 2002 any opinions would be greatly appreciated

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I don't even have to look at the pictures. I know enough about iron minerals to know the odds of someone picking up a piece of native iron in their backyard is 1 in a 1,000,000,000,000.

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I think you should contact a university, send them photos and if they have enough interest they may ask to send a sample and I thing you should oblige. At this point though you object looks interesting, you can’t get all the answers here on this forum. Testing needs to be done at this point to have conclusive results, testing will be expensive though and this is usually where these investigations stop for people because it’s cost prohibitive and there is no guarantee you will get the results you will like, testing can be anywhere from $150-$400 I believe yours would be on the top end because it is metal. Another option is to find a pawn shop, jeweler, a environmental testing company or someone with a XRF scanning tool and have the shoot multiple areas to get a better idea of the general composition.

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10 hours ago, Pupil said:

If I had not found it in Cameron Missouri were one of the examples of the Native iron from the United States is I would agree here are more pics

15425967957034619586186259879012.jpg

I'd like to see the link that states native iron was located in Cameron, Missouri.

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I think you're confusing native iron with meteorites. Meteorites would be extraterrestrial iron and native iron would be natural iron that orginated on earth. Native iron would have combined with other elements like oxygen or sulphur to form other minerals over long periods of time. That's why native iron is extremely rare if it can be found at all.

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Fred, I realize that. I was merely pointing out the odds of picking up large piece of native iron in your backyard are very slim to none. 

Edited by Morlock
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I took a portion of the rock to the Earth science College in Minneapolis here this morning. They were very excited to get to study it he told me that it was definitely not man-made. A sample has already been sent to the University of Arizona and proven not to be a meteorite. The nickel content was too sparse being under 5% which would be in accordance with native iron in at about two and a half percent. I'm not computer savvy so I won't be able to transfer the link to the page on on the source to native or elemental iron in camron MO.  but if you Google sources of native iron there are not too many and Cameron Missouri is one of them Which is a suburb of Kansas City where I found my sample but right on the border. I have sent along a photo of the Russian example that looks very similar to mine they all thought it was a mesosiderite. If it is native iron it will have all of the same properties as meteorites with the widmanstatten pattern of course there will be a few elemental defferences

 

15426532594041373413203614807663.jpg

Edited by Pupil
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6 hours ago, Morlock said:

I think you're confusing native iron with meteorites. Meteorites would be extraterrestrial iron and native iron would be natural iron that orginated on earth. Native iron would have combined with other elements like oxygen or sulphur to form other minerals over long periods of time. That's why native iron is extremely rare if it can be found at all.

Ditto

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History[edit]

Aside from a very small deposit of telluric iron in Kassel, Germany, which has now been depleted, and a few other minor deposits from around the world, the only known major deposits exist in and nearby the area of Disko Bay, in Greenland. Found in the volcanic plains of basalt rock, the material was used by the local Inuit to make cutting edges for tools like knives and ulus. The Inuit were the only people to make practical use of telluric iron.

In the late 1840s, Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld discovered large boulders of iron near the Disko Bay area of Greenland. Knowing that the Inuit had made tools from the Cape York meteorite, Nordenskiöld assumed that the metal was of meteoric origin, since both contain significant amounts of nickel and both had Widmanstatten structures. The existence of telluric iron was doubted by most scientists at the time, and few had reason to question Nordenskiöld's finding. In 1871, on his second expedititon to Greenland, Nordenskiöld collected three large samples of telluric iron, still believing them to be meteoric, and brought them back to Europe for further study. These samples can be found currently in Sweden, Finland and Denmark. A 25-ton block now rests outside of the Riksmuseum in Stockholm, a 6.6 ton block outside the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, and a 3-ton block can be found in the Museum of Natural History in Kumpula, Helsinki.

Accompanying Nordenskiöld in 1871 was K. J. V. Steenstrup. Due to circumstances like the shape of the boulders, which often had sharp corners or jagged edges that are not characteristic of meteorites (which ablate considerably during atmospheric entry), Steenstrup disagreed with Nordenskiöld about the origin of the boulders, and set out on an expedition of his own in 1878. In 1879, Steenstrup first identified the type 2 iron, showing that it also contained Widmanstatten structures. Steenstrup later wrote about his finding,

In the autumn of 1879, I made a discovery in connection with this matter, for in an old grave at Ekaluit ... I found 9 pieces of basalt containing round balls and irregular pieces of metallic iron. These pieces were lying together with bone knives, similar to those brought home by [Sir John] Ross, as well as with the usual stone tools ... whereas the 9 pieces of basalt with the iron balls were evidently the material for the bone knives. This iron is soft and keeps well in the air, from which reason it is fit for use in the manner described by Ross. The rock in which the iron appears is a typical, large-grained felspar-basalt, and the discovery has a double significance, firstly, because it is the first time we have seen the material out of which the Esquimaux [Eskimo] made artificial knives, and secondly, because it showed that they have used telluric iron for that purpose."

After the discovery in the grave, Steenstrup found many large outcrops of ferriferous basalt, containing the type 2 iron. Since the type 2 was located within volcanic basalt, Steenstrup was able to show that the iron was of terrestrial, or telluric, origin. In his treatise, Steenstrup added,

This peculiar layer of basalt is filled from top to bottom with iron-grains of all sizes from a fraction of a millimeter to a length of 18 mm. with a breadth of 14 mm., which is the greatest I have found.... When polished, this iron shows beautiful Widmannstatten figures.... Metallic nickel-iron with Widmannstatten figures has now been proved to be also a telluric mineral, and the presence of nickel together with a certain crystalline structure are consequently not sufficient to give the character of meteorites to loose iron blocks.

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