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Mikestang

Two strewn fields, two days, two meteorites

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This past weekend I was invited on a group hunt at the Bullhead City strewn field.  My girlfriend used to live in Kingman and we would head over to Lauglin often, and every time we made that drive I wanted to hunt just about everywhere I could see out the window.  I had seen pictures of the BHC finds before, so getting a chance to look for one and maybe add another point to the strewn field map was an opportunity I wasn't going to pass up.

I met up with a group of folks a day early and we hit Franconia.  A few small chondrites were found, and I was lucky enough to dig up a 2g iron, the biggest iron I had found there yet.

Selfie in the Franconia field.

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2g Franconia iron

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Day 2 found us in the Bullhead City strewn field.  Spring is coming early to the deserts in the southwest and a light carpet of green has sprung up, obscuring many of the surfaces.

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I elected to hunt by eye and forego the detector, figuring I could cover more ground with the trade-off of possibly missing a small meteorite in the undergrowth and desert pavement.  Next time I go I'll probably swing the detector a bit at the small end of the field, I just kept feeling like I was missing something, but I put in 14 miles that day and I don't think I would have made it that far swinging a detector the whole time.  I found a pack of burros who were very interested in what I was doing way out in their hills, and they followed me around for most of the morning.

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Just about the time I was fixing to head back to the truck for lunch I crossed a wash to hunt another hill, stepped up out of the wash, and found myself looking down at what I thought was a lava rock.  I stared at it for a bit because I hadn't seen any other lava rocks all day, and the more I stared the more I realized this might be a meteorite.  I got out my loupe for a better look and I could not convince myself that what I was seeing was not fusion crust.  I took an in situ photo before reaching for it with my magnet.

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It hopped on to my magnet, but I still had to stare at it.  It had such an unusual shape and a dimple on the backside that went almost all the way through, it was unlike any meteorite I had found before.  I put it back down for a picture of the backside.

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Todd Parker was back at our staging area by the time I hiked back and he was really excited to see it.  Everyone in the group got a look and it pumped us up to get back out and try to find some more!  Unfortunately, this would be the only find for the day.  This strewn field does not give up its rocks easily, but you can bet we'll be back out to try again and keep populating that strewn field map with magic little dots.  Every dot tells a part of the story.

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Some close-ups.

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Sure looks good to me. Congrats.

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Well done Mike !!  Nice ones ! :thumbsupanim

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Congrats Mike they are NOT EASY to come by where we were 👍.

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That broken edge sure looks like basalt.  IMBs usually rust pretty readily due to the larger grains of Fe and FeS.  The texture looks like a lot of the basalt you find in the Mojave.  I'd love to be wrong, but I don't think that's a meteorite. 

 

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Great finds and pics Mike! It's definitely an odd looking meteorite.

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4 hours ago, CaliforniaFinder said:

That broken edge sure looks like basalt.  IMBs usually rust pretty readily due to the larger grains of Fe and FeS.  The texture looks like a lot of the basalt you find in the Mojave.  I'd love to be wrong, but I don't think that's a meteorite. 

 

Maybe time for a window into that rock?

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5 hours ago, CaliforniaFinder said:

That broken edge sure looks like basalt.  IMBs usually rust pretty readily due to the larger grains of Fe and FeS.  The texture looks like a lot of the basalt you find in the Mojave.  I'd love to be wrong, but I don't think that's a meteorite. 

 

I'd be happy to show it to you, there's no doubt it's a meteorite. Maybe it's not a melt piece, that's just my undereducated speculation. Under a loupe the fusion crust is very clearly just that. Like I said I thought it was a lava rock at first, i.e. basalt, but it's not.

Edited by Mikestang
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Shouldn't need to window it.  The corner here is broken with a sharp edge and it's black and granular, through and through.  

The other stones from this fall all show oxidation.  This one doesn't.  It doesn't contain ferrous iron.  

I'd be glad to see it in person, but these photos are fine...

20200224-104745.jpg

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8 hours ago, CaliforniaFinder said:

Shouldn't need to window it.  The corner here is broken with a sharp edge and it's black and granular, through and through.  

The other stones from this fall all show oxidation.  This one doesn't.  It doesn't contain ferrous iron.  

I'd be glad to see it in person, but these photos are fine...

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Forgive me Calfinder, but you seem to be sure this is not a meteorite, maybe you have more education than me, but i don't understand how you can see thru this rock. Seems like weathering would cover anything from a broken corner. :idunno:ht

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11 hours ago, Mikestang said:

I'd be happy to show it to you, there's no doubt it's a meteorite. Maybe it's not a melt piece, that's just my undereducated speculation. Under a loupe the fusion crust is very clearly just that. Like I said I thought it was a lava rock at first, i.e. basalt, but it's not.

Well i was just looking up BHC meteorite, to see what all the fuss is and it looks like Mike already put his rock on Met bulletin, so if you are just speculating and undereducated what's up? Calfinder has pointed out correctly that your rock does not seem to show much if any oxidation. :idunno:

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11 hours ago, CaliforniaFinder said:

Shouldn't need to window it.  The corner here is broken with a sharp edge and it's black and granular, through and through.  

The other stones from this fall all show oxidation.  This one doesn't.  It doesn't contain ferrous iron.  

I'd be glad to see it in person, but these photos are fine...

20200224-104745.jpg

There are no breaks, it's covered 100% in fusion crust.

Not all of the stones from this fall show oxidation.

Edited by Mikestang

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1 hour ago, hardtimehermit said:

Well i was just looking up BHC meteorite, to see what all the fuss is and it looks like Mike already put his rock on Met bulletin, so if you are just speculating and undereducated what's up? Calfinder has pointed out correctly that your rock does not seem to show much if any oxidation. :idunno:

My speculation was with regards to melt material, not the nature of this rock being a meteorite or not.

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Trying to take picts on my phone through a loupe is tough, but here's some at 30x magnification.

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I'll window it if I have to, but would rather not window a 100% crusted stone.

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I wouldn't touch it either. Really nice find.

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Look carefully at this photo.  The rough flat side facing us is a broken face.  We're looking at the interior of the rock.  The protruding corner near the top is a little more worn / less desert-varnished, and it's lighter in color because felsic minerals like quartz / feldspar are showing through.  

And look at that deep pit to the right of center.  It's grainy.  That's not fusion crust.  That's not exposed chondrite.  It's a pocket of softer still-dark-grey-rock that's eroding out.  

Compare this stone to others found in the field.  They're rusting.  You should see rust spots.  Chondrules.  If it's magnetic, but it's not rusty, where's the iron?  ...It's present as magnetite / hematite.  

If you don't want to cut it, don't cut it.  You don't need to.  

It's not basalt.  Looks more like a fine-grained metamorphic rock.  

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