fusion crust

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Iron Meteorites and Pallasites

Experts disagree on whether metal-rich meteorites like irons and pallasites have a fusion crust. In my opinion, they do not, but they do have a "patina."

Sikhote-Alin (IIAB) is a good example of an iron meteorite with a patina. It fell in 1947, so it is not weathered. Photo by Randy Korotev.

The Bur-Abor (IIIAB) iron meteorite from Kenya also has a nice patina.

The Sterley (Texas) pallasite (PMG). Like many other iron and pallasite meteorites, it was found by a farmer plowing a field, so it has a weathered exterior and no obvious fusion crust. The cube is 1 cm in dimensions. Photo by Laurence Garvie.

The Conception Junction (Missouri) pallasite (PMG-an) was also found in a farm field. The exterior is highly weathered, but the sawn area shows bright metal with imbedded grains of olivine. Photo by Randy Korotev.

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Prepared by:

Randy L. Korotev

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis

Please don't contact me about the meteorite you think you’ve found until you read this and this.