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Lunar Meteorite

Oued Awlitis (OA) 001

Western Sahara

 



Oued Awlitis 001, large piece.

(photo credit: Mohamed Aid)

 

Oued Awlitis 001, with the small piece positioned on the right

(photo credit: Mohamed Aid)

 

Sawn face of Oued Awlitis 001

(photo credit: Tony Irving)

 

 

Thin section of Oued Awlitis 001. Width of rock section: 2.5 cm. The meteorite is highly feldspathic (3.5% FeO). Click on image for enlargement.

(photo credit: Randy Korotev)

 

Lab samples of Oued Awlitis 001. Click on image for enlargement.

(photo credit: Tony Irving)

 

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 103

Oued Awlitis 001 (OA 001)

Western Sahara
Found: 2014 Jan 15
Mass: 432.5 g

Classification: Lunar meteorite

History: (A. Irving and M. Aid) In January 2014 a group of eight people traveling in two cars were returning northward after an unsuccessful meteorite hunting trip to southern Morocco, when they stopped near Oued Awlitis to cook dinner by the roadside. During a search for firewood, Mr. Zaid Oussaid found a buried piece of dead tree trunk, but he could not excavate it by hand. With the use of a pickaxe he was able to pull the wood out of the ground, but he then noticed beside it in the cavity a flat ellipsoidal, brownish gray rock coated by glossy translucent crust with anastomozing wrinkle ridges. Upon returning to his home (at Dwar Ait Gazo, 30 km west of Tagounite), Mr. Oussaid showed the 382 g specimen to Mr. Mohamed Aid, who organized a return trip to the find site on February 21, 2014, and after a search of the area an additional 50.5 g piece which fits exactly onto the main stone was found about 50 m away.

Physical characteristics: (A. Wittmann, WUSL, and A. Irving, UWS) A very fresh specimen (total weight 432.5 g, approximate dimensions 7.7 × 6.6 × 3.5 cm) with a pale yellow-brown, translucent fusion crust exhibiting a darker network of anastomozing wrinkle ridges on the surface. Small, yellow-white components are visible through the fusion crust, and chipped parts of the stone reveal a whitish-gray interior. A cut sample surface exhibits a fine-grained, wavy texture of gray mineral phases in a groundmass consisting of intergrown domains of anhedral, grayish-white minerals. Rare rounded, up to 2 mm, white domains occur that appear homogenous, and represent possible vesicle fills of secondary minerals.

Petrography: (A. Wittmann, WUSL; A. Irving, UWS) Crystallized, clast-rich melt rock with a poikilitic texture of intensely fractured olivine and pyroxene crystals that fill interstitial spaces between 5 to 50 µm, euhedral plagioclase phenocrysts. This crystallized melt groundmass envelops partly assimilated, strongly undulous, <1 mm plagioclase clasts that are distinguished by irregular and sub-planar fractures in lensoid, relict domains. In places, these plagioclase clasts contain 10 µm, euhedral domains of silica polymorph and commonly contain planar deformation features. Up to 10 µm kamacite and taenite crystals, and up to 70 µm troilite crystals that are in places intergrown, occur in the plagioclase clasts and in the poikilitic groundmass. Euhedral, <10 µm grains of ilmenite and Ti-Fe rich spinel are in some regions intergrown and contain <<1 µm domains of FeNi metal. Small shock melt pockets occur as <0.1 mm pods, or as <10 µm thick veins that offset the crystal fabric. Light brown, vesicular fusion crust (up to 150 µm thick on one side of the studied thin section and 0.5 mm thick on the other side) is composed of glass containing sparse whisker phenocrysts. A single ~10 µm wide, irregular fracture is filled with brown clay minerals, but no other terrestrial alteration phases were observed in the thin section.

Geochemistry: (A. Wittmann, P. Carpenter and R. Korotev, WUSL; S. Kuehner, UWS) Plagioclase phenocrysts in crystallized melt groundmass, An95–97Or0–0.2, n=13; plagioclase in relict clasts, An88–97Or0–0.3, n=18; olivine, Fa30–44, molar Fe/Mn=81–151, n=13; pigeonite, Fs26–40Wo6–19, molar Fe/Mn=45–74, n=10; subcalcic augite, Fs20–24Wo25–34, molar Fe/Mn=41–61, n=5; spinel, (Mg0.07–0.11 Mn0.01 Fe2+0.87–0.92) (Fe3+0.73-0.88 Al0.13–0.22 Si0.01-0.05 Ti0.65–0.8 Cr0.16–0.34), n=5; ilmenite, 2.1 wt% MgO, n=2; troilite, 0.08–0.1 wt% Ni, n=3; kamacite, 6.8–7.6 wt% Ni, 0.8–0.9 wt% Co, n=3; taenite, 11.5–24.1 wt% Ni, 0.7–1.2 wt% Co, n=5.

Classification: Lunar (anorthositic melt rock).

 

Specimens: 20.1 g including one polished thin section at UWB. The remaining material is held by M. Aid.

 

Randy Says…

The circumstances of its discovery is a good story. 

 

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

OA 001

 

References

Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2017) Still not keeping up with the lunar meteorites – 2017. 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1498.

Wittmann A., Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., Chennaoui- Aoudjehane H., and Irving A. J. (2014) Petrology and chemistry of a lunar feldspathic impact melt rock meteorite from Oued Awlitis, Morocco (abstract). 77th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5352.

Wittmann A., Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., and Irving A. J. (2015) Petrogenesis of Lunar Poikilitic Impact Melt Meteorite Oued Awlitis 001. 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 1141.

Wittmann A., Korotev R. L., Jolliff B. L., Zanetti M., Nishiizumi K., Jull A. J. T., Caffee M. W., and Irving A. J. (2017) Who launched lunar meteorite Oued Awlitis 001? 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, abstract no. 2482.

 

 

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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.


e-mail
korotev@wustl.edu

Last revised: 5-February-2017