African Meteorites

Meteorite Finds in Africa

Author(s): Lahcen Ouknine*, Giorgio S. Senesi, Fouad Khiri, Abderrahmane Ibhi and Mohamed Th. S. Heikal

Pp: 58-88 (31)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815136296123010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Africa is a favorable site for meteorite recovery, with a total number of recoveries amounting to more than 1/6 of all meteorites recovered from the entire world. This work deals with the classification of meteorite finds in Africa, the distribution of their masses, and their alteration/weathering grades as affected by various factors. The African meteorite population includes an abundance of stony meteorites with a high percentage of the world collection of rare meteorites, i.e., Martian meteorites (62%), Ureilites (51%), Rumuruti (59%), Lunar (47%), and HED (46%). Furthermore, an important increase in achondrite meteorites finds occurred in the last two decades, compared to the Australian and Antarctic collections. The mass distribution of the African meteorite population shows that most recoveries (72%) have masses bigger than 100 g with peaks of about 1 kg, compared to about 0.1 kg for the Australian collection and 0.01 kg for the Antarctic finds. The distribution of weathering grades (W) shows the predominance of W1 (32%) and W2 (34%), which proves a better preservation of meteorites in this continent. The factors influencing the mechanism and rate of alteration of African finds include climate as the main factor, the mass, the terrestrial age, and the initial porosity of the sample.

Keywords: Africa, Classification, Human and natural factors, Mass distribution, Meteorite finds, Weathering factors.

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