Sample Collection and Curation

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Antarctic Meteorite Sample Collection and Curation

Collection and Naming of Meteorites

The US Antarctic meteorite program has recovered meteorites from many different geographic regions in the Transantarctic Mountains (see Map). All samples found are collected, rather than high grading of samples in the field, in order to minimize bias. Samples are collected in the field and assigned a temporary five digit number upon collection. When samples are returned to NASAJSC they are assigned an official name and number according to the guidelines set by the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society; a three letter prefix abbreviates the geographic location (e.g., MIL = Miller Range), followed by either a 5 or 6 digit number. The first two numbers are from the year that the field season began (e.g. 2007–2008 samples have 07 as the first two digits. The remaining three or four digits are assigned to samples within that year's collection. In some years, more than 999 samples were collected in the same geographic location, so a fourth digit is used. In years where >999 samples are collected, but from different regions, it is usually possible to maintain five digit rather than six digit numbering, but there are exceptions to this. The official numbers are not assigned in the field, so they have no relation to the sequence in which the samples were collected, nor do they reflect size or importance.

Map of Meteorite Recovery Locations

Meteorite Locations Map

Code Site Name
ALH Allan Hills
BEC Beckett Nunatak
BOW Bowden Neve
BTN Bates Nunataks
BUC Buckley Island
CMS Cumulus Hills
CRA Mt. Cranfield
CRE Mt. Crean
DAV David Glacier
DNG D'Angelo Bluff
DEW Mt. DeWitt
DOM Dominion Range
DRP Derrick Peak
EET Elephant Moraine
FIN Finger Ridge
GDR Gardner Ridge
GEO Geologists Range
GRA Graves Nunataks
GRO Grosvenor Mountains
HOW Mt. Howe
ILD Inland Forts
KLE Klein Ice Field
LAP LaPaz Ice Field
Code Site Name Code Site Name Code Site Name
LAR Larkman Nunatak OTT Outpost Nunatak SAN Sandford Cliffs
LEW Lewis Cliff PAT Patuxent Range SCO Scott Glacier
LON Lonewolf Nunataks PCA Pecora Escarpment STE Stewart Hills
MAC MacAlpine Hills PGP Purgatory Peak SZA Szabo Bluff
MBR Mount Baldr PRA Mt. Pratt TEN Tentacle Ridge
MCY MacKay Glacier PRE Mt. Prestrud TIL Thiel Mountains
MET Meteorite Hills QUE Queen Alexandra Range TYR Taylor Glacier
MIL Miller Range RBT Roberts Massif WIS Wisconsin Range
ODE Odell Glacier RKP Reckling Peak WSG Mt. Wisting