Sample Collection and Curation

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Antarctic Meteorite Sample Collection and Curation


Pairing of Antarctic meteorites is an enormous challenge due to the large number of samples that are recovered each year, and the fact that ANSMET returns to dense collection areas over as many as 10 seasons in some cases. We make our best effort to maintain updated and accurate pairing, but sometimes this process is slow and relies heavily on characterization of samples by the greater community. Pairing groups for more scientifically popular and valuable samples are the highest priority (e.g., martian, lunar, HED, low grade and rare chondrites; Lunning et al., 2016). More numerous and common samples are a lower priority and can also present a logistical challenge; examples of better characterized groups are the Queen Alexandra Range L/LL5 shower (Welten et al., 2012) or the Lewis Cliffs Ice Tongue (Welten et al., 1999). An excellent analysis and discussion of pairing appears in Benoit et al. (2000).


Benoit, P. h., Sears, D. w. g., Akridge, J. m. c., Bland, P. a., Berry, F. j. and Pillinger, C. t. (2000), The non-trivial problem of meteorite pairing. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 35, 393-417.

Lunning, N. G., Welten, K. C., McSween, H. Y., Caffee, M. W., & Beck, A. W. (2016) Grosvenor Mountains 95 howardite pairing group: Insights into the surface regolith of asteroid 4 Vesta. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 51, 167-194.

Welten, K. C., Lindner, L., Alderliesten, C. and van der Borg, K. (1999) Terrestrial ages of ordinary chondrites from the Lewis Cliff stranding area, East Antarctica. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 34, 559-569.

Welten, K. C., Caffee, M. W., Hillegonds, D. J., McCoy, T. J., Masarik, J. and Nishiizumi, K. (2011) Cosmogenic radionuclides in L5 and LL5 chondrites from Queen Alexandra Range, Antarctica: Identification of a large L/LL5 chondrite shower with a preatmospheric mass of approximately 50,000 kg. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 46, 177-196.