Canyon Diablo, IAB-MG

Meteor Crater is one of the most famous impact craters on Earth.  Between 25,000 and 50,000 years ago, an 80 – 120 foot-diameter mass of iron-nickel plowed into the lush Pleistocene grasslands that are now the Sonoran Desert.  The resulting hole is ~3/4 of a mile across, and ~570 feet deep, with several hundred feet of fallback breccia and sediments between the current crater floor and the bedrock below.

From ground zero to ~5 kilometers from the point of impact, the winds that scoured the plain were supersonic.  Hurricane-force winds were felt up to 40 kilometers from the point of impact, and all large animals within ~25 kilometers were likely killed by the blast.  If you’d like to read more about it, you can check out David Kring’s 1997 paper here: Air blast produced by the Meteor Crater impact event and a reconstruction of the affected environment.  It’s pretty scary stuff; nothing historically witnessed has come close to anything like this.

ISS022-E-6388_mMeteor_Crater_-_ArizonaFragments of iron were known to be in the area and were brought to the attention of Foote in 1891.  He brought them to the attention of the scientific community, which took the discovery with a grain of salt due to the “extinct volcano” (viz. Meteor Crater) in the immediate vicinity of the finds.  From The Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute, 1892. No. 1, Pg. 285:

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From The Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute, 1892. No. 2, Pg. 326.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1.30.50 PM36 kg individual from an old collection:

DSCN6496 DSCN6501 DSCN6504 DSCN6507 ~2kg individual with graphite nodule: DSCN6451 DSCN6452831 gram individual with hole (pictured in Haag catalog).  DSCN6453 DSCN6454 DSCN6456

Two Meteor Crater tektites, recovered on public land a few miles from the crater. The grey-green glass contains small flecks of metallic Fe-Ni. Mounted in epoxy, one cut at UCLA in 2002.


54 gram individual, Nininger number:

DSCN5525 DSCN5526Original orange ‘Meteor Crater Exploration and Mining Company’ stock certificate “specimen” retained by the issuing bank or corporation as a proof copy.  Uncommon, possibly unique.  Serial number 0000.

certificateMore specimens and photos will be added later; please check back.