Skip to main content

Micrometeorites from the Transantarctic Mountains

Rochette, P., Folco, L., Suavet, C., van Ginneken, M., Gattacceca, J., Perchiazzi, N., Braucher, R., Harvey, R. P. (2008) Micrometeorites from the Transantarctic Mountains. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (47). pp. 18206-18211. ISSN 0027-8424. E-ISSN 1091-6490. (doi:10.1073/pnas.0806049105) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:88120)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
[thumbnail of 18206.full.pdf]
Official URL


We report the discovery of large accumulations of micrometeorites on the Myr-old, glacially eroded granitic summits of several isolated nunataks in the Victoria Land Transantarctic Mountains. The number (>3,500) of large (>400 μm and up to 2 mm in size) melted and unmelted particles is orders of magnitudes greater than other Antarctic collections. Flux estimates, bedrock exposure ages and the presence of ≈0.8-Myr-old microtektites suggest that extraterrestrial dust collection occurred over the last 1 Myr, taking up to 500 kyr to accumulate based on 2 investigated find sites. The size distribution and frequency by type of cosmic spherules in the >200-μm size fraction collected at Frontier Mountain (investigated in detail in this report) are similar to those of the most representative known micrometeorite populations (e.g., South Pole Water Well). This and the identification of unusual types in terms of composition (i.e., chondritic micrometeorites and spherulitic aggregates similar to the ≈480-kyr-old ones recently found in Antarctic ice cores) and size suggest that the Transantarctic Mountain micrometeorites constitute a unique and essentially unbiased collection that greatly extends the micrometeorite inventory and provides material for studies on micrometeorite fluxes over the recent (≈1 Myr) geological past.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1073/pnas.0806049105
Uncontrolled keywords: Antarticacosmic spherules; solar system composition; unmelted micrometeorites; scoriaceous micrometeorites
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB651 Planets, Minor
Q Science > QE Geology > QE515 Geochemistry
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Matthias van Ginneken
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 09:47 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2022 22:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
van Ginneken, M.:
  • Depositors only (login required):