The Natural Thermoluminescence of Meteorites .5. Ordinary Chondrites at the Allan Hills Ice Fields

by Benoit, P. H.; Sears, H.; Sears, D. W. G.

Natural thermoluminescence (TL) data have been obtained for 167 ordinary chondrites from the ice fields in the vicinity of the Allan Hills in Victoria Land, Antarctica, in order to investigate their thermal and radiation history, pairing, terrestrial age, and concentration mechanisms. Using fairly conservative criteria (including natural and induced TL, find location, and petrographic data), the 167 meteorite fragments are thought to represent a maximum of 129 separate meteorites. Natural TL values for meteorites from the Main ice field are fairly low (typically 5-30 krad, indicative of terrestrial ages of approximately 400 ka), while the Farwestern field shows a spread with many values 30-80 krad, suggestive of < 150-ka terrestrial ages. There appear to be trends in TL levels within individual ice fields which are suggestive of directions of ice movement at these sites during the period of meteorite concentration. These directions seem to be confirmed by the orientations of elongation preserved in meteorite pairing groups. The proportion of meteorites with very low natural TL levels (<5 krad) at each field is comparable to that observed at the Lewis Cliff site and for modem non-Antarctic falls and is also similar to the fraction of small perihelia (<0.85 AU) orbits calculated from fireball and fall observations. Induced TL data for meteorites from the Allan Hills confirm trends observed for meteorites collected during the 1977/1978 and 1978/1979 field seasons which show that a select group of H chondrites from the Antarctic experienced a different extraterrestrial thermal history to that of non-Antarctic H chondrites.

Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
Start Page
2169-9356; 2169-9313