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Muonionalusta meteorite, Kitkiöjärvi, Pajala, Norrbotten, Sweden

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 67° 47' 60'' North , 23° 6' 0'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 67.8, 23.1
Erratic type:Meteorite
Name(s) in local language(s):Muonionalustameteoriten

Iron meteorite, fine octahedrite (IVA,Of)
Found, 1906; 239 kg

In 1906 an iron-rich mass was found by a 10-year-old boy who tended cattle in the forest 3 km southwest of the village Kitkiöjärvi. 50 years later a larger 15 kg mass was recovered. Since then, additional specimens — including a 158 kg mass discovered in 2003 - have revealed a 25 x 15 km recovery ellipse in an Arctic region intersected by lakes and bogs. The description by Buchwald (1975) covering the first 3 masses (Muonionalusta I, II, and III) provides a broad overview of Muonionalusta's mineralogy. The original meteorite was a fine octahedrite which fragmented before reaching the earth's surface and has since been effected by the reworking of glacial ice of the last ice age. The major constituents — kamacite, taenite, troilite, schreibersite, and minor sulfides — are, of course, not unexpected in a IVA iron. The several associated weatherates (Akaganeite, Goethite, Lepidocrocite) offer an unusual opportunity to study the effects of long exposure to an unusual and extremely cold environment.

With the recovery of additional species new findings have been reported. One of the new pieces discovered in 2001 — a 9.575 kg fragment found at a depth of 25 cm only 20 m from the site of the first find — contains stishovite apparently created in a preterrestrial shock eons ago. A recent Pb-Pb date from Muonionalusta troilite of ~4.565 Ga suggest a very ancient formation age for the IVA parent asteroid.

Mineral List

13 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This data will improve over time as more accurate maps and data sets are added.

Paleoproterozoic1600 - 2500 MaIgneous: intrusive; Intrusive: tonalitic-granodioritic

Tonalite, granite, diorite, granodiorite, monzonite, migmatite

Northern Europe, Svecofennian and Lapland-Kola orogens

Orogen, fold-thrust belt, folded region; Koistinen et al., 2001; Sigmond, 2002; Solli, unpublished compilation, 2007-08; Bergman et al., unpublished revisions, 2007-08

Paleoproterozoic1600 - 2500 MaPaleoproterozoic plutonic rocks

Plutonic rocks

Deep-seated to high-level intrusions are included. Many charnockites, anorthosites, and large ophiolites, classified as plutons, are distinguished in the database using the SIGNIF item. Ophiolites were classified as plutons, even where remnants may be extrusive and/or sedimentary.

References for regional geology:

Data provided by

J.C. Harrison, M.R. St-Onge, O.V. Petrov, S.I. Strelnikov, B.G. Lopatin, F.H. Wilson, S. Tella, D. Paul, T. Lynds, S.P. Shokalsky, C.K. Hults, S. Bergman, H.F. Jepsen, and A. Solli. Geological map of the Arctic. doi:10.4095/287868. Geological Survey of Canada Map 2159A.

Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d.

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


GFF 32, 482

Prior, G. T. (1923) Catalogue of Meteorites: with special reference to those represented in the collection of the British Museum of Natural History. Richard Clay & Sons, Limited: Bungay, Suffolk.

Krinov, E.L. (1961) Meteoritical Bulletin, no.20. Moscow.
Krinov, E.L. (1963) Meteoritical Bulletin, no.28. Moscow.

Buchwald, V. F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press. 1418 pp.

Graham, A. L., Bevan, A. W. R. & Hutchison, B. (1985) Catalogue of Meteorites (4/e). University of Arizona Press: Tucson.

Lagerbäck, R. & Wickman, F.E. (1997): A new iron meteorite from Muonionalusta, northernmost Sweden. GFF. 119, 193–198.

Holtstam, D., Broman, C., Söderhielm, J., Dan; Broman, C., Söderhielm, J. & Zetterqvist, A. (2003): First discovery of stishovite in an iron meteorite. Meteoritics & Planetary Science (Meteoritical Society). 38 (11): 1579–1583.

Blichert-Toft, J., Moynier, F., Lee, C.-T. & Albarede, F. (2010) Radiogenic Pb in Muonionalusta troilite and the Old Age of the IVA Asteroid :Lunar Planetary Science Conference XLI, LPI Contribution #1533, pdf.1127. (March 2010).

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