|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||43° 52' 59'' North , 1° 22' 59'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||43.88333,1.38333|
|Locality type:||Meteorite Fall Location|
|Meteorite Class:||CI1 chondrite meteorite|
|Meteoritical Society Class:||CI1|
|Metbull:||View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database|
|Köppen climate type:||Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate|
|Other/historical names associated with this locality:||Midi-Pyrénées|
Carbonaceous chondrite (CI1)
Fall, 14 May 1864; ~14 kg (preserved)
A very brite bolide was observed over much of western France and parts of northern Spain and exploded nearly 20 km above the surface. Pieces were recovered along a 20 km long, 4 km wide track. A number of the fallen objects were gathered with twenty stones (~ 14 kg) preserved. Orgueil is the most massive of the 9 known CI (Ivuna-like) Carbonaceous Chondrites. Indeed, the more massive Orgueil is often a more effective CI prototype than the smaller Ivuna (705 g). Orgueil is mostly a very fine-grained phyllosilicate-dominated stone with a plethora of additional intergrown constituents. Hydrously altered minerals (esp. carbonates and sulfides) are ubiquitous, but refractory inclusions, pre-solar grains, exceedingly rare chondrules, and complex organics have also commended attention. CI chondrite composition — apart from H, He and other gases — appears to be our the best or nearly our best available approximation to that of the original solar nebula.
Studies of Orgueil and other CIs try to distinguish the effects of aqueous activity on the original CI parent(s) from the effects of terrestrial weathering. In the 150 years since recovery, white sulfate-rich druse has appeared on the surface of Orgueil samples. The alteration of S-containing compounds has proceeded even while samples have been preserved in 'dry' museum drawers. Airborne bacteria have also led to changes in the inventory of Orgueil organics. Nevertheless, complex organic compounds with non-terrestrial isotopic signatures (overabundant deuterium, C-13) as well as highly racemic handedness (D/L >1) still preserve partially decipherable records of very ancient abiotic organic activity. More recently, the discovery of small pre-solar diamonds, spinels, and corundum has also generated much interest. Evidence for an orbit with trans-Jupiter aphelion is an additional indicator that some carbonaceous chondrites may have had a comet-like parent body.
The largest preserved portion of Orgueil (>8 kg) is with the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. The sesquicentennial review by Gounelle & Zolensky (2014) is a rich trove of information and references for the amateur, the historian, and the avant garde scientist.
NOTE: This meteorite was the subject of a hoax involving earth based organic materials glued to the stone and investigated as fossils of extraterrestrial origin.
33 valid minerals.
Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
This geological map and associated 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 does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.
Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org
23.03 - 66 Ma
|Cenozoic sedimentary rocks|
Age: Paleogene (23.03 - 66 Ma)
Lithology: Sedimentary rocks
Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. 
23.03 - 33.9 Ma