|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||30° 46' 59'' South , 127° 32' 59'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-30.78333,127.55000|
|Locality type:||Meteorite Fall Location|
|Meteorite Class:||Ungrouped IAB iron meteorite|
|Meteoritical Society Class:||Iron, IAB-ung|
|Metbull:||View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database|
|Köppen climate type:||BWk : Cold desert climate|
Iron meteorite, Octahedrite with silicate & sulfide inclusions (IAB-ung)
Find 1911, 24 tons.
The largest meteorite that has been found in Australia and, currently, listed as the 8th most massive meteorite in the world (#3 on IAB list).
Early literature titles it the Premier Downs meteorite, after the station the first three fragments were found on, however it is since more commonly known as the Mundrabilla meteorite.
As it burnt through the atmosphere the troilite disappeared leaving pockets and holes in the large fragments. The meteorite has been studied by NASA in 2002 examining natural alloy formation of the iron sulphide and iron nickel. This large meteorite contains an impressive number of reduced extraterrestrial compounds, but weathering products are found both near the surface and in interior veins. It is part of the IAB Group, Mundrabilla duo sub-group which only has five members.
It appears to have disintegrated into fragments as it fell to earth, and these have been found over a wide area of the nullabor desert. The areas remote nature and widespread distribution of fragments has meant their discovery has been a gradual affair.
A small 112gr fragment was found by H. Kent in 1911 on Premier Downs Station, then he found another one at 116gr 13 kilometres further west. A third was found in 1918 at 99gr. Around 1962, a 108gr fragment was found on Loomgana Station by a Mr Harrison, and a further three (94.1, 45 and 38.8gr) by W.A. Crowle 16 kilometres from the Mundrabilla Siding on the Trans-Australian railway line.
In April 1966, two very large iron masses at 9980 and 5440kg were discovered by geologists R.B. Wilson and A.M. Cooney during a geological survey. Discoveries continued with one dealer suggesting over 500 knuckle sized fragments have come onto the market recently. The material is commonly for sale, although laws in Australia make large fragments property of the State. For those who want to find their own piece of Mundrabilla, they will come across a roadhouse, a long straight road and railway line, and alot of flat empty space. Under prepared overseas tourists regularly get into trouble in the Australian outback when they travel to these remote locations.
Many meteorites from separate falls have been found on the Nullabor Plain. Often as widely scattered individual stones or in small groups. Many were recovered by the Carlisle family who were rabbit trappers during the 1960's and 1970's, amongst many other individuals. Whether all meteorites labelled Mundrabilla are from this fall, or are from others, is something collectors need to determine.
15 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
|Zanclean - Langhian|
3.6 - 15.97 Ma
Age: Neogene (3.6 - 15.97 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Nullarbor Limestone
Description: Limestone, bioclastic, micritic. Subtidal, platformal, above fair weather wave-base
Reference: Raymond, O.L., Liu, S., Gallagher, R., Zhang, W., Highet, L.M. Surface Geology of Australia 1:1 million scale dataset 2012 edition. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia). 
|Miocene - Oligocene|
5.333 - 33.9 Ma
|Cenozoic sedimentary rocks|
Age: Cenozoic (5.333 - 33.9 Ma)
Comments: Eucla Basin
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.