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Lewis Cliff 87051 meteorite (LEW 87051), Lewis Cliff, Buckley Island quadrangle, Transantarctic Mts, Eastern Antarctica, Antarctica

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 84° 20' 53'' South , 161° 28' 56'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -84.34806,161.48250
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Type:Angrite
Köppen climate type:EF : Ice cap climate

Angrite (basaltic achondrite)
Found 1987, .6 g

In the late 1980’s three small rocks were found in Antarctica which resembled the heretofore unique Angra Dos Reis (stone) meteorite which had fallen in 1868. The smallest of these new meteorites, Lewis Cliff 87051 (or, LEW 87051) is a single stone still covered with a fusion crust from its atmospheric entry. Its primary constituents are Olivine (~40%), Anorthitic Plagioclase (~34%), Fassaitic Pyroxene (20%), Kirschteinite (5%) and several minor components. Of course, Olivine, Plagioclase, and Pyroxene are commonly found in most chondritic and achondritic meteorites. While Olivine xenocrysts indicate that some impact mixing has occurred, the other equant Olivine crystals — intergrown with plagioclase and pyroxene — indicate that LEW 87051 is an igneously differentiated meteorite (achondrite). Bulk chemistry plus the presence of Fassaite, Ilmenite, and Kirschteinite are but the most obvious indicators that LEW 87051 is a geochemical relative of Angra dos Reis or, in modern parlance, an angrite.

The Angrites are characterized by low alkali contents, high Ca/Al ratios, and a distinctive mineral assemblage, generally including Al-Ca-Ti-rich pyroxene, Ca-rich plagioclase, and Ca-rich olivine that may have exsolved the mineral kirschsteinite. With the addition of recent finds from Antarctic, 22 stones — representing, perhaps, 13 or 14 separate meteorite falls — are now classified as Angrites. LEW 87051 itself is unusually similar to Asuka 881371, another small Antarctic angrite. All dated angrites are quite ancient with crystallization ages of ~ 4.6 billion years. LEW 87051, along with Angra dos Reis, appears to be slightly younger (~4.558 billion years) than a few angrites with crystallization ages of > 4.6 billion years. There has been some suggestions that the original parent body of the angrites may be (or was) as large as Vesta or even larger than Vesta. Vesta, almost certainly the parent body for most Howardites, Eucrites and Diogenites (HED meteorites), is the only large asteroid so far identified as the homeworld of a significant number of meteorites.

Mineral List

8 valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

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This page 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.


Grossman, J. N. (1994) The Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 76, 1994 January: The U.S. Antarctic Meteorite Collection. Meteoritics 29 (1): 100-143. (Jan 1994)

McKay, G., Crozaz, G., Wagstaff, I., Yang, S. R. & Lundberg, L. (1990) A Petrographic, Electron Microprobe, Study of Mini-Angrite Lewis Cliff 87051: Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXI: p. 771. (Mar 1990)

Prinz, M., Weisberg, M. K. & Nehru, C. E. LEW 87051, a New Angrite: Origin in a Ca-Al-enriched Eucritic Planetesimal? Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXI: p. 979. (March 1990)

Warren, P. H. & Kallemeyn, G. W. (1990) Geochemistry of the LEW87051 Angrite and Other Basaltic Achondrites: Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference XXI: page 1295. (March 1990)

McKay, G., Le, L. & Wagstaff, J. (1991) Olivines in angrite LEW 87051: Phenos or xenos. In Lunar and Planetary Inst., Abstracts for the 54th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, p 151.

Yanai, K. (1993) Angrites LEW 87051 and Asuka 881371: Similarities and Difference. Meteoritics 28 (3): 463. (July1993)

Markowski, A., Quitté, G., Kleine, T., Halliday, A. N., Bizzarro, M. & Irving, A. J. (2007) Hafnium tungsten chronometry of angrites and the earliest evolution of planetary objects: Earth and Planetary Science Letters 262, #1-2, 214-229. (Oct 2007)

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