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Yanhuitlan meteorite, Mun. de Santo Domingo de Yanhuitlan, Oaxaca, Mexico

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 17° 31' 59'' North , 97° 21' 0'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 17.5333333333, -97.35

Iron meteorite (IVA, Of)
Find, 1825; 421 kg

The somewhat weathered iron-rich mass (~7.5% Ni) had been discovered at the foot of a hill and subsequently heated and used as an anvil. In 1825 it was seen by A. F. Morney, partially analyzed, and subsequently obtained and moved to the National Museum in Mexico City. The meteorite now in Mexico City is roughly pear-shaped with average dimensions of 45 x 35 x 35 cm. At various times a number of sections have been removed, sold, and distributed under different names. Early work was sufficient to provide a general overview of the meteorite — a fine octahedrite, somewhat weathered, with accessory sulfides. However, Buchwald (1975) has provided a more detailed overview, both historical and mineralogical, which provides a starting point for most contemporary discussions. The meteorite (mostly kamacite with 40-50 vol% plessite and taenite) and a terrestrial exposure age of ~20-30 ka was apparently artificially reheated for several hours at ~700-800° C on at least one occasion. This reheating mobilized and partially redistributed sulfides and accumulated weatherates. Recent efforts have been trying to tease out some of the implications of varying N-isotopes associated with two likely subclasses of IVA irons.

Yanhuitlan is the 3rd most massive of 73 IVA iron meteorites currently listed with the Meteoritical Bulletin Database (as of August 2015). Only 4 IVA iron falls, with masses ranging from 4 to 50 kg, are known.

The main mass (~300 kg) has been in Mexico City (now at the Museum de Chopo) for well over a century and a half. Early confusion w. specimens of the Misteca iron and the persistence of synonyms (e.g., Cholula, Oaxaca) make the early literature somewhat difficult to untangle [Cf. Buchwald (1975) and other references].

Mineral List

7 valid minerals.

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Cohen, E. (1905) Meteoritenkunde. Classification und Nomenclatur; Körnige bis dichte Eisen; Hexaedrite; Oktaedrite mit feinsten und feinen Lamellen, Heft III: Stuttgart: E. Schweitzerbarth. 419 pp.

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.

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

Matthew, K.J., Palma, R.L., Marti, K. & Lavielle, B. (2000) Isotopic signatures and origin of nitrogen in IIE and IVA iron meteorites: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 64(3):545-557. (Feb 2000).

Grady, M. M. (2000) Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Oakleigh, Madrid, Cape Town. 690 pages.

Wasson, J.T. & Richardson, J.W. (2001) Fractionation trends among IVA Iron Meteorites: Contrasts with the IIIAB trends. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 65 (6): 951-970. (March 2001).

Grady, M.M., Pratesi, G. & Moggi-Cecchi, V. (2015) Atlas of Meteorites. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, United Kingdom. 373 pages.

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