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Harleton meteorite, Harrison Co., Texas, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 32° 40' 30'' North , 94° 30' 42'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 32.67500,-94.51167
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Class:L6 chondrite meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class: L6
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:Cfa : Humid subtropical climate


Ordinary chondrite (L6)
Fell, 30 May 1961; 8.36 kg

Late in the evening (~10:30 PM, CST) a bright fireball was seen across eastern Texas and a stony meteorite was recovered from a 75 cm deep hole in sandy soil just a few minutes after it was seen to fall. The recovered meteorite's surface features displayed shifting flow marks indicating that some material had spalled off during flight, but no additional fragments were recovered. Below the glassy fusion crust inspections revealed indistinct chondrules within a compact, pale gray, largely equilibrated matrix. Compositionally, bulk iron contents (~23 wt% Fe), equilibrated olivine (Fa~25) and equilibrated low Ca-orthopyroxene (Fs~22) are characteristic of the L-chondrite geochemical group. Mineralogically the meteorite consists primarily of olivine [43 wt%], pyroxene (25.5 wt%) with minor albitic plagioclase, troilite, Fe-Ni metal, and diopside. Accessory chromite, copper, phosphates, and minor sulfides are also reported. Plagioclase feldspar is fine-grained, granular, untwinned, and interstitial to other minerals. Maskelynite appears to be restricted largely or entirely to the fusion crust. Minor amounts of shock melting are occasionally present within the Fe-Ni metal (kamacite with lesser taenite) and troilite. The meteorite has been part of several studies attempting to assay natural variability in U/Th variability in phosphates (particularly apatite and merrillite) which are so important in the chronometry of the very early solar system.

The main mass was acquired by the United States National Museum (Washington) shortly after the fall. A ~500 g mass was obtained by the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) with a few smaller specimens distributed elsewhere. L-chondrites, the largest geochemical group, represent ~45% of all well classified ordinary chondrite falls. The L6 chondrite subset represent nearly 70% of the L chondrites. Harleton itself was one of 271 named meteorites classified exactly as a 'L6' chondrite by the Meteoritical Society (as of late November 2016).


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References

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Krinov, E. L. - Ed. (1961) The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 22. Moscow.
Keil, K. & Fredriksson, K. (1964) The Fe, Mg and Ca Distribution in Coexisting Olivines and Rhombic Pyroxenes of Chondrites. Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres 69 (16): 3487-3515. (August 1964).
Bunch, T.E., Keil, K. & Snetsinger, K.G. (1967) Chromite composition in relation to chemistry and texture of ordinary chondrites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 31(10): 1569-1582. (Oct 1967).
Fuchs, L.H. (1969) The Phosphate Mineralogy of Meteorites: IN: Meteoritic Research: Millman, P.M.-Ed.: pp. 683-695. D. Reidel Publishing Company: Dordrecht-Holland.
Ramdohr, P. (1973). The Opaque Minerals in Stony Meteorites. Elsevier Publishing Company: Amsterdam; London: New York. 245 pages.
Clarke Jr., R.S., Henderson, E.P. & Mason, B. (1977) Smithsonian Contributions Earth Science 19: p. 61-70.
Graham, A. L., Bevan, A. W. R. & Hutchison, B. (1985) Catalogue of Meteorites (4/e). University of Arizona Press: Tucson.
Grady, M.M (2000). Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge; New York; Oakleigh; Madrid; Cape Town. 689 pages.
Goreva, J.S. & Burnett, D.S. (2001) Phosphate control on the Th/U variations in ordinary chondrites: Improving solar system abundances: Meteoritics & Planetary Science 36(1): 63-74. (Jan 2001).

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