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Tatahouine meteorite, Tataouine (Foum Tatahouine), Tataouine Governorate, Tunisia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 32° 57' North , 10° 25' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 32.95000,10.41667
GeoHash:G#: sjz7mn35t
Other regions containing this locality:Sahara Desert, North Africa
Locality type:Meteorite Fall Location
Meteorite Class:Diogenite meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class:Diogenite
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

Achondrite Diogenite
Fell June 27, 1931. Total mass 12 kg.

A large number of very small fragments fell over a radius of 500 m. Most Diogenites and all 11 Diogenite falls are pyroxenites compositionally dominated by orthopyroxene (~90 vol%), usually accompanied by plus minor amounts of various silicates and opaques. Unlike most other diogenites, however, Tatahouine's dominant pyroxene is composed mostly of numerous large single, usually seemingly unfragmented crystals of orthopyroxene. Closer inspection reveals, however, that many crystals have been partially deformed by shock and then subsequently reequilibrated and annealed. The Tatathouine's mineral assemblage is composed of very ancient material (~4.5 billion years). However, a moderately 'young' ~4.4 billion years Rb-Sr age suggests that the formation epoch itself was accompanied by almost simultaneous intense shock event(s) which would have interrupted any well defined simple formational epoch.

Tatahouine has also attracted some attention due to the detection of calcite and carbonate weathering products in samples recovered six decades after the fall. Some of the minerals may be biogenic. All this suggests that a 'well preserved' meteorite in a hot, dry dessert is not as impervious to alteration as first impressions might suggest.

Mineral List

6 valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

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Regional Geology

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

Late Cretaceous
66 - 100.5 Ma

ID: 3191808
Mesozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Late Cretaceous (66 - 100.5 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. [154]

Late Jurassic
145 - 163.5 Ma

ID: 3136217
Late Jurassic undifferentiated

Age: Jurassic (145 - 163.5 Ma)

Reference: Asch, K. The 1:5M International Geological Map of Europe and Adjacent Areas: Development and Implementation of a GIS-enabled Concept. Geologisches Jahrbuch, SA 3. [147]

Jurassic - Triassic
145 - 252.17 Ma

ID: 3307602

Age: Mesozoic (145 - 252.17 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary

Reference: Thiéblemont, D. (ed.). New edition of the 1:10,000,000 geological map of Africa. CGMW-BRGM. [190]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Mason, B. (1963). The Hypersthene achondrites. American Museum Novitates, #2155, 13 pages.
Ramdohr, P. (1973). The Opaque Minerals in Stony Meteorites. Elsevier Publishing Company: Amsterdam; London: New York. 245 pages.
Nord, G. L., Jr. & Hewins, R. H. (1983) Thermal and Mechanical History of Tatahouine Diogenite: Meteoritics 18 (4): 364-365. (Dec 1983)
Gooley, R. & Moore, C. B. ( 1976) Native metal in diogenite meteorites: American Mineralogist 61 (5/6, Part I): 373-378. (May-June 1976)
Takahashi, K. & Masudat, A. (1990) Young ages of two diogenites and their genetic implications:Nature 343 (6258): 540-542. (Feb 1990)
Barrat, J. A. et al. (1999) Science 280 (5362):412-414. (4/17/1998)
Barrat, J. A., Gillet, Ph., Lesourd, M., Blichert-Toft, J. & Poupeau, G. R. (1999) The Tatahouine diogenite: Mineralogical and chemical effects of sixty-three years of terrestrial residence. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 34(1): 91-97. (Jan 1999)

External Links = Meteoritical Bulletin Database

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