Detailed examination of iron meteorites and impact generated carbonaceous spherules associated with the Whitecourt Meteorite Impact Crater, Alberta, Canada

  • Author / Creator
    Newman, Jennifer D
  • The impact of an iron meteorite <1100 years ago near Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada formed a crater 36 m in diameter. The impacting body fragmented upon impact, scattering thousands of shrapnel-shaped fragments around the crater. Internal examination of the fragments reveal that the mineralogy is consistent with a type IIIAB iron meteorite and most of the deformations in texture observed is a result of the impact. The high preservation of the impact site has protected the meteorite fragments from severe weathering as well as preserving small amorphous carbonaceous spherules distributed in the soil surrounding the crater. The carbonaceous spherules were generated during the impact when biomass was heated rapidly enough to form molten spherules which were then dispersed by the expanding impact plume. The examination of preserved meteorites and spherules provide insights into low-energy meteorite impacts, which are rare in the current terrestrial impact record.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2014
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.