Remnants of altered meteorite in the Cretaceous-Paleogene clay boundary in Poland

Krzysztof Szopa, Tomasz Brachaniec, Łukasz Karwowski and Tomasz Krzykawski

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
27 JAN 2017 | DOI: 10.1111/maps.12815


“Fossil iron meteorites are extremely rare in the geological sedimentary record. The paleometeorite described here is the first such finding at the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary. In the boundary clay from the outcrop at the Lechówka quarry (Poland), fragments of the paleometeorite were found in the bottom part of the host layer. The fragments of meteorite (2–6 mm in size) and meteoritic dust are metallic-gray in color and have a total weight of 1.8181 g. Geochemical and petrographic analyses of the meteorite from Lechówka reveal the presence of Ni-rich minerals with a total Ni amount of 2–3 wt%. The identified minerals are taenite, kamacite, schreibersite, Ni-rich magnetite, and Ni-rich goethite. No relicts of silicates or chromites were found. The investigated paleometeorite apparently represents an independent fall and does not seem to be derived from the K-Pg impactor. The high degree of weathering did not permit the chemical classification of the meteorite fragments. However, the recognized mineral inventory, lack of silicates, and their pseudomorphs and texture may indicate that the meteorite remains were an iron meteorite.”