Strengths of meteorites—An overview and analysis of available data

Leos Pohl, Daniel T. Britt

Meteoritics & Planetary Science
Version of Record online:07 May 2020


“We report all available measurements on strength of meteorites, primarily focusing on compressive and tensile strengths and supplementary data such as Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, elastic sound wave velocities, density, porosity, and sample sizes. These data are solely taken from the original papers to avoid misprints and other issues. The data are provided as originally presented by the authors with the exception of standardization of units to the SI system. A brief overview of methods for each original work is also provided as a guide to “data quality” since individual papers go to varying levels of detail on their experimental setup and procedures. From this data set, we confirm that the compressive strength of ordinary chondrites (varying in the range of 10s to 100s of MPa) is about an order of magnitude larger compared to their tensile strength and the difference increases with iron content. For carbonaceous chondrites, the tensile strength seems to be about an order of magnitude below the tensile strength of ordinary chondrites and at least an order of magnitude below their compressive strength. We also provide a statistical relation between the strength of meteorites and their densities and porosities and discuss the role of strain rate and sample size on the resultant measured strength. Finally, the data do not provide sufficient statistics to support a size scale effect of strength of meteorites.”