The meteorite fall near Boumdeid, Mauritania, from September 14, 2011

Buhl S., Toueirjenne C., Hofmann B., Laubenstein M., Wimmer K.

Vol. 3, Nos. 1–2, 2014, 5–18
DOI 10.5277/met140101

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Meteorites (Vol. 3)

Publishers: Wrocław University of Technology, Faculty of Geoengineering, Mining and Geology; Polish Meteorite Society

On the evening of September 14, 2011 at 21:00 GMT a bright bolide was observed by hundreds of eyewitnesses in the area north and west of the town of Kiffa, in the department of Assaba, in south Mauritania. A terminal fragmentation and sound phenomena were observed near the end point of the trajectory. At least one mass of 3.5 kg was observed to impact and recovered the morning after the fall near Boumdeid (or Bou Mdeid), around 60 km north of Kiffa. Subsequently a large number of eyewitness accounts were recorded and mapped by GPS. The present paper provides a scenario for the trajectory of the Boumdeid (2011) meteorite based on the available parameters and wind data at the relevant altitudes. In addition the paper presents the results of the mineralogical and chemical analysis of the recovered meteorite which is consistent with a classification as ordinary chondrite of type L6, shock stage S2, and a weathering grade of W0. Following its analysis and classification, the meteorite was published under the official name Boumdeid (2011) in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 100, MAPS 49(8), (2014). Gamma-ray spectroscopy was conducted 84 days after the fall and the detection of short-lived radionuclides such as 56 Co and 46 Sc confirmed the recency of the event. Derived from the data of 60 Co, 54 Mn and 22 Na the approximate preatmospheric radius of the meteorite body was 10–20 cm. The report is also intended to serve as a case example for post-event data recovery and trajectory reconstruction in areas not covered by sky-camera networks and with limited scientific infrastructure.