Micrometeorites from the northern ice cap of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, Russia: The first occurrence
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CitationBadjukov, D. D., & Raitala, J. (2003). Micrometeorites from the northern ice cap of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, Russia: The first occurrence. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 38(3), 329-340.
PublisherThe Meteoritical Society
JournalMeteoritics & Planetary Science
AbstractGlacial deposits at the margins of the ice cap of the northern island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, Russia, contain numerous spherules and rare scoriaceous particles thought to be extraterrestrial. The 1 Kyr old glacier has decreased in volume and coverage during the last 40 years, leaving the spherules contained in the ice at the margins of the glacier where they can be easily collected. The spherules are similar in their appearance, texture, and mineralogy to cosmic spherules found in deep-sea sediments in Greenland and Antarctica. Silicate spherules have typical bar-like textures (75%) or porphyritic textures (15%), while other spherules are glassy (7%). The spherules from Novaya Zemlya are altered only slightly. There are spherules consisting of iron oxides, metal cores with iron oxide rims, a continuous network of iron oxide dendrites in a glass matrix, and particles rich in chromite (3%). Some spherules contain metal droplets and relict forsterite and low-Ca pyroxene. Silicate spherule compositions match compositions of other cosmic spherules. Both Nova Zemlya and other cosmic spherules are close to carbonaceous chondrite matrices in patterns of variations for Ca, Mg, Si, and Al, which might suggest that their predecessor was similar to carbonaceous chondrite matrices. Unmelted micrometeorites are generally depleted in Ca and Mg and enriched in Al relative to cosmic spherules. The depletion of the micrometeorites in Ca and Mg can be connected with their terrestrial alteration (Kurat et al. 1994), while the Al enrichment seems to be primary.