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Northwest Africa 3333
Basic information Name: Northwest Africa 3333
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: NWA 3333
Observed fall: No
Year found: 2005
Country: Morocco
Mass:help 33 g
Meteoritical Bulletin:  MB 94  (2008)  Lunar basalt fragmental breccia
Recommended:  Lunar    [explanation]

This is 1 of 103 approved meteorites classified as Lunar.   [show all]
Search for other: Lunar meteorites
Comments: Approved 18 Aug 2008
Writeup from MB 94:

Northwest Africa 3333 (NWA 3333)      


Found: May 2005

Classification: Lunar basaltic fragmental breccia

History: Fabien Kuntz purchased a 33 g specimen from a Moroccan dealer. The original main mass was broken into at least 5 pieces and distributed to several dealers.

Physical characteristics: A partially weathered blackish-brown fusion crust was present on the specimen. Cut and polished surfaces on two different specimens reveal a coarsely brecciated texture, while a third specimen exhibits three different lithologies.

Petrography: (R. Zeigler, WUSL) The specimen examined consists of one basalt clast (1.5 cm) and one clast of cumulus olivine gabbro (1.2 cm) set in a fragmental breccia matrix. The basalt consists of phenocrysts composed of large zoned olivine and smaller chromite set in a fine-grained matrix of spinifex olivine, skeletal pyroxene, and glass. The gabbro (vol%) is 50% olivine, 35% pyroxene, and 15% plagioclase. A vein of black shock melt separates the cumulate clast from the fragmental breccia. The breccia is composed predominantly of pyroxene and olivine clasts, with minor plagioclase, and trace silica, Fe-Ti-Cr oxides, troilite, chromite, ilmenite, FeNi, apatite, and RE-merrillite.

Geochemistry: Mineral compositions and geochemistry: Matrix pyroxene and olivine is Fs17–65Wo12–29En8-61 and Fa40–95; plagioclase clasts are An86–95Or<2. Olivine in the basalt is zoned (Fo47–72). Mineral compositions in the olivine cumulate are Fo68, Fs63Wo15 and Fs52Wo32, and An92Or1. Fe/Mn = 85–110 (olivine) and 40–77 (pyroxene). Bulk composition: (R. Zeigler and R. Korotev, WUSL) The basalt (TiO2 = 0.8%, FeO = 21%, MgO = 14%, Th = 1.4 µg/g) is compositionally similar to that of NWA 3160; the cumulate olivine gabbro (TiO2 = 0.4%, FeO = 20%, MgO = 27%, Th = 1.2 µg/g) is similar to NWA 773 and 2977. All lithologies are characterized by low concentrations of Na2O (= 0.15 ± 0.06%) and Eu (= 0.4 ± 0.2 ppm) compared to other lunar basalts. The oxygen isotope composition (I. A. Franchi, R. C. Greenwood, OU) is consistent with lunar origin (δ17O = 2.94, δ18O = 5.59, Δ17O = 0.032).

Classification: Achondrite (lunar basaltic fragmental breccia). The specimen is part of the NWA 773/2700/2727/2977/3160 pairing group.

Specimens: A mass of 6.55 g is on deposit at DuPont and 0.4 g (neutron irradiated) and one thin section at WUSL.

Data from:
  Table 2
  Line 6:
Mass (g):33
Class:Lunar basalt fragmental breccia
Fayalite (mol%):40-96
Ferrosilite (mol%):17-65
Wollastonite (mol%):12.-29.
Classifier:R. Zeigler and R. Korotev, WUSL
Type spec mass (g):6.55
Type spec location:Dupont and WUSL
Main mass:DuPont
Plots: O isotopes:  
   and collections
OU: Planetary and Space Sciences Department of Physical Sciences The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA United Kingdom, United Kingdom (institutional address; updated 8 Dec 2011)
WUSL: Washington Univ., One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, United States (institutional address; updated 17 Oct 2011)
DuPont: James M. DuPont Meteorite Collection, Deposited at FMNH in 2008., United States (private address; updated 1 Jun 2012)
Kuntz: Fabien Kuntz, France; Website (private address)
References: Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 94, MAPS 43, 1551-1588 (2008)
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     This is 1 of 2003 approved meteorites from Morocco (plus 31 unapproved names) (plus 1 impact crater)

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