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Great Salt Lake
Basic information Name: Great Salt Lake
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite.
Observed fall: Yes, confirmed fall
Year fell: 2022
Country: United States
Mass:help 3.47 kg
Recommended:  H5    [explanation]

This is 1 of 11077 approved meteorites (plus 22 unapproved names) classified as H5.   [show all]
Search for other: H chondrites, H chondrites (type 4-7), Ordinary chondrites, and Ordinary chondrites (type 4-7)
Comments: Approved 10 Dec 2022
Writeup from MB 111:

Great Salt Lake        40°43.89’N, 112°26.3412’W

Utah, United States

Confirmed fall: 2022 Aug 13

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (H5)

History: (J. Karner, UUtah): On the morning of August 13, 2022, at 8:30 AM MDT, a daytime fireball streaked across the sky over Salt Lake City, Utah. The fireball was seen by residents of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho; thousands of people in the Salt Lake City metro area heard loud sonic booms shortly thereafter. There were several reports of dogs cowering and homes shaking from the volume and force of the explosions. Doppler radar data revealed falling meteorites near the southern end of the Great Salt Lake, just north of Interstate 80 and the community of Lake Point. The radar reflectivity data overlaid the lake and the playa west of the water’s edge. On August 16, 2022, Sonny Clary recovered the first meteorite from the strewnfield, a 217 g stone; he and other hunters recovered over a dozen more pieces in the following weeks. The largest mass recovered to date is a 781 g stone found by Sonny Clary on August 24, 2022. A 21 g piece from the first find was brought to the University of Utah as a type specimen and to be used for classification and was divided into three pieces. One piece was used to make a plug, while the other two pieces have been sent to Cascadia for permanent curation. Two additional slices (1.0 g donated by Frank Cressey; 2.7 g donated by Mark Lyon) from a 385 g stone found by Robert Ward on August 18, 2022, were donated to Cascadia. The slice from Cressey was used to make the thin section analyzed for classification.

Physical characteristics: Physical Characteristics: (J. Karner, UUtah; M. Hutson, Cascadia): The 217 g piece is a roughly pyramidal or fin-shaped stone with 93% fusion crust. A few small areas of broken crust show a light gray matrix with orange, mm-sized halos around metal/sulfide grains. The fusion crust is matte black and shows some chondrule outlines. The 1.0 and 2.7 g slices were from stones found days after the initial 217 g stone, and are noticeably more stained and have beads of rust sticking up from surfaces.

Petrography: (J. Karner, UUtah; M. Hutson, A. Ruzicka, and D. Sheikh, Cascadia): In BSE images of the plug, the sample is dominated by regions lacking clear difference between chondrules and matrix, composed largely of anhedral olivine and pyroxene grains, with abundant FeNi metal and iron sulfide grains dispersed throughout. Plagioclase feldspar grains in these regions are <= 50 µm across, despite integrated textures, and are often found in inclusion-filled clusters. Sprinkled throughout the sample are smaller regions containing more sharply defined chondrules and partial chondrules containing fine-grained feldspathic mesostases. The identifiable chondrules range in apparent diameter from ~0.25 µm to some over 2 mm. Radial pyroxene, porphyritic olivine, and barred olivine chondrules are noted. Metal grains, consisting of kamacite, taenite, and plessite, appear to have been fluidized, having scalloped edges where metal surrounds silicate grains, and containing silicate inclusions. BSE imaging shows no evidence for replacement of metal by iron oxide/hydroxide weathering products, despite the orange halos seen in visible light. A texturally distinct triangular region approximately 1 × 3.5 mm is notable for the small size (?40 µm) of the abundant sulfide grains and less abundant metal grains, which are mainly taenite. This region lacks any hint of chondrules, but rather contains irregular clumps of olivine and low-calcium pyroxene grains. Several feldspathic-chromite assemblages are observed, as are small grains of apatite and merrillite. The 1.0 g slice had a texturally-distinct, incomplete, triangular clast (~5 mm height × ~6.5 mm base) on one end, which was examined in thin section. The clast is composed of coarse (50-100 µm) subhedral olivine set in a melt matrix of feldspar with small (typically ?10 µm across) inclusions of olivine and high-calcium pyroxene. No sulfide grains were observed in the clast, and metal comprises 1-2% of the area visible in thin section. The remainder of the thin section resembles the plug analyzed at UUtah. Despite extensive staining of silicates, the metal in thin section shows no signs of replacement in reflected light or BSE images. The 2.7 g slice was examined with a binocular microscope. It contains the same light-colored well-integrated material mixed with small regions containing more defined chondrules. The chondrule edges in the largest (up to a rectangular region 1 × 2 mm across) of these small patches shows numerous tightly packed, well-defined chondrules that lack sharp edges.

Geochemistry: (J. Karner, UUtah; M. Hutson, A. Ruzicka, and D. Sheikh, Cascadia): Host meteorite data obtained at UUtah on plug. Host: Olivine Fa19.6±0.2, N=51; Low-Ca pyroxene Fs17.0±0.4Wo1.3±0.3, N=40. Clast data obtained at Cascadia on thin section. Clast: Olivine Fa19.4±0.1, N=8.

Classification: Ordinary chondrite (H5). Olivine and pyroxene grains are homogenous, consistent with an H-group chondrite of petrographic type 5 or 6. Plagioclase feldspar size is most consistent with a petrographic type 5.

Specimens: Cascadia holds 22.6 g in four pieces, as well as a polished mount and a doubly polished thin section. As of August 31, 2022: Sonny Clary found three stones of 781, 196, and 14 g; Robert Ward found eight stones that total 1.4 kg, Mark Dayton found 484 g, Mark Lyon owns 18 g, Jason Whitcomb found two stones of 248 and 10.5 g, Dave Lubusowski found two stones massing 53 and 130 g, Pat Branch found one 110 g.

Data from:
  Table 0
  Line 0:
Date:2022 Aug 13
Mass (g):3466
Pieces:Numerous pieces
Shock stage:S3
Weathering grade:W0
Fayalite (mol%):19.6±0.2 (N=51)
Ferrosilite (mol%):17.0±0.4 (N=40)
Wollastonite (mol%):1.3±0.3 (N=40)
Magnetic suscept.:5.4
Classifier:J. Karner, UUtah, M. Hutson, D. Sheikh, Cascadia
Type spec mass (g):21
Type spec location:Cascadia
Main mass:Sonny Clary (Nevada)
Finder:Sonny Clary
Comments:Lab number CML 1496.; submitted by J. Karner and M. Hutson
   and collections
Cascadia: Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory, Portland State University, Department of Geology, Room 17 Cramer Hall, 1721 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201, United States; Website (institutional address; updated 28 Oct 2011)
Clary: Ralph "Sonny" Clary, Las Vegas, NV 89131 , United States; Website (private address; updated 3 Jan 2010)
UUtah: University of Utah Geology & Geophysics Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0102 , United States (institutional address; updated 10 Dec 2022)
References: Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 111, in preparation (2022)
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Public domain photographs:
James Kramer         

United States
     Recommended::   (40° 43' 53"N, 112° 26' 20"W)

     This is 1 of 27 approved meteorites from Utah, United States (plus 1 impact crater)
     This is 1 of 1893 approved meteorites from United States (plus 890 unapproved names) (plus 28 impact craters)
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