Plateau du Tademait 008, Mars Rock, Olivine-Phyric Basalt, Micro

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Plateau du Tademait is an oasis in the Saharan Desert of central Algeria. Several different meteorites had been recovered from the vicinity, so the oasis was given it's own dense collection area (DCA) name. As of this writing, 11 meteorites have been recovered from Plateau du Tademait. Of these 11 finds, number 008 is arguably the most interesting. It is a Martian shergottite of the Olivine-Phyric Basalt type. The find consisted of one 2kg sandblasted stone with patches of remnant fusion crust. It was analyzed and classified by Dr. Carl Agee at the University of New Mexico. 

I acquired some small cutting crumbs of this meteorite. There is not much to go around, so I made broke them up into micromounts. Each specimen is very small and will come with a gelatin capsule to keep it from getting lost. The specimens are not weighed, but they probably weigh about 5mg or less each.

Refer to the photo. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included. You are purchasing a speck micromount like the one shown. Your fragment will come with a capsule and labeled gemjar for safe storage.

From the Meteoritical Bulletin entry on Plateau du Tademait 008 :

Plateau du Tademait 008 28°55’03.8"N, 0°59’05.6"E

Adrar, Algeria

Purchased: 2022

Classification: Martian meteorite (Shergottite)

History: Purchased from Algerian dealer Ali Mftah Mftah in 2022.

Physical characteristics: Single stone with patches of black fusion crust, sandblasted surfaces show exposed olivine phenocrysts. A polished slice reveals numerous pale green olivine phenocrysts up to ~1 cm in diameter that poikilitically enclose smaller pyroxene grains. The groundmass consists of dark gray pyroxene grains up to 500 μm and smaller olivine grains.

Petrography: (C. Agee, UNM) This meteorite has the approximate modal abundances: 50% clinopyroxene, 25% olivine, 10% maskelynite, with accessory ilmenite, chromite, Ti-Cr spinel, and pyrite. Clinopyroxene shows a tightly bound, continuous calcium enrichment trend. Olivine phenocrysts show a narrow compositional range from low Ca-pyroxene to pigeonite to subcalcic augite. Maskelynite is usually observed occupying pyroxene and olivine grain boundary pockets. Small vesicles are scattered throughout.

Geochemistry: (M. Spilde, UNM) Olivine Fa40.4±0.9, Fe/Mn=50±2, CaO=0.25±0.05, (wt%), n=6; clinopyroxene Fs26.3±4.6Wo17.6±9.2, Fe/Mn=29±2, n=12; maskelynite An51.0±3.2Ab47.2±3.4Or1.8±0.5, n=7.

Classification: Martian shergottite (olivine-phyric basalt).