Fall ellipse, DaG 637, L chondrite

H3 chondrite, Dar al Gani 862

H5 chondrite, meteorite from Hammadah al Hamra
Update: November 28 2012
Dar al Gani 637 comes from a multiple fall. The fall ellipse of this L chondrite extends at less on 15 km west to east.
HaH 259 is a 5 kilogram chondrite found on the Hammadah al Hamra (the red plateau). Sixteen pieces, from 2 to 900 grams, were found around the main mass of 3.6 kilos.
In appearance DaG 862 resembles the L3.5 chondrite Ragland, New Mexico, especially in the number of chondrules seen in a cut section.

Saharan Meteorites

The first Saharan research campaigns took place in 1989. They revealed the hot desert’s enormous potential for preserving meteorites. A number of prospecting teams began travelling to Libya and Algeria in 1993 to collect field information permitting scientific studies to be conducted on over 1,000 meteorites.

The Museum of Natural History at Berlin’s Humboldt University holds a large share of the first Saharan finds. These many discoveries, taken from the Dar al Gani, Acfer, Hammadah al Hamra and Tanezrouft regions and the Saharan sedimentary plateaus, also drew buyers and speculators to the region around southern Morocco’s border towns. Situated at the gateways to the desert, these communities are favoured points of passage for contraband originating anywhere in the Sahara.

Since 1998, many thousands of poorly documented Saharan meteorites have thus come to supply the international market, listed under the generic label NWA (for North West Africa, a region that embraces all of North Africa). Mostly the product of a traffic that the Algerian government is fighting, all traces of their origins have been deliberately erased. This issue is a matter of concern, when we consider recently emerging Saharan terrorism and the amount of money being spent on this market.

Long-time Saharan meteorite buffs ourselves, we have consistently operated within part of a scientific process, aware of the need to record as much information as possible for future generations. Comprehensive follow-up on each of our discoveries and contacts that we have maintained since 1999 among embassies, Libyan and Algerian research institutes, demonstrate that a collective awareness is now required if we are to preserve and pass on the rich store of knowledge about our solar system that is contained in the Saharan meteorites.

© Copyright : Richard Pelisson, SaharaMet