LA'GAD 002 (syn. Al Mahbas)

Pallasite, PMG-am (anomalous metal composition)
high-Δ17O subgroup (see details on the Imilac page)
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Found August 2004
27° 14' 25.7" N., 8° 50' 49.5" W.

A meteorite having the appearance of a pallasite and weighing ~2–5 kg was found by a nomad about 30 km southeast of Al Mahbas in Saguia el Hamra, Western Sahara. Along with this mass, a few other complete individuals weighing ~16–68 g were recovered which still exhibit black fusion crust and fresh metal. Numerous smaller fragments found around the ~10 m find area contain only oxidized metal. It was reported that the nomad who found the large mass had transported it a few miles away before he hid it under a small tree in a wadi, only to later forget the exact location.

In November of 2004, meteorite dealer M. Farmer traveled to the original find location with a metal detector and recovered a number of oxidized fragments and <100 g of fresh material, the latter being utilized for classification at ASU (L. Garvie), UCLA (J. Wasson), and UNM (K. Ziegler). Because this find is located within a mined, prohibited military zone only ~2 km from the Algerian border, a thorough search could not be completed. A preliminary classification of this pallasite under the provisional designation NWA 2683 was completed at Northern Arizona University (T. Bunch and J. Wittke). The meteorite was determined to be shocked to stage S2 and severely weathered to grade W5 (the FeNi-metal matrix has been transformed into hematite). The metal composition of La'gad 002 is high in Ir and very low in Ni (J. Wasson), most similar to Marjalahti. It is designated an anomalous pallasite based on a very high proportion of plessite to kamacite of 50% (up to 98% plessite in some pairings).

La'gad 002 is likely paired with the pallasites NWA 10015, NWA 10023, NWA 10252 and NWA 11720 based on their similar isotopic and geochemical compositions as well as their high content of plessitic metal. The photos above show two lighting angles of an oxidized slice weighing 1.26 g. The photo below shows a 65.3 g fusion crusted individual in the Dr. J. Piatek Collection.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. J. Piatek