ST. GENEVIEVE COUNTY


Iron, IIIF, octahedrite
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Found during Fall of 1888
37° 58' N., 90° 19' W.

A single spheroidal mass of 244 kg was found by Mr. Z. Murphy, a surveyor, ~1 mile west of the hamlet of Punjaub, which is near present-day Lawrenceton, Missouri. The St. Genevieve mass was bought by Ward several years later. Because of the long terrestrial age, several mm has been removed from the surface and terrestrial oxides are evident.

Group characteristics of the IIIF magmatic irons include very low-Co, high-Cr, and low-P contents. Other meteorites constituting group IIIF include Moonby, Clark County, Nelson County, and Oakley. In their paper ‘Chemical classication of iron meteorites–VIII’, Wasson and Scott (1975) determined that Oakley was the fifth member of a common grouping, which was thereby established as group IIIF. Since then the number of irons in this group has increased to nine.

In a study of W, Mo, and Ru isotopes in iron meteorites, Kruijer et al. (2017) recognized the existence of two distinct iron groups: those which accreted inside the orbit of Jupiter where thermal processing occurred under reducing conditions ('non-carbonaceous'), and those which accreted outside of its orbit where thermal processing occurred under oxidizing conditions ('carbonaceous'). Interestingly, the pyroxene pallasite Zinder was found to contain metal with a composition that is chemically identical to that of group IIIF irons (Boesenberg et al., 2017; Humayun et al., 2018). However, the IIIF irons formed in the carbonaceous region of the Solar System beyond Jupiter, whereas the negative ε54Cr and δ26Mg* values of Zinder indicate that it formed in the non-carbonaceous region of the inner Solar System (Wimpenny et al., 2019). See the Appendix Part III for further details.

The specimen of St. Genevieve shown above is a 55.4 g etched partial slice exhibiting a fine to medium Thomson (Widmanstätten) structure. The photo below shows the entire mass as photographed by Ward.

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