Catalogue of Canadian meteorites

Tuesday, November 23, 1999

By: Graham C. Wilson, University of Toronto

The Canadian meteorite recovery rate is modest. Only a dozen have been recovered in the province of Ontario, which is five times as big as the state of Kansas where over 110 known meteorites have been collected. Low population density and inclement weather may conspire with terrain and land-use factors to hinder recovery of falls and finds alike.

Catalogue of Canadian Meteorites        
ALBERTA (14)        
Abee Chondrite Fall 1952 107
Belly River Chondrite Find 1943 7.9
Bruderheim Chondrite Fall 1960 303
Edmonton (Alberta) Iron Find 1939 17.34
Ferintosh Chondrite Find 1965 2.201
Innisfree Chondrite Fall 1977 4.58
Iron Creek Iron Find 1869 145.85
Kinsella Iron Find 1946 3.72
Mayerthorpe Iron Find 1964 12.61
Millarville Iron Find 1977 15.636
Peace River Chondrite Fall 1963 45.76
Skiff Chondrite Find 1966 3.54
Vilna Chondrite Fall 1967 0.00014
Vulcan Chondrite Find 1962 19
Beaver Creek Chondrite Fall 1893 14
Revelstoke Chondrite Fall 1965 0.001
MANITOBA (3)        
Giroux Stony iron Find 1954 4.275
Homewood Chondrite Find 1970 0.325
Riverton Chondrite Find 1960 0.103
N.W.T (2)        
Great Bear Lake Chondrite Find 1936 0.04
Holman Island Chondrite Fall 1951 0.522
NEW BRUNSWICK (1)        
Benton Chondrite Fall 1949 2.84
ONTARIO (12)        
Blithfield Chondrite Find 1910 1.83
De Cewsville Chondrite Fall 1887 0.34
Dresden (Ontario) Chondrite Fall 1939 47.7
Kitchener Chondrite Fall 1998 0.202
Madoc Iron Find 1854 167.5
Manitouwabing Iron Find 1962 38.6
Midland Iron Find 1960 0.034
Osseo Iron Find 1931 46.3
Shelburne Chondrite Fall 1904 18.6
Thurlow Iron Find 1888 5.5
Toronto Iron Find 1997 2.715
Welland Iron Find 1888 8.16
QUEBEC (5)        
Chambord Iron Find 1904 6.6
Chibougamau Iron Find 1995 (?)
Lac Dodon Iron Find 1993 0.8
Penouille Iron Find 1984 0.072
St-Robert Chondrite Fall 1994 25.4
For historical reference:        
Leeds[= Toluca] Iron Find 1931 1.445
SASKATCHEWAN (12)        
Annaheim Iron Find 1916 11.84
Blaine Lake Chondrite Find 1974 1.896
Bruno Iron Find 1931 13
Burstall Iron Find 1992 0.359
Catherwood Chondrite Find 1965 3.92
Fillmore Iron Find 1916 0.113
Garden Head Iron Find 1944 1.296
Hodgeville Chondrite Find 1996 7
Kinley Chondrite Find 1965 2.44
Red Deer Hill Chondrite Find 1975 2.51
Springwater Stony iron Find 1931 67.6
Wynyard Chondrite Find 1968 3.479
YUKON (2)        
Gay Gulch Iron Find 1901 0.483
Skookum Iron Find 1905 15.88

Discredited specimens

Location Province Situation
Akpohon N.W.T Dubious - synonym for Cape York
Eastman Quebec Dubious - no material
Leeds Quebec Dubious - synonym of Toluca
Otasawian Alberta Dubious - synonym of Canyon Diablo (?)
Prince George B.C fireball event, no material
Takysie Lake B.C Dubious - pseudometeorite

Physical specimens have been documented for Akpohon and Leeds. Takysie Lake and Otasawian. No material was recovered in the case of the Eastman and Prince George, which were included here only for consistency with earlier meteorite catalogues. In addition, dozens and probably hundreds of 'meteorwrongs' have been diagnosed over the years by Canadian museum and university staff. All kinds of slag and metallurgical products, mafic-ultramafic rocks, hematite nodules, pyrite spheroids, geodes and other natural terrestrial rocks are considered remarkable by their finders, for reasons of circumstance, density, texture, shape and other features. The finders should not be discouraged; in every few dozen meteorwrongs there is often a meteorite. The latter are sometimes part of an abundant shower or major find, and sometimes a true unknown, new to science.

Water-bearing meteorite

A white and glowing 1kg meteorite that was discovered by a group of boys playing basketball in a driveway in a small town in West Texas contains the first extraterrestrial water ever captured on Earth. Dr. Michael Zolensky, a mineralogist with NASA's Johnson Space Centre in Houston was part of a team that found purple halite crystals, complete with fluid inclusions in the 4.5 Ga chondrite meteor. The inclusions contain primordial water that may have existed in interstellar space before the sun and planets were born. The amount of chlorine in rocks, especially meteorites, is pretty low so there was either a huge quantity of water associated with the rock, or there is some unknown other mechanism for making sodium chloride. Two possible origins for the brines are indigenous fluids flowing within the asteroid and exogenous fluids delivered into the asteroid surface from a salt-containing icy object.