Gibeon, Hardap Region, Great Namaqualand, (South West
The Gibeon Meteorite was first reported by Capt. J.E. Alexander in 1838. He heard of masses of native Iron up to two feet square, located on the east side of the Great Fish River. In the years following, Europeans established large cattle ranches in the area and recovered many more large meteorites. A 232 kg mass was recovered in 1857. Many masses between 100 and 500 kg were recovered in the years shortly after 1900. As late as the publication of the “Handbook of Iron Meteorites” in 1975, scientists were reporting that the Gibeon meteorite consisted primarily of large masses, and that smaller pieces like those found at Canyon Diablo, Odessa, and Sikhote-Alin, were unknown. Buchwald speculated that additional exploration might reveal smaller specimens. Additionally, it has been speculated that many of the smaller fragments may have been collected by natives and made into tools. It seems that lack of knowledge may have been the answer. In the past year or two increasing numbers of small Gibeon meteorites have been exported. It may be that with modern metal detectors, meteorite hunters will locate a substantial number of smaller specimens in the future.
Composition and Mineralogy
Etched Gibeon meteorite specimens usually display a fine Widmanstatten structure (fine octahedrite). Oxidization (rusting) is usually not a problem with Gibeon specimens, due to the high Ni content of the meteorite. Taenite (Fe,Ni), is the source of the nickel. Troilite inclusions can be seen on all of the specimens listed below, though some of the Troilite inclusions are very small. Item D has unusually rich amounts of Troilite.
See the table at the bottom
of the page for definitions of the abbreviations in the PREPARATION column.
Copyright 1998-2017 by Mineralogical Research Co.
All rights reserved.