The United States program was begun under the direction of William A. Cassidy of the University of Pittsburgh and supported by the Office of Polar Programs of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Ralph Harvey of Case Western Reserve University currently directs the project. The Antarctic Search For Meteorites (ANSMET) project has been active over much of the Transantarctic Mountain Range. The first ANSMET expedition (a joint U.S.-Japanese effort) discovered what turned out to be a significant concentration of meteorites at the Allan Hills in southern Victoria Land (Cassidy, 1977; Cassidy, 1978; Cassidy, 1979). Later reconnaissance in this region resulted in the discovery of significant meteorite concentrations on icefields to the west of the Allan Hills, at Reckling Moraine, and Elephant Moraine (Cassidy, 1980; Cassidy and Annexstad, 1981; Schutt, 1982; Cassidy et al., 1983; Cassidy and Schutt, 1984; Huss et al., 1987; Harvey and Schutt, 1993).
ANSMET expeditions also have found important concentrations in other regions of Antarctica; the Lewis Cliff-Walcott Névé and Queen Alexandra-Goodwin Nunataks areas in the Beardmore region have proved to be as important as the Allan Hills icefields in numbers of specimens recovered (Cassidy et al., 1986; Cassidy et al., 1987; Harvey and Schutt, 1994; Harvey and Schutt, 1995). The Beardmore region contains many other productive sites in addition to the Lewis Cliff and Queen Aleandra Range sites. The Thiel Mountains-Patuxent Range region also has produced significant numbers of meteorites (Schutt et al., 1983; Harvey and Schutt, 1992). Graves Nunatak near the head of the Scott Glacier has produced many interesting specimens. Meteorite Hills in the Darwin Glacier area has become an important site as well as the Pecora Escarpment icefields and the LaPaz Icefield. Numerous other less productive areas have been identified, as well as a small number of individual meteorite finds (Cassidy, 1977; Cassidy, 1979; Cassidy and Annexstad, 1981; Schutt et al., 1983; Cassidy et al., 1986; Harvey and Schutt, 1992). Additional new and important meteorite stranding sites and individual finds will undoubtedly be found in the future.
A summary of Antarctic meteorite field work, overviews of meteoritic and related glaciological investigations, and discussions on concentration mechanisms can be found in Bull and Lipschutz (1982); Annexstad et al. (1986), Cassidy and Whillans (1990), Huss (1990), Cassidy et al. (1992) and Harvey (2003). Cassidy (2003) has published a personal account of his years leading ANSMET and includes an extensive section on the importance of the Antarctic meteorite collection and scientific results.
The mapping of the locations of meteorites found on the Antarctic icesheet can play an important role in meteorite and glaciological investigations. Maps are visual aids in pairing studies, especially when fragments of the same fall are found in a given area during different field seasons. The spatial distribution of meteorites on a given stranding surface may give insights into the concentration mechanism(s) or define areas in which glaciological studies should be concentrated. Thematic maps and spatial analysis of meteorite types, masses, terrestrial ages, or combinations of those parameters, will yield additional clues.
The AMLAMP initially produced meteorite location maps for specimens found by the ANSMET project field teams and others at selected stranding sites. No updates to these maps have been made since 1994. ANSMET continues to collect meteorite location data and AMLAMP continues to devlope databases and mapping products in a current GIS application. Mapping is now done in the ESRI ArcGIS environment.
This web site provides a background to continued meteorite recovery and mapping activities. It is at once a catalog of meteorite find sites in Antarctica and a brief history of search and recovery efforts. Most of the information in this series pertains to the activities of the United States sponsored ANSMET program. Significant discoveries have been made by the Japanese, German, and Italian Antarctic programs, as well as other smaller program efforts. The results of those efforts are generally beyond the scope of AMLAMP, except where meteorite finds have been made in areas where ANSMET has been active.
The explanatory texts have been organized into a broad, regional scale with local sub-series within regions. Currently, the regions, which progress along the Transantarctic Mountains from the David Glacier at one end to the Patuxent Range at the other, are:
These regions are shown on INTRO-Figure 1(108 KB JPEG) (AVHRR mosaic image of Antarctica by Remote Sensing Division, RAE, Farnborough, England).
Traverse back to the Table of Contents
The first maps of the Allan Hills Main and Near Western icefields and the Elephant Moraine Icefield were hand-drawn versions. Tony Meunier (U.S. Geological Survey) produced a computer generated map showing meteorites recovered during the 1982-1983 search of the Far Western Icefield. A copy of the Cartographic Automatic Mapping (CAM) program that he used was acquired from the U.S.G.S. and installed, after modification, into the DEC-VAX computer system at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. The CAM program was a powerful cartographic mapping software package, capable of generating maps in many map projections. By present standards, however, it is a cumbersome and inelegant program with numerous limitations. Many corrections and enhancements had been made to the CAM program. Because meteorite locations are often close together a utility program was written so that name placement overprinting is minimized. An interactive editing program is used to finalize name positioning. Numerous other programs have been developed to deal with the different kinds of data and data formats. We have essentially created a crude geographic information system (GIS). Thematic maps may be created within our framework of programs. However, the location data is in geographic coordinates and therefore can easily be imported into a dedicated GIS environment. The CAM program has been retired and the AMLAMP databases now reside in the ESRI ARCGIS environment.
Separate databases have been created for each of the icefields from reduced field and survey data and from computer databases at the Antarctic Meteorite Laboratory at the Curatorial Facility, Johnson Space Center (JSC). To date, these databases include specimen names, classifications, masses, locations, and map data. Terrestrial ages of the meteorites will be added when a sufficient number have been determined. The AMLAMP databases are updated once a year to included any new information.
A variety of field methods have been used to document and determine the locations of meteorites. Crude surveying methods (with an estimated precision of 10 meters) were used from the 1978-1979 season until late in the 1983-1984 season, when a theodolite and electronic distance measuring (EDM) instrument became available. During the 1982-1983 season a TRANSIT satellite surveying instrument was used to make precise position determinations of three base stations at the Allan Hills Far Western Icefield (Cassidy et al., 1983). In the following season, an open survey traverse was made from these points, crossing the Middle Western and Near Western icefields, and ultimately tying into the network established at the Main Icefield by Nishio and Annexstad (1979). Although subject to the accumulation of a large error, this traverse tied the icefields together and provided base stations to which individual meteorite locations could be tied. Two base stations at the Lewis Cliff were initially placed by surveyors from the U.S.G.S. during the 1985-1986 season. The geographic position of one of these was determined by resection methods and is the basis for the network of base stations used for surveying in the Lewis Cliff area. At the Texas Bowl Icefield, during the 1990-1991 field season, a TRANSIT satellite surveying instrument was again used to determine, by translocation, the geographic coordinates of two points used as base stations for the local survey network.
During the 1990-1991 season, Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were acquired. GPS has become the standard means of determining most base station positions and meteorite positions. All of the locations of meteorites recovered from the Queen Alexandra Range-Goodwin Nunataks area in the 1990-1991 season, the Wisconsin Range - Upper Reedy Glacier area, the Patuxent Range-Brazitis Nunatak Icefield, and the Thiel Mountains-Moulton Escarpment icefields were determined by averaged point positioning of GPS determinations. Tests indicate that the accuracy of this method is highly variable, but at worst is around ±30-40 meters. In other areas where meteorite are abundant and closely spaced, a differential method of post-processing GPS data is used to achieve higher positional accuracy of ±1 meters for most of the location determinations.
Traverse back to the Table of Contents
Traverse back to the Table of Contents
Traverse back to the Table of Contents
Traverse back to the Table of Contents
Acknowledgments; The surveying and mapping of the meteorite locations and icefields could not have been accomplished without the assistance and perseverance of ANSMET expedition members, often under adverse conditions. Roberta Score, Cecilia Satterwhite, and Terry Bevil have provided considerable assistance with the JSC meteorite databases. Robert Walker provided some of the enlargements of the satellite images used in the explanatory texts and support for AMLAMP and the initial acquisition of GPS equipment. Kevin Burke, David Black, Kin Leung, Brian Fessler, and many others on the staff of the Lunar and Planetary Institute gave cheerful support and advice to the project. Amanda Kubala and Eleta Malewitz assisted in the production of CAM maps and database updates. The LPI Publications Services staff, Renee Dotson, Sarah Enticknap, Steve Hokanson, Christy Owens, and Linda Tanner contributed significantly to the printed technical reports. The Meteorite Working Group was also forthcoming with encouragement and support. Michael Zolensky offered helpful suggestions and comments on the much of the original text. Kelly Brunt, GIS Specialist of Raytheon Polar Services Co., has provided invaluable assistance in overcoming problems in the AMLAMP GIS development. ANSMET field work was conducted under National Science Foundation Grants DPP 77-21742, 78-21104, 83-14496, 88-17083, and 91-17558. Many, many others have contributed to the success of ANSMET and AMLAMP.
Traverse back to the Table of Contents
Annexstad, J.O. (1983) Meteorite concentration and glaciological parameters in the Allan Hills Icefield, Victoria Land, Antarctica. PhD dissertation, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. 151pp.
Annexstad, J.O., L. Schultz, and H. Wanke, eds. (1986) Workshop on Antarctic Meteorites. LPI Tech. Rpt. 86-01. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston.199 pp.
Apostolopoulos, D., M.D. Wagner, B.N. Shamah, L. Pedersen, K. Shillcutt, W.L. Whittaker (2000) Technology and field demonstration of robotic search for Antarctic meteorites in International Journal of Robotic Research, special Field & Service Robotics issue, November.
Bull, C. and M.E. Lipschutz, eds. (1982) Workshop on Antarctic Glaciology and Meteorites. LPI Tech. Rpt. 82-03. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston. 57pp.
Cassidy W.A. (1977) Antarctic search for meteorites. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 12(5), 96-98.
Cassidy, W.A. (1978) Antarctic search for meteorites during the 1977/78 field season. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 13(5), 39-40.
Cassidy, W.A. (1979) Antarctic search for meteorites (ANSMET 1978/79). Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 14(5), 41-42.
Cassidy, W.A. (1980) Antarctic search for meteorites, 1979/80. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 15(5), 49-50.
Cassidy W.A. and Annexstad J.O. (1981) Antarctic search for meteorites (ANSMET), 1980/81. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 16(5), 61-62.
Cassidy W.A., Meunier T., Buchwald V., Thompson C. (1983) Search for meteorites in the Allan Hills/Elephant Moraine area, 1982-83. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 18(5), 81-82.
Cassidy, W.A. and Schutt, J. (1984) Search for meteorites 1983-84. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 19(5), 39-40.
Cassidy, W.A., Englert, P., Thomas, T., and Thompson, C. (1986) Search for meteorites in the Beardmore Glacier Region. Antarctic Journal of the U. S. 21(5), 81-82.
Cassidy W.A., Schutt J., Koeberl. C., Yanai K., Lindner L., and Mardon A. (1987) The meteorite concentration at the Lewis Cliff, Antarctica, Ice Tongue (abstract). Meteoritics, 27, 353.
Cassidy, W.A. and Whillans, I., eds. (1990) Workshop on Antarctic Meteorite Stranding Surfaces. LPI Tech. Rpt. 90-03, 103pp.
Cassidy, W.A. (1992) The 1985-1986 and 1987-1987 field seasons. In Field and laboratory Investigations of Antarctic Meteorites Collected by United States Expeditions, 1985-1987 (U. Marvin and G. MacPherson, eds.), pp11-16. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences No. 30, Smithsonian Institution,Washington, D.C.
Cassidy W.A., Harvey R.P., Schutt J., Delisle G., and Yanai K. (1992) The meteorite collection sites of Antarctica. Meteoritics , 27, 490-525.
Cassidy, W.A. (2003) Meteorites, Ice, and Antarctica: A personal account. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. 349 p.
Clarke, Jr. R.S. (1982) Descriptions of iron meteorites. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences No. 24, Smithsonian Institution,Washington, D.C. 49-56.
Clarke Jr. R.S. (1982) The Derrick Peak, Antarctica, iron meteorites. Meteoritics, 17, 129-134.
Delisle, G. and Sievers, J. (1991) Sub-ice topography and meteorite fields near the Allan Hills and the Near Western Icefield, Victoria Land, Antarctica, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 96, No. E1, P. 15,577-15,587.
Delisle, G., Sievers, J., and Schultz, L. (1989) Radio-echo sounding survey across the Allan Hills icefield, Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 24(5), 50-52.
Faure, G. and Taylor, K.S. (1985) The geology and origin of the Elephant Moraine on the east antarctic icesheet. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 20(5), 11-12.
Faure, G. and Buchanan, D. (1987) Glaciology of the east antarctic icesheet at the Allan Hills - A preliminary interpretation. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 22(5), 74-75.
Faure, G., Strobel, M., Hagen, E., Buchanan, D. (1987) The glacial geology of Reckling Moraine on the east antarctic icesheet. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 22(5), 61-63.
Ford, A.B. and Tabor, R.W. (1971) The Thiel Mountains pallasite of Antarctica. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 750-D.
Grossman, J. (1995) The Meteoritical Bulletin No. 80. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 31(8), A175-176.
Harvey, R.P. and Schutt, J. (1992) Meteorite recovery and reconnaissance near Pecora Escarpment and surrounding areas. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 27(5), 26-27.
Harvey, R.P. and Schutt, J. (1993) Meteorite recovery and reconnaissance in the Allan Hills-David Glacier Region, 1992-1993. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 28(5), 51-52.
Harvey, R.P. and Schutt, J. (1997) Meteorite recovery and reconnaissance in the Allan Hills-David Glacier Region, 1996-97. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 32(5), 25-27.
Harvey, R.P. (2003) The origin and significance of Antarctic meteorites. Chemie der Erde, 63, 93-147.
Huss, G., Wagstaff J., Wasilewski P., and Thompson C. (1988), Search for meteorites north and east of Elephant Moraine, Victoria Land, 1987-88. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 23(5), 47-48.
Huss, G. (1990) Meteorite infall as a function of mass: Implications for the accumulation of meteorites on Antarctic ice. Meteoritics 25, 41-56.
Kamp, P.J.J. and Lowe D.J. (1982) Geology and Terrestrial age of the Derrick peak Meteorite Occurrence, Antarctica. Meteoritics, 17, 119-127.
Kirkbride, M.P., Bradshaw M.A., and Harmsen F.J. (1991) Further finds of the Derrick Peak meteorite, Transantarctic Mountains, and implications for terrestrial age. Meteoritics, 26, 213-216.
Kyle P. (1979) Geochemical studies of Ferrar Group rocks from Southern Victoria Land. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 14, (5) 25-26.
Marvin U. (1982) The field season in Victoria Land, 1978-1979. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 24, 3-8.
Marvin, U. and Mason, B., eds. (1980) Catalog of Antarctic Meteorites, 1977-1978. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 23. 50 pp.
Marvin U. and Mason, B., eds. (1982) Catalog of Meteorites from Victoria Land, 1978-1980, Antarctica. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 24. 97 pp.
Marvin, U. and Mason B., eds. (1984) Field and Laboratory Investigations of Meteorites from Victoria Land, Antarctica. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 26. 138 pp.
Marvin, U. and MacPherson G., eds. (1989) Field and Laboratory Investigations of Meteorites from Victoria Land and the Thiel Mountains Region, Antarctica, 1982-1983 and 1983-1984. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 28. 146 pp.
Marvin U. and MacPherson G., eds. (1992) Field and Laboratory Investigations of Antarctic Meteorites Collected by United States Expeditions, 1985-1987. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences 30. 116 pp.
Nishio, F. and Annexsted J.O. (1979) Glaciological survey in the bare ice area near the Allan Hills in Victoria Land. Antarctica. Mem. Nat. Inst. Polar Res., Tokyo, Japan, Special Issue 15, 13-23.
Russell, S., et. al., (2002) Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 86, 2002, July, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 37 (Supplement), A157-A184.
Russell, S., et. al., (2004) Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 88, 2004, July, Meteoritics and Planetary Science 39 (Supplement), Axx-Axx.
Schutt, J. (1982) Results of the Antarctic search for meteorites, 1981-82. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 17(5), 56-57. Schutt, J., Rancitelli, L.A., Krahenbuhl, U., and Crane, R. (1983) Exploration for meteorite concentrations in the Thiel Mountains/Pecora Escarpment region, 1982-83. Antarctic Journal of the U.S. 18(5), 83-86.
Schutt, J. (1989) The expedition to the Thiel Mountains and Pecora Escarpment, 1982-83. In Field and Laboratory Investigations of Meteorites from Victoria Land and the Thiel Mountains Region, Antarctica , 1982-1983 and 1983-1984 (U. Marvin and G. MacPherson, eds.), pp 9-15. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences No. 28, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Schutt, J., Fessler, B., and Cassidy, W.A. (1989) The Antarctic Meteorite Location and Mapping Project (AMLAMP) Explanatory Text. LPI Tech. Rpt. 89-02, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston. 58 pp.
Shiraishi, K. (1979) Antarctic search for meteorite by U.S.-Japan joint party, 1978-1979. Memoirs of National Institue of Polar Research Special Issue No. 15, National Institue of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan.
Woltzka, F. (1990) Meteoritical Bulletin No. 69, Meteoritics, 25, 237-239.
Woltzka, F. (1991) Meteoritical Bulletin No. 70, Meteoritics, 26, 68-69.
Woltzka, F. (1992) Meteoritical Bulletin No. 72, Meteoritics, 27, 109-117.
Woltzka, F. (1994) Meteoritical Bulliten No. 77, Meteoritics, 29(6), 891.
Yanai, K. (1978) First meteorites found in Victoria Land, Antarctica, December 1976 and January 1977--Report of the U.S.-Japan joint program titled "Antarctic Search for Meteorites" 1976-1977. National Institute of Polar Research. Memoirs. Special issue No.8, p.51-69.
Yanai, K. (1983) Sheet 2 - Yamato Mountains. Locality Map Series of Antarctic Meteorites. National Institue of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan.
Yanai, K. (1984) Sheet 1 - Allan Hills. Locality Map Series of Antarctic Meteorites. National Institute of Polar Research, Tokyo, Japan.
Yoshida M., Ando H., Omoto K., Naruse R., and Ageta Y. (1971) Discovery of meteorites near Yamato Mountains, East Antarctica. Antarctic Record, 39, 62-65.