[meteorite-list] Ovifak

From: Bernd Pauli HD <bernd.pauli_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:48:57 2004
Message-ID: <3B9D34D2.D987CAA5_at_lehrer1.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de>

Gregory wrote:

> Any takers on the similarly-mentioned "Ovifak" pseudometeorite?

Hello Gregory and List,

BUCHWALD V.F. (1975) Handbook of Iron
Meteorites, Volume 2, p. 413, Figure 499:

One of the controversial iron blocks from Ovifak, on the south coast
of Disko Island, 850 km south-southeast of Savigsivik. This block,
of 3 tons, is exhibited in the Kaisaniemi Park, Helsinki. The Ovifak
blocks are of terrestrial origin and perhaps still more unusual than
the meteoritic irons.

BURKE J.G. (1986) Cosmic Debris, Meteorites in History, p. 191:

In November 1870, Nordenskiöld, who was actively involved in Arctic
exploration for scientific purposes, wrote Maskelyne that he had just
returned from Greenland and had discovered a meteorite "the most
northerly fallen meteorite hitherto found ... and as having fallen
during the miocene period. Maskelyne immediately wrote that he wished
to purchase a large piece, and Nordenskiöld replied that he was sending
an 87-kg mass for a price of £435. As it turned out, the purchase of
this Ovifak iron was undoubtedly the most unfortunate that Maskelyne
made. In January 1871 Nordenskiöld wrote:

The beautiful and interesting meteorite I brought with me from Greenland
makes me much trouble. It is necessary to cover the stone with damara
varnish to prevent them from breaking. Please let it be done on my
account as soon as possible and keep it, as I do, enclosed hermeticalay
[sic] in a glass (over quicksilver) ... I am quite unable to explain the
bursting of the stone.

There was further correspondence about the constituents of the iron
and additional instructions for its preservation. By January 1876 the
interchange indicates that controversy had already begun concerning
the meteoritic origin of the Ovifak iron. The relatively high nickel
content of these iron masses, whose combined weight totaled 35 tons,
persuaded a number of scientists in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries that they were meteoritic. However, early on, the weight
of opinion favored their terrestrial origin, and recent studies have
confirmed this judgment.

On Tue, 23 Nov 1999 Jeff Grossman wrote to the List:

> You are referring to Disko Island basalt, which I believe got its iron
> reduced while flowing over coal beds. I've heard that some individual
> masses of iron are really big, but most of what I've seen is quite
> disseminated in the rock (like a chondrite!).

Good Night,

Received on Mon 10 Sep 2001 05:46:58 PM PDT

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