by Robert Verish
Willcox Playa 005, WP 006, and WP 007 - Image Gallery
The subject of this month's "Bob's Findings" article is about three meteorites found at Willcox Playa, Arizona, formally named the Willcox Playa 005 (WP 005), WP 006, and WP 007 Ordinary Chondrites, three stony meteorites that were found December 10-11-12, 2004 during a "meteorite-recovery field trip" organized by this author. This monthís article can be considered as a continuation of last monthís Willcox Playa 004 article.
Although these small, weathered Ordinary Chondrites may not be all that interesting, it is the fact that these finds, made in December of 2004, have already been CLASSIFIED- and are already appearing in this March 2005 publication, which is noteworthy. In comparison, Willcox Playa 004 took a little over a year to get classified, Since last monthís article was about Willcox Playa 004, I felt that the news of an ordinary chondrite getting classified in just 2 months would make an appropriate topic for this month's article.
What can be learned from this, is that even though there can be long delays and great difficulty in getting some common meteorites classified, it isnít always the case. Hopefully, with time this problem will improve and it will be less and less used as an excuse for not getting finds submitted for classification.
Admittedly, I had to contact 4 different institutions before I found one that had a researcher that was going to do some microprobe work soon and was willing to add my samples to his next batch. I should explain here that it was my desire to have an Arizona institution do the classifying, particularly ASU, since they had most recently classified WP 003. But they had their hands full with all the recent Franconia area finds. I tried contacting the other Arizona schools. There were rumors that other finds were being made in the Willcox Playa area and I wanted my finds to be classified by the same institution that was doing the work on those other "rumored" WP finds. Apparently those finds haven't surfaced, yet, because none of the schools would admit, at least to me, that they were working on anything from Willcox Playa. Since WP is close to New Mexico, I even checked with the University of New Mexico. But, no other WP finds being classified there, and they weren't accepting any new finds, either. So, in the end, I had my WP finds classified at the same institution that had done the classifications for WP 002 and WP 004.
There are more than a couple reasons why a finder would want his meteorite classified by the same person who had classified other finds from that same locality. And it's more than the fact that it is only proper protocol to give first consideration to the researcher that is conducting a study of that locality. The most obvious reason would be that pairings could be done much easier. In fact, it is becoming more apparent that meteorites, that are obviously paired, are having great difficulty in getting paired when they are getting classified by different institutions.
Now that 5 out of the 7 classified finds from Willcox Playa have been done at the same institution, and their type specimens are available for proper pairings, it would be more that just proper protocol to have future Willcox Playa finds classified at that same institution. It would actually be the most prudent thing to do, as long as there is any interest in pairing all of these dry lake finds. I would think this would be a common interest of both collectors and researchers. Hopefully, for other multiple find localities across the Southwest US, we will see a consensus form among finders and researchers that promotes this protocol.
The following are links that take you to a separate web page/Image Gallery for each of the Willcox Playa meteorites, and is mostly images of that meteorite "as it was found" on the playa and while under study in my lab:
Willcox Playa 004 - this meteorite is now CLASSIFIED:
L6, S4, W2 (Fa 24.5+/-0.3%, Fs 20.6%, Wo 1.2%)
Willcox Playa 005 - this meteorite is now CLASSIFIED:
H5, S3, W3 (Fa 18.0+/-0.2%, Fs 15.8%, Wo 1.0%)
Willcox Playa 006 - this meteorite is now CLASSIFIED:
H6, S3, W2 (Fa 18.7+/-0.2%)
Willcox Playa 007 - this meteorite is now CLASSIFIED:
L6, S2, W1 (Fa 24.4+/-0.1%, Fs 20.8%, Wo 1.8%)
The topic of my next article will be related to abstracts presented at the "LPSC 2005" Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI (2005) Meeting.
My previous articles can be found *HERE*
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