The complex exposure histories of the Pitts and Horse Creek iron meteorites: Implications for meteorite delivery models

K. C. Welten, K. Nishiizumi, B. Lavielle, M. W. Caffee, D. J. Hillegonds, R. C. Finkel, D. Kollar, J. Masarik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The concentrations of cosmogenic radionuclides and noble gases in Pitts (IAB) and Horse Creek (ungrouped) provide unambiguous evidence that both irons have a complex exposure history with a first-stage irradiation of 100-600 Myr under high shielding, followed by a second-stage exposure of ~1 Myr as small objects. The first-stage exposure ages of ~100 Myr for Horse Creek and -600 Myr for Pitts are similar to cosmic-ray exposure ages of other iron meteorites, and most likely represent the Yarkovsky orbital drift times of irons from their parent bodies in the main asteroid belt to one of the nearby chaotic resonance zones. The short second-stage exposure ages indicate that collisional debris from recent impact events on their precursor objects was quickly delivered to Earth. The short delivery times suggests that the recent collision events occurred while the precursor objects of Horse Creek and Pitts were either very close to the chaotic resonance zones or already in Earth- crossing orbits. Since the cosmogenic noble gas records of Horse Creek and Pitts indicate a minimum radius of a few meters for the precursor objects, but do not exclude km-sized objects, we conclude that these irons may represent fragments of two near-Earth asteroids, 3103 Eger and 1986 DA, respectively. Finally, we used the cosmogenic nuclide concentrations in Horse Creek, which contains 2.5 wt% Si, to test current model calculations or the production of cosmogenic 10Be, 26Al, and neonisotopes from iron, nickel, and silicon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1332
Number of pages12
JournalMeteoritics and Planetary Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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