Terrestrial ages, pairing, and concentration mechanism of Antarctic chondrites from Frontier Mountain, Northern Victoria Land

Published in:

Meteoritics & Planetary Science 41,7 (2006) 1081-1094;


We report concentrations of cosmogenic Be-10, Al-26, Cl-36, and Ca-41 in the metal phase of 26 ordinary chondrites from Frontier Mountain (FRO), Antarctica, as well as cosmogenic C-14 in eight and noble gases in four bulk samples. Thirteen out of 14 selected H chondrites belong to two previously identified pairing groups, FRO 90001 and FRO 90174, with terrestrial ages of similar to 40 and similar to 100 kyr, respectively. The FRO 90174 shower is a heterogeneous H3-6 chondrite breccia that probably includes more than 300 individual fragments, explaining the high H/L chondrite ratio (3.8) at Frontier Mountain. The geographic distribution of 19 fragments of this shower constrains ice fluctuations over the past 50-100 kyr to less than similar to 40 m, supporting the stability of the meteorite trap over the last glacial cycle. The second H-chondrite pairing group, FRO 90001, is much smaller and its geographic distribution is mainly controlled by wind-transport. Most L-chondrites are younger than 50 kyr, except for the FRO 93009/01172 pair, which has a terrestrial age of similar to 500 kyr. These two old L chondrites represent the only surviving members of a large shower with a similar preatmospheric radius (similar to 80 cm) as the FRO 90174 shower. The find locations of these two paired L-chondrite fragments on opposite sides of Frontier Mountain confirm the general glaciological model in which the two ice flows passing both ends of the mountain are derived from the same source area on the plateau. The 50 FRO meteorites analyzed so far represent 21 different falls. The terrestrial ages range from 6 kyr to 500 kyr, supporting the earlier proposed concentration mechanism.


ray-exposure history;; production-rates;; h-chondrites;; cosmogenic nuclides;; iron-meteorites;; ams standards;; noble-gases;; ice;; ca-41

Date of this Version

January 2006

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