We present a brief overview of Canadian meteorites with a focus on noting significant recent falls, finds, and research developments. To date, 60 Canadian meteorites have received official international recognition from the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society, while at least 13 more are “in process” for submission to the Meteoritical Bulletin, that organization’s official database of the world’s meteorites. The 60 meteorites (44 finds and 16 falls since the recognition of the Madoc iron in 1854) include 25 irons, 3 pallasite stony-irons, and 32 stony meteorites. The latter include 14, 11 and 3 H, L and LL chondrites, 2 carbonaceous chondrites and 2 enstatite chondrites, but no achondrites. The most intensively researched meteorites are Tagish Lake (C2 ungrouped) and Abee (EH5), followed by Bruderheim (L6) and Springwater (pallasite). Bruderheim, a 1960 fall, is widely distributed, being the most massive reported Canadian meteorite at 303 kg total known weight (TKW). Seven Canadian meteorites exceed 100 kg TKW, 36 are between 1 and 50 kg, and 17 are <1 kg. Recent years have seen the addition of the Tagish Lake, Buzzard Coulee and Grimsby meteorite falls, all of which have well-determined fireball trajectories and therefore well-known orbits, a striking Canadian addition to the handful that are known worldwide. The discovery of the Holocene Whitecourt iron impact crater is similarly a significant recent development in understanding the impactor flux. The lessons learned on meteorites can be applied to newly recovered samples from the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and comets.
- Received January 27, 2012.
- Accepted May 16, 2012.
- Published on the NRC Research Press Web site at http://cjes.nrc.ca on December 12, 2012.
- Published by NRC Research Press