The History and State-of-the-Art of the Studies of Native Iron in Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Rocks


The history of the studies of native iron in terrestrial rocks and meteorites is briefly reviewed. Numerous data on the distribution, composition, and grain size of metal iron particles in sediments and other terrestrial rocks, as well as in meteorites, obtained by thermomagnetic analysis with heating to 800°C in combination with microprobe analysis are synthesizes and systematized. The studies have shown that the iron particles in all the studied sediments typically have an extraterrestrial origin. Based on the statistical analysis of the thermomagnetic data, a number of indications (statistical regularities) testifying to the overwhelmingly extraterrestrial origin of the iron particles in the sediments are proposed. The similarity of the conditions of the formation of metal iron particles of terrestrial and extraterrestrial origin allow a petromagnetic scheme of the structure of planets to be suggested based on the distribution of metal iron in them.

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We thank V. Tselmovich for conducting the microprobe analysis of the samples and A. Kosterov for his useful comments and correction of the text. The work was conducted as part of a state contract of IPE RAS.

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Correspondence to G. P. Markov.

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In Lieu of an Epigraph: Anniversary of IPE RAS and One of the Authors of the Paper, D. Pechersky, Both Born in 1928

Translated by M. Nazarenko

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Pechersky, D.M., Markov, G.P. The History and State-of-the-Art of the Studies of Native Iron in Terrestrial and Extraterrestrial Rocks. Izv., Phys. Solid Earth 55, 287–297 (2019).

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  • iron
  • nickel
  • sediments
  • basalts
  • meteorites
  • thermomagnetic analysis
  • microprobe analysis