VALENCIA: Oldest  meteorite fall in Spain (Oliva-Gandia, 1520)?

 

Valencia H5 chondrite

(Department of Geology, University of Valencia, Spain).

Valencia was included in the international catalog (Meteoritical Bulletin) by our research group in 1998. 

In addition to its scientific significance, Valencia could be the historical meteoritical fall which occurred in 1520 (Oliva-Gandia). Thus, it could be one of the oldest meteorites which form part of the international catalog. J. Martínez-Frias

Grossman, J. N. (1998)Valencia. The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 82, 1998 July. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, vol. 33, Supplement, 221-239.

 

Muñoz-Sanz, J., Martínez-Frías, J., Lavielle, B. y Gilabert, E. (1999) Spain get first approved meteorite in Spain in 50 years. Geotimes, 44-9: 11-12.

Valencia” is a chondrite (silicate-rich stony meteorite) and forms part of the rock collection of the Department of Geology of the University of Valencia, Spain. References do exist regarding falls on Spain’s east coast: Oliva-Gandía in 1520, Valencia in 1603, and Peñíscola in 1916. Unfortunately, no specimens are known to exist. Thus, the meteorite Valencia cannot be clearly assigned to a specific event.

Valencia is a parallelepiped-shaped specimen measuring 37 by 24.5 by 19.5 centimeters, weighing 33.5 kilograms, and having an average density of 3.7 grams per cubic centimeter. Externally, it displays a 1-millimeter-thick, dark-fusion crust and numerous imprints of atmospheric flight (regmaglypts and friction striae).

Transmitted and reflected light microscopy and X-ray diffraction studies, as well as electron microprobe analyses, indicate that Valencia is composed of silicates (forsterite, clinoenstatite, and minor albite), iron-nickel alloys (kamacite, taenite), sulphides (troilite), oxides (periclase, hercynite) and sulphates (yavapaiite). Geochemically, Valencia matches the ordinary H5-type chondrite.

Estimated exposition ages for Valencia, based on isotopes of helium, neon, and argon, indicate an average exposition age of 6.9 Ma, with a possible loss of helium. Ages of gas retention, based on isotopes of helium and argon, suggest that the loss of helium was greater than that of argon. Researchers are still investigating whether this loss was conditioned by a subsequent impact, after the individualization impact of Valencia from the parent body, or resulted from other processes.

From Muñoz-Sanz et al. (1999)

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 Muñoz Sanz J. (1997) Caracterizacion petrológica y geoquímica del meteorito "Valenciano". Graduation thesis, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. 96 p.

 Departamento de Geología, Universitat de Valéncia

 

 

The Valencia meteorite in the catalog of the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid (NASA Astrophysics Data System):

Photo: Department of Geology, University of Valencia

 Muñoz-Espadas, M.J., Martínez-Frías, J., Lunar, R., Sánchez, B. & Sánchez, J. (2002) The meteorite collection of the National Museum of Natural Sciences,  Madrid, Spain: An update of the catalog. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 37 Supplement 89-95.

Asociación Valencia de Astronomía

 

 Agrupación Astronómica La Safor

 

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Ph.D Thesis about four Spanish chondrites: Cañellas, Olivenza, Olmedilla de Alarcón andReliegos. Complutense University, Madrid (2003), realizada por Mª Jesús Muñoz Espadas.  Directores: R. Lunar (UCM) y J. Martínez Frías (CSIC). 

Video. Año Internacional de la Astronomía

 

Observatorio Astronómico. Universidad de Valencia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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