View from the Nevada side of Gold Basin. The distant valley at the top of the image is the original Gold Basin strewn field in Arizona. Though it can't be seen, Lake Meade is out there behind the mountain. This picture was taken about 22 miles north of the southernmost end of the field and it stretches many miles more to the north.
This page is all about the new meteorites discovered in Nevada that are undoubtedly related to the Gold Basin meteorite strewn field discovered by Jim Kreigh. Instead of rewritting the story, I'll take the easy way out and just copy and paste a note I wrote to the Meteorite Central List when making the announcement there.
As you may have heard, there has been a major development concerning
the Gold Basin strewn field. Of course, it's possible this is not GB
but the evidence looks very promising.
Three years ago Joe Franske ventured to the north side of Lake Meade in
search of the big end of Gold Basin. According to Joe, it took him 6
tries to get to the right location, but once he did, it took him only 3
hours to find a meteorite. This is a monumental feat to say the least.
He brought me in on the project last March and I take no credit for
this discovery. Sure, we all had an idea that the strewn field crossed
the lake, we all drew lines, but only one guy had the steel to go get
it done. Hats off to Joe.
Joe and I have decided we are pretty much done out there for now. We
documented well over 100 pounds, most of which was found on the
south side of Jumbo Peak. Last week I extended the field another 5.75
miles with 2 finds on the north side of Jumbo, including
a 34 pound stone that was broken into many pieces. We decided to give
some details regarding the find
locations, hence this message, but in return we would like to know
any finds you make so that we may continue documenting the strewn
field. Jim Kreigh, John Blennert and Twink Monrad did a fantastic job
documenting in the past and we would like to do the same. I know there
are some hunters out there that will not share and so be it, but most
of us are
good people and I would expect some cooperation for the good of the
larger picture. Please send your reports to me so that I can share them
with the scientist involved with our work.
Joe found the first stone on the south side of Jumbo Peak and that is
where the majority of the finds were made. The area is only about a
mile wide and I highly doubt that defines the outer limits of the
field, however, to go farther east or west is difficult due to terrain.
Go onto Google earth and you will see the valley just south of the
peak, and north of the park boundary,
this is where you start.
On the north side of Jumbo Peak you will find most of the area too soft
for meteorite recovery. Decomposing granite has likely buried the
stones too deep for detection. In my mind it's a small miracle that I
found the 2 stones on that side. To put the difficulty into
perspective, we spent 36 man days to locate the 2 stones and out of
four hunters I was the only one to score. That place will hand your
to you on a platter, as they say.
As a side note;
If you decide to give this place a try there are some things to
consider. To get to the south side of Jumbo you will need a 4 wheel
drive and it takes about 3.5 - 4 hours once you leave Mesquite. There
is no phone service and the road out wants to eat your truck! If you
go, plan to stay for several days at least, it's a lot of work and
expense just for a day or two.
If you have any specific questions feel free to email me.
Good luck and fair sailing to all who go!"
Here's the low down on the science so far.
I submitted samples from my 16+ lb. stone (found March, 2014) to UCLA
this past summer.
It did come back L6 as can be seen below. Dr. Kring wants to do
more work including cosmogenics and such, on several different samples
to help come to a conclusion as to whether or not it is indeed Gold
When asked how I know it's GB I say that the classification is
consistent, they look the same in hand, on the exterior and the
interior, and they are in line with the logical progression of the
known field. Sure, it could be something different, but simply put,
the easiest, most obvious and logical answer is usually the right
answer. I'd be very, very surprised if it was something else.
UCLA (Rubin, Breen)
"received August 18, 2014, 2 pieces, 23.7 g
L6 S4 W1
olivine: Fa 23.9±0.2 (n=15); low-Ca pyroxene: Fs20.3±0.3 Wo1.6±0.2
plagioclase grains are typically 60-100 µm in size. The rock exhibits
weak mosacisim but does not contain maskelynite."
IMCA # 1941
*Note* Hualapai Wash is an L6. There is reason to believe they are from the same event as Gold Basin which officially is an L4. Many believe the official classification should be changed to L4-6. I believe that Joe's discovery of the L6 meteorites in Nevada will tie it all together.
These pictures are not necessarily in chronological order. They represent 3 trips and are all mixed up.
Gold Butte is the place I need to be to get to the Nevada side of Gold Basin.
The very first piece I hit with the detector. It led me up hill to the 16+pounds.
My first Nevada side Gold Basin find. It weighed over 16 pounds when the pieces were reassembled. The piece with the scale cube on it weighs over 10 pounds and the one by the GPS was about 4 pounds.
Gold Basin is one of the oldest (terrestrial) known chondrites and fell~15000 years ago. It's age is apparent in this close up. Pieces of this stone were trickling down hill, with the smallest pieces being the farthest away.
Here it is, mostly reassembled.
4 days work for Joe and I. March 2015
This piece was one of many found in this location that were fragments of a multi pound stone. In many cases we would find only 1 piece or 2, knowing that somewhere a much larger mass was nearby.
34 pounds of fragments from a single stone. Depending on how you measure it, this is the largest stone meteorite found in the state of Nevada at the time of this writing. It's also the largest Gold Basin at the time of this writing. This isn't the farthest north rock found. The farthest one to the north I found was 29 miles from the small end but I only found about 1500 grams of it. I will come back later with a better detector to get down deep. This meteorite is several miles north of my 34 pounder so I know it's big.
A week of hunting fall 2015
Joe finds a nice one in a drainage.
Nice find Joe!
Joe's 11 pound meteorite. This is perhaps the most visually striking of all the finds thus far! Lichens of different colors have colonized a portion of the meteorite.
Have you ever seen lichens on a meteorite like this before?
My brother Dale visiting from Florida, after a few days in the field.
Looking toward the east end of Lake Meade and the end of the Grand Canyon.
Joe starts his day with a cup of coffee in his favorite cup.
There's an 8 pound whopper!