Catch a Falling Star: Meteorites and Old Ice

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Science  07 Oct 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4619, pp. 55-57
DOI: 10.1126/science.222.4619.55


A model for the process of meteorite concentration in blue ice regions of the Antarctic ice sheet is proposed based on data from near the Allan Hills and the assumptions that both meteorite influx and glacial flow have been constant. The meteorite influx is calculated to be 60 x 10-6 kilogram per square kilometer per year, and the age of the exposed ice to be 0 to 600,000 years, varying with distance from the Allan Hills. These results are in line with other estimates of influx rate and with measurements of the terrestrial ages of the meteorites, providing support for the assumption of steady flow and meteorite influx. This may be the oldest sequence of ice in stratigraphic order yet discovered, and the results imply that this part of the east Antarctic ice sheet has been approximately steady during this time interval.