Pallasite, PMG-am (main-group, anomalous metal composition)
Found June 1967
62° 54' N., 152° 26' E.
As reported by Mednikov (1967), Zvetkov (1967), and Tsvetkov (1969), a large mass was found in a stream bed of the Yasachnaya River (flowing into the river of Hekandue, a left tributary of the river of Jasachnaja) by a geologist, F. A. Mednikov, about 150 km from Seymchan, in the Magadan Region of the USSR (V. Buchwald, 1975). The thumbprinted, triangular-shaped mass weighed 272.3 kg. In October of that year, a further search of the area by I. H. Markov, utilizing a mine detector, resulted in the recovery of an additional mass weighing 51 kg. The large mass was provided to the Academy of Sciences, USSR.
A small section of the iron was analyzed by J. Wasson (1974) and it was determined to be a member of chemical group IIE. Subsequently, a more precise elemental analysis of the IIE iron group members by J. Wasson and J. Wang (1986) found that Seymchan (and another IIE member, Lonaconing) had many elemental trends that deviated strongly from typical IIE group members, and therefore, Seymchan (and Lonaconing) was reclassified as an ungrouped iron.
During a 2004 expedition to the original Seymchan discovery site, D. Kachalin found additional masses having a combined weight of ~50 kg. Remarkably, many of the new masses (~20%) were found to contain silicates with a pallasitic texture, something not discovered previously during studies of only small sections of the original mass. This heterogeneous mixtureportions composed of only FeNi-metal, along with portions containing silicates forming a pallasitic textureis similar to the ironpallasite mixtures found previously in both the Brenham and the Glorieta Mountain pallasites. With knowledge of the existence of a pallasitic structure in Seymchan, and of its identical chemical composition to the original Seymchan iron masses, an O-isotopic analysis was conducted; the values plot within the field of the main-group pallasites. Notwithstanding its similar chemical composition to that of the main-group members, Seymchan is an anomalous pallasite due to its high Ir content (van Niekerk et al., 2007).
The specimen shown above is a 91 g slice of the Seymchan pallasite exhibiting abundant silicates in an FeNi-metal matrix. The top photo below shows a 35 kg Seymchan individual, while at the bottom, an exquisitely solidified crystal mush.