Iron, IAB complex, sLH subgroup
standby for tazewell photo
Found 1853
36° 26' N., 83° 45' W.

A mass of about 60 pounds was plowed up 10 miles west of Tazewell, Tennessee on land owned by Mr. William Rogers. Atmospheric ablation during entry left an irregularly sculptured shape with large regmaglypts, deep fusion-crusted pits, large holes, and long protuberances.

Tazewell contains inclusions of schreibersite, haxonite, and troilite. Upon etching, it displays a Thomson (Widmanstätten) structure of finest texture due to its high Ni content of 17%. Tazewell was previously a member of the IIID iron group, but following a taxonomic revision by Wasson and Kallemeyn (2002), it is now included within the IAB iron-meteorite complex. On a Ni–Au diagram, Tazewell forms a low-Au, high-Ni subgroup (sLH) of the main group. To learn more about the relationships within the IAB complex, and among other iron chemical groups, click here.

The FeNi-chloride named "Lawrencite" was first identified in 1877 in a sample of Tazewell. This mineral absorbs moisture from the air and liquefies, a property known as deliquescence. The reaction with water and oxygen produces iron hydroxide and then hydrochloric acid, which can lead to the eventual disintegration of some meteorites. Tazewell is now the type locality for this mineral. The Tazewell specimen shown above is a 2.9 g etched partial slice with a small remnant of fusion crust. A large slice of Tazewell can be seen on the collection page of Mike Farmer.