Have meteorites or meteorite craters been found in Utah?

By William F. Case

Utah Meteorites

Eighteen meteorite finds in Utah are listed in the Meteoritical Society’s Meteoritical Bulletin Database. Most likely there are meteorite finds and falls in Utah that are not reported. Meteorite numbers in neighboring states range from 215 in New Mexico to six in Idaho.

Utah’s meteorites are the stony and iron types.

Stony meteorites are the most diverse group of meteorites. They come from a parent body of primordial material that, unlike the Earth, did not differentiate into layers such as a core, mantle, and crust.

Iron meteorites are the most familiar meteorites. They are heavy because they are mainly iron-nickel alloy, they do not weather very fast, they do not easily fragment when they fall, and, like the stony meteorites, they are magnetic. Iron meteorites come from the core of differentiated bodies.

Five iron meteorites have been found in Utah. The eighth heaviest (529 kg, 1164 lbs) iron meteorite in the U.S. was found near Delta, Utah.

Utah Meteorites
(data from Hey, 1966; Grady, 2000, Meteoritical Bulletin Database)
Name Type Date Weight,
kg
Weight,
Lbs
(calculated)
Comments
Garland Stoney 1950
0.1
0.22
Seen falling, summer, 11AM; 1 stone recovered, Box Elder County.
Salt Lake City Stoney 1869
0.88
1.96
Found between Salt Lake City & Echo, Summit County
Altonah Iron 1932
22
48.4
Found 0.6km (0.4mi) SE of Moon Lake outlet, Duchesne County.
Duchesne Iron 1961
23
50.6
Found 47km (31mi) NW of Duchesne on Mount Tabby, Duchesne County.
Ioka Stoney 1931
0.3
0.66
Weathered stone exposed by plow, Duchesne County.
Drum Mountains Iron 1944
529
1164
Eighth heaviest in U.S., found on basalt, Millard County.
Sunstone Knoll Stoney 1985
0.16
0.35
Single mass found on west shore of Little Salt Lake, Millard County.
Salina Iron 1908
0.24
0.59
Weathered mass & balls with metallic core, found in Pavant Mountains, Sevier County.
Wah Wah Valley Stoney 1986
0.009
0.02
Mass found on dry lake bed; NW corner of Wah Wah Valley hardpan, Millard County.
Beaver-Harrison Stoney 1979
0.93
2.1
Found on alluvial fan near mine, Beaver Lake Mountains, Beaver County.
Poison Spring Iron 1971
0.524
1.16
Wayne County
Tule Valley Stoney 2001
0.017
0.04
Found on dry lake bed, Millard County.
Greener Reservoir Stoney 2004
0.045
0.1
Found in dry wash, Millard County.
Park City Iron prior to 1935
12.3
27.12
Acquired by William Cole prior to 1935. Fifty years later his wife recalls that he got it while working at the Silver King mine but doesn’t know where it was found.
Canyonlands Stoney 1961
1.52
3.34
Partly encrusted stone found near confluence of Green & Colorado Rivers, San Juan County.
Arches Stoney 2001
0.534
1.18
Found near sandstone cliff, Grand County.
Cricket Mountains Stoney 1985
0.016
0.04
Found on dry lake bed, Millard County.
Gunlock Stoney 1982
6.8
14.96
Two pieces that fit together were found 0.05km (0.03mi) apart on the south slope of Padre Hill, Washington County. The largest piece resides at UGS.

Meteorite Craters

The Geological Survey of Canada Impact Database lists four meteorite craters in Utah and nearby states. They are

  1. Upheaval Dome in Canyonlands National Park, Utah,
  2. Beaverhead Crater, Montana,
  3. Barringer Crater (Canyon Diablo, Meteor Crater), Arizona, and
  4. Cloud Creek Crater, Wyoming (known only from drilling records).

References

Additional information on meteorites can be found in the following references, which provided the data summarized in this article:

Geological Survey of Canada, June 9, 2003, Earth Impact Database.

Grady, M.M., 2000, Catalogue of Meteorites, 5th Edition: National History Museum, London, 690 p.

Henderson, E.P. and Perry, S.H., 1948, Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, v.110, no. 12, 7 p., 5 pl.

Hey, M.H., 1966, Catalogue of Meteorites, 3rd Edition: National History Museum, London, 637 p.

Survey Notes, v. 36 no. 2, April 2004