Lunar Meteorite: Northwest Africa 3136

Northwest Africa 3136 (95 g). Photo credit: by Greg Hupé
Slice of NWA 3136. Photo credit: Norbert Classen
Two lab samples of NWA 3136. Photo: credits: Randy Korotev

from The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 89

Northwest Africa 3136

Algeria or Morocco
Purchased 2004 April
Mass: 95.1 g (1 piece)

Lunar meteorite (basaltic regolith breccia)

Physical characteristics: An oriented 95.1 g shield-shaped stone with partial thin, pale brown fusion crust found in Algeria or Morocco was purchased in Tagounite by a Moroccan dealer for A. and G. Hupé (Hupé) in 2004 April. The specimen has a thin, dark weathering varnish, but the interior is a very fresh, black, hard, vitreous-looking rock with small white to yellowish clasts.

Classification and mineralogy (S. Kuehner and A. Irving, UWS): Polymict breccia consisting of mineral and lithic clasts derived predominantly from mare basalt and mare microgabbro lithologies, and additionally some highlands clasts, in a very fine grained, mostly crystalline and partly vitreous, vesicular matrix. Mineral clasts include calcic plagioclase (An86-97), pyroxenes (orthopyroxene, ferropigeonite, ferrosilite, pyroxferroite; FeO/MnO = 68.9-75.8), olivine (mostly Fa30-43, but ranging to nearly pure fayalite; FeO/MnO = 81.9-94.2), ilmenite, Ni-poor Fe metal, troilite, Cr-bearing ulvöspinel, and rare pentlandite, baddeleyite, and a Ce-Ca-Fe-bearing, Zr-rich titanate (probably zirconolite). A further description can be found in (Kuehner et al., 2005).

Bulk compositions (R. Korotev, WUSL): INAA of several subsamples indicate that this specimen is dominated by mare components with ~20% lunar highland components (Korotev and Irving, 2005).

Oxygen isotopes (D. Rumble, CIW): analyses of two whole rock fragments by laser fluorination gave δ18O = +5.83&‰, 5.96‰, δ17O = +3.06‰, 3.10‰, Δ17O = -0.03‰, -0.05‰, respectively.

Specimens: type specimens, 19.5 g, two polished thin sections, and one polished mount, UWS; main mass, Hupé.

Randy Says…

NWA 3136 is one of the most basaltic of regolith breccias among the lunar meteorites (15% FeO, 1.2% TiO2).

More Information

Meteoritical Bulletin Database

NWA 10447


Korotev R. L and Irving A. J. (2005) Compositions of three lunar meteorites: Meteorite Hills 01210, Northeast Africa 001, and Northwest Africa 3136Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, abstract no. 1220.

Korotev R. L. and Irving A. J. (2021) Lunar meteorites from northern Africa. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 206–240. 

Korotev R. L, Zeigler R. A., Jolliff B. L., Irving A. J., and Bunch T. E. (2009) Compositional and lithological diversity among brecciated lunar meteorites of intermediate iron compositionMeteoritics & Planetary Science 44, 1287-1322.

Kuehner S. M., Irving A. J., Rumble D., III, Hupé A. C., and Hupé G. M. (2005) Mineralogy and petrology of lunar meteorite NWA 3136: A glass-welded mare regolith breccia of mixed heritageLunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, abstract no. 1228.

Nishiizumi K. and Caffee M. W. (2006) Constraining the number of lunar and martian meteorite falls. 69th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, abstract no. 5368.

O’Donnell S. P., Jolliff B. L., Zeigler R. A., and Korotev R. L. (2008) Identifying the mafic components in lunar regolith breccia NWA 3136Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIX, abstract no. 2507.