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Abstract

A Japanese field party (Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition 10 (JARE-10)), traversing in the Yamato Mountains of Antarctica in December 1969, recovered nine meteorite masses from ice-field surfaces. These meteorite masses were of diverse types, a fact that set in motion systematic searches for further meteorites. This was initiated by the JARE-15 field party in the austral summer of 1974, which recovered 663 meteorite masses from the ice fields. So many finds led to a hypothesis explaining the unusual concentration of meteorites on the Antarctic ice fields, and later parties searched systematically, according to this hypothesis. The JARE-20, JARE-29, JARE-39 and JARE-41 field parties collected 3692, 1949, 4148 and 3581 meteorite masses in repeated searches, respectively. A total of 15 741 masses is now held by the National Institute for Polar Research, and includes many rare classificatory types, lunar-sourced meteorites and meteorites widely accepted as of martian origin. The original find of nine meteorites triggered the extensive search programmes for meteorites by Japanese and American scientists both in the Yamato Mountain region and the Trans Antarctic Range region of Antarctica.

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