Bastien Soens

Project title:

Petrographic and geochemical characterization of the micrometeorite collection from the Sør Rondane Mountains, Antarctica: Nature and origin of the extraterrestrial flux to Earth

Project summary:

Most of our knowledge on Solar System evolution has mainly been obtained from the study of macroscopic meteorites. The majority of extraterrestrial matter falling on Earth is, however, dominated by micrometeorites. Micrometeorites can therefore extend our knowledge on early Solar System evolution and can serve to identify asteroid parent bodies that are currently unknown to the macroscopic meteorite record.

Field sites:

We extract micrometeorites from sediment traps in the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. As a side project, we collect micrometeorites from roof gutters in Belgium to demonstrate that ‘stardust’ can be found everywhere on Earth.


Scanning Electron Microscope-Energy Dispersive Spectrometry, Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry, Electron Micro-Probe, Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry, Laser Fluorination-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry, Sensitive High-Resolution Ion-Microprobe, Micro X-Ray Fluorescence, etc.


Philippe Claeys

Steven Goderis