Deprecating the Ovifak Iron Meteorites

Deprecating the Ovifak Iron Meteorites

Although Nils Nordenskiöld was not the first person to traverse Greenland he did succeed in finding the Ovifak [Uivfaq] meteorites on the south coast of Disko Island during his first expedition to Greenland in 1870.

Friherr Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832 – 1901) was a Finnish baron, botanist, geologist, mineralogist and arctic explorer of Finland-Swedish origin.

In 1870, he visited Greenland and in 1871 went again to Spitsbergen and stayed there all winter, nearly starving to death.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.E._Nordenskjold

Disko Island - Greenland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disko_Island

The discovery of the Ovifak iron meteorites by Nils Nordenskiöld was significant because it established “the main source” of native iron in West Greenland.

Iron masses, accepted as meteorites and often believed to come from the same general area, were also reported from other parts of West Greenland.

In 1847, H. Rink received a 9.7 kg block from the Eskimos at Niakornak, and Rudolph obtained an 11.8 kg mass from Fortuna Bay on Disko Island (Buchner 1863: 154).

Finally, Nordenskiold (1870b) located the main source of this material at Ovifak (Uivfaq) on the south coast of Disko Island.

Vagn F. Buchwald – Handbook of Iron Meteorites – 1975
Page 410 – Cape of Good Hope to Cape York
http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/35667

The following year, 1871, the Swedish government sent a gunboat to retrieve three large Ovifak iron meteorites.

The place where the iron masses were found was not however, at Fortune Bay, but at one of the shores most difficult of access in the whole coast of Danish Greenland, namely, Ovifak, or the Blue Hill, which lies quite open to the south wind, and is inaccessible in even a very moderate sea, between Laxe Bay and Disco Fjord.

The meteorites lay between high and low water, among rounded blocks of gneiss and granite, at the foot of a vast basalt slope, from which, higher up, the horizontal basalt-beds of Mount Ovifak project.

The meteorites were found, as has been stated, between high and low water, and within an area of about fifty square metres.

There were twelve large and many small iron masses.

The following year (1871) the Swedish government sent the gunboat, Inrjegerd, Captain F. W. von Otter, and the brig, Gladaii, under the command of Lieutenant G. von Krusenstjerna, to bring these remarkable meteorites to Europe.

The largest mass, the weight of which is estimated at nineteen tons, was placed in the Riks Museum of Stockholm, and the second largest, weighing about nine tons, in the Museum of Copenhagen, the capital of the country to which Greenland belongs.

The Arctic Voyages of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld – 1879 – Alexander Leslie
https://archive.org/details/arcticvoyagesofa00lesl

Ovifax Meteorite

A 25 ton block now rests outside of the Riksmuseum in Stockholm, a 6.6 ton block outside the Geological Museum in Copenhagen, and a 3 ton block can be found in Kaisaniemi Park in Helsinki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluric_iron

However, Nils Nordenskiöld also discovered “lenticular and discoidal blocks of nickel-iron, like meteoric iron in external appearance, chemical nature and relation to the atmosphere (weathering)” embedded in a basalt ridge at Ovifak.

Sixteen metres from the largest iron block a basalt ridge, a foot high, rises from the detritus on the shore, and could be followed for a distance of four metres and is probably part of the rock.

Parallel with this and nearer to the sea is another similar ridge, also about four metres long.

The former contained lenticular and discoidal blocks of nickel-iron, like meteoric iron in external appearance, chemical nature and relation to the atmosphere (weathering).

On being polished and etched the iron exhibited fine Widmanstadtian figures.

The native iron lay imbedded in the basalt, separated from it at the most by a thin coating of rust.

Moreover, in that basalt, in the neighbourhood of the blocks of native iron, nodules of hisingerite were found, evidently formed by the oxidation of the iron, as also small imbedded particles of nickel-iron.

The Arctic Voyages of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld – 1879 – Alexander Leslie
https://archive.org/details/arcticvoyagesofa00lesl

Native Iron

The native iron embedded in the Ovifak basalt most probably formed from molten iron in a planetary outer core [like the Cape York meteorites] where it cooled very slowly [in an environment devoid of convection] because it “exhibited fine Widmanstadtian figures”.

The structural examination indicates that the Cape York material has been through a molten stage on a parent planet with a gravity field.

Vagn F. Buchwald – Handbook of Iron Meteorites – 1975
Page 410 – Cape of Good Hope to Cape York
http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/35885

Widmanstätten patterns, also called Thomson structures, are unique figures of long nickel-iron crystals, found in the octahedrite iron meteorites and some pallasites.

They consist of a fine interleaving of kamacite and taenite bands or ribbons called lamellae.

Commonly, in gaps between the lamellae, a fine-grained mixture of kamacite and taenite called plessite can be found.

The formation of Ni-poor kamacite proceeds by diffusion of Ni in the solid alloy at temperatures between 700 and 450°C, and can only take place during very slow cooling, about 100 to 10,000 °C/Myr, with total cooling times of 10 Myr or less.

This explains why this structure cannot be reproduced in the laboratory.

Widmanstätten pattern

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widmanst%C3%A4tten_pattern

This long, slow cooling process cannot occur near a planetary surface [or in an asteroid] due to the significant thermal gradient created via radiative surface cooling. The rate of surface cooling may be enhanced [as is the case on Earth] by atmospheric convection and evaporation.

Mainstream theory also excludes the formation of Widmanstätten patterns in the Earth’s mantle because the mantle is deemed to support convection.

Lateral density variations in the mantle result in convection.

In terms of heat transfer, the lithosphere loses heat by conduction, whereas the asthenosphere also transfers heat by convection and has a nearly adiabatic temperature gradient.

Dissipation of heat from the mantle is acknowledged to be the original source of the energy required to drive plate tectonics through convection or large scale upwelling and doming.

For much of the last quarter century, the leading theory of the driving force behind tectonic plate motions envisaged large scale convection currents in the upper mantle which are transmitted through the asthenosphere.

The manifestation of this varying lateral density is mantle convection from buoyancy forces.

In the theory of plume tectonics developed during the 1990s, a modified concept of mantle convection currents is used.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_tectonics

The Ovifak basalt was cooled efficiently because it was exposed to the Earth’s atmosphere.

This efficient surface cooling is clearly confirmed [in the case of the Ovifak basalt] because the basalt includes “nodules of hisingerite”.

Hisingerite is an iron(III) phyllosilicate mineral with formula Fe3+2Si2O5(OH)4•2H2O.

A black or dark brown, lustrous secondary mineral, it is formed by the weathering or hydrothermal alteration of other iron silicate and sulfide minerals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hisingerite

Furthermore, the only examples of Widmanstätten patterns to be found on Earth are in iron meteorites and the “particles of nickel-iron” embedded in the surface basalt at Ovifak.

Therefore, the most likely source of the small “particles of nickel-iron” embedded in the surface basalt at Ovifak is via the catastrophic fragmentation of an iron meteorite in the atmosphere.

The Chelyabinsk meteor [2013] provides an insight into this fragmentation process because the Chelyabinsk strewn field reveals an initial “dense concentrations of meteorites” weighing less than 10 grams followed by a stream of larger fragments over a distance of 50 or 60 kilometres.

Chelyabinsk Strewn Field

The early specimens recovered were all under 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in size and initial laboratory analysis confirmed their meteoric origin.

They are ordinary chondrite meteorites and contain 10% iron.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelyabinsk_meteor

However, the explosive power of the Chelyabinsk meteor [10% iron] was probably far less powerful than the fragmented Ovifak meteor[s] which contained [about] 97% iron.

Meteorite Fragmentation

The first explosion was the most powerful, and was preceded by a bright flash, which lasted about five seconds.

Initial altitude estimates ranged from 30–70 km, with an explosive equivalent of roughly 500 kilotonnes of TNT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelyabinsk_meteor

Unfortunately, making two meteoric discoveries at Ovifak was a cardinal mistake.

Firstly, the theology of mainstream geology is primarily based upon Uniformitarianism.

Uniformitarianism is the assumption that the same natural laws and processes that operate in the universe now have always operated in the universe in the past and apply everywhere in the universe.

It has included the gradualistic concept that “the present is the key to the past” and is functioning at the same rates.

Uniformitarianism has been a key principle of geology and virtually all fields of science, but naturalism’s modern geologists, while accepting that geology has occurred across deep time, no longer hold to a strict gradualism.

Uniformitarianism was formulated by British naturalists in the late 18th century, starting with the work of the Scottish geologist James Hutton, which was refined by John Playfair and popularised by Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology in 1830.

The term uniformitarianism was coined by William Whewell, who also coined the term catastrophism for the idea that Earth was shaped by a series of sudden, short-lived, violent events.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism

Therefore, mainstream geologists are reluctant to incorporate exploding meteors into their theology and a particularly important tenet of their theology is that iron meteorites are only associated with asteroids [and not exploding planets with iron cores that display Widmanstätten patterns].

Iron meteorites have been linked to M-type asteroids since both types of objects have similar spectral characteristics in the visible and near-infrared wavelength regions.

Iron meteorites are thought to be the fragments of the cores of larger ancient asteroids that have been shattered by impacts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_meteorite

However, the discovery of iron meteorites coupled with embedded native iron in Ovifak was [and still is] a very serious threat to their mainstream theology because this double whammy falsifies their geologic timeline [which is measured in millions and billions of years] and their geologic gradualism.

The Ovifak iron meteorites [that “lay between high and low water”] can be [approximately] aged based upon their level of weathering and corrosion.

The prima facie evidence indicates that [like the Cape York iron meteorites] the Ovifak iron meteorites are less than 10,000 years old because they have not corroded away into rust.

Therefore, if the Ovifak iron meteorites are less than 10,000 years old then any contemporaneous embedded native iron [of meteoric origin] is also less than 10,000 years old and [more importantly] the basalt in which the native iron is embedded is also less than 10,000 years old.

Obviously, this chain of logic is perceived [by the mainstream geologic theologians] as a grievous heresy that could destroy their carefully crafted belief system.

Accordingly, the mainstream geologic theologians have decreed that:
1) Iron embedded in terrestrial rocks is Telluric iron.
2) Iron meteorites must contain more than 3% nickel.

Telluric iron, also called native iron, is iron that originated on Earth, but is found in a metallic form rather than as an ore.

Telluric iron is extremely rare, with only one known major deposit in the world, located in Greenland.
..
Telluric iron resembles meteoric iron, in that it contains both a significant amount of nickel and Widmanstatten structures.

However, telluric iron typically contains only around 3% nickel, which is too low for meteorites.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluric_iron

Unsurprisingly, the geologic theologians have conjured up two types of Telluric iron to explain away the Ovifak discoveries.

Type 1 Telluric iron is specified so it can explain away the large iron meteorites.

Type 1 telluric iron contains a significant amount of carbon.

Type 1 is a white nickel cast-iron, containing 1.7 to 4% carbon and 0.05 to 4% nickel, which is very hard and brittle and does not respond well to cold working.

The structure of type 1 consists mainly of pearlite and cementite or cohenite, with inclusions of troilite and silicate.

The individual ferrite grains are typically about a millimeter in size.

Although the composition of the grains may vary, even within the same grain, they are mostly composed of fairly pure nickel-ferrite.

The ferrite grains are connected with cementite laminations; typically 5 to 25 micrometers thick; forming the pearlite.

Type 1 is found as very large boulders, typically ranging from a few tons to tens of tons.

The metal could not be cold worked by the ancient Inuit people, (the local inhabitants of Greenland), and proves extremely difficult to machine even with modern tools.

Machining of type 1 is possibly best accomplished with a carborundum wheel and water cooling.

However type 1 was possibly used as hammer and anvil stones by the Inuit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluric_iron

Type 2 Telluric iron is specified so it can explain away the embedded fragments of iron meteorites.

Type 2 telluric iron also contains around 0.05 to 4% nickel, but typically less than 0.7% carbon.

Type 2 is a malleable nickel-iron which responds well to cold working.

The carbon and nickel content have a great effect on the final hardness of the cold-worked piece.

Type 2 is found as small grains mixed within basalt rock.

The grains are usually 1 to 5 millimeters in diameter.

The grains are usually found individually, separated by the basalt, although they are sometimes sintered together to form larger aggregates.

The larger pieces also contain small amounts of cohenite, ilmenite, pearlite and troilite.

Type 2 was used by the Inuit to make items such as knives and ulus.

The basalt was usually crushed in order to release the pea-sized grains, which were them hammered into discs about the size of coins.

These flat discs were usually inserted into bone handles so that they slightly overlapped each other, forming an edge that resembled a combination of a knife and a saw.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluric_iron

The geologic theologians have also found it necessary to whimsically promulgate that many minor meteoric minerals, such as cohenite, are also terrestrial minerals.

Cohenite is a naturally occurring iron carbide mineral with the chemical structure (Fe, Ni, Co)3C.

This forms a hard, shiny, silver mineral which was named by E. Weinschenk in 1889 after the German mineralogist Emil Cohen, who first described and analysed material from the Magura meteorite found near Slanica, Žilina Region, Slovakia.

Cohenite is found in rod-like crystals in iron meteorites.

On Earth cohenite is stable only in rocks which formed in a strongly reducing environment and contain native iron deposits.

Such conditions existed in some places where molten magmas invaded coal deposits, e.g. on Disco Island in Greenland, or at the Bühl near Kassel in Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohenite

Obviously, creating the settled science of these freshly ordained terrestrial minerals has been a long [and continuous] process of putting the Ovifak toothpaste back into the tube.

The geologist Knud Steenstrup [who accompanied Nils Nordenskiöld during the 1871 expedition that retrieved three large Ovifak iron meteorites] was [unsurprisingly] not convinced that the Ovifak iron meteorites were actually of meteoric origin.

This was obviously a very good career decision for Knud Steenstrup.

Steenstrup proved that the large iron-rich blocks found by A.E. Nordenskiöld on Disko, and claimed by him to be meteorites, were in fact native iron extrusions in basalt.

This finding made his name well known and he was subsequently made honorary member of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

From 1889 to his death, he was state geologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark.

He was appointed Honorary Doctor at the University of Copenhagen in 1906.

From 1896 he was a member of the Commission for Scientific Investigations in Greenland and from 1902 fellow of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K._J._V._Steenstrup

However, how precisely Knud Steenstrup “proved” these “large iron-rich blocks” were actually “native iron extrusions in basalt” is not clear [and varies according to source].

Wikipedia provides a long and very rambling account that actually proves [contrary to the claims made by Wikipedia] that the iron embedded in the basalt [“type 2”] is of meteoric origin because it contains Widmanstatten structures.

Accompanying Nordenskiöld in 1871 was K. J. V. Steenstrup.

Due to circumstances like the shape of the boulders, which often had sharp corners or jagged edges that are not characteristic of meteorites (which ablate considerably during atmospheric entry), Steenstrup disagreed with Nordenskiöld about the origin of the boulders, and set out on an expedition of his own in 1878.

In 1879, Steenstrup first identified the type 2 iron, showing that it also contained Widmanstatten structures.

Steenstrup later wrote about his finding,

In the autumn of 1879, I made a discovery in connection with this matter, for in an old grave at Ekaluit … I found 9 pieces of basalt containing round balls and irregular pieces of metallic iron. These pieces were lying together with bone knives, similar to those brought home by [Sir John] Ross, as well as with the usual stone tools … whereas the 9 pieces of basalt with the iron balls were evidently the material for the bone knives. This iron is soft and keeps well in the air, from which reason it is fit for use in the manner described by Ross. The rock in which the iron appears is a typical, large-grained felspar-basalt, and the discovery has a double significance, firstly, because it is the first time we have seen the material out of which the Esquimaux [Eskimo] made artifical knives, and secondly, because it showed that they have used telluric iron for that purpose.”

After the discovery in the grave, Steenstrup found many large outcrops of ferriferous basalt, containing the type 2 iron.

Since the type 2 was located within volcanic basalt, Steenstrup was able to show that the iron was of terrestrial, or telluric, origin.

In his treatise, Steenstrup added,

This peculiar layer of basalt is filled from top to bottom with iron-grains of all sizes from a fraction of a millimeter to a length of 18 mm. with a breadth of 14 mm., which is the greatest I have found…. When polished, this iron shows beautiful Widmannstatten figures…. Metallic nickel-iron with Widmannstatten figures has now been proved to be also a telluric mineral, and the presence of nickel together with a certain crystalline structure are consequently not sufficient to give the character of meteorites to loose iron blocks.

Steenstrup’s findings were later confirmed by meteorite expert J. Lawrence Smith in 1879, and then by Joh Lorenzen in 1882. The extremely rare telluric iron has been studied ever since.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telluric_iron

The proof offered by Popular Science Monthly in 1886 indicates that the embedded iron is of terrestrial origin because it was found in terrestrial basalt.

They were at first supposed to be of meteoric origin, because they contained nickel, and exhibited figures which had been regarded as peculiar to meteoric iron.

But this view was proved to be incorrect when M. Steenstrup, under a commission from the Danish Government to investigate the conditions under which the iron occurred, found, at one point on the coast, native iron actually embedded in the basaltic rocks, the appearance of the larger grains of which was precisely similar to meteoric iron, and having crystalline texture which has previously appeared to be an exclusive characteristic of the latter, has therefore become incontestable.

The Origin and Structure of Meteorites – M A Daubree
Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue des Deux Mondes
Popular Science Monthly – July 1886

http://books.google.es/books?id=ryoDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA383&lpg=PA383&dq=iron+blocks+from+Ovifak&source=bl&ots=2xwEVo7r16&sig=u9xoFF82Xf3MqYWM6lh_aBKGz0Y&hl=es&sa=X&ei=PdNDU47KDOLW0QXWgoGQCA&ved=0CHQQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=iron%20blocks%20from%20Ovifak&f=false

The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition [1910–1911] is far less subtle and simply states the Ovifak iron is “obviously” of terrestrial origin.

Native iron was found by Nordenskiöld at Ovifak, on Disco Island, in 1870, and brought to Sweden (1871) as meteorites.

The heaviest nodule weighed over 20 tons.

Similar native iron has later been found by K. J. V. Steenstrup in several places on the west coast enclosed as smaller or larger nodules in the basalt.

This iron has very often beautiful Widmannstätten figures like those of iron meteorites, but it is obviously of telluric origin. [31]

31 Medd. om Grönl., part iv. pp. 115-131 (Copenhagen, 1883).

Project Gutenberg – Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 12, Slice 5
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/38202

The story told by Meddelelser om Gronland in 1985 indicates that Steenstrup only “showed” that the Widmanstatten pattern “might occur” in terrestrial iron.

However, Meddelelser om Gronland concluded the Ovifak iron was of terrestrial origin because the nickel content was “too low”.

Sadly, Meddelelser om Gronland did not explain how they obtained access to the clay tablets that miraculously ensure all iron meteorites have a nickel content greater than 3 per cent.

Japetus Steenstrup (1872), for example, studied a number of knives and ulos from the Disko area and concluded that the tolls had been produced from iron meteorites found on Disko and in the Vaigat.

His, or rather professor Johnstrup’s check of the nickel content gave about 3%.

Today we know that this is too low for meteoritic iron, and – assuming that the analysis is correct – this alone is sufficient to conclude that the material under dispute is of telluric origin.

K.J.V. Steenstrup (1875; 1882) was the first to arrive at the correct conclusion that the new-found iron was telluric.

He identified outcrops of Asuk at the north coastof Disko as an iron bearing basalt, and he showed that the Widmanstatten pattern might occur in iron grains included in basalt from Mellemfjord.

Lawrence Smith (1879) a specialist on meteorites, supported Steenstrup’s conclusions, and Lorenzen (1882), evidently a very competent analyst, presented a number of important analyses on the various natural occurrences and on a few Eskimo tools.

Meteoritic Iron, Telluric Iron and Wrought Iron in Greenland
Meddelelser om Gronland, Man & Society 9 – 1985
http://books.google.es/books?id=6z8lVGAfBtsC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=Steenstrup+1875+greenland&source=bl&ots=PAnhGRzxnI&sig=ZX1gEIsqGbVpENUBgEVyeoxocLY&hl=es&sa=X&ei=oGlMU-CZI4Gt0QWA7IDoBg&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=Steenstrup%201875%20greenland&f=false

Evidently, the mainstream geologic orthodoxy had effectively deprecated the meteoric origins of the Ovifax iron by the end of the 19th century.

Therefore, the geologic theologians were concerned when Robert Peary discovered the Cape York meteorites in Greenland in 1894 and then proceeded to extradite them between 1895 and 1897.

He made friends with the Polar Eskimos with whom he lived on and off for 19 years, and in 1894 two of them, Tallakoteah and Kessuh, took him on a sledge trip to the places they knew and showed him Woman, Dog and Ahnighito (the Tent).

The 3 ton Woman and the 400 kg Dog were shipped to New York on the schooner Kite in 1895, while the 31 ton Ahnighito – which he believed to weigh between 90 and 100 tons – was shipped to New York on the larger schooner Hope in 1897.

Vagn F. Buchwald – Handbook of Iron Meteorites – 1975
Page 410 – Cape of Good Hope to Cape York
http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/35667

This concern triggered the publication of two mainstream papers [1896, 1897] that reconfirmed the Ovifak masses were of “terrestrial origin”.

At the end of the century the Savigsivik and Sowallick specimens were discredited as meteorites, partly because of the unsuccessful attempts to locate the masses and partly because the Ovifak masses had been shown to be of terrestrial origin (Brezina 1885: 221; 1896: 297; Wiilfing 1897 : 405).

Vagn F. Buchwald – Handbook of Iron Meteorites – 1975
Page 410 – Cape of Good Hope to Cape York
http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/35667

However, Robert Peary was luckier than Nils Nordenskiöld because he did not discover any meteoric iron embedded in basalt.

The geologic faithful, therefore, limited their actions to simply expressing “doubts” about the origins of the Cape York meteorites.

Recognition was slow to come.

Both Brezina (1898) and Berwerth (1902: 47) expressed doubts as to the meteoritic origin, and, curiously enough, the masses have never been examined since they were analyzed by Whitfield in 1897 (Peary 1898: volume II: 602).

Vagn F. Buchwald – Handbook of Iron Meteorites – 1975
Page 410 – Cape of Good Hope to Cape York
http://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/35667

The immaculate invention of Telluric iron has engendered bountiful research projects for some members of the faithful geological congregation who wish to invent a plausible explanation for Telluric iron with a purity of over 90%.

Beside the obsolete meteoritic interpretation for Ovifax (Nordenskjold 1872) essentially two main hypotheses for a terrestrial origin were introduced.

1) The xenoliths are derived from the earth’s mantle, where the basaltic liquids were formed under strongly reducing conditions similar to those prevailing on the moon (Lindgren 1928; Urey 1952; Bird and Weathers 1977).

2) The xenoliths are of shallow crustal melt with iron-bearing sediments in a blast-furnace atmosphere created by neighboring coal seams (Eitel 1920; Ramdohe 1953b).

Ulvöspinel in native iron-bearing assemblages and the origin of these assemblages in basalts from Ovifak, Greenland, and Bühl, Federal Republic of Germany
Olaf Medenbach, Ahmed ElGoresy
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology – 1982
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00378008

None of these explanations can explain the formation of Widmanstätten patterns [as observed in the Ovifax embedded iron] which require long, slow cooling in a convection free environment.

Additionally, these creative explanations struggle to explain how basalt extracts iron from iron ore because iron has a melting point of 1538 °C.

Iron
Melting point 1811 K, 1538 °C, 2800 °F
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron

Basalt has high liquidus and solidus temperatures – values at the Earth’s surface are near or above 1200 °C (liquidus) and near or below 1000 °C (solidus); these values are higher than those of other common igneous rocks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basalt

Melting curve of dry basalt

The Rock Cycle and Igneous rocks I
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/geol100/lectures/10.html

Even the imaginative inclusion of “neighboring coal seams” [for extra heat] introduces significant impurities into the mix that will hinder the extraction of over 90% pure iron from the iron ore [that is why blast furnaces use coke instead of coal].

Volatile constituents of the coal – including water, coal-gas, and coal-tar – are driven off by baking in an airless furnace or oven (kiln) at temperatures as high as 2,000 °C (3,600 °F) but usually around 1,000–1,100 °C (1,800–2,000 °F).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coke_%28fuel%29

Coal gas contains a variety of calorific gases including hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane and volatile hydrocarbons together with small quantities of non-calorific gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal-gas

Coal tars are complex and variable mixtures of phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heterocyclic compounds.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal-tar

Furthermore, these mainstream explanations will struggle to explain the nickel content of Telluric iron because the estimated elemental abundance of iron and nickel in the Earth’s crust suggests an average nickel content of [somewhere] between 0.14% and 0.37%.

Nickel

Therefore, any metallic iron nodules found embedded in the Earth’s crust with a nickel content above 0.37% most probably:
a) Originated in the Earth’s iron-nickel core
or
b) Originated in the iron-nickel core of another planetary body [and arrived as iron meteors which catastrophically fragmented in the Earth’s atmosphere].

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