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7 October 2012

Geology Word of the Week: W is for Widmanstätten Pattern

def. Widmanstätten Pattern: An interweaving pattern of the extraterrestrial minerals kamacite (a low nickel content iron-nickel alloy, similar to the terrestrial mineral ferrite) and taenite (a high nickel content iron-nickel alloy, similar to the terrestrial mineral austenite) that appears in some iron-nickel meteorites when a cut section of the meteorite is etched with weak acid. Widmanstätten patterns appear during acid etching because kamacite is more easily dissolved by weak acid than taenite. Widmanstätten patterns are believed to …

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