BREAKUP THROUGH WEATHERING AND HORIZONTAL DISPLACEMENT
Meteorites exposed on desert surfaces for longer periods, or during more arid phases, often break up along pre-existent cracks due to oxidation and volume expansion of the iron. Fragments of these meteorites are sometimes found distributed over several meters with the smaller fragments often but not always transported further away than the larger fragments. At first sight there is no obvious reason for this strange phenomenon, particularly if the find location is situated on an even surface with no hydraulic gradient.
Visualizing the soil erosion process in the vertical dimension provides the answer. While breaking apart on a deflation surface over the millennia, soil is constantly removed under the meteorite and its fragments. This results in a vertical downward movement of the meteorite and its fragments. Variations in the soil composition, roots and camel grass tussocks affect the macro-local surface resilience towards erosion and deflect the downwards movement of meteorite fragments over the time.