PD Dr. Beda Hofmann

Earth Sciences Head of Department +41 31 350 72 40 e-mail

Head of the Departement Earth Sciences


Meine Forschungsinteressen liegen vor allem auf dem Gebiet der Meteoritenkunde und der Geomikrobiologie und im verwandten interdiziplinären Gebiet der Astrobiologie. Die folgenden wissenschaftlichen Projekte sind zurzeit aktiv:

Meteoriten

Meteoriten-Akkumulationen in Arabien: Suche nach Meteoriten im Oman und in Saudiarabien und Klassifikation sowie detaillierte Analyse der gefundenen Meteoriten.

Andere Meteoriten- und Impaktprojekte:

  • Bestimmung und Klassifikation von Meteoriten unterschiedlichster Herkunft, welche als Fundobjekte ins Museum gebracht werden
  • Analyse des einmaligen Marsmeteoriten „Black Beauty“  (NWA 7906, 7907, gepaart mit NWA 7034).
  • Analyse des Streufeldes des Schweizer Meteoriten Twannberg
  • Untersuchung eines Horizontes mit Auswurfmaterial des Ries-Impaktkraters in der Ostschweiz

 

Geomikrobiologie:

Mikrobielle Fossilien aus unterirdischen Lebensräumen (SUMIFOS): Auf dem Gebiet der Geomikrobiologie liegt mein Interesse bei Prozessen im Zusammenhang mit der ehemaligen Aktivität von Mikroorganismen in tiefgelegenen Lebensräumen in Gesteinen. Die obere Erdkruste (bis in eine Tiefe von einigen km) ist ein wichtiger Lebensraum für Mikroorganismen. Welche Spuren hinterlassen diese Mikroorganismen in dem Gesteinen? Die Feststellung, dass fädige, mineralisierte Gebilde (subsurface filamentous fabrics, SFF) in einer Vielzahl von ehemaligen tiefen Lebensräumen weit verbreitet sind (Hofmann & Farmer, 2000; Hofmann 2008; Hofmann et al. 2008), zeigt, dass dieses verborgene Leben Spuren hinterlässt. Solche Proben sind in einer Spezialsammlung integriert. Feldarbeit wurde in Kalifornien, Island und in der Schweiz (Piz Alv GR) durchgeführt. Mineralisierte filamentöse Gebilde sind ein mögliches Ziel bei der Suche nach früherem Leben auf dem Mars.

 

Astrobiologie:

Vorbereitungen auf Beobachtungen auf dem Mars während der ExoMars mission der Europäischen Weltraumagentur (ESA): Die geplante ESA Rover-Mission ExoMars2018 wird, neben einer Reihe weiterer Instrumente, das Schweizer Instrument CLUPI (CLoseUpImager), auf dem Mars mit sich führen. Testbilder verschiedenster Gesteinsproben werden angefertigt um die bestmögliche Interpretation der CLUPI-Bilder sicherzustellen, welche während der Aktivität des Rovers vom Mars zur Erde gesendet werden. Erfahrungen, welche im Projekt SUMIFOS gewonnen werden, sind dabei besonders wichtig. Dieses Projekt wird in enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem leitenden Forscher von CLUPI, Dr. Jean-Luc Josset vom Space Exploration Institut, Neuchâtel, und dem ganzen CLUPI team durchgeführt. Siehe auch: CLUPI @ Space Exploration Institute

 

 

Scientific publications

Hofmann, B.(1980) Blei-, Zink-, Kupfer- und Arsenvererzungen im Wellengebirge (unterer Muschelkalk, Trias) am südöstlichen Schwarzwaldrand. [Lead-, zinc-, copper- and arsenic mineralizations in the Wellengebirge (Lower Muschelkalk, Triassic) of the Southeastern Black Forest].- Mitt. Natf. Ges. Schaffhausen, Vol. 31, 157-196.
 
Peters, Tj. &  Hofmann, B. (1984) Hydrothermal Clay Mineral Formation in a Biotite Granite in Northern Switzerland.- Clay Minerals 19, 579-590.
 
Hofmann, B.(1985) Mineralisationen von Pb, Zn, Cu und As in der Trias des südöstlichen Schwarzwaldrandes. Das Kristallin an der oberen Wutach als mögliches Liefergebiet von Sedimentmaterial und erzbildenden Elementen. [Mineralizations of Pb, Zn, Cu and As in the Triassic of the southeastern Black Forest. The crystalline of the upper Wutach valley as a possible source of sediment material and ore forming elements] - Masters Thesis, University of Berne, 188 p.
 
Oberhänsli, R., Hofmann, B. & Gruner, U. (1985) Ein Massivsulfidvorkommen in der Trias der Präalpen. [A massive sulfide occurrence in the Triassic of the Prealps] - Schweiz. mineralog. petrograph. Mitt. 65, 95-110.
 
Hofmann, B.(1986) Die Erzmineralien [ore mineralogy].- In: Tj. Peters, A. Matter & A. Gautschi, Sondierbohrung Böttstein - Geologie.- Nagra Technical Report 85-02, p. 56-58, 133-140.
 
Hofmann, B.(1986) Small-scale multi-element accumulations in Permian red-beds of Northern Switzerland.- N. Jb. Miner. Mh., Jg. 1986, 367-375.
 
Gautschi, A., Meyer, Ch., Peters, Tj., Meyer, J. & Hofmann, B. (1986) Die geologische Charakterisierung der Wasserfliesssysteme im kristallinen Grundgebirge der Nordschweiz. [Geological characterization of water flow paths in the crystalline of Northern Switzerland] - Nagra Technical Report 86-26, 11-17.
 
Hofmann, B., Dearlove, J.P.L., Ivanovich, M., Lever, D.A., Green, D.C., Baertschi, P. & Peters, Tj. (1987) Evidence of fossil and recent diffusive element migration in reduction haloes from Permian red-beds of Northern Switzerland.- In: Côme, B. & Chapman, N.A. (eds.), Natural Analogues in radioactive waste disposal. Commission of the European Communities, Brüssel und Luxemburg, 217-238.
 
Hofmann, B.(1988) Erzmineralogie. [ore mineralogy] - In: A. Matter, Tj. Peters, H.-R. Bläsi, J. Meyer, H. Ischi &  Ch. Meyer, Sondierbohrung Weiach, Geologie. Nagra Technical Report 86-01, 209-212.
 
Hofmann, B.(1988) Erzmineralien. [ore mineralogy] - In: A. Matter, Tj. Peters, Ch. Isenschmid, H.-R. Bläsi & H.-J. Ziegler, Sondierbohrung Riniken, Geologie. Nagra Technical Report 86-02, 142-145.
 
Hofmann, B.(1989) Genese, Alteration und rezentes Fliess-System der Uranlagerstätte Krunkelbach (Menzenschwand, Südschwarzwald). [Genesis, alteration and recent groundwater system of the Krunkelbach uranium deposit, Black Forest, Southern Germany] - PhD thesis, University of Berne, published as Nagra Technical Report 88-30, 195  p.
 
Hofmann, B.(1989) Geochemical analogue study in the Krunkelbach mine, Menzenschwand, Southern Germany: Geology and water-rock interaction.- Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc., v. 127, 921-926.
 
Hofmann, B.(1989) Erzmineralien in palaeozoischen, mesozoischen und tertiären
Sedimenten der Nordschweiz und Südwestdeutschlands. [Ore minerals in Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments of northern Switzerland and southern Germany] - Schweiz. mineral. petrogr. Mitt., v. 69, 345-357.
 
Hofmann, B.und Meyer, J. (1989) Erzmineralogische Untersuchungen.[ore mineralogy]  - In: Tj. Peters, A. Matter, H.-R. Bläsi, Ch. Isenschmid, P. Kleboth, Ch. Meyer & J. Meyer, Sondierbohrung Leuggern, Geologie. Nagra Technical Report 86-05, pp. 68, 164-167.
 
Hofmann, B.und Meyer, J. (1989) Erzmineralogische Untersuchungen. [ore mineralogy] - In: Tj. Peters, A. Matter, Ch. Isenschmid, J. Meyer & H.J. Ziegler, Sondierbohrung Kaisten, Geologie. Nagra Technical Report 86-04, p. 65-67, 177-180.
 
Hofmann, B.(1990) Reduction spheroids from northern Switzerland: Mineralogy, geochemistry and genetic models: Chem. Geol., v. 81, p. 55-81.
 
Hofmann, B.(1990) Reduction spheres in hematitic rocks from Northern Switzerland: Implications for the mobility of some rare elements.- Nagra Technical Report 89-17, 52p, with appendix by P. Baertschi.
 
Alexander, W.R., Brütsch, R., Degueldre, C. and Hofmann, B. (1990) Evaluation of long-distance transport of natural colloids in a crystalline groundwater: Paul Scherrer Institute TM-43-90-20, 50 p.
 
Hofmann, B.(1991), Possible microbiological origin of reduction spots in red beds. p. 2-125 to 2-133 In C.B. Fliermans and T.C. Hazen (eds.), Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Microbiology of the Deep Subsurface. January 15-19, 1990, Orlando, Florida. WSRC Information Services, Aiken, South Carolina.
 
Hofmann, B.(1991) Mineralogy and geochemistry of reduction spheroids in red beds. Mineralogy and Petrology Vol. 44, 107-124.
 
Hofmann, B.and Eikenberg, J. (1991) The Krunkelbach Uranium Deposit, Schwarzwald, Germany: Correlation of Radiometric Ages (U-Pb, U-Xe-Kr, K-Ar, 230Th-234U) with Mineralogical Stages and Fluid Inclusions. Economic Geology 86, 1031-1049.
 
Hofmann, B.(1991) A uranium series disequilibrium investigation of reduction spheroids in red beds. Schweiz. mineralog. petrograph. Mitt. 71/3, 333-340.
 
Hofmann, B.(1992) Uranium accumulation during weathering of Cañon Diablo meteoritic iron. Meteoritics 27, 101-103.
 
Hofmann, B.(1993) Organic matter associated with mineralized reduction spots in red beds. In: J. Parnell, H. Kucha, P. Landais (eds) Bitumens in ore deposits (Springer), 362-378.
 
Hofmann, B., Graeser, S., Imhof, T., Sicher, V. & Stalder, H.A. (1993): Mineralogie der Grube Lengenbach, Binntal, Wallis [Mineralogy of the Lengenbach quarry, Binn Valley, Switzerland]. Jahrb. Naturhist. Mus. Bern 11, 3 - 90.
 
Hofmann, B.(1993): Comment on the paper by M.S. Quinby-Hunt and P. Wilde: The provenance of low-calcic black shales. Mineral. Deposita 28, 283-284.
 
Hofmann, B.& v. Gehlen, K. (1993) Formation of stratiform sulfide mineralizations in the Lower Muschelkalk (Middle Triassic) of Southwestern Germany and Northern Switzerland: constraints from sulfur isotope data. Schweiz. mineralog. petrograph. Mitt. 73, 365-374.
 
Hofmann, B.(1994) Formation of a sulfide melt during Alpine metamorphism of the Lengenbach polymetallic sulfide mineralization, Binntal, Switzerland. Mineralium Deposita 29, 439-442.
 
Eugster, O., Niedermann, S., Thalmann, C., Frei, R., Kramers, J., Krähenbühl, U., Liu, Y.Z., Hofmann, B., Boer, R.H., Reimold, W.U. and Bruno, L. (1995): Noble gases, K, U, Th, and Pb in native gold. Journal of Geophysical Research, V. 100, 24677-24689.
 
Hofmann, B.A.(1996) Natural analogues of radiolytic processes. In: H. von Maravic and J Smellie (eds) Sixth EC Natural Analogue Working Group Meeting, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 12-16 September 1994. Nuclear Science and Technology, EUR 16761 EN, . 175-184.
 
Hofmann, B.A.& Knill, M.D. (1996) Geochemistry and genesis of the Lengenbach Pb-Zn-As-Tl-Ba-mineralisation, Binn Valley, Switzerland. Mineralium Deposita 31, 319-339.
 
Hofmann, B.A.& Frei, R. (1996) Age constraints of reduction spot formation from Permian red bed sediments, northern Switzerland, inferred from U-Th-Pb systematics. Schweiz. Mineral. petrogr. Mitt. 76, 235-244.
 
Frei, R., Villa, I.M., Nägler, Th.F., Kramers, J.D., Przybylowicz, W.J., Prozesky, V.M., Hofmann, B.A. & Kamber, B.S. (1997) Single mineral dating by the Pb-Pb step-leaching method: Assessing the mechanisms. Geochim. Cosmichim. Acta 61/2, 393-414.
 
Hofmann, B.A.& Bernasconi, S.M. (1998) Review of occurrences and carbon isotope geochemistry of oxalate minerals: implications for the origin and fate of oxalate in diagenetic and hydrothermal fluids. Chem. Geol. 149, 127-146.
 
Hofmann, B.A.(1999) Geochemistry of Natural Redox Fronts - A Review. Nagra Technical Report 99-05, Nagra, Wettingen, Switzerland, 156 pp.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Nyström, J.O., Krähenbühl, U. (2000) The Ordovician chondrite from Brunflo, central Sweden III. Geochemistry of terrestrial alteration. Lithos 50, 305-324.
 
Westall, F., Brack, A., Hofmann, B., Horneck, G., Kurat, G., Maxwell, J., Ori, G.G., Pillinger, C., Raulin, F., Thomas, N., Fitton, B., Clancy, P., Prieur, D., Vassaux, D. (2000) An ESA study for the search for life on Mars. Planetary and Space Science 48, 181-202.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Farmer, J.D. (2000): Filamentous fabrics in low-temperature mineral assemblages: Are they fossil biomarkers? Implications for the search for a subsurface fossil record on the early Earth and Mars. Planetary and Space Science 48/11, 1077-1086
 
Armbruster, Th., Stalder, H.A., Gnos, E., Hofmann, B., Herwegh, M. (2000): Epitaxy of hedenbergite whiskers on babingtonite in Alpine fissures at Arvigo, Val Calanca, Grisons, Switzerland. Schweiz. mineralog. Petrogr. Mitt. 80, 285-290.
 
Gnos, E., Hofmann, B., Franchi, I.A., Al-Kathiri A., Hauser, M., Moser L. (2002): Sayh al Uhaymir 094: A new martian meteorite from the Oman desert. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 37, 835-854.
 
Gnos, E., Hofmann, B.A., Al-Kathiri, A., Lorenzetti, S., Eugster, O., Whitehouse, M.J.,  Villa, I.M., Jull, A.J.T.,  Eikenberg, J., Spettel, B., Krähenbühl, U., Franchi, I.A., Greenwood, R.C. (2004) Pinpointing the source of a lunar meteorite: Implications for the evolution of the Moon. Science 305, 657-659.
 
Hofmann, B.(2004) Highly altered organic matter on Earth: Biosignature relevance. In: Ehrenfreund, P., Irvine, W., Owen, T., Becker, L., Blank, J., Brucato, J., Colangeli, L., Derenne, S., Dutrey, A., Despois, D., Lazcano, A., Robert, F. (eds) Astrobiology: Future Perspectives. Astrophysics and Space Science Library, Vol. 305, Springer, 317-331.
 
Maden, C., Döbeli, M., Hofmann, B., Suter, M. (2004) In-situ Ir concentration measurements in KT-boundary sediments by accelerator secondary ion mass spectrometry. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, 219-220, 176-180.
 
Thomas, N., Lüthi, B.S., Hviid, S.F., Keller, H.U., Markiewicz, W.J., Blümchen, T., Basilevsky, A.T., Smith, P.H., Tanner, R., Oquest, C., Reynolds, R., Josset, J.-L., Beauvivre, S., Hofmann, B., Rüffer, P., Pillinger, C.T. (2004): The microscope for Beagle 2. Planetary and Space Science 52, 853-866.
 
Häuselmann, Ph., Hofmann, B.A. (2004) Die Karsthöhlen Beret-Stufen (Därstetten, Berner Oberland) und ihre Calcite. Contributions to Natural History (Scientific Papers from the Natural History Museum Bern), 3, 1-14.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Gnos, E., Al-Kathiri, A., (2004). Harvesting meteorites in the Omani desert: Implications for Astrobiology. Proc. III Eur. Workshop on Exo-Astrobiology, Madrid, Spain, 18-20 November 2003. ESA SP-545, March 2004, 73-76.
 
Westall, F., Hofmann, B., Brack, A. (2004). Searching for fossil microbial biofilms on Mars: A case study using a 3.46 billion-year old example from the Pilbara in Australia. Proc. III Eur. Workshop on Exo-Astrobiology, Madrid, Spain.. ESA SP-545, March 2004, 37-40.
 
Al-Kathiri, A., Hofmann, B.A., Jull, A.J.T., Gnos, E. (2005) Weathering of meteorites from Oman: Correlation of chemical and mineralogical weathering proxies with 14C terrestrial ages and the influence of soil chemistry. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 40, Nr. 8, 1215-1239.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Helfer, M., Diamond, L.W., Villa, I., Frei, R., Eikenberg, J. (2004): Topography-driven hydrothermal breccia mineralization of Pliocene age at Grimsel Pass, Aar massif, Central Swiss Alps. Schweiz. Mineralog. Petrogr. Mitt. 84/3, 271-302. (published January 2006)
 
Audra, Ph., Hofmann, B.A. (2004) Les cavités hypogènes associées aux dépôts de sulfures métalliques (MVT). Le Grotte d’Italia (Rivista dell’Instituto Italiano di Speleologia e della Società Speleologica Italiana, Serie V, Vol. 5, 35-56.
 
Pinet, P., Cerroni, P., Josset, J.-L., Beauvivre, S., Chevrel, S., Muinonen, K., Langevin, Y., Barucci, M.A., De Sanctis, M.C., Shkuratov, Yu., Shevchenko, V., Plancke, P., Hofmann, B.A., Josset, M., Ehrenfreund, P., Sodnik, Z., Koschny, D., Almeida, M.Foing, B. (2005) The advanced Moon micro-imager experiment (AMIE) on SMART-1: Scientific goals and expected results. Planetary and Space Science 53, 1309-1318.
 
Griffiths, A.D., Coates, A.J., Josset, J.-L., Paar, G., Hofmann, B., Pullan, D., Rüffer, P., Sims, M.R., Pillinger, C.T. (2005) The Beagle 2 stereo camera system. Planetary and Space Science 53, 1466-1482.
 
Al-Kathiri, A., Hofmann, B.A., Gnos, E., Eugster, O., Welten, K.C., Krähenbühl, U. (2006) Shisr 043 (IIIAB medium octahedrite): The first iron meteorite from the Oman desert. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 41, Nr. 8, Supplement, A217-A230.
 
Josset, J.-L., Beauvivre, S., Cerroni, P., De Sanctis, M. C., Pinet, P., Chevrel, S., Langevin, Y.,  Barucci, M. A., Plancke, P., Koschny, D., Almeida, M., Sodnik, Z., Mancuso, S., Hofmann, B.A., Muinonen, K., Shevchenko, V., Shkuratov, Yu., Ehrenfreund, P. an Foing, B.H. (2006) Science Objectives and First Results from the SMART-1 / AMIE multicolour micro-camera. Advances in Space Research 37, 14-20.
 
Nisbet, E., Zahnle, K., Gerasimov, M.V., Helbert, J., Jaumann, R., Hofmann, B.A., Benzerara, K., Westall, F. (2007) Creating Habitable Zones, at all Scales, from Planets to Mud Micro-Habitats, on Earth and on Mars. Space Science Reviews 129: 79-121.
 
Edwards, H.G.M., Villar, S.E.J., Pullan, D., Hargreaves, M.D., Hofmann, B.A., Westall, F. (2007) Morphological biosignatures from relict fossilised sedimentary geological specimens: a Raman spectroscopic study. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 38, 1352-1361.
 
Al-Rawas, A.D., Gismelseed, A.M., Yousif, A.A., Elzain, M.E., Worthing, M.A., Al-Kathriri, A., Gnos, E., Hofmann, B.A., Steele, D.A. (2007) Studies on Uruq al Hadd meteorite. Planetary and Space Science 55, 859-863.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Gnos, E., Eggimann (2005) SSMP excursion to the Ries and Steinheim meteorite impact craters, Germany. Schweiz. Mineralog. Petrogr. Mitt. 85, 255-259 (published 2007).
 
Martins, Z., Hofmann, B.A., Gnos, E., Greenwood, R. C., Verchovsky, A. , Franchi, I. A., Jull, A. J. T., Botta, O., Glavin, D. P., Dworkin, J. P., Ehrenfreund, P. (2007): Amino acid composition, petrology, geochemistry, 14C terrestrial age and oxygen isotopes of the Shisr 033 CR chondrite. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 42/9, 1581-1595.
 
Al-Kathiri, A., Gnos, E., Hofmann, B.A. (2007): The regolith portion of lunar meteorite Sayh al Uhaymir 169. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 42/12, 2137-2152.
 
Hofmann, B.A.(2008) Morphological Biosignatures from Subsurface environments: Recognition on Planetary Missions. Space Science Reviews 135, 245-254.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Farmer, J.D., von Blanckenburg, F., Fallick, A.E. (2008): Subsurface filamentous fabrics: An evaluation of origins based on morphological and geochemical criteria, with implications for exopaleontology. Astrobiology 8/1, 87-117.
 
Pullan, D., Hofmann, B.A., Westall, F., Parnell, J., Cockell, C.S., Edwards, H.G.M., Jorge Villar, S.E., Schröder, C., Cressey, G., Marinangeli, L., Richter, L., and Klingelhöfer, G. (2008): Identification of morphological biosignatures and associated relict structures in martian analogue “field” specimens using a combination of planetary instrumentation: Implications for in situ astrobiology. Astrobiology 8/1, 119-156.
 
Hofmann, B.A.(2008): Shatter Cones aus dem Blockhorizont an der Sitter bei Bernhardzell. Ber. Natf. Ges. St. Gallen , 91, 77-86.
 
Aubrey, A.D., Chalmers, J.H., Bada, J.L., Grunthaner, F.J., Amashukeli, X., Willis, P., Skelley A.M., Mathies, R.A., Quinn, R.C., Zent, A.P., Ehrenfreund, P., Amundson, R., Glavin, D.P., Botta, O., Barron, L., Blaney, D.L., Clark, B.C., Coleman, M., Hofmann, B.A., Josset, J.-L., Rettberg, P., Ride, S., Robert, F., Sephton M.A., Yen, A. (2008): The Urey Instrument: An Advanced In Situ Organic and Oxidant Detector for Mars Exploration. Astrobiology 8/3, 583-595.
 
Bada, J.L., Ehrenfreund, P., Grunthaner, F.J., Blaney, D.L., Coleman, M., Farrington, A., Yen, A., Mathies, R.A., Amundson, R., Quinn, R.C., Zent, A.P., Ride, S., Barron, L., Botta, O., Clark, B.C., Glavin, D.P., Hofmann, B.A., Josset, J.-L., Rettberg, P., Robert, F., and Sephton, M.A. (2008): Urey: Mars Organic and Oxidant Detector: Space Science Reviews, v. 135, p. 269-279.
 
Buhl, S., Baermann, M., Hofmann, B., Weber, P., Gnos, E. (2008): Account of a meteorite fall near Bassikounou, Mauritania, on October 16, 2006, Part I: The fall and recovery of the Bassikounou meteorite. Meteorite 14/3, 7-14.
 
Buhl, S., Baermann, M., Hofmann, B., Weber, P., Gnos, E. (2008): Account of a meteorite fall near Bassikounou, Mauritania, on October 16, 2006, Part II: The Bassikounou meteorite. Meteorite 14/4, 10-14.
 
Huber, L., Gnos, E., Hofmann, B., Welten, K.C., Nishiizumi, K., Caffee, M. W., Hillegonds, D.J. and Leya, I. (2008). The complex exposure history of the Jiddat al Harasis 073 L-chondrite shower. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 43, 1691-1708.
 
Williams, D.J.A., Hofmann, B.A., Glasspool, I.G. (2008). Coalification in Carboniferous sediments from the Lötschberg base tunnel. Swiss Journal of Geosciences 101, 651-658.
 
Hofmann, B.A., Lorenzetti, S., Eugster, O., Krähenbühl, U., Herzog, G., Gnos, E., Eggimann, M., Wasson, J.T. (2009). The Twannberg (Switzerland) IIG iron meteorites: Mineralogy, chemistry and CRE ages. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 44/2, 187-199.
 
Gnos, E., Lorenzetti, S., Eugster, O., Jull, A.J.T., Hofmann, B.A., Al-Kathiri, A., Eggimann, M. (2009). The Jiddat al Harasis 073 strewnfield, Sultanate of Oman. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 44/3, 375-387.
 
Hofmann, B.(2009). Die Suche nach ausserirdischem Leben: Science oder Fiction? In: (Myrach, Th., Weddigen, T., Wohlwend, J. & Zwahlen, S.M., Hrs) Science & Fiction. Imagination und Realität des Weltraums. Berner Universitätsschriften, Haupt, Bern.
 
Hofmann, B.A. (2010). Meteorites: Messengers from the Early Solar
System: Chimia, 64, 736-740.
 
Janots, E., Gnos E., Hofmann, B. A., Greenwood R. C., Franchi, I. A. and Bischoff, A. (2011). Jiddat al Harasis 422: A ureilite with an extremely high degree of shock melting. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 46(1), 134-148.
 
Hofmann, B.A. (2011). Subsurface filamentous fabrics. In Encyclopedia of
Geobiology (eds. J. Reitner and V. Thiel), pp. 851-853. Springer, Dordrecht.
 
Hofmann, B.A. (2011). Reduction spheroids. In Encyclopedia of Geobiology
(eds. J. Reitner and V. Thiel), pp. 761-762. Springer, Dordrecht.
 
Hofmann, B.A. (2011). Radioactivity (natural). In Encyclopedia of
Geobiology (eds. J. Reitner and V. Thiel), pp. 751-754. Springer, Dordrecht.
 
Hofmann, B.A. (2011). Ores, microbial precipitation and oxidation. In
Encyclopedia of Geobiology (eds. J. Reitner and V. Thiel), pp. 691-697.
Springer, Dordrecht.
 
Cattin, F.,Guénette-Beck, B., Curdy, P., Meisser, N., Ansermet, S., Hofmann, B., Kündig, R., Hubert, V., Wörle, M., Hametner, K., Günther, D., Wichser, A., Ulrich, A., Villa, I.M., Besse, M. (2011). Provenance of Early Bronze Age metal artefacts in Western Switzerland using elemental and lead isotopic compositions and their possible relation with copper minerals of the nearby Valais. Journal of Archaeological Science 38, 1221-1233.
 
Greber, N., Hofmann, B. A., Voegelin, A. R., Villa, I. M., and Nägler, T. F. (2011). Mo isotope composition in Mo-rich high- and low-T hydrothermal systems from the Swiss Alps. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 6600-6609.
 
Zurfluh, F. J., Hofmann, B. A., Gnos, E., and Eggenberger, U. (2011). Evaluation of the utility of handheld XRF in meteoritics. X-Ray Spectrometry 40, 449-463.
 
Y. Lin, Shen, W., Liu, Y., Xu, L., Hofmann, B.A., Mao, Q., Tang, G.Q., Wu, F., Li, X.H. (2012). Very High-K KREEP-Rich Clasts in the Impact Melt Breccia of the Lunar Meteorite SaU 169: New Constraints on the Last Residue of the Lunar Magma Ocean. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 85/1, 19-40.
 
Zurfluh, F. J., Hofmann, B. A., Gnos, E., Eggenberger, U., Greber, N. D., and Villa, I. M. (2012). Weathering and strontium contamination of meteorites recovered in the Sultanate of Oman. Meteorite 18, 34-38.
 
McLennan, S. M., Sephton, M. A., Allen, C., Allwood, A. C., Barbieri, R., Beaty, D. W., Boston, P., Carr, M., Grady, M., Grant, J., Heber, V. S., Herd, C. D. K., Hofmann, B., King, P., Mangold, N., Ori, G. G., Rossi, A. P., Raulin, F., Ruff, S. W., Sherwood Lollar, B., Symes, S., and Wilson, M. G. (2012). Planning for Mars returned sample science: final report of the MSR End-to-End International Science Analysis Group. Astrobiology 12, 175–230.
 
Janots, E., Gnos, E., Hofmann, B. A., Greenwood, R. C., Franchi, I. A., Bermingham, K., and Netwing, V. (2012). Jiddat al Harasis 556: A howardite impact melt breccia with an H chondrite component. Meteoritics and Planetary Science 47, 1558-1574.

Meteorite accumulations of Arabia

Meteorite search and –research project in the Sultanate of Oman and in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Project in collaboration with: PD Dr. Edwin Gnos, Natural History Museum Geneva; Prof. Ingo Leya, Space Research and Planetary Sciences, Physikalisches Institut, University of Bern; Dr. Urs Eggenberger, Institute of Geological Sciences, University of Bern. Dr. Richard Greenwood, Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, Prof. Tim Jull, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA. Our partners in Arabia are:

  • Direcorate General of Minerals, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
  • Saudi Geological Survey, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The project is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Map of Oman showing the meteorite find locations of our project as blue dots (status 2011)

 

In January 2001, we have conducted the first meteorite search campaign in Oman, which resulted in the recovery of numerous meteorites including a sample from Mars. We have since then completed 12 search campaigns in Oman (each winter except 2004) and 3 in Saudi Arabia, resulting in the recovery of 5982 meteorite samples with a total mass of 4630 kg, corresponding to about 840 different fall events. The Omani-Swiss meteorite collection represents the largest hot desert meteorite collection. The main goals of this project are:

  • Understanding the processes that lead to the accumulation and also destruction of meteorites in the Arabian hot deserts. Understanding the processes of weathering, and determining the terrestrial age of as many meteorites as possible, is crucial in this context.
  • Detailed description of rare meteorites found
  • Building up a reference collection of Arabian meteorites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meteorite just after it's discovery in the desert of Oman, January 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meteorite with attached dune sand, Rub' Al-Khali, Saudi Arabia, February 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The vast Omani desert is suitable for meteorite recovery due to it's light colour and stable surface.

 


Find of Lunar meteorite Sayh al Uhaymir 169, January 16, 2002. This is a unique sample of the Moon, and the most radioactive meteorite ever found, due to it's high concentrations of thorium and uranium. A compilation of the numerous scientific papers on this meteorites can be found here.

 

The iron meteorite Shisr 043, 8.2 kg, found by our group on January 21, 2003. This is so far the only iron meteorite known from Oman, a strange fact considering the large number of meteorites found in the country.