An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine
by Paul Harris

Ivory Coast Tektites And Source, Bosumtwi Crater


42.9 Gram Specimen from The Darryl Futrell Collection Of Tektites
Now owned by The Meteorite Exchange, Inc.

Ivory Coast tektites were discovered in 1934 in the West African French Colony near the city of Ouellé.  These tektites were found by the Buoulé who mined the placers for gold.  Ivory Coast tektites belong to the Ivory Coast Strewn field.  There are only four known strewn fields out of all the impact events on Earth.  Ivory Coast tektites have been recovered as spashforms and microtektites.  There have been no layered (Muong Nong) type or ablated specimens found which May correspond to the fact that the source crater, Bosumtwi Crater, has the smallest diameter of any of the tektite producing impact craters.

Strewn Field Source Crater Diameter
of Crater
Muong
Nong-Type
Splash Forms Ablated Microtektites
Ivory Coast Bosumtwi Crater 10.5 km   X   X
Moldavite Nordlinger Ries 24 km X X    
North American Chesapeake Bay 90km X X X X
Australasian ? ? X X X X

Both the K-Ar and Fission track analyses of Ivory Coast tektites, Ivory Coast microtektites, and Bosumtwi Glass correspond to an age of approximately 1.3 million years old.   Ivory Coast tektites are very rare.  The largest recorded specimen is 79 grams.  There are probably only a few hundred Ivory Coast tektites in public and private collections.

Bosumtwi Crater is a well preserved impact crater and the source crater for the Ivory Coast tektites.  The crater is located about 30 km south of Kumasi in Ghana.  The center of the crater is filled by Lake Bosumtwi. The depth of the lake is approximately 80 meters.


Bosumtwi Crater - Space Shuttle Photograph Courtesy NASA
Latitude N 6° 30' Longitude W 1° 25' - Diameter 10.5 km