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Sample records for early archean stromatolites

  1. Oxygen-Dependent Morphogenesis of Modern Clumped Photosynthetic Mats and Implications for the Archean Stromatolite Record

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    Malcolm R. Walter

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Some modern filamentous oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (cyanobacteria form macroscopic tufts, laminated cones and ridges that are very similar to some Archean and Proterozoic stromatolites. However, it remains unclear whether microbes that constructed Archean clumps, tufts, cones and ridges also produced oxygen. Here, we address this question by examining the physiology of cyanobacterial clumps, aggregates ~0.5 mm in diameter that initiate the growth of modern mm- and cm-scale cones. Clumps contain more particulate organic carbon in the form of denser, bowed and bent cyanobacterial filaments, abandoned sheaths and non-cyanobacterial cells relative to the surrounding areas. Increasing concentrations of oxygen in the solution enhance the bending of filaments and the persistence of clumps by reducing the lateral migration of filaments away from clumps. Clumped mats in oxic media also release less glycolate, a soluble photorespiration product, and retain a larger pool of carbon in the mat. Clumping thus benefits filamentous mat builders whose incorporation of inorganic carbon is sensitive to oxygen. The morphogenetic sequence of mm-scale clumps, reticulate ridges and conical stromatolites from the 2.7 Ga Tumbiana Formation likely records similar O2-dependent behaviors, preserving currently the oldest morphological signature of oxygenated environments on Early Earth.

  2. The Meaning of Stromatolites

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    Bosak, Tanja; Knoll, Andrew H.; Petroff, Alexander P.

    2013-05-01

    Stromatolites document microbial interactions with sediments and flowing water throughout recorded Earth history and have the potential to illuminate the long-term history of life and environments. Modern stromatolites, however, provide analogs to only a small subset of the structures preserved in Archean and Proterozoic carbonates. Thus, interpretations of secular trends in the shapes and textures of ancient columnar stromatolites require nonuniformitarian, scale-dependent models of microbial responses to nutrient availability, seawater chemistry, influx of sediment grains, shear, and burial. Models that integrate stromatolite scales, macroscopic organization, and shapes could also help test the biogenicity of the oldest stromatolites and other structures whose petrographic fabrics do not preserve direct evidence of microbial activity. An improved understanding of stromatolite morphogenesis in the presence of oxygenic and anoxygenic microbial mats may illuminate the diversity of microbial metabolisms that contributed to stromatolite growth in early oceans.

  3. Sulphur tales from the early Archean world

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    Montinaro, A.; Strauss, H.

    2016-07-01

    Sedimentary and magmatic rocks and their distinct sulphur isotopic signatures indicate the sources and processes of sulphur cycling, in particular through the analysis of all four stable sulphur isotopes (32S, 33S, 34S and 36S). Research over the past 15 years has substantially advanced our understanding of sulphur cycling on the early Earth, most notably through the discovery of mass-independently fractionated sulphur isotopic signatures. A strong atmospheric influence on the early Archean global sulphur cycle is apparent, much in contrast to the modern world. Diverse microbially driven sulphur cycling is clearly discernible, but its importance for Earth surface environments remains to be quantified.

  4. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean

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    Pope, E. C.; Rosing, M.; Bird, D. K.; Albarede, F.

    2012-12-01

    Average surface temperatures of Earth in the Archean remain unresolved despite decades of diverse approaches to the problem. As in the present, early Earth climates were complex systems dependent on many variables. With few constraints on such variables, climate models must be relatively simplistic, and consider only one or two factors that drive Archean climate (e.g. a fainter young sun, a low albedo, the extent and effect of cloud cover, or the presence and abundance of a wide array of greenhouse and icehouse gasses). Compounded on the limitations of modeling is the sparse and often ambiguous Archean rock record. The goal of this study is to compile and reconcile Archean geologic and geochemical features that are in some way controlled by surface temperature and/or atmospheric composition, so that at the very least paleoclimate models can be checked by physical limits. Data used to this end include the oxygen isotope record of chemical sediments and ancient ocean crust, chemical equilibria amongst primary phases in banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary features indicative of temperate or glacial environments, and paleosol indicators of atmospheric CO2. Further, we explore the extent to which hydrogen isotopes contribute to the geologic record as a signal for glaciations, continental growth and atmospheric methane levels. Oceanic serpentinites and subduction-related volcanic and hydrothermal environments obtain their hydrogen isotope signature from seawater, and thus may be used to calculate secular variation in δDSEAWATER which may fluctuate significantly due to hydrogen escape, continental growth and large-scale glaciation events. Further, ancient records of low-δD meteoric fluids signal both cooler temperatures and the emergence of large continents (increasing the effects of continental weathering on climate). Selective alteration of δD in Isua rocks to values of -130 to -100‰ post-dates ca. 3.55Ga Ameralik dikes, but may be associated with a poorly

  5. Chloroflexus aurantiacus and ultraviolet radiation: Implications for archean shallow-water stromatolites

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    Pierson, Beverly K.; Mitchell, Heather K.; Ruff-Roberts, Alyson L.

    1993-08-01

    The phototrophic growth ofChloroflexus aurantiacus under anoxic conditions was determined as a function of continuous UV irradiance. Cultures grown under an irradiance of 0.01 Wm-2 exhibited a slightly depressed yield over the nonirradiated control. Yields decreased further with increasing irradiance. Inhibition was severe at an irradiance of 0.66 Wm-2. Growth ofE. coli cultures was severely depressed at UV-C irradiances that permitted good growth ofC. aurantiacus. Low levels of Fe3+ provided a very effective UV absorbing screen. The apparent UV resistance ofChloroflexus and the effectiveness of iron as a UV-absorbing screen in sediments and microbial mats are suggested to be likely mechanisms of survival of early phototrophs in the Precambrian in the absence of an ozone shield.

  6. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean

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    Pope, Emily Catherine; Bird, Dennis K.; Rosing, Minik Thorleif

    Average surface temperatures of Earth in the Archean remain unresolved despite decades of diverse approaches to the problem. As in the present, early Earth climates were complex systems dependent on many variables. With few constraints on such variables, climate models must be relatively simplistic...... the oxygen isotope record of chemical sediments and ancient ocean crust, chemical equilibria amongst primary phases in banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary features indicative of temperate or glacial environments, and paleosol indicators of atmospheric CO2. Further, we explore the extent to which...... hydrogen isotopes contribute to the geologic record as a signal for glaciations, continental growth and atmospheric methane levels. Oceanic serpentinites and subduction-related volcanic and hydrothermal environments obtain their hydrogen isotope signature from seawater, and thus may be used to calculate...

  7. Investigation of a Modern Incipient Stromatolite from Obsidian Pool Prime, Yellowstone National Park: Implications for Early Lithification in the Formation of Light-Dark Stromatolite Laminae

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    Corsetti, F. A.; Berelson, W.; Pepe-Ranney, C. P.; Mata, S. A.; Spear, J. R.

    2016-12-01

    Stromatolites have been defined multiple ways, but the presence of lamination is common to all definitions. Despite this commonality, the origin of the lamination in many ancient stromatolites remains vague. Lamination styles vary, but sub-mm light-dark couplets are common in many ancient stromatolites. Here, we investigate an actively forming incipient stromatolite from Obsidian Pool Prime (OPP), a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, to better understand the formation of light-dark couplets similar to many ancient stromatolites in texture and structure. In the OPP stromatolites, a dense network of layer-parallel bundles of cyanobacterial filaments (a dark layer) is followed by an open network of layer-perpendicular or random filaments (a light layer) that reflect a diurnal cycle in the leading edge of the microbial mat that coats the stromatolite's surface. Silica crust encases the cyanobacterial filaments maintaining the integrity of the lamination. Bubbles formed via oxygenic photosynthesis are commonly trapped within the light layers, indicating that lithification occurs rapidly before the bubbles can collapse. The filamentous, non-heterocystous stromatoite-building cyanobacterium from OPP is most closely related to a stromatolite-building cyanobacterium from a hot spring in Japan. Once built, "tenants" from multiple microbial phyla move into the structure, mixing and mingling to produce a complicated integrated biogeochemical signal that may be difficult to untangle in ancient examples. While the cyanobacterial response to the diurnal cycle has been previously implicated in the formation of light-dark couplets, the OPP example highlights the importance of early lithification in maintaining the fabric. Thus, the presence of light-dark couplets and bubble structures may indicate very early lithification and therefore a certain degree of mineral saturation in the ancient ocean or other aquatic system, and that bubble structures, if present, may be evidence

  8. Archean komatiite volcanism controlled by the evolution of early continents.

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    Mole, David R; Fiorentini, Marco L; Thebaud, Nicolas; Cassidy, Kevin F; McCuaig, T Campbell; Kirkland, Christopher L; Romano, Sandra S; Doublier, Michael P; Belousova, Elena A; Barnes, Stephen J; Miller, John

    2014-07-15

    The generation and evolution of Earth's continental crust has played a fundamental role in the development of the planet. Its formation modified the composition of the mantle, contributed to the establishment of the atmosphere, and led to the creation of ecological niches important for early life. Here we show that in the Archean, the formation and stabilization of continents also controlled the location, geochemistry, and volcanology of the hottest preserved lavas on Earth: komatiites. These magmas typically represent 50-30% partial melting of the mantle and subsequently record important information on the thermal and chemical evolution of the Archean-Proterozoic Earth. As a result, it is vital to constrain and understand the processes that govern their localization and emplacement. Here, we combined Lu-Hf isotopes and U-Pb geochronology to map the four-dimensional evolution of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, and reveal the progressive development of an Archean microcontinent. Our results show that in the early Earth, relatively small crustal blocks, analogous to modern microplates, progressively amalgamated to form larger continental masses, and eventually the first cratons. This cratonization process drove the hottest and most voluminous komatiite eruptions to the edge of established continental blocks. The dynamic evolution of the early continents thus directly influenced the addition of deep mantle material to the Archean crust, oceans, and atmosphere, while also providing a fundamental control on the distribution of major magmatic ore deposits.

  9. Early Triassic stromatolites in a siliciclastic nearshore setting in northern Perth Basin, Western Australia: Geobiologic features and implications for post-extinction microbial proliferation

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    Chen, Zhong-Qiang; Wang, Yongbiao; Kershaw, Stephen; Luo, Mao; Yang, Hao; Zhao, Laishi; Feng, Yuheng; Chen, Jianbo; Yang, Li; Zhang, Lei

    2014-10-01

    An Early Triassic stromatolite deposit in Gondwana is documented from the Smithian succession of the Lower Triassic Kockatea Shale Formation in the Northampton area, northern Geraldton, Western Australia. Abundant tube-like sheaths of filaments and tiny circular microspherule balls are well preserved in laminae of the Northampton stromatolites, which are characterized by finely laminated domes and digitate high-relief columns. These filament sheaths are superficially analogous to their counterparts of modern stromatolites, and thus are interpreted as putative fossilized filamentous cyanobacteria. Elemental mapping of EDS analysis shows very high contents of both Fe and Si elements as well as common presence of both S and Al elements along the laminae of the stromatolites, suggesting that the stromatolites may have been ferritized or silicified. Both ferritization and silicification may have played a crucial role in the exceptional preservation of the micro-structures in the Northampton stromatolites. The high content of Al along the laminae indicates that the stromatolites may have been influenced by terrigenous fine-grained clastics during their growth. The Northampton stromatolites show several growth modes, initiating on either pebbles/conglomerates or sandy seafloor and building laminar domes and digitate, high-relief columns during an initial transgression period. Steady increase in sea level facilitated the growth of stromatolites. The Early Triassic stromatolites ceased growth due to either rapid rise in sea level or increased clay influx probably sourced from increased weathering on land at that time, or both. The occurrence of the Northampton stromatolites in the siliciclastic succession, in comparison with published records of Early Triassic microbialites, reveals that post-extinction microbialites were widespread in the Smithian. Stromatolites show a broad geographic distribution from low-latitude to southern high-latitude regions of Gondwana and

  10. Calcification and Silicification: Fossilization Potential of Cyanobacteria from Stromatolites of Niuafo‘ou's Caldera Lakes (Tonga) and Implications for the Early Fossil Record

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    Kazmierczak, Józef; Łukomska-Kowalczyk, Maja; Kempe, Stephan

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Calcification and silicification processes of cyanobacterial mats that form stromatolites in two caldera lakes of Niuafo‘ou Island (Vai Lahi and Vai Si‘i) were evaluated, and their importance as analogues for interpreting the early fossil record are discussed. It has been shown that the potential for morphological preservation of Niuafo‘ou cyanobacteria is highly dependent on the timing and type of mineral phase involved in the fossilization process. Four main modes of mineralization of cyanobacteria organic parts have been recognized: (i) primary early postmortem calcification by aragonite nanograins that transform quickly into larger needle-like crystals and almost totally destroy the cellular structures, (ii) primary early postmortem silicification of almost intact cyanobacterial cells that leave a record of spectacularly well-preserved cellular structures, (iii) replacement by silica of primary aragonite that has already recrystallized and obliterated the cellular structures, (iv) occasional replacement of primary aragonite precipitated in the mucopolysaccharide sheaths and extracellular polymeric substances by Al-Mg-Fe silicates. These observations suggest that the extremely scarce earliest fossil record may, in part, be the result of (a) secondary replacement by silica of primary carbonate minerals (aragonite, calcite, siderite), which, due to recrystallization, had already annihilated the cellular morphology of the mineralized microbiota or (b) relatively late primary silicification of already highly degraded and no longer morphologically identifiable microbial remains. Key Words: Stromatolites—Cyanobacteria—Calcification—Silicification—Niuafo‘ou (Tonga)—Archean. Astrobiology 12, 535–548. PMID:22794297

  11. Late Archean Euxinia as a Window into Early Biogeochemical Cycles

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    Scott, C.; Bekker, A.; Reinhard, C.; Lyons, T. W.

    2009-12-01

    A number of transition metals present in seawater in trace amounts (10-10 to 10-7 moles/L) are nevertheless bioessential micronutrients, utilized in a wide range of cellular activities. Because their abundances in seawater are largely a reflection of redox-controlled sources and sinks, Precambrian biogeochemists increasingly focus on the interrelated nature of major redox transitions, the chemical composition of the oceans, and the evolution of life on Earth. Of particular interest are temporal trends in seawater inventories of elements utilized in the nitrogen cycle, both nitrogen fixation (Fe, V, Mo) and denitrification (Cu). Recent work on the link between trace metal abundance and the biologically mediated nitrogen cycle has focused on the Proterozoic Eon, when oxidative weathering was well established and sulfidic conditions were common in the deep ocean. However, we know little about trace metal availability during the Archean Eon, when oxygenic photosynthesis first appeared on Earth and began to alter the chemical composition of the oceans and atmosphere. The development of euxinic conditions, or anoxic and sulfidic bottom waters, provides important information regarding the cycling of major elements such as C, S and Fe. However, euxinic black shales can also provide a record of trace metal abundance. Mo is highly enriched in these shales and displays a conspicuous covariation with the concentration of total organic carbon (TOC). Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the ratio Mo/TOC is proportional to the concentration of Mo in seawater. Cu and V are also enriched in euxinic black shales, and both correlate with TOC. By analogy with Mo, it is likely that the ratios Cu/TOC and V/TOC also contain information on the concentration of these transition metals in seawater. Here we present C-S-Fe systematics as well as trace metal concentrations from black shales of the Roy Hill Member of the late Archean Jeerinah Formation. Fe speciation indicates that the

  12. Early Archean serpentine mud volcanoes at Isua, Greenland, as a niche for early life.

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    Pons, Marie-Laure; Quitté, Ghylaine; Fujii, Toshiyuki; Rosing, Minik T; Reynard, Bruno; Moynier, Frederic; Douchet, Chantal; Albarède, Francis

    2011-10-25

    The Isua Supracrustal Belt, Greenland, of Early Archean age (3.81-3.70 Ga) represents the oldest crustal segment on Earth. Its complex lithology comprises an ophiolite-like unit and volcanic rocks reminiscent of boninites, which tie Isua supracrustals to an island arc environment. We here present zinc (Zn) isotope compositions measured on serpentinites and other rocks from the Isua supracrustal sequence and on serpentinites from modern ophiolites, midocean ridges, and the Mariana forearc. In stark contrast to modern midocean ridge and ophiolite serpentinites, Zn in Isua and Mariana serpentinites is markedly depleted in heavy isotopes with respect to the igneous average. Based on recent results of Zn isotope fractionation between coexisting species in solution, the Isua serpentinites were permeated by carbonate-rich, high-pH hydrothermal solutions at medium temperature (100-300 °C). Zinc isotopes therefore stand out as a pH meter for fossil hydrothermal solutions. The geochemical features of the Isua fluids resemble the interstitial fluids sampled in the mud volcano serpentinites of the Mariana forearc. The reduced character and the high pH inferred for these fluids make Archean serpentine mud volcanoes a particularly favorable setting for the early stabilization of amino acids.

  13. Continental emergence in the Late Archean reconciles early and late continental growth models

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    Flament, Nicolas; Coltice, Nicolas; Rey, Patrice

    2014-05-01

    The analysis of ancient sediments (Rare Earth Element composition of black shales, isotopic strontium composition of marine carbonates, isotopic oxygen composition of zircons) suggests that continental growth culminated around the Archean-Proterozoic transition. In stark contrast, the geochemical analysis of ancient basalts suggests that depletion of the mantle occurred in the Hadean and Eoarchean. This paradox may be solved if continents were extracted from the mantle early in Earth's history, but remained mostly below sea level throughout the Archean. We present a model to estimate the area of emerged land and associated isotopic strontium composition of the mantle and oceans as a function of the coupled evolution of mantle temperature, continental growth and distribution of surface elevations (hypsometry). For constant continental hypsometry and four distinct continental growth models, we show that sea level was between 500 and 2000 m higher in the Archean than at present, resulting in isotopic composition of the mantle and oceans, we show that a reduced area of emerged continental crust can explain why the geochemical fingerprint of continents extracted early in Earth's history was not recorded at the surface of the Earth until the late Archean.

  14. Examining Archean methanotrophy

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    Slotznick, Sarah P.; Fischer, Woodward W.

    2016-05-01

    The carbon isotope ratios preserved in sedimentary rocks can be used to fingerprint ancient metabolisms. Organic carbon in Late Archean samples stands out from that of other intervals with unusually low δ13C values (∼-45 to -60‰). It was hypothesized that these light compositions record ecosystem-wide methane cycling and methanotrophy, either of the aerobic or anaerobic variety. To test this idea, we studied the petrography and carbon and oxygen isotope systematics of well-known and spectacular occurrences of shallow water stromatolites from the 2.72 Ga Tumbiana Formation of Western Australia. We examined the carbonate cements and kerogen produced within the stromatolites, because methanotrophy is expected to leave an isotopic fingerprint in these carbon reservoirs. Mathematical modeling of Archean carbonate chemistry further reveals that methanotrophy should still have a discernible signature preserved in the isotopic record, somewhat diminished from those observed in Phanerozoic sedimentary basins due to higher dissolved inorganic carbon concentrations. These stromatolites contain kerogen with δ13Corg values of ∼ - 50 ‰. By microsampling different regions and textures within the stromatolites, we determined that the isotopic compositions of the authigenic calcite cements show a low degree of variation and are nearly identical to values estimated for seawater at this time; the lack of low and variable δ13Ccarb values implies that methanotrophy does not explain the low δ13Corg seen in the coeval kerogen. These observations do not support a methanotrophy hypothesis, but instead hint that the Late Archean may constitute an interval wherein autotrophs employed markedly different biochemical processes of energy conservation and carbon fixation.

  15. Albedo and heat transport in 3-dimensional model simulations of the early Archean climate

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    H. Kienert

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available At the beginning of the Archean eon (ca. 3.8 billion yr ago, the Earth's climate state was significantly different from today due to the lower solar luminosity, smaller continental fraction, higher rotation rate and, presumably, significantly larger greenhouse gas concentrations. All these aspects play a role in solutions to the "faint young Sun problem" which must explain why the ocean surface was not fully frozen at that time. Here, we present 3-dimensional model simulations of climate states that are consistent with early Archean boundary conditions and have different CO2 concentrations, aiming at an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the early Archean climate system. We focus on three states: one of them is ice-free, one has the same mean surface air temperature of 288 K as today's Earth and the third one is the coldest stable state in which there is still an area with liquid surface water (i.e. the critical state at the transition to a "snowball Earth". We find a reduction in meridional heat transport compared to today which leads to a steeper latitudinal temperature profile and has atmospheric as well as oceanic contributions. Ocean surface velocities are largely zonal, and the strength of the atmospheric meridional circulation is significantly reduced in all three states. These aspects contribute to the observed relation between global mean temperature and albedo, which we suggest as a parameterisation of the ice-albedo feedback for 1-dimensional model simulations of the early Archean and thus the faint young Sun problem.

  16. Albedo and heat transport in 3-D model simulations of the early Archean climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Kienert

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available At the beginning of the Archean eon (ca. 3.8 billion years ago, the Earth's climate state was significantly different from today due to the lower solar luminosity, smaller continental fraction, higher rotation rate and, presumably, significantly larger greenhouse gas concentrations. All these aspects play a role in solutions to the "faint young Sun paradox" which must explain why the ocean surface was not fully frozen at that time. Here, we present 3-D model simulations of climate states that are consistent with early Archean boundary conditions and have different CO2 concentrations, aiming at an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of the early Archean climate system. In order to do so, we have appropriately modified an intermediate complexity climate model that couples a statistical-dynamical atmosphere model (involving parameterizations of the dynamics to an ocean general circulation model and a thermodynamic-dynamic sea-ice model. We focus on three states: one of them is ice-free, one has the same mean surface air temperature of 288 K as today's Earth and the third one is the coldest stable state in which there is still an area with liquid surface water (i.e. the critical state at the transition to a "snowball Earth". We find a reduction in meridional heat transport compared to today, which leads to a steeper latitudinal temperature profile and has atmospheric as well as oceanic contributions. Ocean surface velocities are largely zonal, and the strength of the atmospheric meridional circulation is significantly reduced in all three states. These aspects contribute to the observed relation between global mean temperature and albedo, which we suggest as a parameterization of the ice-albedo feedback for 1-D model simulations of the early Archean and thus the faint young Sun problem.

  17. Sulfur Isotope Trends in Archean Microbialite Facies Record Early Oxygen Production and Consumption

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    Zerkle, A.; Meyer, N.; Izon, G.; Poulton, S.; Farquhar, J.; Claire, M.

    2014-12-01

    The major and minor sulfur isotope composition (δ34S and Δ33S) of pyrites preserved in ~2.65-2.5 billion-year-old (Ga) microbialites record localized oxygen production and consumption near the mat surface. These trends are preserved in two separate drill cores (GKF01 and BH1-Sacha) transecting the Campbellrand-Malmani carbonate platform (Ghaap Group, Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa; Zerkle et al., 2012; Izon et al., in review). Microbialite pyrites possess positive Δ33S values, plotting parallel to typical Archean trends (with a Δ33S/δ34S slope of ~0.9) but enriched in 34S by ~3 to 7‰. We propose that these 34S-enriched pyrites were formed from a residual pool of sulfide that was partially oxidized via molecular oxygen produced by surface mat-dwelling cyanobacteria. Sulfide, carrying the range of Archean Δ33S values, could have been produced deeper within the microbial mat by the reduction of sulfate and elemental sulfur, then fractionated upon reaction with O2 produced by oxygenic photosynthesis. Preservation of this positive 34S offset requires that: 1) sulfide was only partially (50­­-80%) consumed by oxidation, meaning H2S was locally more abundant (or more rapidly produced) than O2, and 2) the majority of the sulfate produced via oxidation was not immediately reduced to sulfide, implying either that the sulfate pool was much larger than the sulfide pool, or that the sulfate formed near the mat surface was transported and reduced in another part of the system. Contrastingly, older microbialite facies (> 2.7 Ga; Thomazo et al., 2013) appear to lack these observed 34S enrichments. Consequently, the onset of 34S enrichments could mark a shift in mat ecology, from communities dominated by anoxygenic photosynthesizers to cyanobacteria. Here, we test these hypotheses with new spatially resolved mm-scale trends in sulfur isotope measurements from pyritized stromatolites of the Vryburg Formation, sampled in the lower part of the BH1-Sacha core. Millimeter

  18. Identification of an Archean marine oxygen oasis

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    Riding, Dr Robert E [University of Tennessee (UT); Fralick, Dr Philip [Lakehead University, Canada; Liang, Liyuan [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    The early Earth was essentially anoxic. A number of indicators suggest the presence of oxygenic photosynthesis 2700 3000 million years (Ma) ago, but direct evidence for molecular oxygen (O2) in seawater has remained elusive. Here we report rare earth element (REE) analyses of 2800 million year old shallowmarine limestones and deep-water iron-rich sediments at Steep Rock Lake, Canada. These show that the seawater from which extensive shallow-water limestones precipitated was oxygenated, whereas the adjacent deeper waters where iron-rich sediments formed were not. We propose that oxygen promoted limestone precipitation by oxidative removal of dissolved ferrous iron species, Fe(II), to insoluble Fe(III) oxyhydroxide, and estimate that at least 10.25 M oxygen concentration in seawater was required to accomplish this at Steep Rock. This agrees with the hypothesis that an ample supply of dissolved Fe(II) in Archean oceans would have hindered limestone formation. There is no direct evidence for the oxygen source at Steep Rock, but organic carbon isotope values and diverse stromatolites in the limestones suggest the presence of cyanobacteria. Our findings support the view that during the Archean significant oxygen levels first developed in protected nutrient-rich shallow marine habitats. They indicate that these environments were spatially restricted, transient, and promoted limestone precipitation. If Archean marine limestones in general reflect localized oxygenic removal of dissolved iron at the margins of otherwise anoxic iron-rich seas, then early oxygen oases are less elusive than has been assumed.

  19. The Archean sulfur cycle and the early history of atmospheric oxygen.

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    Canfield, D E; Habicht, K S; Thamdrup, B

    2000-04-28

    The isotope record of sedimentary sulfides can help resolve the history of oxygen accumulation into the atmosphere. We measured sulfur isotopic fractionation during microbial sulfate reduction up to 88 degrees C and show how sulfate reduction rate influences the preservation of biological fractionations in sediments. The sedimentary sulfur isotope record suggests low concentrations of seawater sulfate and atmospheric oxygen in the early Archean (3.4 to 2.8 billion years ago). The accumulation of oxygen and sulfate began later, in the early Proterozoic (2.5 to 0.54 billion years ago).

  20. EVAPORITE MICROBIAL FILMS, MATS, MICROBIALITES AND STROMATOLITES

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    Brigmon, R; Penny Morris, P; Garriet Smith, G

    2008-01-28

    Evaporitic environments are found in a variety of depositional environments as early as the Archean. The depositional settings, microbial community and mineralogical composition vary significantly as no two settings are identical. The common thread linking all of the settings is that evaporation exceeds precipitation resulting in elevated concentrations of cations and anions that are higher than in oceanic systems. The Dead Sea and Storrs Lake are examples of two diverse modern evaporitic settings as the former is below sea level and the latter is a coastal lake on an island in the Caribbean. Each system varies in water chemistry as the Dead Sea dissolved ions originate from surface weathered materials, springs, and aquifers while Storrs Lake dissolved ion concentration is primarily derived from sea water. Consequently some of the ions, i.e., Sr, Ba are found at significantly lower concentrations in Storrs Lake than in the Dead Sea. The origin of the dissolved ions are ultimately responsible for the pH of each system, alkaline versus mildly acidic. Each system exhibits unique biogeochemical properties as the extreme environments select certain microorganisms. Storrs Lake possesses significant biofilms and stromatolitic deposits and the alkalinity varies depending on rainfall and storm activity. The microbial community Storrs Lake is much more diverse and active than those observed in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea waters are mildly acidic, lack stromatolites, and possess a lower density of microbial populations. The general absence of microbial and biofilm fossilization is due to the depletion of HCO{sub 3} and slightly acidic pH.

  1. Petrochronology in constraining early Archean Earth processes and environments: Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa

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    Grosch, Eugene

    2017-04-01

    Analytical and petrological software developments over the past decade have seen rapid innovation in high-spatial resolution petrological techniques, for example, laser-ablation ICP-MS, secondary ion microprobe (SIMS, nano-SIMS), thermodynamic modelling and electron microprobe microscale mapping techniques (e.g. XMapTools). This presentation will focus on the application of petrochronology to ca. 3.55 to 3.33 billion-year-old metavolcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Onverwacht Group, shedding light on the earliest geologic evolution of the Paleoarchean Barberton greenstone belt (BGB) of South Africa. The field, scientific drilling and petrological research conducted over the past 8 years, aims to illustrate how: (a) LA-ICP-MS and SIMS U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology has helped identify the earliest tectono-sedimentary basin and sediment sources in the BGB, as well as reconstructing geodynamic processes as early as ca. 3.432 billion-years ago; (b) in-situ SIMS multiple sulphur isotope analysis of sulphides across various early Archean rock units help to reconstruct atmospheric, surface and subsurface environments on early Archean Earth and (c) the earliest candidate textural traces for subsurface microbial life can be investigated by in-situ LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of titanite, micro-XANES Fe-speciation analysis and metamorphic microscale mapping. Collectively, petrochronology combined with high-resolution field mapping studies, is a powerful multi-disciplinary approach towards deciphering petrogenetic and geodynamic processes preserved in the Paleoarchean Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa, with implications for early Archean Earth evolution.

  2. Microfossils and possible microfossils from the Early Archean Onverwacht Group, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa.

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    Walsh, M M

    1992-01-01

    There is widespread textural evidence for microbial activity in the cherts of the Early Archean Onverwacht Group. Layers with fine carbonaceous laminations resembling fossil microbial mats are abundant in the cherty metasediments of the predominantly basaltic Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations. In rare cases, filamentous microfossils are associated with the laminae. The morphologies of the fossils, as well as the texture of the encompassing laminae suggest an affinity to modern mat-dwelling cyanobacteria or bacteria. A variety of spheroidal and ellipsoidal structures present in cherts of the Hooggenoeg and Kromberg Formations resemble modern coccoidal bacteria and bacterial structures, including spores. The development of spores may have enabled early microorganisms to survive the relatively harsh surficial conditions, including the effects of very large meteorite impacts on the young Earth.

  3. Organic matter heterogeneities in 2.72 Ga stromatolites: Alteration versus preservation by sulfur incorporation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepot, Kevin; Benzerara, Karim; Rividi, Nicolas; Cotte, Marine; Brown, Gordon E., Jr.; Philippot, Pascal

    2009-11-01

    The stromatolites of the weakly metamorphosed 2.72 Ga Tumbiana Formation present abundant organic globules that resemble in size, shape and distribution the microorganisms observed in modern stromatolites. In order to evaluate the significance of these cell-like organic materials, we characterized organic matter in-situ down to the nanoscale using a combination of Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman microspectroscopy, scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). These analyses revealed the occurrence of two distinct types of organic matter forming μm-scale textural and chemical heterogeneities distributed in distinct mineralogical laminae of the stromatolites. Type A organic matter, which is by far the most abundant, consists of sulfur-poor organic matter that is located in mud-type laminae at grain boundaries, mostly in association with silicate minerals. In contrast, Type B organic matter is rare and preserved as inclusions in the core of calcite grains forming laminates. It occurs as micrometer-sized cell-like globules containing variable amounts of organic sulfur likely in the form of thiophenes. Different scenarios may account for these compositional heterogeneities in the kerogen. Based on textural and compositional analogies with modern stromatolites, it is argued that Type B sulfur-rich globules may represent microbial cells protected by mineral encapsulation and selectively preserved through polymerization by early diagenetic sulfurization. In modern sediments, this reaction is fuelled by bacterial sulfate reduction (BSR). This metabolism has been widely considered as a major driver in modern stromatolites calcification and could thus have played an important role in the formation of the Tumbiana Formation stromatolites. In contrast, Type A sulfur-poor organic matter corresponds to either fossil extracellular polymer substances (EPS) or recondensed kerogen

  4. River Valley pluton, Ontario - A late-Archean/early-Proterozoic anorthositic intrusion in the Grenville Province

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashwal, Lewis D.; Wooden, Joseph L.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents Nd, Sr, and Pb isotopic data indicating a late-Archean/early-Proterozoic age for the River Valley anorthositic pluton of the southwestern Grenville Province of Sudbury, Ontario. Pb-Pb isotopic data on 10 whole-rock samples ranging in composition from anorthosite to gabbro yield an age of 2560 + or - 155 Ma. The River Valley pluton is thus the oldest anorthositic intrusive yet recognized within the Grenville Province. The Sm-Nd isotopic system records an age of 2377 + or - 68 Ma. High Pb-208/Pb-204 of deformed samples relative to igneous-textured rocks implies Th introduction and/or U loss during metamorphism in the River Valley area. Rb-Sr data from igneous-textured and deformed samples and from mineral separates give an age of 2185 + or - 105 Ma, indicating substantial disturbance of the Rb-Sr isotopic system.

  5. Strontium and neodymium isotopic variations in early Archean gneisses affected by middle to late Archean high-grade metamorphic processes: West Greenland and Labrador

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collerson, K. D.; Mcculloch, M. T.; Bridgwater, D.; Mcgregor, V. R.; Nutman, A. P.

    1986-01-01

    Relicts of continental crust formed more than 3400 Ma ago are preserved fortuitously in most cratons. The cratons provide the most direct information about crust and mantle evolutionary processes during the first billion years of Earth history. In view of their polymetamorphic character, these terrains are commonly affected by subsequent tectonothermal events. Hence, their isotope systematics may be severely disturbed as a result of bulk chemical change or local isotopic homogenization. This leads to equivocal age and source information for different components within these terrains. The Sr and Nd isotopic data are presented for early Archean gneisses from the North Atlantic Craton in west Greenland and northern Labrador which were affected by younger metamorphic events.

  6. The Bombardment of the Earth During the Hadean and Early Archean Eras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, S.; Bottke, W. F.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Morbidelli, A.; Wuennemann, K.; Kring, D. A.; Bierhaus, M.

    2013-12-01

    Our knowledge of the Earth during the Hadean and early Archean eons (ca 4.5-3.5 Ga) is very limited, mainly because few rocks older than 3.8 Ga have been found (e.g. Harrison 2009). Hadean-era zircons have allowed us to glean important insights into this era, but their data has led to considerably different evolution models for the evolution of the early Earth; some predict a hellish world dominated by a molten surface with a sporadic steam atmosphere (e.g. Pollack 1997), while others have predicted a tranquil, cool surface with stable oceans (e.g. Wilde et al 2001; Valley et al 2002). To understand whether either model (or both) could be right, we believe it is useful to quantitatively examine the post Moon-forming impact bombardment of the early Earth. Over the last several years, through a combination of observations (e.g., Marchi et al 2012), theoretical models (e.g., Bottke et al 2012), and geochemical constraints from lunar rock (e.g. highly siderophile elements -HSE- abundances delivered to the Moon by impactors; the global number of lunar basins; the record of Archean-era impact spherule beds on Earth; Walker 2009; Neumann et al 2012), we have constructed a calibrated model of the early lunar impactor flux (Morbidelli et al 2012). Our results have now been extrapolated to the Earth, where they can make predictions about its early bombardment. Using a Monte Carlo code to account for the stochastic nature of major impacts, and constraining our results by the estimated HSE abundances of Earth's mantle (that were presumably delivered by impactors; Walker 2009; Bottke et al. 2010), we find the following trends. In the first ~100-200 Myr after the formation of the Moon, which we assume was created ~4.5 Ga, the Earth was almost entirely resurfaced by impacts. This bombardment, which included numerous D > 1000 km diameter impactors, should have vigorously mixed the crust and upper mantle. Between ~4.1-4.3 Ga, the impactor flux steadily decreased; though an uptick

  7. In search of early life: Carbonate veins in Archean metamorphic rocks as potential hosts of biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, Carl A.; Piazolo, Sandra; Webb, Gregory E.; Dutkiewicz, Adriana; George, Simon C.

    2016-11-01

    The detection of early life signatures using hydrocarbon biomarkers in Precambrian rocks struggles with contamination issues, unspecific biomarkers and the lack of suitable sedimentary rocks due to extensive thermal overprints. Importantly, host rocks must not have been exposed to temperatures above 250 °C as at these temperatures biomarkers are destroyed. Here we show that Archean sedimentary rocks from the Jeerinah Formation (2.63 billion yrs) and Carawine Dolomite (2.55 billion yrs) of the Pilbara Craton (Western Australia) drilled by the Agouron Institute in 2012, which previously were suggested to be suitable for biomarker studies, were metamorphosed to the greenschist facies. This is higher than previously reported. Both the mineral assemblages (carbonate, quartz, Fe-chlorite, muscovite, microcline, rutile, and pyrite with absence of illite) and chlorite geothermometry suggest that the rocks were exposed to temperatures higher than 300 °C and probably ∼400 °C, consistent with greenschist-facies metamorphism. This facies leads to the destruction of any biomarkers and explains why the extraction of hydrocarbon biomarkers from pristine drill cores has not been successful. However, we show that the rocks are cut by younger formation-specific carbonate veins containing primary oil-bearing fluid inclusions and solid bitumens. Type 1 veins in the Carawine Dolomite consist of dolomite, quartz and solid bitumen, whereas type 2 veins in the Jeerinah Formation consist of calcite. Within the veins fluid inclusion homogenisation temperatures and calcite twinning geothermometry indicate maximum temperatures of ∼200 °C for type 1 veins and ∼180 °C for type 2 veins. Type 1 veins have typical isotopic values for reprecipitated Archean sea-water carbonates, with δ13CVPDB ranging from - 3 ‰ to 0‰ and δ18OVPDB ranging from - 13 ‰ to - 7 ‰, while type 2 veins have isotopic values that are similar to hydrothermal carbonates, with δ13CVPDB ranging from - 18

  8. Late Archean-Early Proterozoic timing for an Andean-style porphyry Cu-Mo deposit at Malanjkhand, Central Indian Tectonic Zone: implications for a Late Archean supercontinent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, H. J.; Zimmerman, A.; Hannah, J. L.; Markey, R. J.

    2003-04-01

    Eight Re-Os ages from six molybdenite samples representative of Cu-Mo mineralization in a highly deformed quartz reef and granite host rock comprising the large Malanjkhand deposit were obtained using ID-NTIMS. These data provide a clear Late Archean-Early Proterozoic age for this recently discovered deposit and by implication a minimum age for its hosting terrane, the Central Indian Tectonic Zone (CITZ), a continental scale structure separating peninsular India from northern India. The CITZ was previously inferred to be Middle Proterozoic or younger. Molybdenite dating indicates that stringer mineralization in the quartz reef and disseminated mineralization in the granite were contemporaneous at 2493 ± 8 Ma (2493.1 ± 1.4 Ma based on regression without uncertainty in the 187Re decay constant, MSWD = 0.5, n = 5). Additional molybdenite was precipitated during at least two pulses of reworking (ěrb1 12480 and ěrb1 12450 Ma) that we suggest configured the elongate quartz reef as the CITZ developed in response to NW-directed oblique convergence of a landmass from the south. Previously unrecognized petrographic evidence coupled with high Re concentrations for molybdenites (400-650 ppm) suggest that Malanjkhand is a porphyry Cu-Mo deposit of classic Andean-type, forming in a subduction-accretionary setting that includes involvement of mantle. We suggest that the CITZ may provide a median segment of an extensive and continuous Late Archean-Early Proterozoic orogenic belt that may include portions of the Moyar, Bhavani, Palghat, and Cauvery shear zones in southern India, the Eastern Ghats orogenic belt along the eastern side of India, and connecting to the Aravalli-Delhi belt extending through northwest India. This now folded orogenic belt could be related to the assembly of a Late Archean supercontinent whose eastward margin included East Antartica (Napier complex) at 2.5 Ga. In addition, we suggest that the Vestfold Hills complex (East Antartica) was part of this

  9. Multiple sulfur-isotope signatures in Archean sulfates and their implications for the chemistry and dynamics of the early atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Élodie; Philippot, Pascal; Rollion-Bard, Claire; Cartigny, Pierre

    2016-07-01

    Sulfur isotopic anomalies (∆33S and ∆36S) have been used to trace the redox evolution of the Precambrian atmosphere and to document the photochemistry and transport properties of the modern atmosphere. Recently, it was shown that modern sulfate aerosols formed in an oxidizing atmosphere can display important isotopic anomalies, thus questioning the significance of Archean sulfate deposits. Here, we performed in situ 4S-isotope measurements of 3.2- and 3.5-billion-year (Ga)-old sulfates. This in situ approach allows us to investigate the diversity of Archean sulfate texture and mineralogy with unprecedented resolution and from then on to deconvolute the ocean and atmosphere Archean sulfur cycle. A striking feature of our data is a bimodal distribution of δ34S values at ˜+5‰ and +9‰, which is matched by modern sulfate aerosols. The peak at +5‰ represents barite of different ages and host-rock lithology showing a wide range of ∆33S between -1.77‰ and +0.24‰. These barites are interpreted as primary volcanic emissions formed by SO2 photochemical processes with variable contribution of carbonyl sulfide (OCS) shielding in an evolving volcanic plume. The δ34S peak at +9‰ is associated with non-33S-anomalous barites displaying negative ∆36S values, which are best interpreted as volcanic sulfate aerosols formed from OCS photolysis. Our findings confirm the occurrence of a volcanic photochemical pathway specific to the early reduced atmosphere but identify variability within the Archean sulfate isotope record that suggests persistence throughout Earth history of photochemical reactions characteristic of the present-day stratosphere.

  10. Organic compounds in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz-Analogues of prebiotic chemistry on early Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Ulrich; Mayer, Christian; Schmitz, Oliver J; Rosendahl, Pia; Bronja, Amela; Greule, Markus; Keppler, Frank; Mulder, Ines; Sattler, Tobias; Schöler, Heinz F

    2017-01-01

    The origin of life is still an unsolved mystery in science. Hypothetically, prebiotic chemistry and the formation of protocells may have evolved in the hydrothermal environment of tectonic fault zones in the upper continental crust, an environment where sensitive molecules are protected against degradation induced e.g. by UV radiation. The composition of fluid inclusions in minerals such as quartz crystals which have grown in this environment during the Archean period might provide important information about the first organic molecules formed by hydrothermal synthesis. Here we present evidence for organic compounds which were preserved in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz minerals from Western Australia. We found a variety of organic compounds such as alkanes, halocarbons, alcohols and aldehydes which unambiguously show that simple and even more complex prebiotic organic molecules have been formed by hydrothermal processes. Stable-isotope analysis confirms that the methane found in the inclusions has most likely been formed from abiotic sources by hydrothermal chemistry. Obviously, the liquid phase in the continental Archean crust provided an interesting choice of functional organic molecules. We conclude that organic substances such as these could have made an important contribution to prebiotic chemistry which might eventually have led to the formation of living cells.

  11. Cyanobacterial mats and stromatolites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stal, L.J.; Whitton, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are often the key organisms comprising microbial mats. They form dense micrometer-scale communities in which the full plethora of microbial metabolism can be present. Such mats are therefore excellent model systems and because of their analogy with Precambrian stromatolites they are al

  12. Calcification and silicification: fossilization potential of cyanobacteria from stromatolites of Niuafo'ou's Caldera Lakes (Tonga) and implications for the early fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, Barbara; Kazmierczak, Józef; Lukomska-Kowalczyk, Maja; Kempe, Stephan

    2012-06-01

    Calcification and silicification processes of cyanobacterial mats that form stromatolites in two caldera lakes of Niuafo'ou Island (Vai Lahi and Vai Si'i) were evaluated, and their importance as analogues for interpreting the early fossil record are discussed. It has been shown that the potential for morphological preservation of Niuafo'ou cyanobacteria is highly dependent on the timing and type of mineral phase involved in the fossilization process. Four main modes of mineralization of cyanobacteria organic parts have been recognized: (i) primary early postmortem calcification by aragonite nanograins that transform quickly into larger needle-like crystals and almost totally destroy the cellular structures, (ii) primary early postmortem silicification of almost intact cyanobacterial cells that leave a record of spectacularly well-preserved cellular structures, (iii) replacement by silica of primary aragonite that has already recrystallized and obliterated the cellular structures, (iv) occasional replacement of primary aragonite precipitated in the mucopolysaccharide sheaths and extracellular polymeric substances by Al-Mg-Fe silicates. These observations suggest that the extremely scarce earliest fossil record may, in part, be the result of (a) secondary replacement by silica of primary carbonate minerals (aragonite, calcite, siderite), which, due to recrystallization, had already annihilated the cellular morphology of the mineralized microbiota or (b) relatively late primary silicification of already highly degraded and no longer morphologically identifiable microbial remains.

  13. Hafnium and iron isotopes in early Archean komatiites record a plume-driven convection cycle in the Hadean Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nebel, Oliver; Campbell, Ian H.; Sossi, Paolo A.; Van Kranendonk, Martin J.

    2014-07-01

    Archean (>2.5 billion years) komatiites are considered expressions of mantle plumes that originate from and thereby sample the lowermost mantle overlying the Earth's core. Some komatiites have reported Hf isotope signatures that require a mantle source with a time-integrated Lu/Hf that is appreciably higher than average modern depleted mantle. The systematic study of the time and locus of parent-daughter fractionation of the mantle sources of these komatiites potentially constrains differentiation processes in the early Earth, and subsequent distribution and storage of early mantle reservoirs. We present radiogenic Hf and stable Fe isotopes for a series of komatiites from the Pilbara craton in Western Australia (aged 3.5 to 2.9 Ga). After careful evaluation of the effects of alteration, we find that pristine samples are characterised by a light Fe isotope mantle source and initial 176Hf/177Hf well above the age-corrected depleted mantle. Taken together these observations require a component of an old, melt-depleted reservoir in their mantle source. The Hf isotope signature of this component appears to be complementary to the first terrestrial crust, as preserved in Hadean (i.e., >4 Ga) detrital zircon cores, suggesting a causal relationship and a Hadean age for this depletion event. We propose that this Early Refractory Reservoir (ERR) is the residue formed by deep melting in hot Hadean mantle plumes, which then accumulated at the base of the first crust. Parts of this primordial lithosphere were destabilised and sank to the core-mantle boundary in cold drips and subsequently returned in hot mantle plumes, whose thermal capacity allows melting of such refractory mantle with its archetype isotope signature. The cycling of this material via cold drips and hot plumes suggests a plume-dominated convection prior to ∼3.9 Ga, which is then replaced by Archean-style plate tectonics.

  14. Early Archean (approximately 3.4 Ga) prokaryotic filaments from cherts of the apex basalt, Western Australia: The oldest cellularly preserved microfossils now known

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1991-01-01

    In comparison with that known from later geologic time, the Archean fossil record is miniscule: although literally hundreds of Proterozoic formations, containing more that 2800 occurrences of bona fide microfossils are now known, fewer than 30 units containing some 43 categories of putative microfossils (the vast majority of which are of questionable authenticity) have been reported from the Archean. Among the oldest known fossils are Early Archean filaments reported from cherts of the Towers Formation and the Apex Basalt of the 3.3-3.6 Ga-old Warrawoona Group of Western Australia. The paleobiologic significance of the Towers Formation microstructures is open to question: thin aggregated filaments are properly regarded as dubiomicrofossils (perhaps biogenic, but perhaps not); therefore, they cannot be regarded as firm evidence of Archean life. Although authentic, filamentous microfossiles were reported from a second Towers Formation locality, because the precise layer containing the fossiliferous cherts was not relocated, this discovery can neither be reconfirmed by the original collector nor confirmed independently by other investigators. Discovery of microfossils in bedded cherts of the Apex Basalt, the stratigraphic unit immediately overlying the Towers Formation, obviates the difficulties stored above. The cellularly preserved filaments of the Apex Basalt meet all of the criteria required of a bona fide Archean microfossils. Recent studies indicate that the Apex assemblage includes at least six morphotypes of uniseriate filaments, composed of barrel-shaped, discoidal, or quadrate cells and exhibiting rounded or conical terminal cells and medial bifurcated and paired half-cells that reflect the occurrence of prokaryotic binary cell division. Interestingly, the majority of these morphotypes are morphologically more similar to extant cyanobacteria than to modern filamentous bacteria. Prokaryotes seem clearly to have been hypobradytelic, and the evidence suggests

  15. Giant stromatolites and a supersurface in the Navajo Sandstone, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Len

    2003-02-01

    At Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, 5-m-high stromatolites are present locally on interdune carbonate lenses in the Early Jurassic Navajo Sandstone. The stromatolites display both finely laminated and fenestral internal fabrics, and grew along south-facing interdune margins. These stromatolites formed during a high-water-table episode engendered by a dune-dammed paleodrainage in a stabilized Navajo erg. These stromatolites, and the thick interdune section associated with them, suggest a hiatus in erg accumulation and the presence of a super bounding surface.

  16. New multi-scale perspectives on the stromatolites of Shark Bay, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suosaari, E. P.; Reid, R. P.; Playford, P. E.; Foster, J. S.; Stolz, J. F.; Casaburi, G.; Hagan, P. D.; Chirayath, V.; MacIntyre, I. G.; Planavsky, N. J.; Eberli, G. P.

    2016-02-01

    A recent field-intensive program in Shark Bay, Western Australia provides new multi-scale perspectives on the world’s most extensive modern stromatolite system. Mapping revealed a unique geographic distribution of morphologically distinct stromatolite structures, many of them previously undocumented. These distinctive structures combined with characteristic shelf physiography define eight ‘Stromatolite Provinces’. Morphological and molecular studies of microbial mat composition resulted in a revised growth model where coccoid cyanobacteria predominate in mat communities forming lithified discrete stromatolite buildups. This contradicts traditional views that stromatolites with the best lamination in Hamelin Pool are formed by filamentous cyanobacterial mats. Finally, analysis of internal fabrics of stromatolites revealed pervasive precipitation of microcrystalline carbonate (i.e. micrite) in microbial mats forming framework and cement that may be analogous to the micritic microstructures typical of Precambrian stromatolites. These discoveries represent fundamental advances in our knowledge of the Shark Bay microbial system, laying a foundation for detailed studies of stromatolite morphogenesis that will advance our understanding of benthic ecosystems on the early Earth.

  17. Evidence for an Early Archean component in the Middle to Late Archean gneisses of the Wind River Range, west-central Wyoming: conventional and ion microprobe U-Pb data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aleinikoff, J.N.; Williams, I.S.; Compston, W.; Stuckless, J.S.; Worl, R.G.

    1989-01-01

    Gneissic rocks that are basement to the Late Archean granites comprising much of the Wind River Range, west-central Wyoming, have been dated by the zircon U-Pb method using both conventional and ion microprobe techniques. A foliated hornblende granite gneiss member from the southern border of the Bridger batholith is 2670??13 Ma. Zircons from a granulite just north of the Bridger batholith are equant and faceted, a typical morphology for zircon grown under high grade metamorphic conditions. This granulite, which may be related to a second phase of migmatization in the area, is 2698??8 Ma. South of the Bridger batholith, zircons from a granulite (charnockite), which is related to an earlier phase of migmatization in the Range, yield a discordia with intercept ages of about 2.3 and 3.3 Ga. However, ion microprobe analyses of single zircon grains indicate that this rock contains several populations of zircon, ranging in age from 2.67 to about 3.8 Ga. Based on zircon morphology and regional geologic relationships, we interpret the data as indicating an age of ???3.2 Ga for the first granulite metamorphism and migmatization. Older, possibly xenocrystic zircons give ages of ???3.35, 3.65 and ???3.8 Ga. Younger zircons grew at 2.7 and 2.85 Ga in response to events, including the second granulite metamorphism at 2.7 Ga, that culminated in the intrusion of the Bridger batholith and migmatization at 2.67 Ga. These data support the field and petrographic evidence for two granulite events and provide some temporal constraints for the formation of continental crust in the Early and Middle Archean in the Wyoming Province. ?? 1989 Springer-Verlag.

  18. Geology of the Nain Complex, Labrador, Canada: Occurrence of the Early Archean Supracrustals

    OpenAIRE

    小宮, 剛; Komiya, Tsuyoshi; 山本, 伸次; Yamamoto, Shinji; 澤木, 佑介; 青木, 一勝; Aoki, Kazumasa

    2012-01-01

    The Hadean is the most mysterious period because no rocks andgeologic bodies are preserved except for only the zircons inWestern Australia, Canada, China and Greenland [1]. But, it is themost important period because the early evolution possibly clinchedthe earth’s history. We try to find the earliest supracrustal rocks inthe world to investigate the Hadean tectonics. As far, the oldestsupracrustal rocks are found in Akilia association in WestGreenland, Nuvvuagittuq in Quebec, and Nain Comple...

  19. Chondrule-like particles provide evidence of early Archean meteorite impacts, South Africa and western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    1985-01-01

    The evolution of the Earth and the Earth crust was studied. Two layers, that contain abundant unusual spherical particles which closely resemble chondroules were identified. Chondrules occur on small quantities in lunar soil, however, they are rare in terrestrial settings. Some chondrules in meteorites were formed on the surfaces of planet sized bodies during impact events. Similar chondrule like objects are extremely rare in the younger geologic record and these abundances are unknown in ancient deposits, except in meteorites. It is suggested that a part of the Earth's terminal bombardment history, and conditions favoring chondrule formation existed on the early Earth.

  20. Early mantle dynamics inferred from Nd-142 variations in Archean rocks from southwest Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rizo, Hanika; Boyet, Maud; Blichert-Toft, Janne

    2013-01-01

    The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isu...... into the compositional evolution and dynamic workings of Earth's primordial mantle. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.......The composition and evolution of the silicate Earth during Hadean/Eoarchean times are widely debated and largely unknown due to the sparse geological record preserved from Earth's infancy. The short-lived Sm-146-Nd-142 chronometer applied to 3.8-3.7 Ga old mantle-derived amphibolites from the Isua...... of the Greenland samples from a source formed in the Hadean. This mantle source is the oldest yet identified on Earth and therefore provides key information about the nature and evolution of early-differentiated reservoirs. In contrast, modern mantle-derived rocks from around the world do not have Nd-142 anomalies...

  1. Light-dependant biostabilisation of sediments by stromatolite assemblages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David M Paterson

    Full Text Available For the first time we have investigated the natural ecosystem engineering capacity of stromatolitic microbial assemblages. Stromatolites are laminated sedimentary structures formed by microbial activity and are considered to have dominated the shallows of the Precambrian oceans. Their fossilised remains are the most ancient unambiguous record of early life on earth. Stromatolites can therefore be considered as the first recognisable ecosystems on the planet. However, while many discussions have taken place over their structure and form, we have very little information on their functional ecology and how such assemblages persisted despite strong eternal forcing from wind and waves. The capture and binding of sediment is clearly a critical feature for the formation and persistence of stromatolite assemblages. Here, we investigated the ecosystem engineering capacity of stromatolitic microbial assemblages with respect to their ability to stabilise sediment using material from one of the few remaining living stromatolite systems (Highborne Cay, Bahamas. It was shown that the most effective assemblages could produce a rapid (12-24 h and significant increase in sediment stability that continued in a linear fashion over the period of the experimentation (228 h. Importantly, it was also found that light was required for the assemblages to produce this stabilisation effect and that removal of assemblage into darkness could lead to a partial reversal of the stabilisation. This was attributed to the breakdown of extracellular polymeric substances under anaerobic conditions. These data were supported by microelectrode profiling of oxygen and calcium. The structure of the assemblages as they formed was visualised by low-temperature scanning electron microscopy and confocal laser microscopy. These results have implications for the understanding of early stromatolite development and highlight the potential importance of the evolution of photosynthesis in the

  2. Nanoscale petrographic and geochemical insights on the origin of Paleoproterozoic stromatolitic phosphorites from Aravalli, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papineau, Dominic; De Gregorio, Bradley; Purohit, Ritesh; Fogel, Marilyn

    2015-04-01

    Stromatolites occur throughout the rock record starting at ca. 3.5 Ga, but their abundance and morphological and mineralogical diversity significantly expanded during the Paleoproterozoic Great Oxygenation Event. In particular, columnar-branching and multifurcate stromatolites composed of jasper or apatite begin to occur in post-Lomagundi-Jatuli successions around 1.9 Ga and suggest the emergence of novel types of biomineralization at that time. The microscopic and nanoscopic petrology of organic matter in stromatolitic phosphorites might provide insights into the suite of diagenetic processes of these types of stromatolites and/or into the role of specific microorganisms in these communities. Here, we report on the occurrence of nanoscopic disseminated organic matter in Paleoproterozoic stromatolitic phosphorite from Rajasthan, India. Microscopic spheroidal grains of apatite occur in both microbial mats in stromatolite columns and in the chert core of microscopic apatite rosettes. Organic petrography by Raman imaging demonstrates syngeneity of the organic matter. Our observations point to a microfossil origin for the microscopic spheroids of organo-apatite, which are cemented to calcite micro-spar by later diagenetic dolomite. Apatite rosettes also likely have a diagenetic origin. Total organic carbon of these stromatolitic phosphorite columns is between 0.05 and 3.0 wt% and has a large range of d13C values with an average of -18.5permil (1sigma = 4.5permil). Whole rock d15N values are between -1.2 to +2.7permil. Nitrogen and carbon isotope compositions suggest that high phosphate abundance caused these cyanobacteria to bloom, thereby enhancing fixing nitrogen to sustain community growth. Synchronous early diagenetic formation of calcite micro-spar, resulted in the growth of centimeter size columns from the seafloor and occasionally branching or multifurcate stromatolites. Finally, our findings suggest that these stromatolites accreted pelagic cyanobacterial

  3. PGE, Re-Os, and Mo isotope systematics in Archean and early Proterozoic sedimentary systems as proxies for redox conditions of the early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siebert, C.; Kramers, J. D.; Meisel, Th.; Morel, Ph.; Nägler, Th. F.

    2005-04-01

    Re-Os data and PGE concentrations as well as Mo concentrations and isotope data are reported for suites of fine clastic sediments and black shales from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa (Fig Tree and Moodies Groups, 3.25-3.15 Ga), the Belingwe Greenstone Belt, Zimbabwe (Manjeri Formation, ca. 2.7 Ga) and shales from the Witwatersrand, Ventersdorp and Transvaal Supergroups, South Africa ranging from 2.95 to 2.2 Ga. Moderately oxidizing conditions are required to mobilize Re and Mo in the environment, Mo fractionation only occurs in solution, and these parameters thus have potential use as paleoredox proxies for the early Earth. PGE + Re abundance patterns of Barberton Greenstone Belt sediments are uniform and very similar in shape to those of komatiites. This indicates (1) that the PGE came from a source of predominantly ultramafic composition and, (2) that PGE were transported and deposited essentially in particulate form. Sediments from the younger Belingwe Greenstone Belt show more fractionated PGE + Re patterns and have Re/Os ratios 10 to 100× higher than those of Barberton sediments. Their PGE abundance patterns and Re/Os ratios are intermediate between those of the mid-Archean shales and Neoproterozoic to Recent black shales. They reflect scavenging of Re from solution in the sedimentary environment. δ 98/95Mo values of black shales of all ages correlate with their concentrations. The Barberton Greenstone Belt samples have ˜1-3 ppm Mo, similar to a granitoid-basaltic source. This Mo has δ 98/95Mo between -1.9 and -2.4‰ relative to present day mean ocean water molybdenum, MOMO and is thus not isotopically fractionated relative to such a source. Similar to the PGE this indicates transport in solid form. Sediments from the Belingwe Greenstone Belt show in part enhanced Mo concentrations (up to 6 ppm) and Mo isotope fractionation (δ 98/95Mo up to -1.4‰ relative to MOMO). The combined PGE + Re and Mo data show mainly reducing conditions in the

  4. Stromatolites Record Changing Primary Productivity in Perennially Ice-Covered Lake Joyce, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackey, T. J.; Sumner, D. Y.; Hawes, I.; Jungblut, A. D.; Leidman, S. Z.; Andersen, D. T.

    2016-12-01

    Calcite-rich dm-scale columnar stromatolites grew in perennially ice-covered Lake Joyce, Antarctica, and their calcite contains carbon isotopic records of microbial activity during recent lake level rise. Stromatolite growth initiated in water depths < 10 m based on the presence of bubble molds in calcite, and growth ended prior to 2009 when stromatolites were at 20-22 m water depth and received insufficient irradiance for net photosynthetic growth. Some calcite layers in the stromatolites contain cyanobacterial microfossils as well as sediment laminae, which indicate that this calcite precipitated at the stromatolite surface in association with photosynthesizing communities. The innermost stromatolite layers have variable δ13C values ranging from 3.9 to 9.6‰ in coeval calcite. Regions such as topographic highs and parts of stromatolites growing into open water have both thicker calcite layers and δ13C values that are 0.3 to 1.0‰ higher than other areas. Outer stromatolite layers have a smaller range of δ13Ccalcite values spanning 1.3‰. Variations in carbon isotopes can be attributed to photosynthetic effects. Photosynthetic shallow modern mats in Lake Joyce have pH up to 0.4 units higher than the water column, and pH increases and decreases with irradiance through diurnal cycles. Irradiance also varies laterally; light transmission through the Lake Joyce ice cover varied over 500% laterally in 2014. If the modern mats reflect conditions present during early stromatolite growth, high photosynthetic rates likely enhanced calcite precipitation and produced a photosynthetic δ13C signature in stromatolitic calcite. Variability in innermost stromatolite δ13C values is consistent with different rates of photosynthesis due to laterally variable light transmission through the ice. With lake level rise, incident irradiance decreased and became more uniform, leading to more consistent δ13Ccalcite values. Lake Joyce stromatolites thus record the effects of

  5. Resistance to burial of cyanobacteria in stromatolites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kromkamp, J.C.; Perkins, R.; Dijkman, N.A.; Consalvey, M.; Andres, R.P.; Reid, R.P.

    2007-01-01

    Stromatolites are complex lithified structures with a well-defined layered structure thought to have been formed by trapping and binding of sediment particles by micro-organisms, especially cyanobacteria. Modern marine stromatolites in the Bahamas live in a high-energy environment (surf zone) and ar

  6. Archean photoautotrophy: some alternatives and limits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, A H

    1979-09-01

    From the Archean geological record, one can infer that photoautotrophy evolved early in earth history; however the nature of this photosynthesis -- whether it was predominately or cyanobacterial -- is less clearly understood. General agreement tht the earth's atmosphere did not become oxygen rich before the Early Proterozoic era places constraints on theories concerning more ancient biotas. Accommodating this limitation in various ways, different workers have hypothesized (1) that blue-green algae frist evolved in the Early Proterozoic; (2) that oxygen producing proto-cyanobacteria existed in the Archean, but had no biochemical mechanism for coping with ambient O2; and (3) that true cyanobacteria flourished in the Archean, but did not oxygenate the atmosphere because of high rates of oxygen consumption caused, in part, by the emanation of reduced gases from widespread Archean volcanoes. Inversion of hypothesis three leads to another, as yet unexplored, alternative. It is possible that physiologically modern blue-green algae existed in Archean times, but had low productivity. Increased rates of primary production in the Early Proterozoic era resulted in the atmospheric transition documented in strata of this age. An answer to the question of why productivity should have changed from the Archean to the Proterozoic may lie in the differing tectonic frameworks of the two areas. The earliest evidence of widespread, stable, shallow marine platforms is found in Lower Proterozoic sedimentary sequnces. In such environments, productivity was, and is high. In contrast, Archean shallow water environments are often characterized by rapid rates of clastic and pyroclastic influx -- conditions that reduce rates of benthonic primary production. This hypothesis suggests that the temporal correlation of major shifts in tectonic mode and atmospheric composition may not be fortuitous. It also suggests that sedimentary environments may have constituted a significant limit to the

  7. Lu Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Metamorphic Complex in Antarctica: Evidence for the early Archean differentiation of Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sung Hi; Mukasa, Samuel B.; Andronikov, Alexandre V.; Osanai, Yasuhito; Harley, Simon L.; Kelly, Nigel M.

    2006-06-01

    The Napier Complex of the East Antarctic Craton comprises some of the oldest rocks on Earth (˜ 3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing a fully equilibrated assemblage from this UHT granulite belt have yielded a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2403 ± 43 Ma, the first ever determined on a UHT mineral assemblage. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed, without any significant retrogression, suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ˜ 800 °C. This mineral-whole rock isochron yields an initial 176Hf/ 177Hf ratio corresponding to an ɛHf value of - 14 ± 1, acquired during UHT metamorphism. Such a low value demonstrates that overall UHT granulites evolved in a low Lu/Hf environment, probably formed when the rocks were first extracted from a highly depleted mantle. Zircon ɛHf values we have measured "see through" the UHT metamorphism and show that the source materials for the magmas that formed the Napier Complex were extremely depleted (> + 5.6 ɛHf at 3.85 Ga) relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). These results also suggest significant depletion of the early Archean mantle, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require.

  8. Ecophysiology of stromatolitic microbial mats, Stocking Island, exuma cays, Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinckney, J; Paerl, H W; Reid, R P; Bebout, B

    1995-01-01

    Intertidal stromatolites, covered by cyanobacterial mats, were recently discovered at Stocking Island, Exuma Cays, Bahamas. Ecophysiological responses (CO2 fixation, N2 fixation, and photoacclimation) of these cyanobacterial mats to experimental manipulations were examined to identify potential environmental variables controlling community structure and function. The mats exhibit horizontal zonation that shifts from soft to crusty to hard in a seaward direction. Cluster analysis of chemotaxonomic photopigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids) revealed that visually distinct mat types are composed of distinct phototrophic assemblages. Under reduced irradiance, diatoms within the mats photoacclimated by increasing accessory photopigments (diadinoxanthin, fucoxanthin, and chlorophyll c 1 c 2) and cyanobacteria reduced the photoprotective carotenoid echinenone. In a 4-day nutrient addition bioassay experiment, nitrate, phosphate, dissolved organic carbon, and trace metal enrichments did not enhance CO2 fixation, but phosphate enrichments tripled N2 fixation rates. The addition of DCMU increased N2 fixation rates relative to nonamended light and dark rates, indicating light (photosystem I) enhanced nitrogenase activity. Soft mats appear to represent the early stages of colonization and stabilization of mat communities. Active growth following stabilization results in the formation of partially-lithified crusty mats, which eventually become highly-lithified and form hard mats. Collectively, our results suggest that Stocking Island stromatolitic mats have low growth rates and consequently exhibit slow responses to increased nutrient availability and changes in ambient irradiance. In general, intertidal stromatolitic mats at Stocking Island appear to exhibit low rates of CO2 and N2 fixation relative to nonlithifying temperate cyanobacteral mats. Although production is low, respiration is likewise low, leading to the suggestion that high production to respiration ratios (P

  9. Hot spring siliceous stromatolites from Yellowstone National Park: assessing growth rate and laminae formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berelson, W M; Corsetti, F A; Pepe-Ranney, C; Hammond, D E; Beaumont, W; Spear, J R

    2011-09-01

    Stromatolites are commonly interpreted as evidence of ancient microbial life, yet stromatolite morphogenesis is poorly understood. We apply radiometric tracer and dating techniques, molecular analyses and growth experiments to investigate siliceous stromatolite morphogenesis in Obsidian Pool Prime (OPP), a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. We examine rates of stromatolite growth and the environmental and/or biologic conditions that affect lamination formation and preservation, both difficult features to constrain in ancient examples. The "main body" of the stromatolite is composed of finely laminated, porous, light-dark couplets of erect (surface normal) and reclining (surface parallel) silicified filamentous bacteria, interrupted by a less-distinct, well-cemented "drape" lamination. Results from dating studies indicate a growth rate of 1-5 cm year(-1) ; however, growth is punctuated. (14)C as a tracer demonstrates that stromatolite cyanobacterial communities fix CO(2) derived from two sources, vent water (radiocarbon dead) and the atmosphere (modern (14)C). The drape facies contained a greater proportion of atmospheric CO(2) and more robust silica cementation (vs. the main body facies), which we interpret as formation when spring level was lower. Systematic changes in lamination style are likely related to environmental forcing and larger scale features (tectonic, climatic). Although the OPP stromatolites are composed of silica and most ancient forms are carbonate, their fine lamination texture requires early lithification. Without early lithification, whether silica or carbonate, it is unlikely that a finely laminated structure representing an ancient microbial mat would be preserved. In OPP, lithification on the nearly diurnal time scale is likely related to temperature control on silica solubility. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Geology of the Early Archean Mid-Ocean Ridge Hydrothermal System in the North Pole Dome, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitajima, K.; Maruyama, S.

    2007-12-01

    An Archean hydrothermal system in the North Pole Dome, Pilbara Craton is associated with extensive fluid circulation driven by numerous extensional fracture systems and the underlying heat source. The fracture system is now occupied by abundant fine-grained quartz aggregate, hence we call this as silica dikes. Some of the fracture system extends deeper structural levels as listric normal faults down to 1000 m depth in the MORB crust. Barite-bearing fine-grained quartz predominant mineralogy indicates the extensive development of fracturing and quenching in a short time. Accompanying the fluid circulation, the extensive metasomatism proceeded to form the four different chemical courses, (1) silicification, (2) carbonation, (3) potassium-enrichment, and (4) Fe- enrichment. Silicification occurs along the silica dikes, carbonated greenstones are distributed relatively shallower level. Potassium-enriched (mica-rich) greenstones occur at the top of the greenstone sequence, and Fe-enriched (chlorite-rich) greenstones are distributed at lower part of the basaltic greenstones. The down going fluid precipitated carbonate-rich layer at shallow levels, whereas depleted in SiO2. Then, the fluid went down to more deeper level, and was dissolved SiO2 at high temperature (~350°C) and chlorite-rich greenstone was formed by water-rock interaction. The upwelling fluid precipitated dominantly SiO2 and formed silica dikes. Silica dikes cement the fractures formed by extensional faulting at earliest stage of development of oceanic crust. Therefore, the hydrothermal system must have related to normal fault system simultaneously with MORB volcanism. Particularly the greenish breccia with cherty matrix (oregano chert) was formed at positions by upwelling near ridge axis. After the horizontal removal of MORB crust from the ridge-axis with time, the propagating fracture into deeper levels, transports hydrothermal fluids into 500-1000 m depth range where metasomatic element exchange between

  11. Macro- and meso-fabric structures of peritidal tufa stromatolites along the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark Joseph Kalahari; Anderson, Callum Robert; Perissinotto, Renzo; Rishworth, Gavin Midgley

    2017-08-01

    Stromatolites are rare in modern ecosystems due to factors associated with seawater chemistry or biological competition that restrict their formation. Actively calcifying stromatolites, near the Kei Mouth in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, were discovered in the early 2000s. Similar deposits were later described along a 200 km stretch on the south coast of Port Elizabeth. This study aims to describe the environmental setting, the macro- and meso-structures, as well as the evolution of the deposits near Port Elizabeth compared to other similar formations. Results show that the general environmental setting is consistent amongst peritidal stromatolites, including those described in this study. In all instances stromatolite growth occurs on a wave-cut rocky platform in and around rock pools. Growth is maximal within the intertidal to supratidal zone, as a result of freshwater inflow via emerging mineral springs at the base of landward slopes, and the periodic intrusion of seawater via storm surges or wave splash. In comparison with other systems, the South African stromatolite formations exhibit an additional macro-structure (beachrock/conglomerate) and four previously undescribed meso-structures: wrinkled laminar, laminar flat, rhizoliths, and blistered types. The South African stromatolites are also larger and more concentrated than other peritidal stromatolites, which could be due to this area having more suitable growth conditions.

  12. Diazotrophy in Modern Marine Bahamian Stromatolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steppe, T.F.; Pinckney, J.L.; Dyble, J.; Paerl, H.W.

    2001-01-01

    N2 fixation (nitrogenase activity), primary production, and diazotrophic community composition of stromatolite mats from Highborne Cay, Exuma, Bahamas, were examined over a 2-year period (1997-1998). The purpose of the study was to characterize the ecophysiology of N2 fixation in modern marine stromatolites. Microbial mats are an integral surface component of these stromatolites and are hypothesized to have a major role in stromatolite formation and growth. The stromatolite mats contained active photosynthetic and diazotrophic assemblages that exhibited temporal separation of nitrogenase activity (NA) and photosynthesis. Maximal NA was detected at night. Seasonal differences in NA and net O2 production were observed. Photosynthetic activity and the availability of reduced organic carbon appear to be the key determinants of NA. Additions of the de novo protein synthesis inhibitor chloramphenicol did not inhibit NA in March 1998, but greatly inhibited NA in August 1998. Partial sequence analysis of the nifH gene indicates that a broad diversity of diazotrophs may be responsible for NA in the stromatolites.

  13. Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archean rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Katherine L.; Hallmann, Christian; Hope, Janet M.; Schoon, Petra L.; Zumberge, J. Alex; Hoshino, Yosuke; Peters, Carl A.; George, Simon C.; Love, Gordon D.; Brocks, Jochen J.; Buick, Roger; Summons, Roger E.

    2015-05-01

    Hopanes and steranes found in Archean rocks have been presented as key evidence supporting the early rise of oxygenic photosynthesis and eukaryotes, but the syngeneity of these hydrocarbon biomarkers is controversial. To resolve this debate, we performed a multilaboratory study of new cores from the Pilbara Craton, Australia, that were drilled and sampled using unprecedented hydrocarbon-clean protocols. Hopanes and steranes in rock extracts and hydropyrolysates from these new cores were typically at or below our femtogram detection limit, but when they were detectable, they had total hopane (oxygenic photosynthesis and eukaryotes by ∼2.7 billion years ago. Although suitable Proterozoic rocks exist, no currently known Archean strata lie within the appropriate thermal maturity window for syngenetic hydrocarbon biomarker preservation, so future exploration for Archean biomarkers should screen for rocks with milder thermal histories.

  14. Sulfate was a trace constituent of Archean seawater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Crowe, Sean Andrew; Paris, Guillaume; Katsev, Sergei

    2014-01-01

    In the low-oxygen Archean world (>2400 million years ago), seawater sulfate concentrations were much lower than today, yet open questions frustrate the translation of modern measurements of sulfur isotope fractionations into estimates of Archean seawater sulfate concentrations. In the water column...... of Lake Matano, Indonesia, a low-sulfate analog for the Archean ocean, we find large (>20 per mil) sulfur isotope fractionations between sulfate and sulfide, but the underlying sediment sulfides preserve a muted range of delta S-34 values. Using models informed by sulfur cycling in Lake Matano, we infer...... Archean seawater sulfate concentrations of less than 2.5 micromolar. At these low concentrations, marine sulfate residence times were likely 10(3) to 10(4) years, and sulfate scarcity would have shaped early global biogeochemical cycles, possibly restricting biological productivity in Archean oceans....

  15. Geostable molecules and the Late Archean 'Whiff of Oxygen'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Summons, R. E.; Illing, C. J.; Oduro, H. D.; French, K. L.; Ono, S.; Hallmann, C.; Strauss, H.

    2012-12-01

    exhibits a 'MIF' signal that is significantly amplified compared to co-occurring pyrite sulfur. Limited isotopic exchange between the organic and inorganic sulfur pools suggests Archean origin of these organic sulfur compounds. We also report new results from the 2012 Agouron Pilbara drilling project. Anbar A.D. et al. A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event. Science 317, 1903-1906. (2007). Bosak T. et al., Morphological record of oxygenic photosynthesis in conical stromatolites. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106:10939-10943 (2009). Kopp, R.E. et al.,The Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth: A climate disaster triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 102: 11131-11136 (2005). Waldbauer J.R. et al., Late Archean molecular fossils from the Transvaal Supergroup record the antiquity of microbial diversity and aerobiosis. Precambrian Research 169, 28-47 (2008). Waldbauer J.R. et al., 2011. Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular fossil record of Archean life. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) 108, 13409-13414

  16. Comparative Biodynamics; The Form and Function of Two Living Stromatolite Assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, D. M.; Gleeson, D.; Burns, B.; Collins, L.

    2014-12-01

    Life arose very rapidly on the surface of the Earth after the conditions on the early planet stabilized. The first visible record of life is now represented by the fossilized signature of microbial communities on the surface of ancient sediments. Even at this early stage, at the onset of ecology, it is clear that the development of biofilms at the sediment-water interface would have affected the response of the surface to erosive force. The close interaction between biology and physical dynamics started early. The stabilization of the sediment will have been important in promoting the development of biogeochemical gradients, and promoting the niche segregation that drives evolution. As these microbial mat systems evolved is likely that their binding capacity changed as form and function developed. The onset of photosynthesis was a step change in this process. Studies on the biodynamics of modern Bahamian stromatolites demonstrated the importance of photosynthesis in promoting the biogenic stabilization of the carbonate (ooid) sediments by microbial assemblages derived from living stromatolites. The present study presents a comparative assessment of this work using new material from living stromatolitic assemblages from Shark Bay, Australia. Samples of stromatolites were taken and the natural microbial assemblages extracted and characterized. Microbial assemblages were incubated on the surface of clean sediment and the relative stabilization of the surface measured using the cohesive strength meter system to determine surface stability against time. Magnetic particle induction was also used to determine the relative adhesive capacity of the surfaces as assemblages developed. The results are presented and examined in contrast to the previous work on the biodynamics of modern Bahamian stromatolitic systems showing significant variation in form and function between the two different stromatolitic assemblages. The reasons for this variation are discussed.

  17. The discovery of stromatolites developing at 3570 m above sea level in a high-altitude volcanic lake Socompa, Argentinean Andes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María E Farías

    Full Text Available We describe stromatolites forming at an altitude of 3570 m at the shore of a volcanic lake Socompa, Argentinean Andes. The water at the site of stromatolites formation is alkaline, hypersaline, rich in inorganic nutrients, very rich in arsenic, and warm (20-24°C due to a hydrothermal input. The stromatolites do not lithify, but form broad, rounded and low-domed bioherms dominated by diatom frustules and aragonite micro-crystals agglutinated by extracellular substances. In comparison to other modern stromatolites, they harbour an atypical microbial community characterized by highly abundant representatives of Deinococcus-Thermus, Rhodobacteraceae, Desulfobacterales and Spirochaetes. Additionally, a high proportion of the sequences that could not be classified at phylum level showed less than 80% identity to the best hit in the NCBI database, suggesting the presence of novel distant lineages. The primary production in the stromatolites is generally high and likely dominated by Microcoleus sp. Through negative phototaxis, the location of these cyanobacteria in the stromatolites is controlled by UV light, which greatly influences their photosynthetic activity. Diatoms, dominated by Amphora sp., are abundant in the anoxic, sulfidic and essentially dark parts of the stromatolites. Although their origin in the stromatolites is unclear, they are possibly an important source of anaerobically degraded organic matter that induces in situ aragonite precipitation. To the best of our knowledge, this is so far the highest altitude with documented actively forming stromatolites. Their generally rich, diverse and to a large extent novel microbial community likely harbours valuable genetic and proteomic reserves, and thus deserves active protection. Furthermore, since the stromatolites flourish in an environment characterized by a multitude of extremes, including high exposure to UV radiation, they can be an excellent model system for studying microbial

  18. Lu-Hf systematics of the ultra-high temperature Napier Complex, East Antarctica: evidence for the early Archean formation of continental crust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, S.; Mukasa, S. B.; Andronikov, A. V.; Osanai, Y.; Harley, S. L.; Kelly, N. M.

    2009-12-01

    The Napier Complex in East Antarctica comprises some of the oldest rocks on earth (~3.8 billion years old), overprinted by an ultra-high temperature (UHT) metamorphic event near the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. Garnet, orthopyroxene, sapphirine, osumilite, rutile and a whole rock representing an equilibrated assemblage from this belt yield a Lu-Hf isochron age of 2,403 ± 43 Ma. Preservation of the UHT mineral assemblage in the rock analyzed suggests rapid cooling with closure likely to have occurred for the Lu-Hf system at post-peak UHT conditions near a temperature of ~800C. Individual zircon grains from Gage Ridge within the Napier Complex yielded a remarkably uniform range of 176Hf/177Hf values between 0.280433 ± 7 and 0.280505 ± 10, corresponding to ɛHf > +5.6 at 3.85 Ga relative to the chondritic uniform reservoir (CHUR). Because of their exceedingly low Lu/Hf values (<0.001), the grains are effectively recording the initial Hf isotope composition of the magmatic systems from which the gneiss protoliths crystallized. These results indicate that (1) the source of the crustal materials that formed the Napier Complex at 3.85 Ga were depleted relative to the CHUR. The extent of depletion involved is higher than has been predicted by extrapolation from the Lu-Hf isotopic evolution inferred for the source of Proterozoic and Phanerozoic basalts, judging from an fLu/Hf value of 0.51, (2) the depleted mantle reservoir has been in existence since very early in Earth’s history, in agreement with the early differentiation of the Earth that the latest core formation models require, and (3) an extremely depleted source also mean that the bulk of continental crust was extracted from the mantle by ~3.8 Ga. Moreover, the results demonstrate that even the oldest silicic rocks in the complex are not likely to have formed from remobilized older crustal materials, but were instead juvenile products of mantle melting. In addition, zircons with metamorphic rims have a similar

  19. Stromatolite branching in the Neoproterozoic of the Centralian Superbasin, Australia: an investigation into sedimentary and microbial control of stromatolite morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planavsky, Noah; Grey, Kathleen

    2008-01-01

    The extensive and well-preserved Neoproterozoic Acaciella australica Stromatolite assemblage of Australia is ideal for examining the relative roles of microbial and environmental influences on stromatolite branching and stromatolite macrostructure across a wide geographical area. Detailed sedimentological analyses indicate that the basal hemispheroidal section of bioherms contains abundant sediment. By contrast, the columnar sections of bioherms are composed almost exclusively of micritic laminae. These micritic laminae display little evidence for environmental, especially sedimentary, control over stromatolite morphology. The change from a hemispheroidal morphology to branching morphology is linked to variations in the relative contributions of sediment and framework growth. The shift to columns appears to be closely linked to a decrease in sediment supply that resulted in a more stable environment in which microbially mediated framework growth began to control stromatolite morphology. Branching in the A. australica assemblage stromatolites appears to be caused by shifting sedimentary and microbial control on stromatolite morphology.

  20. Genuine modern analogues of Precambrian stromatolites from caldera lakes of Niuafo'ou Island, Tonga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazmierczak, Józef; Kempe, Stephan

    2006-03-01

    Calcareous or dolomitic, often secondarily silicified, laminated microbial structures known as stromatolites are important keys to reconstruct the chemical and biotic evolution of the early ocean. Most authors assume that cyanobacteria-associated microbialitic structures described from Shark Bay, Western Australia, and Exuma Sound, Bahamas, represent modern marine analogues for Precambrian stromatolites. Although they resemble the Precambrian forms macroscopically, their microstructure and mineralogical composition differ from those characterizing their purported ancient counterparts. Most Precambrian stromatolites are composed of presumably in situ precipitated carbonates, while their assumed modern marine analogues are predominantly products of accretion of grains trapped and bound by microbial, predominantly cyanobacterial, benthic mats and biofilms and only occasionally by their physicochemical activity. It has therefore been suggested that the carbonate chemistry of early Precambrian seawater differed significantly from modern seawater, and that some present-day quasi-marine or non-marine environments supporting growth of calcareous microbialites reflect the hydrochemical conditions controlling the calcification potential of Precambrian microbes better than modern seawater. Here we report the discovery of a non-marine environment sustaining growth of calcareous cyanobacterial microbialites showing macroscopic and microscopic features resembling closely those described from many Precambrian stromatolites.

  1. Preservation of REE and Fe isotopes in altered stromatolites and the paleo-environmental record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nies, S. M.; Shapiro, R. S.; Lalonde, S.

    2015-12-01

    Geochemical proxies are increasingly being used to unravel ancient ecosystems and environmental perturbations back to the earliest rock record on Earth. Along with more traditional fossils (stromatolites) and other biosignatures (e.g., lipids), the geochemical record is used specifically to evaluate biogenecity and to understand oxygenation of the atmosphere and ocean in the Archean and Paleoproterozoic. However, the effects of diagenesis, metamorphism, and other modes of secondary alteration are still poorly constrained, particularly as technological advances allow us to expand farther across the periodic table. Our study focused on the robustness and preservation of rare earth element (REE) and Fe isotope compositions of two stromatolitic units that have undergone contact and regional metamorphism. 18 samples were collected from cores, open pit mines, and field locations in Minnesota and Ontario from silicified iron formation (Biwabik-Gunflint formations). The samples were carefully constrained to one of two meter-scale stromatolitic units. Metamorphic grade ranged from essentially unmetamorphosed through prehnite-pumpellyite up to amphibolite (fayalite+hypersthene). Samples were also collected that represented deep secondary weathering, likely related to Cretaceous climatic extremes. Polished samples were first analyzed by electron microprobe and selected samples were further analyzed via laser ablation HR-ICP-MS to constrain trace element (n=13) and Fe isotopic variations (n=8). Preliminary results indicate that transition metal concentrations are surprisingly resilient to high-temperature metamorphic recrystallization. REE concentrations were analyzed in individual iron oxide grains, with full resolution (La to Lu) achieved for some samples and partial resolution (La to Nd) achieved for all samples. Core samples exhibited a relatively stable positive Ce anomaly occurring from low to extremely high alteration. Outcrop and mine samples indicate a shift from a

  2. Sedimentary Features and Implications for the Precambrian Non-stromatolitic Carbonate Succession: A Case Study of the Mesoproterozoic Gaoyuzhuang Formation at the Qiangou Section in Yanqing County of Beijing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MEI Mingxiang

    2008-01-01

    In the long Precambrian period, stromatolitic carbonate successions were very common.However, the non-stromatolitic carbonate succession that is marked by subtidal deposits shows a sharp contrast to the stromatolitic carbonate succession. Both the non-stromatolitic and the stromatolitic carbonate successions are important clues for the further understanding of the evolving carbonate world of the Precambrian. The Mesoproterozoic Gaoyuzhuang Formation at the Qiangou section in northwestern suburb of Beijing is a set of more than 1000 m-thick carbonate strata that can be divided into four members (or subformations), in which a non-stromatolitic carbonate succession marked by the scarcity of stromatolites makes up the third member of the formation. This non-stromatolitic carbonate succession can further be subdivided into three third-order sequences that are marked by the regular succession of sedimentary facies. In third-order sequences, a lot of subtidal carbonate meter-scale cycles made up of medium-bedded leiolite limestones and thin-bedded marls constitute their transgressive system tracts (TSTs) and the early high-stand system tracts (EHSTs), a lot of meterscale cycles made up by thin-bedded limestones and marls constitute their condensed sections (CSs),and thick-bedded to massive dolomitic limestones or lime dolomites make up the late high-stand system tracts (LHSTs). The particularly non-stromatolitic carbonate succession making up the third member of the Mesoproterozoic Gaoyuzhuang Formation at the Qiangou section might be the representative of the non-stromatolitic carbonate succession of the Precambrian because of its special lithological features and particular sedimentary structures, and its general sedimentary features are helpful and meaningful for the further understanding of the evolution rules of the sophisticate and evolving carbonate world of the Precambrian. The time scale of the Gaoyuzhuang Formation is deduced as that from 1600 Ma to 1400 Ma

  3. Biosedimentology of Quaternary stromatolites in intertropical Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casanova, J.

    Mineralizations of microbial origin constitute a non-negligeable part of Quaternary limestones in intertropical Africa. Stromatolites have colonized a wide range of environments corresponding to different hydroclimatic situations: travertines in fluviatile environments, oncolites in flood plains, encrustations in sebkha areas and shorelines of deep, fresh water lakes. The developed morphologies represent a complete catalogue of the microbial carbonated mineralizations: oncolites, chemneys, pool-rim dams, biocherms, planar or cylindrical encrustations. The building organisms may be either pure bacterial colonies (hydrothermal and lacustrine environments), cyanophyte associations (fluviatile and lacustrine environments) or complex microbial biocoenoses. Stromatolites have recorded the hydrologic, climatic and sedimentologic evolution of the continental environment in intertropical Africa for the past 240 000 years.

  4. Was there a late Archean biospheric explosion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, John F

    2008-08-01

    There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that the evolution of the planet drives the evolution of the biosphere. There have been 2 significant stages in Earth history when atmospheric oxygen levels rose rapidly, and both appear to be associated with supercontinent cycles. The earlier biospheric event, which extends across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary (ca. 3.0-2.2 Ga), has received little attention and is the focus of this study. Recent work on the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia has shown that concretion formed by microbial activity during the diagenesis of these sediments are absent from early Archean sediments but abundant in late Archean and early Paleoproterozoic successions of the Hamersley Basin, appearing abruptly in sedimentary rocks younger than 2.7 Ga. This study suggests that their internal architecture may have been defined by the diffusion of humic acids and the formation of polymer gels during diagenesis. The data imply that the biosphere expanded suddenly shortly after 3.0 Ga and may have begun to raise the oxygen levels of the oceanic water column earlier than thought-possibly as much as 300 my earlier.

  5. Eukaryotic stromatolite builders in acid mine drainage: Implications for Precambrian iron formations and oxygenation of the atmosphere?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brake, S.S.; Hasiotis, S.T.; Dannelly, H.K.; Connors, K.A. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States). Dept. of Geography, Geology & Anthropology

    2002-07-01

    Biological activity of Euglena mutabilis, an acidophilic, photosynthetic protozoan, contributes to the formation of Fe-rich stromatolites in acid mine drainage systems. E. mutabilis is the dominant microbe in bright green benthic mats (biofilm), coating drainage channels at abandoned coal mine sites in Indiana. It builds biolaminates through phototactic and aerotactic behavior, similar to prokaryotes, by moving through precipitates that periodically cover the mats. E. mutabilis also contributes to formation of Fe-rich stromatolites by (1) intracellularly storing Fe compounds released after death, contributing to the solid material of stromatolites and acting as nucleation sites for precipitation of authigenic Fe minerals, and (2) generating 02 via photosynthesis that further facilitates precipitation of reduced Fe, any excess 02 not consumed by Fe precipitation being released to the atmosphere. Recognition of E. mutabilis-dominated biofilm in acidic systems raises a provocative hypothesis relating processes involved in formation of Fe-rich stromatolites by E. mutabilis to those responsible for development of Precambrian stromatolitic Fe formations and oxygenation of the early atmosphere.

  6. Functional Green-Tuned Proteorhodopsin from Modern Stromatolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albarracín, Virginia Helena; Kraiselburd, Ivana; Bamann, Christian; Wood, Phillip G.; Bamberg, Ernst; Farias, María Eugenia; Gärtner, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    The sequenced genome of the poly-extremophile Exiguobacterium sp. S17, isolated from modern stromatolites at Laguna Socompa (3,570 m), a High-Altitude Andean Lake (HAAL) in Argentinean Puna revealed a putative proteorhodopsin-encoding gene. The HAAL area is exposed to the highest UV irradiation on Earth, making the microbial community living in the stromatolites test cases for survival strategies under extreme conditions. The heterologous expressed protein E17R from Exiguobacterium (248 amino acids, 85% sequence identity to its ortholog ESR from E. sibiricum) was assembled with retinal displaying an absorbance maximum at 524 nm, which makes it a member of the green-absorbing PR-subfamily. Titration down to low pH values (eventually causing partial protein denaturation) indicated a pK value between two and three. Global fitting of data from laser flash-induced absorption changes gave evidence for an early red-shifted intermediate (its formation being below the experimental resolution) that decayed (τ1 = 3.5 μs) into another red-shifted intermediate. This species decayed in a two-step process (τ2 = 84 μs, τ3 = 11 ms), to which the initial state of E17-PR was reformed with a kinetics of 2 ms. Proton transport capability of the HAAL protein was determined by BLM measurements. Additional blue light irradiation reduced the proton current, clearly identifying a blue light absorbing, M-like intermediate. The apparent absence of this intermediate is explained by closely matching formation and decay kinetics. PMID:27187791

  7. Functional Green-Tuned Proteorhodopsin from Modern Stromatolites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Helena Albarracín

    Full Text Available The sequenced genome of the poly-extremophile Exiguobacterium sp. S17, isolated from modern stromatolites at Laguna Socompa (3,570 m, a High-Altitude Andean Lake (HAAL in Argentinean Puna revealed a putative proteorhodopsin-encoding gene. The HAAL area is exposed to the highest UV irradiation on Earth, making the microbial community living in the stromatolites test cases for survival strategies under extreme conditions. The heterologous expressed protein E17R from Exiguobacterium (248 amino acids, 85% sequence identity to its ortholog ESR from E. sibiricum was assembled with retinal displaying an absorbance maximum at 524 nm, which makes it a member of the green-absorbing PR-subfamily. Titration down to low pH values (eventually causing partial protein denaturation indicated a pK value between two and three. Global fitting of data from laser flash-induced absorption changes gave evidence for an early red-shifted intermediate (its formation being below the experimental resolution that decayed (τ1 = 3.5 μs into another red-shifted intermediate. This species decayed in a two-step process (τ2 = 84 μs, τ3 = 11 ms, to which the initial state of E17-PR was reformed with a kinetics of 2 ms. Proton transport capability of the HAAL protein was determined by BLM measurements. Additional blue light irradiation reduced the proton current, clearly identifying a blue light absorbing, M-like intermediate. The apparent absence of this intermediate is explained by closely matching formation and decay kinetics.

  8. An Archean Biosphere Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Boyd, E. S.; Buick, R.; Claire, M.; DesMarais, D.; Domagal-Goldman, D.; Eigenbrode, J.; Erwin, D.; Freeman, K.; Hazen, R.; hide

    2011-01-01

    The search for life on extrasolar planets will necessarily focus on the imprints of biolgy on the composition of planetary atmospheres. The most notable biological imprint on the modern terrestrial atmosphere is the presence of 21 % O2, However, during most of the past 4 billion years, life and the surface environments on Earth were profoundly different than they are today. It is therefore a major goal of the astrobiology community to ascertain how the O2 content of the atmosphere has varied with time. and to understand the causes of these variations. The NAI and NASA Exobiology program have played critical roles in developing our current understanding of the ancient Earth's atmosphere, supporting diverse observational, analytical, and computational research in geoscience, life science, and related fields. In the present incarnation of the NAI, ongoing work is investigating (i) variations in atmospheric O2 in the Archean to the Cambrian, (ii) characterization of the redox state of the oceans shortly before, during and after the Great Oxidation Event (GOE), and (iii) unraveling the complex connections between environmental oxygenation, global climate, and the evolution of life.

  9. Coniform stromatolites from geothermal systems, North Island, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B.; Renaut, R.W.; Rosen, Michael R.; Ansdell, K.M.

    2002-01-01

    Coniform stromatolites are found in several sites in the Tokaanu and Whakarewarewa geothermal areas of North Island, New Zealand. At Tokaanu, silicification of these stromatolites is taking place in Kirihoro, a shallow hot springfed pool. At Whakarewarewa, subfossil silicified coniform stromatolites are found on the floor of "Waikite Pool" on the discharge apron below Waikite Geyser, and in an old sinter succession at Te Anarata. The microbes in the coniform stromatolites from Tokaanu, Waikite Pool, and Te Anarata have been well preserved through rapid silicification. Nevertheless, subtle differences in the silicification style induced morphological variations that commonly mask or alter morphological features needed for identification of the microbes in terms of extant taxa. The coniform stromatolites in the New Zealand hotspring pools are distinctive because (1) they are formed of upward tapering (i.e., conical) columns, (2) neighboring columns commonly are linked by vertical sheets or bridges, (3) internally, they are formed of alternating high- and low-porosity laminae that have a conical vertical profile, and (4) Phormidium form more than 90% of the biota. As such, they are comparable to modern coniform mats and stromatolites found in the geothermal systems of Yellowstone National Park and ice-covered lakes in Antarctica. Formation of the coniform stromatolites is restricted to pools that are characterized by low current energy and a microflora that is dominated by Phormidium. These delicate and intricate stromatolites could not form in areas characterized by fast flowing water or a diverse microflora. Thus, it appears that the distribution of these distinctive stromatolites is controlled by biological constraints that are superimposed on environmental needs.

  10. Lithostratigraphic analysis of a new stromatolite-thrombolite reef from across the rise of atmospheric oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic Turee Creek Group, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barlow, E; Van Kranendonk, M J; Yamaguchi, K E; Ikehara, M; Lepland, A

    2016-07-01

    This study describes a previously undocumented dolomitic stromatolite-thrombolite reef complex deposited within the upper part (Kazput Formation) of the c. 2.4-2.3 Ga Turee Creek Group, Western Australia, across the rise of atmospheric oxygen. Confused by some as representing a faulted slice of the younger c. 1.8 Ga Duck Creek Dolomite, this study describes the setting and lithostratigraphy of the 350-m-thick complex and shows how it differs from its near neighbour. The Kazput reef complex is preserved along 15 km of continuous exposure on the east limb of a faulted, north-west-plunging syncline and consists of 5 recognisable facies associations (A-E), which form two part regressions and one transgression. The oldest facies association (A) is characterised by thinly bedded dololutite-dolarenite, with local domical stromatolites. Association B consists of interbedded columnar and stratiform stromatolites deposited under relatively shallow-water conditions. Association C comprises tightly packed columnar and club-shaped stromatolites deposited under continuously deepening conditions. Clotted (thrombolite-like) microbialite, in units up to 40 m thick, dominates Association D, whereas Association E contains bedded dololutite and dolarenite, and some thinly bedded ironstone, shale and black chert units. Carbon and oxygen isotope stratigraphy reveals a narrow range in both δ(13) Ccarb values, from -0.22 to 0.97‰ (VPDB: average = 0.68‰), and δ(18) O values, from -14.8 to -10.3‰ (VPDB), within the range of elevated fluid temperatures, likely reflecting some isotopic exchange. The Kazput Formation stromatolite-thrombolite reef complex contains features of younger Paleoproterozoic carbonate reefs, yet is 300-500 Ma older than previously described Proterozoic examples worldwide. Significantly, the microbial fabrics are clearly distinct from Archean stromatolitic marine carbonate reefs by way of containing the first appearance of clotted microbialite and large

  11. Comparative Study of Modern Stromatolites in Coastal Lagoa Salgada and Lagoa Vermehla, Brazil: Analogues for Precambrian Environmental Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasconcelos, C.; Lundberg, R.; Bahniuk, A.; Och, L.; McKenzie, J. A.

    2009-12-01

    Ancient microbial processes continue to be active in isolated modern lacustrine environments. As these unique environments can serve as analogues for Precambrian systems, biogeochemical studies in modern lakes or lagoons can be used to develop a better understanding of microcosms thriving on the early Earth. We study the biogeochemical processes associated with modern stromatolite formation in two distinctly different lagoons (lagoas in Portuguese) located in a special semi-arid microclimate within the tropical region along the central Brazilian coast. Although the stromatolites in both lagoons are characterized by high-Mg calcite to dolomite precipitation, the aqueous geochemistry is very different. Lagoa Salgada, Brazil contains fresh to brackish water feed by meteoric ground waters and has low sulfate concentrations, whereas Lagoa Vermehla, Brazil is brackish to hypersaline as a result of recharge with altered marine water and has sulfate concentrations greater than normal sea water. The average oxygen isotope composition of the in situ stromatolites reflects the different hydrology of the lakes: δ18O values of Lagoa Salgada stromatolites average -1.5 ‰, while the δ18O values of Lagoa Vermehla stromatolites average 1.5 ‰. Furthermore, the average carbon isotope composition of the stromatolites mirrors the prominent microbial process active in the lakes: δ13C values of Lagoa Salgada stromatolites average 10 to 20 ‰, while the δ13C values of Lagoa Vermehla stromatolites average -2.5 ‰. These dissimilar δ13C values indicate the importance of different microbial processes as the main carbon source for the carbonate incorporated into the laminae, that is, methanogenesis vs. sulfate reduction, respectively. In fact, using microbiologic and genomic techniques, the molecular characterization of the microbial mats from which the discrete laminae develop is consistent with this geochemical observation. We propose that a comparative study of the Lagoa Salgada

  12. Giant subtidal stromatolites forming in normal salinity waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dill, R.F.; Shinn, E.A.; Jones, A.T.; Kelly, K.; Steinen, R.P.

    1986-01-01

    We report here the discovery of giant lithified subtidal columnar stromatolites (>2 m high) growing in 7-8 m of clear oceanic water in current-swept channels between the Exuma Islands on the eastern Bahama Bank. They grow by trapping ooid and pelletal carbonate sand and synsedimentary precipitation of carbonate cement within a field of giant megaripples. The discovery is important to geologists and biologists because similar organo-sedimentary structures built by a combination of cementation and the trapping of sediment by microbes were the dominant fossil types during the Precambrian. Stromatolites are thought to have been responsible for the production of free oxygen and thus the evolution of animal life1,2. Until the discovery of small lithified subtidal columnar stromatolites in the Bahamas3, the only subtidal marine examples known to be living while undergoing lithification were in the hypersaline waters of Hamelin Pool at Shark Bay, Western Australia4-7. Shark Bay stromatolites range from intertidal to the shallow subtidal with the larger columns reaching 1 m in height. The Shark Bay stromatolites have strongly influenced geological interpretation; by analogy, many ancient stromatolites have been considered to have grown in intertidal and/or hypersaline conditions8, although hypersalinity was not a necessity for growth during the Precambrian because grazing metazoan life had not then evolved. ?? 1986 Nature Publishing Group.

  13. Sulfate-rich Archean Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brainard, J. L.; Choney, A. P.; Ohmoto, H.

    2012-12-01

    There is a widely held belief that prior to 2.4 Ga, the Archean oceans and atmosphere were reducing, and therefore sulfate poor (concentrations 100 m), widely distributed (> km2), and contain only minor amounts of sulfides. These barite beds may have developed from reactions between Ba-rich hydrothermal fluids and evaporate bodies. Simple mass balance calculations suggest that the sulfate contents of the pre-evaporitic seawater must have been greater than ~1 mM. Some researchers have suggested that the SO4 for these beds was derived from the hydrolysis of SO2-rich magmatic fluids. However, this was unlikely as the reaction, 4SO2 + 4H2O → 3H2SO4 + H2S would have produced large amounts of sulfide, as well as sulfate minerals. Many Archean-aged volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits, much like those of the younger ages, record evidence for abundant seawater sulfate. As VMS deposits are most likely formed by submarine hydrothermal fluids that developed from seawater circulating through the seafloor rock, much of the seawater sulfate is reduced to from sulfides at depths. However, some residual sulfate in the hydrothermal fluids, with or without the addition of sulfate from the local seawater, can form sulfate minerals such as barite at near the seafloor. The d34S relationships between barites and pyrites in the Archean VMS deposits are similar to those of the younger VMS deposits, except for the lower d34S values for the seawater SO4. The abundance of pyrite in Archean black shales is also evidence of sulfate rich seawater. Pyrites in Archean-aged black shales were most likely the products of either bacterial or thermochemical sulfate reduction during diagenesis of the sediments. Their abundance in sedimentary rocks is determined by: (a) the availability of reactive carbon; (b) the availability of reactive Fe (Fe3+ hydroxides and Fe2+-rich pore fluid); (c) the sedimentation rate; and (d) the flux of SO42- in the sediments, which depends on the seawater SO42

  14. Biomarker evidence for Archean oxygen fluxes (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallmann, C.; Waldbauer, J.; Sherman, L. S.; Summons, R. E.

    2010-12-01

    Knowledge of deep-time organismic diversity may be gained from the study of preserved sedimentary lipids with taxonomic specificity, i.e. biomarker hydrocarbons (e.g. Brocks and Summons, 2003; Waldbauer et al., 2009). As a consequence of long residence times and high thermal maturities however, biomarker concentrations are extremely low in most ancient (Precambrian) sediment samples, making them exceptionally prone to contamination during drilling, sampling and laboratory workup (e.g. Brocks et al., 2008). Outcrop samples most always carry a modern overprint and deep-time biogeochemistry thus relies on drilling operations to retrieve ‘clean’ sediment cores. One such effort was initiated by NASA’s Astrobiology Institute (NAI): the Archean biosphere drilling project (ABDP). We here report on the lipids retrieved from sediment samples in drill hole ABDP-9. Strong heterogeneities of extractable organic matter - both on a spatial scale and in free- vs. mineral-occluded bitumen - provide us with an opportunity to distinguish indigenous lipids from contaminants introduced during drilling. Stratigraphic trends in biomarker data for mineral-occluded bitumens are complementary to previously reported data (e.g. S- and N-isotopes, molybdenum enrichments) from ABDP-9 sediments (Anbar et al., 2007; Kaufman et al., 2007; Garvin et al., 2009) and suggest periodic fluxes of oxygen before the great oxidation event. Anbar et al. A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event. Science 317 (2007), 1903-1906. Brocks & Summons. Sedimentary hydrocarbons, biomarkers for early life. In: Schlesinger (Ed.) Treatise on Geochemistry, Vol. 8 (2003), 63-115. Brocks et al. Assessing biomarker syngeneity using branched alkanes with quaternary carbon (BAQCs) and other plastic contaminants. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 72 (2008), 871-888. Garvin et al. Isotopic evidence for a aerobic nitrogen cycle in the latest Archean. Science 323 (2009), 1045-1048. Kaufman et al. Late Archean

  15. Assessing Biogenecity of Stromatolites: Return to the Facies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, R. S.; Jameson, S.; Rutter, A.; McCarthy, K.; Planavsky, N. J.; Severson, M.

    2013-12-01

    The discovery of richly microfossiliferous cherty stromatolites near Schreiber and Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, in the 1.9 Ga Gunflint Iron Formation, firmly established the field of pre-Cambrian paleontology. In the half-century since this discovery, paradigm shifts in the ecology of the microfossils as well as the utility of stromatolites as biological markers has caused a re-evaluation of our understanding of the pre-Cambrian fossil record. This research summarizes facies evaluation of the two stromatolite marker beds in the Gunflint-correlative Biwabik Iron Formation of Minnesota. The centimeter-scale microstratigraphy of cores drilled through the central and eastern Mesabi Iron Range was coupled with field descriptions of outcrops and mines in both the Biwabik and Gunflint iron formations. Eight lithologic facies associated with the stromatolites are identified: A) Pebble conglomerate clasts ranging in size of 0.5-3 cm, syneresis cracks, and septarian nodules with medium to coarse grain matrix; B) siltstone with subparallel sub-mm to 5 cm magnetitic and non-magnetic bands; C) stromatolitic boundstone comprising stratiform, pseudocolumnar, domal, undulatory, flat-laminated, dendritic, columnar, and mico-digitate forms and oncoids 0.5 to 2 cm diameter; D) grainstone with medium to coarse siliceous and carbonate ooids and peloids; E) massive green crystalline beds with bands of magnetite, quartz, calcite, disseminated pyrite and localized ankerite; F) autobreccicated fabric of 0.3 to 10 mm clasts; G) medium to coarse sandstone; H) quartzite. Correlation between 11 cores near Hoyt Lakes and 9 cores through the basal stromatolite layer at the MinnTac Mine near Virginia revealed that stromatolites formed both on conglomerate and medium quartz sandstone. Multiple forms of stromatolite may occur in a vertical succession (flat-laminated to undulatory to psuedocolumnar to columnar) or a core may be dominated by one type, typically columnar-stratiform. Where stromatolites do

  16. Middle Archean continent formation by crustal delamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zegers, Tanja E.; van Keken, Peter E.

    2001-12-01

    The processes that created the first large cratonic areas such as the Pilbara and the Kaapvaal remain poorly understood. Models based on the uniformitarian extrapolation of present-day arc volcanic processes to a hotter early Earth have not adequately explained the observations in these terranes. Here we propose an alternative mechanism for the formation of the earliest continental crust. The formation of continental crust may be achieved by delamination of the lower eclogitic part of an oceanic plateau like protocrust. Such delamination results in uplift, extension, and the production of tonalite, trondhjemite, and granodiorite (TTG) suites as recorded in Middle Archean cratons. The available geologic and geophysical observations in combination with model calculations permit this scenario as an alternative to subduction-based hypotheses.

  17. Archean upper crust transition from mafic to felsic marks the onset of plate tectonics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ming; Chen, Kang; Rudnick, Roberta L

    2016-01-22

    The Archean Eon witnessed the production of early continental crust, the emergence of life, and fundamental changes to the atmosphere. The nature of the first continental crust, which was the interface between the surface and deep Earth, has been obscured by the weathering, erosion, and tectonism that followed its formation. We used Ni/Co and Cr/Zn ratios in Archean terrigenous sedimentary rocks and Archean igneous/metaigneous rocks to track the bulk MgO composition of the Archean upper continental crust. This crust evolved from a highly mafic bulk composition before 3.0 billion years ago to a felsic bulk composition by 2.5 billion years ago. This compositional change was attended by a fivefold increase in the mass of the upper continental crust due to addition of granitic rocks, suggesting the onset of global plate tectonics at ~3.0 billion years ago. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  18. Drilling for the Archean Roots of Life and Tectonic Earth in the Barberton Mountains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola McLoughlin

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available In the Barberton Scientific Drilling Program (BSDP we successfully completed three drill holes in 2008 across strategically selected rock formations in the early Archean Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. This collaborative project’s goal is to advance understanding of geodynamic and biogeochemical processes of the young Earth. The program aims to better define and characterize Earth’s earliest preserved ocean crust shear zones and microbial borings in Archean basaltic glass, and to identify biogeochemical fingerprints of ancient ecological niches recorded in rocks. The state-of-the-art analytical and imaging work will address the question of earliest plate tectonics in the Archean, the δ18O composition, the redox state and temperature of Archean seawater, and the origin of life question.

  19. Phase equilibria constraints on Archean crustal genesis from crystallization experiments on trondhjemite with water at 10-17 kbar

    OpenAIRE

    van der Laan, Sieger R.; Johnston, A. Dana; Wyllie, Peter J.

    1990-01-01

    The formation of continental crust during the Archean and early Proterozoic occurred through a different mechanisms than the currently active processes of calc-alkaline volcanism in orogenic regions. In view that most crustal growth models imply that by the end of the Archean a continental mass equivalent to 75% or more of the current crust had evolved, it seems highly relevant to study early crustal genesis.

  20. Neoproterozoic Stromatolites and Microphytolites of the Spitsbergen Archipelago

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisimov, Artem; Anisimova, Svetlana; Kosteva, Natalia

    2017-04-01

    The Svalbard archipelago is located in the extreme North-West of the Barents Sea. On the archipelago in the framework of large-scale exploration of the continental shelf exploration work carried out by employees of the Polar Marine Geological Expedition (PMGE). The authors were further explored and tested the Neoproterozoic sections of the Groups Veteranen, Akademikarbreen and Polarisbreen on the East and West banks of the Sorgfjorden (the Northern part of the Ny Friesland Peninsula) and in the moraine of the glacier Duner. The rocks carbonate-terrigenous Veteranen Group (upper Riphean) is set in the rocky outcrops on the Western and Eastern banks of Sorgfjorden and in ice-dressed rocks of the Bay. The Group consists of four Formations (bottom to top): Kortbreen, Kingbreen, Glasgowbreen and Oxfordbreen. The rocks carbonate-terrigenous Akademikarbreen Group (upper Riphean) have a lower areal distribution than the breed Veteranen Group in the project area is established only in the southern part of the Bay, in the valleys Kluftdalen, Rivnedalen and small-unnamed streams, as well as on the plateau Fleinfjellet and Vidarfjellet. The Groups consists of four formation (bottom to top): Grusdievbreen, Svanbergfjellet, Draken and Backlundtoppen. According to previous researchers, limestone in Kingbreen Formation (Veteranen Group) met with radial-rayed Microphytolites group Radiosus. And in light grey, cream, pink and red limestones of the Academikarbreen Group, in the Svanbergfjellet Formation defined columnar branching Stromatolites Inzeria djejimi Raab., Gymnosolen aff. ramsayi Steinm. Stromatolites of Conophyton miloradovichi Raab. in the dolomites of the overlying sediments Draken and Backlundtoppen Formations contain Vendian the bubbles Microphytolites Vesicularites bothrydioformis Krasnop. In carbonate rocks of the Akademikerbreen Group were confirmed by the finds of Neoproterozoic microbial entities identified by previous researchers, and identified new locations of

  1. Iron isotope composition of some Archean and Proterozoic iron formations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planavsky, Noah; Rouxel, Olivier J.; Bekker, Andrey; Hofmann, Axel; Little, Crispin T. S.; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2012-03-01

    Fe isotopes can provide new insight into redox-dependent biogeochemical processes. Precambrian iron formations (IF) are deserving targets for Fe isotope studies because they are composed predominantly of authigenic Fe phases and record a period of unprecedented iron deposition in Earth's history. We present Fe isotope data for bulk samples from 24 Archean and Proterozoic IF and eight Phanerozoic Fe oxide-rich deposits. These data reveal that many Archean and early Paleoproterozoic iron formations were a sink for isotopically heavy Fe, in contrast to later Proterozoic and Phanerozoic Fe oxide-rich rocks. The positive δ56Fe values in IF are best explained by delivery of particulate ferric oxides formed in the water column to the sediment-water interface. Because IF are a net sink for isotopically heavy Fe, there must be a corresponding pool of isotopically light Fe in the sedimentary record. Earlier work suggested that Archean pyritic black shales were an important part of this light sink before 2.35 billion years ago (Ga). It is therefore likely that the persistently and anomalously low δ56Fe values in shales are linked with the deposition of isotopically heavy Fe in IF in the deeper parts of basins. IF deposition produced a residual isotopically light dissolved Fe pool that was captured by pyritic Fe in shales. Local dissimilatory Fe reduction in porewater and associated diagenetic reactions resulting in pyrite and carbonate precipitation may have further enhanced Fe isotope heterogeneity in marine sediments, and an 'iron shuttle' may have transported isotopically light Fe from shelf sediments to the basin. Nevertheless, water-column processing of hydrothermally delivered Fe likely had the strongest influence on the bulk iron isotope composition of Archean and Paleoproterozoic iron formations and other marine sediments.

  2. Unusual calcite stromatolites and pisoids from a landfill leachate collection system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maliva, Robert G.; Missimer, Thomas M.; Leo, Kevin C.; Statom, Richard A.; Dupraz, Christophe; Lynn, Matthew; Dickson, J. A. D.

    2000-10-01

    Low-magnesium calcite stromatolites and pisoids were found to have precipitated within the leachate collection system piping of a Palm Beach County, Florida, landfill. The stromatolites and pisoids formed in an aphotic and anoxic environment that was at times greatly supersaturated with calcite. The stromatolites are composed of branching cylindrical bundles of concentrically laminated radial fibrous crystals. The pisoids consist of concentric layers of radial fibrous and microcrystalline calcite. Bacteria, likely sulfate reducing, appear to have acted as catalysts for calcite crystal nucleation, and thus the formation of the stromatolites and pisoids. The leachate system stromatolites provide a recent example of stromatolites that formed largely by cement precipitation. By acting as catalysts for calcite nucleation, bacteria may cause more rapid cementation than would have occurred under purely abiotic conditions. Rapid calcite precipitation catalyzed by bacteria has interfered with the operation of the Palm Beach County landfill leachate collection by obstructing pipes and may be an unrecognized problem at other landfill sites.

  3. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pope, Emily Catherine; Bird, Dennis K.; Rosing, Minik Thorleif

    the oxygen isotope record of chemical sediments and ancient ocean crust, chemical equilibria amongst primary phases in banded iron formations (BIFs), sedimentary features indicative of temperate or glacial environments, and paleosol indicators of atmospheric CO2. Further, we explore the extent to which...

  4. Modern stromatolite reefs fringing a brackish coastline, Chetumal Bay, Belize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Kenneth A.; MacIntyre, Ian G.; Prufert, Leslie

    1993-03-01

    Reef-forming stromatolites have been discovered along the windward shoreline of Chetumal Bay, Belize, just south of the mouth of the Rio Hondo. The reefs and surrounding sediment are formed by the precipitation of submicrocrystalline calcite upon the sheaths of filamentous cyanobacteria, principally Scytonema, under a seasonally fluctuating, generally brackish salinity regime (0‰10‰). Well-cemented, wave-resistant buttresses of coalesced stromatolite heads form arcuate or club-shaped reefs up to 42 m long and 1.5 m in relief that are partially emergent during low tide. Oncolitic rubble fields are present between well-developed reefs along the 1.5 km trend, which parallels the mangrove coastline 40-100 m offshore. The mode of reef growth, as illustrated by surface relief and internal structure, changes with increasing water depth and energy, proximity to bottom sediments, and dominant cyanobacterial taxa. Sediment trapping and binding by cyanobacteria are of limited importance to reef growth, and occur only where stromatolite heads or oncolites are in direct contact with the sandy sea floor. Radiocarbon-dated mangrove peat at the base of the reef suggests that it began to form about 2300 yr B.P., as shoreline encrustations that were stranded offshore following storm-induced retreat of the mangrove coast.

  5. Assessing the effects of ultraviolet radiation on the photosynthetic potential in Archean marine environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avila-Alonso, Dailé; Baetens, Jan M.; Cardenas, Rolando; de Baets, Bernard

    2017-07-01

    In this work, the photosynthesis model presented by Avila et al. in 2013 is extended and more scenarios inhabited by ancient cyanobacteria are investigated to quantify the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on their photosynthetic potential in marine environments of the Archean eon. We consider ferrous ions as blockers of UV during the Early Archean, while the absorption spectrum of chlorophyll a is used to quantify the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by photosynthetic organisms. UV could have induced photoinhibition at the water surface, thereby strongly affecting the species with low light use efficiency. A higher photosynthetic potential in early marine environments was shown than in the Late Archean as a consequence of the attenuation of UVC and UVB by iron ions, which probably played an important role in the protection of ancient free-floating bacteria from high-intensity UV radiation. Photosynthetic organisms in Archean coastal and ocean environments were probably abundant in the first 5 and 25 m of the water column, respectively. However, species with a relatively high efficiency in the use of light could have inhabited ocean waters up to a depth of 200 m and show a Deep Chlorophyll Maximum near 60 m depth. We show that the electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, both UV and visible light, could have determined the vertical distribution of Archean marine photosynthetic organisms.

  6. 太古宙TTG岩石是什么含义?%What is the Archean TTG?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张旗; 翟明国

    2012-01-01

    太古宙TTG岩石的成因是一个热门话题,它与太古宙麻粒岩地体并称为太古宙两大疑案.TTG岩石关系到地球早期陆壳是如何形成、生长和演化的.现在流行的观点是,太古宙TTG要么产于板块消减带,要么来自加厚的下地壳,这两种说法孰对孰错?笔者认为二者证据都不充分.上述认识是将太古宙TTG与现代埃达克岩简单对比得出来的,而这种对比忽略了地质时代和构造背景的差异,正确的对比应当是在太古宙不同类型花岗质岩石之间进行.太古宙地壳异常的热,什么时候开始出现板块构造至今没有得到明确的结论.太古宙TTG是太古宙地壳的主要成分,太古宙TTG地体反映的是太古宙地壳的平均厚度,加厚是相对于正常地壳厚度而言的.太古宙地质研究存在一个明显的误区,即不恰当地运用“将今论古”的原则,“将今论古”只适合显生宙或中-新元古代.研究TTG岩石意义十分重大,对我们理解前板块构造以及板块构造何时开始的是很关键的.%The Archean granulite massif and Archean TTG are two big mystery in Archean. Archean TTG has long been a hot topic. It is related to how the early continental crust formed grew and evolved. It has been widely acknowledged that Archean TTG formed either in a subduction zone or a product of melting thickened lower continental crust. However, these understandings were based on a simple comparison between Archean TTG and modern adakite. Instead, the correct comparison should be made between various types of Archean granites. And the Archean crust was abnormally hot and the presence of plate tectonics in Archean is still questioned. As the major component of the Archean crust, Archean TTG reflects the average thickness of the Archean crust. But, thickened crust is a concept compared to normal crust thickness. Consequently, there is a significant misunderstanding in the studies on Archean geology and improper usage

  7. Carbonyl sulfide (OCS) in the Archean atmosphere

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ueno, Yuichiro; Danielache, Sebastian Oscar; Johnson, Matthew Stanley

    2009-01-01

    to have existed in the reducing Archean atmosphere. Such a high level of OCS also absorbs infrared light from 8 to 13 µm, which is not absorbed by water vapor. Hence, OCS could be an alternative or even more efficient greenhouse gas than CO2 to resolve the faint young Sun paradox [4]. Furthermore, OCS...... also has absorption band in lethal UVC region like ozone, thus could be an alternative UV-shielding molecule in an ozonefree reducing atmosphere. The decline of OCS might have coursed the late Archean Pongola glaciation (2.9 Ga) and possibly resulted in UV crisis of terrestrial and shallow water...

  8. Triple sulfur isotope composition of Late Archean seawater sulfate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paris, G.; Fischer, W. W.; Sessions, A. L.; Adkins, J. F.

    2013-12-01

    Multiple sulfur isotope ratios in Archean sedimentary rocks have provided powerful insights into the behavior of the ancient sulfur cycle, the redox state of fluid Earth, and the timing of the rise of atmospheric oxygen [1]. Most processes fractionate sulfur isotopes in proportion to their mass differences, but the Archean sulfur isotope record is marked by pronounced mass-independent fractionation (MIF, Δ33S≠0). The origin of these signatures has been traditionally interpreted as the result of photolysis of SO2 from short wavelength UV light, with positive Δ33S values recorded in pyrite and negative Δ33S values in sulfate-bearing phases [2]. This long-held hypothesis rests on observations of negative Δ33S from enigmatic barite occurrences from mixed volcanic sedimentary strata in Mesoarchean greenstone terrains. Despite forming the framework for understanding Archean sulfur cycle processes [3], it is largely untested [3]. It is largely untested. Consequently, the biggest challenge to our current understanding of the early sulfur cycle is a poor understanding of the isotopic composition of seawater sulfate. Sulfate evaporite minerals are absent from Archean strata and the sulfur isotope record is written entirely by measurements of pyrite. Carbonate associated sulfate (CAS) provides an important archive for assaying the isotopic composition of ancient seawater sulfate It has been exploited in many studies of Phanerozoic and Proterozoic sulfate but have been only marginally used thus far for Archean samples because of the extremely low concentration of CAS in limestones and dolomites from this era. We have developed a novel MC-ICP-MS approach to solve this problem [4]. This new method lowers the detection limit by up to three orders of magnitude for δ34S and Δ33S measurements, enabling to work on a few nmols of sulfate which represent only tens of mg of sample powders micromilled from specific carbonate textures. Two stratigraphic sections from the 2

  9. The Cosmic Ray Intensity Near the Archean Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Cohen, O; Kota, J

    2012-01-01

    We employ three-dimensional state of the art magnetohydrodynamic models of the early solar wind and heliosphere and a two-dimensional model for cosmic ray transport to investigate the cosmic ray spectrum and flux near the Archean Earth. We assess how sensitive the cosmic ray spectrum is to changes in the sunspot placement and magnetic field strength, the large scale dipole magnetic field strength, the wind ram pressure, and the Sun's rotation period. Overall, our results confirm earlier work that suggested the Archean Earth would have experienced a greatly reduced cosmic ray flux than is the case today. The cosmic ray reduction for the early Sun is mainly due to the shorter solar rotation period and tighter winding of the Parker spiral, and to the different surface distribution of the more active solar magnetic field. These effects lead to a global reduction of the cosmic ray flux at 1AU by up to two orders of magnitude or more. Variations in the sunspot magnetic field have more effect on the flux than variat...

  10. Manganese carbonates as possible biogenic relics in Archean settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rincón-Tomás, Blanca; Khonsari, Bahar; Mühlen, Dominik; Wickbold, Christian; Schäfer, Nadine; Hause-Reitner, Dorothea; Hoppert, Michael; Reitner, Joachim

    2016-07-01

    Carbonate minerals such as dolomite, kutnahorite or rhodochrosite are frequently, but not exclusively generated by microbial processes. In recent anoxic sediments, Mn(II)carbonate minerals (e.g. rhodochrosite, kutnahorite) derive mainly from the reduction of Mn(IV) compounds by anaerobic respiration. The formation of huge manganese-rich (carbonate) deposits requires effective manganese redox cycling in an oxygenated atmosphere. However, putative anaerobic pathways such as microbial nitrate-dependent manganese oxidation, anoxygenic photosynthesis and oxidation in ultraviolet light may facilitate manganese cycling even in an early Archean environment, without the availability of oxygen. In addition, manganese carbonates precipitate by microbially induced processes without change of the oxidation state, e.g. by pH shift. Hence, there are several ways how these minerals could have been formed biogenically and deposited in Precambrian sediments. We will summarize microbially induced manganese carbonate deposition in the presence and absence of atmospheric oxygen and we will make some considerations about the biogenic deposition of manganese carbonates in early Archean settings.

  11. Hot-Water Deposition of Pyritic Stromatolite and Its Relation to Biomineralization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Pyritic stromatolite, a rich pyrite ore, is scattered as reef masses in sedex deposits of the Proterozoic Yanshan rift trough. The pyritic stromatolite consists of a core and alternating concentric rims of light colloidal pyrite and dark organic materials. The concentric rims are cemented together by trichomes highly similar to the trichomic microorganisms inhabiting substantively around the black chimneys on the current sea beds while the core is composed chiefly of groups of thermophilous sulphur bacteria. Biomarkers for the molecules of pyritic stromatolite include pristane, phytane, regular isoprenoids paraffin, methyl-heptadecyl, and so on. This study reveals the existence of methane-yielding bacteria in the pyritic stromatolite and reflects the evolution of thermophilous thallophyta.Long pulsation of mineralizing thermal solutions venting up along contemporaneous faults in rift troughs contributed greatly not just to the reproduction of thermophilous organisms living around the vents, but to their adsorption of Fe2+ from the solutions in a reducing environment. Pyritic stromatolite constantly took shape through metabolism and reduction of these organisms. Owing to the uneven development of the organic communities close to the vents or the hydrothermal plumes, pyritic stromatolite occurred eventually as scattered reef masses. This mineralizing mechanism may be summarized as the following procedure: flowing of hydrothermal fluids associated with submarine exhalation(r) adsorption and metabolism of thermophilous micro-organisms(r) reduction of organic materials(r) formation of deposits of pyritic stromatolite.

  12. Subaerial freshwater phosphatic stromatolites in Deer Cave, Sarawak — A unique geobiological cave formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundberg, Joyce; McFarlane, Donald A.

    2011-05-01

    A suite of distinctive freshwater subaerial phosphatic stromatolites is developed close to the northeastern entrance of Deer Cave, Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, in conditions of very low light but ample supply of nutrients from guano. These stromatolites are not particulate; they are composed of alternating layers of more porous and more dense amorphous hydroxylapatite. This biomineralization occurs as moulds of coccoid (the majority) and filamentous (less abundant) cyanobacteria. Mineralization occurs at a pH of ~ 7.0 in the extracellular sheaths and in micro-domains of varying carbonate content in the surrounding mucus of the biofilm. The most recent surfaces that are not yet strongly mineralized show still-living filamentous, coccoid and rod-shaped forms. Trace element composition shows enrichment in metal ions, especially Mn and Zn. The stromatolites are present as horizontal shelves arranged in series on a steep rock face that is vertically under a guano-laden shelf. The rock face undergoes active dissolution from acidic guano drainage water (e.g., pH of 2.43) and from aggressive rainwater from an overhead discharge. However, the rock surface under the stromatolite is protected while the rest of the cliff face is backcut, creating a hoodoo-like effect. The stromatolites are ~ 15-20 cm deep, ~ 4-7 cm thick, and of variable width, generally ~ 50 cm. Eventually, guano and biological detritus in the descending water film lodge in the lee of the stromatolite lip, causing local acidification and erosion of stromatolite and rock on the underside of the ledge. A dynamic equilibrium is established between upward accretion of the fresh surface and destruction at the base such that the base of the stromatolite does not reflect the date of its inception and the stromatolite climbs up the wall.

  13. Non-enzymatic glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway-like reactions in a plausible Archean ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Markus A; Turchyn, Alexandra V; Ralser, Markus

    2014-04-25

    The reaction sequences of central metabolism, glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway provide essential precursors for nucleic acids, amino acids and lipids. However, their evolutionary origins are not yet understood. Here, we provide evidence that their structure could have been fundamentally shaped by the general chemical environments in earth's earliest oceans. We reconstructed potential scenarios for oceans of the prebiotic Archean based on the composition of early sediments. We report that the resultant reaction milieu catalyses the interconversion of metabolites that in modern organisms constitute glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. The 29 observed reactions include the formation and/or interconversion of glucose, pyruvate, the nucleic acid precursor ribose-5-phosphate and the amino acid precursor erythrose-4-phosphate, antedating reactions sequences similar to that used by the metabolic pathways. Moreover, the Archean ocean mimetic increased the stability of the phosphorylated intermediates and accelerated the rate of intermediate reactions and pyruvate production. The catalytic capacity of the reconstructed ocean milieu was attributable to its metal content. The reactions were particularly sensitive to ferrous iron Fe(II), which is understood to have had high concentrations in the Archean oceans. These observations reveal that reaction sequences that constitute central carbon metabolism could have been constrained by the iron-rich oceanic environment of the early Archean. The origin of metabolism could thus date back to the prebiotic world.

  14. Quaternary phosphorites from the continental margin off Chennai, southeast India: Analogs of ancient phosphate stromatolites

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Rao, V.P.; Rao, K.M.; Raju, D.S.N.

    the continental supply and degradation of organic matter associated with benthic microbial communities. The phosphate stratiform stromatolites thus formed were subsequently reworked into a shelf-margin depression and resulted in the occurrence of condensed...

  15. Tracking the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada and Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, B.D.; Williams, J.M.

    2008-01-01

    It is important to know whether major mining districts in north-central Nevada are underlain by crust of the Archean Wyoming craton, known to contain major orogenic gold deposits or, alternatively, by accreted crust of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. Determining the location and orientation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone between these provinces is also important because it may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. The suture zone is exposed in northeastern Utah and south-western Wyoming and exhibits a southwest strike. In the Great Basin, the suture zone strike is poorly constrained because it is largely concealed below a Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic miogeocline and Cenozoic basin fill. Two-dimensional resistivity modeling of three regional north-south magnetotelluric sounding profiles in western Utah, north-central Nevada, and northeastern Nevada, and one east-west profile in northeastern Nevada, reveals a deeply penetrating (>10 km depth), broad (tens of kilometers) conductor (1-20 ohm-meters) that may be the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone, which formed during Early Proterozoic rifting of the continent and subsequent Proterozoic accretion. This major crustal conductor changes strike direction from southwest in Utah to northwest in eastern Nevada, where it broadens to ???100 km width that correlates with early Paleozoic rifting of the continent. Our results suggest that the major gold belts may be over-isolated blocks of Archean crust, so Phanerozoic mineral deposits in this region may be produced, at least in part, from recycled Archean gold. Future mineral exploration to the east may yield large gold tonnages. ?? 2008 Geological Society of America.

  16. Archean Paleo-climate: The first snowball?

    CERN Document Server

    Durand-Manterola, Hector Javier

    2010-01-01

    The model accepted is one where during the Archean Eon the Earths climate was clement despite the weaker Sun. The observational evidence that supports this concept is: the emergence of life, the existence of evaporitic sediments and the presence of terrigenous sediments, all of which require liquid water and clement conditions. A theoretical argument used to support this idea is the so called ice-albedo feedback, which states that if the Earth was frozen, it would still be frozen.The aim of this document is to present an alternative scenario in which a frozen world, "snowball" style, with liquid water at the bottom of the sea, also allows for the emergence of life and evaporitic and terrigenous sedimentation. Archean climatic evidence, available at present, is discussed and can be reinterpreted to support the idea that, in Archean times, the surface of the Earth was frozen. Also, a mathematical model is being developed to demonstrate that the ice-albedo feedback is not an inevitable consequence of a frozen Ar...

  17. Comparative characterization of the microbial diversities of an artificial microbialite model and a natural stromatolite.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havemann, Stephanie A; Foster, Jamie S

    2008-12-01

    Microbialites are organosedimentary structures that result from the trapping, binding, and lithification of sediments by microbial mat communities. In this study we developed a model artificial microbialite system derived from natural stromatolites, a type of microbialite, collected from Exuma Sound, Bahamas. We demonstrated that the morphology of the artificial microbialite was consistent with that of the natural system in that there was a multilayer community with a pronounced biofilm on the surface, a concentrated layer of filamentous cyanobacteria in the top 5 mm, and a lithified layer of fused oolitic sand grains in the subsurface. The fused grain layer was comprised predominantly of the calcium carbonate polymorph aragonite, which corresponded to the composition of the Bahamian stromatolites. The microbial diversity of the artificial microbialites and that of natural stromatolites were also compared using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The ARISA profiling indicated that the Shannon indices of the two communities were comparable and that the overall diversity was not significantly lower in the artificial microbialite model. Bacterial clone libraries generated from each of the three artificial microbialite layers and natural stromatolites indicated that the cyanobacterial and crust layers most closely resembled the ecotypes detected in the natural stromatolites and were dominated by Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria. We propose that such model artificial microbialites can serve as experimental analogues for natural stromatolites.

  18. Molecular Identification of Cyanobacteria Associated with Stromatolites from Distinct Geographical Locations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilan, Brett A.; Burns, Brendan P.; Relman, David A.; Lowe, Donald R.

    2002-08-01

    Modern stromatolites represent a significant resource for studying microbial ecology and evolution. A preliminary investigation was undertaken employing specific genetic probes to characterize the cyanobacteria responsible for stromatolite construction in a range of environments, including microbial mats found in Australia not previously examined with molecular methods. Isolates of cyanobacteria were collected from stromatolites in thermal springs, hypersaline lakes, and oceanic fringes on two continents. A polymerase chain reaction specific for DNA of cyanobacterial 16S rRNA was developed, the resulting products of the DNA amplification reaction were sequenced, and the data were used to infer relatedness between the isolates studied and other members of the cyanobacterial radiation. Complete sequence was generated for the region from position 27 to 408 for 13 strains of cyanobacteria associated with stromatolites. All stromatolite-derived sequences were most closely related to cyanobacteria, as indicated by local sequence alignment. It was possible to correlate genetic identity with morphological nomenclatures and to expand the phylogeny of benthic cyanobacteria. These inferences were also expanded to temporal variation in the dominant resident cyanobacterial species based on sampling of surface and core sinter laminations. Under the methods employed, only one cyanobacterial strain was detected in each sample, suggesting the possible dominance of a specific clonal population of cyanobacteria at any one time in the biota of the samples tested. The data indicate that internal core samples of a stromatolite at least 10 years old can be successfully analyzed by DNA-based methods to identify preserved cyanobacteria.

  19. Microbial Diversity Analysis of the Bacterial and Archaeal Population in Present Day Stromatolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Maya C.

    2011-01-01

    Stromatolites are layered sedimentary structures resulting from microbial mat communities that remove carbon dioxide from their environment and biomineralize it as calcium carbonate. Although prevalent in the fossil record, stromatolites are rare in the modem world and are only found in a few locations including Highbome Cay in the Bahamas. The stromatolites found at this shallow marine site are analogs to ancient microbial mat ecosystems abundant in the Precambrian period on ancient Earth. To understand how stromatolites form and develop, it is important to identify what microorganisms are present in these mats, and how these microbes contribute to geological structure. These results will provide insight into the molecular and geochemical processes of microbial communities that prevailed on ancient Earth. Since stromatolites are formed by lithifying microbial mats that are able to mineralize calcium carbonate, understanding the biological mechanisms involved may lead to the development of carbon sequestration technologies that will be applicable in human spaceflight, as well as improve our understanding of global climate and its sustainability. The objective of my project was to analyze the archaeal and bacterial dIversity in stromatolites from Highborn Cay in the Bahamas. The first step in studying the molecular processes that the microorganisms carry out is to ascertain the microbial complexity within the mats, which includes identifying and estimating the numbers of different microbes that comprise these mats.

  20. THE COSMIC-RAY INTENSITY NEAR THE ARCHEAN EARTH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J. [Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Kota, J. [Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0092 (United States)

    2012-11-20

    We employ three-dimensional state-of-the-art magnetohydrodynamic models of the early solar wind and heliosphere and a two-dimensional model for cosmic-ray transport to investigate the cosmic-ray spectrum and flux near the Archean Earth. We assess how sensitive the cosmic-ray spectrum is to changes in the sunspot placement and magnetic field strength, the large-scale dipole magnetic field strength, the wind ram pressure, and the Sun's rotation period. Overall, our results confirm earlier work that suggested the Archean Earth would have experienced a greatly reduced cosmic-ray flux than is the case today. The cosmic-ray reduction for the early Sun is mainly due to the shorter solar rotation period and tighter winding of the Parker spiral, and to the different surface distribution of the more active solar magnetic field. These effects lead to a global reduction of the cosmic-ray flux at 1 AU by up to two orders of magnitude or more. Variations in the sunspot magnetic field have more effect on the flux than variations in the dipole field component. The wind ram pressure affects the cosmic-ray flux through its influence on the size of the heliosphere via the pressure balance with the ambient interstellar medium. Variations in the interstellar medium pressure experienced by the solar system in orbit through the Galaxy could lead to order of magnitude changes in the cosmic-ray flux at Earth on timescales of a few million years.

  1. Diversity of cyanobacterial biomarker genes from the stromatolites of Shark Bay, Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garby, Tamsyn J; Walter, Malcolm R; Larkum, Anthony W D; Neilan, Brett A

    2013-05-01

    Families of closely related chemical compounds, which are relatively resistant to degradation, are often used as biomarkers to help trace the evolutionary history of early groups of organisms and the environments in which they lived. Biomarkers derived from hopanoid variations are particularly useful in determining bacterial community compositions. 2-Methylhopananoids have been thought to be diagnostic for cyanobacteria, and 2-methylhopanes in the geological record are taken as evidence for the presence of cyanobacteria-containing communities at the time of sediment deposition. Recently, however, doubt has been cast on the validity of 2-methylhopanes as cyanobacterial biomarkers, since non-cyanobacterial species have been shown to produce significant amounts of 2-methylhopanoids. This study examines the diversity of hpnP, the hopanoid biosynthesis gene coding for the enzyme that methylates hopanoids at the C2 position. Genomic DNA isolated from stromatolite-associated pustular and smooth microbial mat samples from Shark Bay, Western Australia, was analysed for bacterial diversity, and used to construct an hpnP clone library. A total of 117 partial hpnP clones were sequenced, representing 12 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Phylogenetic analysis showed that 11 of these OTUs, representing 115 sequences, cluster within the cyanobacterial clade. We conclude that the dominant types of microorganisms with the detected capability of producing 2-methylhopanoids within pustular and smooth microbial mats in Shark Bay are cyanobacteria.

  2. Iron isotopes in an Archean ocean analogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busigny, Vincent; Planavsky, Noah J.; Jézéquel, Didier; Crowe, Sean; Louvat, Pascale; Moureau, Julien; Viollier, Eric; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2014-05-01

    Iron isotopes have been extensively used to trace the history of microbial metabolisms and the redox evolution of the oceans. Archean sedimentary rocks display greater variability in iron isotope ratios and more markedly negative values than those deposited in the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic. This increased variability has been linked to changes in either water column iron cycling or the extent of benthic microbial iron reduction through time. We tested these contrasting scenarios through a detailed study of anoxic and ferruginous Lac Pavin (France), which can serve as a modern analogue of the Archean ocean. A depth-profile in the water column of Lac Pavin shows a remarkable increase in dissolved Fe concentration (0.1-1200 μM) and δ56Fe values (-2.14‰ to +0.31‰) across the oxic-anoxic boundary to the lake bottom. The largest Fe isotope variability is found at the redox boundary and is related to partial oxidation of dissolved ferrous iron, leaving the residual Fe enriched in light isotopes. The analysis of four sediment cores collected along a lateral profile (one in the oxic layer, one at the redox boundary, one in the anoxic zone, and one at the bottom of the lake) indicates that bulk sediments, porewaters, and reactive Fe mostly have δ56Fe values near 0.0 ± 0.2‰, similar to detrital iron. In contrast, pyrite δ56Fe values in sub-chemocline cores (60, 65, and 92 m) are highly variable and show significant deviations from the detrital iron isotope composition (δ56Fepyrite between -1.51‰ and +0.09‰; average -0.93‰). Importantly, the pyrite δ56Fe values mirror the δ56Fe of dissolved iron at the redox boundary—where near quantitative sulfate and sulfide drawdown occurs—suggesting limited iron isotope fractionation during iron sulfide formation. This finding has important implications for the Archean environment. Specifically, this work suggests that in a ferruginous system, most of the Fe isotope variability observed in sedimentary pyrites can

  3. Evaluating the earliest traces of Archean sub-seafloor life by NanoSIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcloughlin, N.; Grosch, E. G.; Kilburn, M.; Wacey, D.

    2012-12-01

    The Paleoarchean sub-seafloor has been proposed as an environment for the emergence of life with titanite microtextures in pillow lavas argued to be the earliest traces of microbial micro-tunneling (Furnes et al. 2004). Here we use a nano-scale ion microprobe (NanoSIMS) to evaluate possible geochemical traces of life in 3.45 Ga pillow lavas of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. We investigated both surface and drill core samples from the original "Biomarker" outcrop in the Hooggenoeg Fm. Pillow lava metavolcanic glass contain clusters of segmented microcrystalline titanite filaments, ~4μm across and inclusions in the microtextures have strongly depleted δ34SVCDT values of -39.8 to +3.2‰ (n= 32). The magnitude, range and spatial heterogeneity of these δ34S values are consistent with an early microbial origin (McLoughlin et al. 2012). In contrast, sulfides cross-cutting the microtextures related to later veining have positive δ34S of +6.7 to +18.0‰ (n=20). These data can be compared to magmatic sulfides (δ34S = +3±3‰), Archean seawater (δ34S ca. +5‰) and Archean sedimentary sulfides (δ34S = +8 to -23‰). We propose that the Hooggenoeg sulfides probably formed during early fluid-rock-microbe interaction involving sulfate-reducing microbes (c.f. Rouxel et al. 2008). The pillow lavas were then metamorphosed, the glass transformed to a greenschist facies assemblage and titanite growth encapsulated the microbial sulfides. In summary, the extreme sulfur isotope fractionations reported here independently point towards the potential involvement of microbes in the alteration of Archean volcanic glass. In situ sulfur isotope analysis of basalt-hosted sulfides may provide an alternative approach to investigating the existence of an Archean sub-seafloor biosphere that does not require the mineralization of early microbial microborings with organic linings.

  4. Mushroom speleothems: Stromatolites that formed in the absence of phototrophs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomaso eBontognali

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Unusual speleothems resembling giant mushrooms occur in Santa Catalina Cave, Cuba. Although these mineral buildups are considered a natural heritage, their composition and formation mechanism remain poorly understood. Here we characterize their morphology and mineralogy and present a model for their genesis. We propose that the mushrooms, which are mainly comprised of calcite and aragonite, formed during four different phases within an evolving cave environment. The stipe of the mushroom is an assemblage of three well-known speleothems: a stalagmite surrounded by calcite rafts that were subsequently encrusted by cave clouds (mammilaries. More peculiar is the cap of the mushroom, which is morphologically similar to cerebroid stromatolites and thrombolites of microbial origin occurring in marine environments. Scanning electron microscopy investigations of this last unit revealed the presence of fossilized extracellular polymeric substances (EPS – the constituents of biofilms and microbial mats. These organic microstructures are mineralized with Ca-carbonate, suggesting that the mushroom cap formed through a microbially-influenced mineralization process. The existence of cerebroid Ca-carbonate buildups forming in dark caves (i.e., in the absence of phototrophs has interesting implications for the study of fossil microbialites preserved in ancient rocks, which are today considered as one of the earliest evidence for life on Earth.

  5. Mushroom speleothems: Stromatolites that formed in the absence of phototrophs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bontognali, Tomaso; D'Angeli, Ilenia; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano; Gonzales, Esteban; DeWaele, Jo

    2016-04-01

    Unusual speleothems resembling giant mushrooms occur in Santa Catalina Cave, Cuba. Although these mineral buildups are considered a natural heritage, their composition and formation mechanism remain poorly understood. Here we characterize their morphology and mineralogy and present a model for their genesis. We propose that the mushrooms, which are mainly comprised of calcite and aragonite, formed during four different phases within an evolving cave environment. The stipe of the mushroom is an assemblage of three well-known speleothems: a stalagmite surrounded by calcite rafts that were subsequently encrusted by cave clouds (mammilaries). More peculiar is the cap of the mushroom, which is morphologically similar to cerebroid stromatolites and thrombolites of microbial origin occurring in marine environments. Scanning electron microscopy investigations of this last unit revealed the presence of fossilized extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) - the constituents of biofilms and microbial mats. These organic microstructures are mineralized with Ca-carbonate, suggesting that the mushroom cap formed through a microbially-influenced mineralization process. The existence of cerebroid Ca-carbonate buildups forming in dark caves (i.e., in the absence of phototrophs) has interesting implications for the study of fossil microbialites preserved in ancient rocks, which are today considered as one of the earliest evidence for life on Earth.

  6. Diversification in the Archean Biosphere: Insight from NanoSIMS of Microstructures in the Farrel Quartzite of Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, D. Z.; Robert, F.; Walter, M. R.; Sugitani, K.; Meibom, A.; Mostefaoui, S.; Gibson, E. K.

    2010-01-01

    The nature of early life on Earth is difficult to assess because potential Early Archean biosignatures are commonly poorly preserved. Interpretations of such materials have been contested, and abiotic or epigenetic derivations have been proposed (summarized in [1]). Yet, an understanding of Archean life is of astrobiological importance, as knowledge of early evolutionary processes on Earth could provide insight to development of life on other planets. A recently-discovered assemblage of organic microstructures in approx.3 Ga charts of the Farrel Quartzite (FQ) of Australia [2-4] includes unusual spindle-like forms and a variety of spheroids. If biogenicity and syngeneity of these forms could be substantiated, the FQ assemblage would provide a new view of Archean life. Our work uses NanoSIMS to further assess the biogenicity and syngeneity of FQ microstructures. In prior NanoSIMS studies [5-6], we gained an understanding of nano-scale elemental distributions in undisputed microfossils from the Neoproterozoic Bitter Springs Formation of Australia. Those results provide a new tool with which to evaluate poorly preserved materials that we might find in Archean sediments and possibly in extraterrestrial materials. We have applied this tool to the FQ forms.

  7. A stromatolite exhibiting both biogenic and abiogenic growth phases from the Eocene Green River Formation

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    Frantz, C. M.; Petryshyn, V. A.; Corsetti, F. A.; Bhartia, R.; Salas, E. C.; Nealson, K. H.

    2012-12-01

    The microstructure of microdigitate carbonate stromatolites from the Rife Bed of the Eocene Green River Formation (located near Rock Springs, Wyoming) alternates between calcite fans and micrite. Chemical and petrographic analysis of the stromatolites suggests the different microstructures result from significantly different growth regimes, potentially involving the biogenicity of the microfabrics. The calcite fan fabric is generally considered an abiogenic fabric. The micrite fabric, on the other hand, contains grains trapped at angles well beyond the angle of repose, suggesting the presence of a sticky substance (hypothesized to be microbial mats) during formation. Magnetic susceptibility has been recently developed by Petryshyn et al as a biosignature using the premise that microbial mats can trap very fine grains (including magnetic grains, ubiquitous in terrestrial environments) past the angle of repose while abiogenic structures with the same topography cannot. In these stromatolites, micritic layers have a greater magnetic susceptibility than calcite fan layers, consistent with the petrographic results. In addition, organic material was mapped within the stromatolites using deep-UV native fluorescence spectroscopy, a new technique that highlights π bond-containing organic molecules and avoids problems with mineral fluorescence inherent in other fluorescent techniques. Distinct organic features were present in the micritic layers and absent in the calcite fan layers. Attempts were made to identify the specific organic compounds mapped using organic extractions and traditional Raman spectroscopy. While trace amounts of organic compounds were detected in bulk organic extractions from the stromatolite, specific compounds could not be successfully correlated to deep-UV signatures. Strong calcite fluorescence prevented the detection of organic compounds using visible Raman scattering. Thus, at the time of abstract submission the organic material present had not

  8. Lake Bogoria, Kenya: Hot and warm springs, geysers and Holocene stromatolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCall, Joseph

    2010-11-01

    I carried out the first regional geological survey of the central Gregory Rift Valley in Kenya in 1958-60, and review here the numerous subsequent specialised studies focused on the unique endoreic Lake Bogoria (formerly Hannington), studies which embraced the sedimentology of the Holocene sediments around the lake shores, the hot-spring and geyser activities and the coring of the sediments beneath the lake. I focus on the occurrences of stromatolites in a hydrothermal environment, both in two closely spaced late Holocene (~ 4500 yr BP) generations at the lake margin, associated with algae and cyanobacteria, which represent a final more humid climatic phase after the several interglacial more humid phases (also represented by stromatolite occurrences in other rift valley lakes); and also at present being formed, at the edge of the now highly saline lake, in the very hot springs in association with thermophilic bacteria and with silica. I briefly mention the older occurrences in Lake Magadi to the south, which are quite different; and form three generations; and also present-day occurrences of stromatolites in a flood-plain environment, unlike the present-day environment at Lake Bogoria. Other stromatolite occurrences are mentioned, around Lake Turkana and the former lake in the Suguta River valley to the north. I suggest that the hot waterfall at Kapedo, at the head of the Suguta River, and the central island of Ol Kokwe (with hot springs, amidst the fresh water Lake Baringo) could well be investigated for stromatolite occurrences. Lake Bogoria, an empty wilderness occupied only by flamingos when I mapped it, is now more accessible and provides a unique open-air laboratory for such researches, but like all the Rift Valley lakes, is unique, sui generis. Results of detailed investigations of the type reviewed here, can only be applied to other occurrences of stromatolites elsewhere in the rift system or beyond the rift system with reservation.

  9. Chemical signatures of life in modern stromatolites from Lake Alchichica, Mexico. Applications for the search of life on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro, Karina F.; Navarro-Gonzalez, Rafael; Alcocer, Javier; Escobar, Elva; Morales, Pedro; Cienfuegos, Edith; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, Francois; Stalport, Fabien; Cabane, Michel; Person, Alain; McKay, Chris

    Stromatolites are one of the most important forms of fossil evidence for microbial life on early Earth (Schopf et al., 1971). They are formed when layers of microbial organisms at the shallow bottom of a lake or tide pool are periodically covered with sediment or precipitating salts (e.g. carbonate). The photosynthetic organisms that form the basis of the community must migrate through sediment toward the light in order to survive. If life emerged on Mars, it is possible that stromatolites were formed in lakes and marine lagoons. Recently the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mapping found a regional rock layer with near-infrared spectral characteristics that are consistent with the presence of magnesium carbonate in the Nili Fossae region (Ehlmann et al., 2008). The Nili Fossae is a fracture in the surface of Mars that has been eroded and partly filled in by sediments and clay-rich ejecta from a nearby crater. It is located at 22° N, 75° E and has an elevation of 0.6 km. The carbonate-bearing rocks outcrops in the Nili Fossae region could have formed in (1) the subsurface by groundwater percolating through fractures in the ultramafic rock and altering olivine or (2) in shallow lakes from waters enriched in Mg2+ relative to other cations by percolation through ultramafic olivine-bearing rocks. In the latter scenario, it is possible that these carbonate outcrops could have been deposited in association with microbial activity. The purpose of this work is to chemically characterize a modern stromatolite by thermal volatization (TV), a method that has been widely used in past missions (Viking and Phoenix) and will also be used in future missions (Mars Science Laboratory and ExoMars) in the search for life on Mars. Alchichica is a volcanic crater lake situated in an enclosed basin within the El Seco Valley at 19° 24' 13" N, 97° 24' 0" W, and 2.345 km above sea level in Mexico. It has an area of 1.81 km2 , a mean depth of 38.5 m and a maximum depth of 64 m. The lake is

  10. Deep-water microbialites of the Mesoproterozoic Dismal Lakes Group: microbial growth, lithification, and implications for coniform stromatolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartley, J K; Kah, L C; Frank, T D; Lyons, T W

    2015-01-01

    Offshore facies of the Mesoproterozoic Sulky Formation, Dismal Lakes Group, arctic Canada, preserve microbialites with unusual morphology. These microbialites grew in water depths greater than several tens of meters and correlate with high-relief conical stromatolites of the more proximal September Lake reef complex. The gross morphology of these microbial facies consists of ridge-like vertical supports draped by concave-upward, subhorizontal elements, resulting in tent-shaped cuspate microbialites with substantial primary void space. Morphological and petrographic analyses suggest a model wherein penecontemporaneous upward growth of ridge elements and development of subhorizontal draping elements initially resulted in a buoyantly supported, unlithified microbial form. Lithification began via precipitation within organic elements during microbialite growth. Mineralization either stabilized or facilitated collapse of initially neutrally buoyant microbialite forms. Microbial structures and breccias were then further stabilized by precipitation of marine herringbone cement. During late-stage diagenesis, remaining void space was occluded by ferroan dolomite cement. Cuspate microbialites are most similar to those found in offshore facies of Neoarchean carbonate platforms and to unlithified, buoyantly supported microbial mats in modern ice-covered Antarctic lakes. We suggest that such unusual microbialite morphologies are a product of the interaction between motile and non-motile communities under nutrient-limiting conditions, followed by early lithification, which served to preserve the resultant microbial form. The presence of marine herringbone cement, commonly associated with high dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), low O2 conditions, also suggests growth in association with reducing environments at or near the seafloor or in conjunction with a geochemical interface. Predominance of coniform stromatolite forms in the Proterozoic--across a variety of depositional

  11. Wave and sediment dynamics along a shallow subtidal sandy beach inhabited by modern stromatolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckman, J E; Andres, M S; Marinelli, R L; Bowlin, E; Reid, R P; Aspden, R J; Paterson, D M

    2008-01-01

    To help define the habitat of modern marine stromatolites, wave-dominated flow and sediment transport were studied in the shallow subtidal region (1-2 m depth) along the slightly concave, windward face of Highborne Cay, Exuma, Bahamas - the only face of the cay that includes a population of stromatolites concentrated near the region of highest curvature of the beach. Wave energy impacting this island's most exposed beach was driven by local wind forcing which increases largely in response to the passage of atmospheric disturbances that typically affect the region for periods of a few days. Although some wave energy is almost always noted (maximum horizontal orbital speeds at the bottom are rarely <10 cm s(-1)), wave conditions remain comparatively calm until local winds increase above speeds of approximately 3-4 m s(-1) at which point maximum wave speeds rapidly increase to 50-80 cm s(-1). Stromatolites, which are largely restricted to the shoreward side of a shallow platform reef, are sheltered by the reef beyond which wave speeds are one to four times higher (depending on tidal stage). Moreover, stromatolite populations are predominantly found along a region of this wave-exposed beach that experiences comparatively reduced wave energy because of the curved morphology of the island's face. Maximum wave speeds are 1.4 to 2 times higher along more northern sections of the beach just beyond the locus of stromatolite populations. A quantitative model of sediment transport was developed that accurately predicted accumulation of suspended sediment in sediment traps deployed in the shallow subtidal zone along this beach. This model, coupled with in situ wave records, indicates that gross rates of suspended sediment deposition should be two to three times higher northward of the main stromatolite populations. Regions of the beach containing stromatolites nevertheless should experience significant rates of gross suspended sediment deposition averaging 7-10 g cm(-2) day(-1

  12. Radiocarbon measurements of stromatolite heads and crusts at the Salgada Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coimbra, Melayne M.; Silva, Cleverson G.; Barbosa, Cátia F.; Mueller, Ken A.

    2000-10-01

    In this work, we prepared and measured some stromatolite carbonate samples, from Salgada Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Stromatolites are bio-sedimentary, laminated, carbonate structures produced by sedimentary, chemical and biological processes related to the development and growth of microbial benthic communities, mainly dominated by blue algae and cyanobacteria. These structures are present in the geological record in rocks older than 3.0 billion years and have been used to study the origin of primitive life and variations in past environmental conditions. Detailed AMS measurements were performed at PRIME Lab (Purdue Rare Isotope Measurement Laboratory, Purdue University, IN, USA).

  13. The Earth's early evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowring, S A; Housh, T

    1995-09-15

    The Archean crust contains direct geochemical information of the Earth's early planetary differentiation. A major outstanding question in the Earth sciences is whether the volume of continental crust today represents nearly all that formed over Earth's history or whether its rates of creation and destruction have been approximately balanced since the Archean. Analysis of neodymium isotopic data from the oldest remnants of Archean crust suggests that crustal recycling is important and that preserved continental crust comprises fragments of crust that escaped recycling. Furthermore, the data suggest that the isotopic evolution of Earth's mantle reflects progressive eradication of primordial heterogeneities related to early differentiation.

  14. Photosynthetic microbial mats today, on early Earth, (and on early Mars?)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    2008-05-01

    Marine hypersaline cyanobacterial mats offer insights about their ancient ancestors, whose fossil record is 3.43 billion years old. Studies of mat microbiota have greatly expanded the known diversity of ancient microbial lineages. Their evolution was shaped by mat microenvironments, which can differ substantially from their surroundings. Oxygenic photosynthesis perhaps developed in microbial mats and probably triggered a major evolutionary transformation and diversification of the early biosphere. Gross primary production rates in cyanobacterial mats can rival the most productive ecosystems known. Sunlight changes in intensity and spectral composition as it penetrates mats, and counteracting gradients of O2 and sulfide shape the chemical microenvironment. A combination of benefits and hazards of light, O2 and sulfide promotes the allocation of the various essential mat processes between light and dark periods and to various depths in the mat. Close inspection has revealed surprises, for example: anoxygenic phototrophs inside cyanobacterial sheaths, record- high sulfate reduction rates in O2-saturated conditions, and high H2 fluxes into overlying waters. Diverse organic biomarker compounds have been documented that are amenable to long-term preservation. Such coordinated observations of populations, processes and products are making fundamental questions in ecology accessible. Cyanobacterial mats have robust fossil records in part because they populated stable continental platforms and margins, contributing to sediments having high preservation potential. Proterozoic cyanobacterial fossils and organic biomarkers are well documented. The 3.43 Ga Strelley Pool cherts, W. Australia, reveal diverse stromatolites that populated a partially restricted, low-energy shallow hypersaline basin. Molecular studies of extant bacteria hint that early chlorophyll-utilizing photosynthesizers required geochemical sources of reductants. Did these anoxygenic phototrophs once sustain an

  15. Importance of light and oxygen for photochemical reactivation in photosynthetic stromatolite communities after natural sand burial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perkins, R.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Reid, R.P.

    2007-01-01

    Modern stromatolites at Highborne Cay, Exuma, Bahamas are formed in a high energy environment, where turbulent mixing of the water column supplies the sand particles that are trapped and bound by microbial phototrophs. The photosynthetic communities consist of cyanobacteria within the surface fabric

  16. Cuatro Ciénegas, a Desert Oasis with Active Stromatolites: An Astrobiological Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, V.; Breitbart, M.; Hollander, D.; Elser, J.; Meadows, V.; Siefert, J.

    2010-04-01

    Cuatro Ciénegas Bolson is a desert valley, ringed by mountains, fed by a deep underground aquifer. The resultant pozas support active stromatolitic growth. We report on the field site as a proxy for earlier earth dominated microbial systems.

  17. The Role of Endolithic Cyanobacteria in the Formation of Lithified Laminae in Bahamian Stromatolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prufert-Bebout, L.; Macintyre, I.; Reid, R. P.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The microboring activity of endolithic cyanobacteria plays a major role in the formation of lithified laminae in modern marine stromatolites in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas. These stromatolites are composed primarily of fine grained carbonate sand that is trapped and bound by the filamentous cyanobacteria Schizothrix sp. Periodic introduction of coccoid endolithic cyanobacteria, Solentia sp., results in formation of lithified horizons, 200 to 1000 micron thick. We used SEM and petrographic analyses to examine both naturally occurring lithified layers dominated by endoliths and fused oolitic crusts generated in the laboratory by activity of endolithic cyanobacteria (Solentia sp.). Fused grain crusts consist of micritized grains that are welded together at point contacts. Micritization results from extensive microboring and rapid (days to weeks) carbonate precipitation within the bore holes. This precipitation appears to occur concurrently with further endolithic activity within the grain, Infilling of bore holes that cross from one grain to another at point contacts results in grain welding, Thus, while microboring destroys original grain textures, at the same time the endolith activity plays a constructional role in stromatolite growth by forming lithified layers of welded grains. These framework structures help to stabilize and preserve the stromatolite deposits.

  18. Importance of light and oxygen for photochemical reactivation in photosynthetic stromatolite communities after natural sand burial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perkins, R.; Kromkamp, J.C.; Reid, R.P.

    2007-01-01

    Modern stromatolites at Highborne Cay, Exuma, Bahamas are formed in a high energy environment, where turbulent mixing of the water column supplies the sand particles that are trapped and bound by microbial phototrophs. The photosynthetic communities consist of cyanobacteria within the surface fabric

  19. Metagenomic and metabolic profiling of nonlithifying and lithifying stromatolitic mats of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina L M Khodadad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Stromatolites are laminated carbonate build-ups formed by the metabolic activity of microbial mats and represent one of the oldest known ecosystems on Earth. In this study, we examined a living stromatolite located within the Exuma Sound, The Bahamas and profiled the metagenome and metabolic potential underlying these complex microbial communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The metagenomes of the two dominant stromatolitic mat types, a nonlithifying (Type 1 and lithifying (Type 3 microbial mat, were partially sequenced and compared. This deep-sequencing approach was complemented by profiling the substrate utilization patterns of the mats using metabolic microarrays. Taxonomic assessment of the protein-encoding genes confirmed previous SSU rRNA analyses that bacteria dominate the metagenome of both mat types. Eukaryotes comprised less than 13% of the metagenomes and were rich in sequences associated with nematodes and heterotrophic protists. Comparative genomic analyses of the functional genes revealed extensive similarities in most of the subsystems between the nonlithifying and lithifying mat types. The one exception was an increase in the relative abundance of certain genes associated with carbohydrate metabolism in the lithifying Type 3 mats. Specifically, genes associated with the degradation of carbohydrates commonly found in exopolymeric substances, such as hexoses, deoxy- and acidic sugars were found. The genetic differences in carbohydrate metabolisms between the two mat types were confirmed using metabolic microarrays. Lithifying mats had a significant increase in diversity and utilization of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur substrates. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The two stromatolitic mat types retained similar microbial communities, functional diversity and many genetic components within their metagenomes. However, there were major differences detected in the activity and genetic pathways of organic carbon

  20. Metagenomic and metabolic profiling of nonlithifying and lithifying stromatolitic mats of Highborne Cay, The Bahamas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodadad, Christina L M; Foster, Jamie S

    2012-01-01

    Stromatolites are laminated carbonate build-ups formed by the metabolic activity of microbial mats and represent one of the oldest known ecosystems on Earth. In this study, we examined a living stromatolite located within the Exuma Sound, The Bahamas and profiled the metagenome and metabolic potential underlying these complex microbial communities. The metagenomes of the two dominant stromatolitic mat types, a nonlithifying (Type 1) and lithifying (Type 3) microbial mat, were partially sequenced and compared. This deep-sequencing approach was complemented by profiling the substrate utilization patterns of the mats using metabolic microarrays. Taxonomic assessment of the protein-encoding genes confirmed previous SSU rRNA analyses that bacteria dominate the metagenome of both mat types. Eukaryotes comprised less than 13% of the metagenomes and were rich in sequences associated with nematodes and heterotrophic protists. Comparative genomic analyses of the functional genes revealed extensive similarities in most of the subsystems between the nonlithifying and lithifying mat types. The one exception was an increase in the relative abundance of certain genes associated with carbohydrate metabolism in the lithifying Type 3 mats. Specifically, genes associated with the degradation of carbohydrates commonly found in exopolymeric substances, such as hexoses, deoxy- and acidic sugars were found. The genetic differences in carbohydrate metabolisms between the two mat types were confirmed using metabolic microarrays. Lithifying mats had a significant increase in diversity and utilization of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur substrates. The two stromatolitic mat types retained similar microbial communities, functional diversity and many genetic components within their metagenomes. However, there were major differences detected in the activity and genetic pathways of organic carbon utilization. These differences provide a strong link between the metagenome and the

  1. Geochemistry of Precambrian carbonates: II. Archean greenstone belts and Archean sea water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veizer, J; Hoefs, J; Lowe, D R; Thurston, P C

    1989-01-01

    Carbonate rocks with geological attributes of marine sediments are a minor component of the Archean greenstone belts. Despite their relative scarcity, these rocks are important because they record chemical and isotopic properties of coeval oceans. The greenstones containing such carbonates appear to cluster at approximately 2.8 +/- 0.2 and approximately 3.5 +/- 0.1 Ga ago. The samples for the younger group are from the Abitibi, Yellowknife, Wabigoon (Steep Rock Lake), Michipicoten and Uchi greenstone belts of Canada and the "Upper Greenstones" of Zimbabwe. The older group includes the Swaziland Supergroup of South Africa, Warrawoona Group of Australia and the Sargur marbles of India. Mineralogically, the carbonates of the younger greenstones are mostly limestones and of the older ones, ferroan dolomites (ankerites); the latter with some affinities to hydrothermal carbonates. In mineralized areas with iron ores, the carbonate minerals are siderite +/- ankerite, irrespective of the age of the greenstones. Iron-poor dolomites represent a later phase of carbonate generation, related to post-depositional tectonic faulting. The original mineralogy of limestone sequences appears to have been an Sr-rich aragonite. The Archean carbonates yield near-mantle Sr isotopic values, with (87Sr/86Sr)o of 0.7025 +/- 0.0015 and 0.7031 +/- 0.0008 for younger and older greenstones, respectively. The best preserved samples give delta 13C of +1.5 +/- 1.5% PDB, comparable to their Phanerozoic counterparts. In contrast, the best estimate for delta 18O is -7% PDB. Archean limestones, compared to Phanerozoic examples, are enriched in 16O as well as in Mn2+ and Fe2+, and these differences are not a consequence of post-depositional alteration phenomena. The mineralogical and chemical attributes of Archean carbonates (hence sea water) are consistent with the proposition that the composition of the coeval oceans may have been buffered by a pervasive interaction with the "mantle", that is, with

  2. Archean Subduction or Not? The Archean Volcanic Record Re-assessed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Julian; Peate, David; Smithies, Hugh

    2013-04-01

    Methods of identification of volcanic arc lavas may utilize: (1) the selective enrichment of the mantle wedge by 'subduction-mobile' elements; (2) the distinctive preconditioning of mantle along its flow path to the arc front; (3) the distinctive combination of fluid-flux and decompression melting; and (4) the effects of fluids on crystallization of the resulting magma. It should then be a simple matter uniquely to recognise volcanic arc lavas in the Geological Record and so document past subduction zones. Essentially, this is generally true in the oceans, but generally not on the continents. Even in recent, fresh lavas and with a full battery of element and isotope tools at our disposal, there can be debate over whether an arc-like geochemical signature results from active subduction, an older, inherited subduction component in the lithosphere, or crustal contamination. In the Archean, metamorphism, deformation, a different thermal regime and potential non-uniformitarian tectonic scenarios make the fingerprinting of arc lavas particularly problematic. Not least, the complicating factor of crustal contamination is likely to be much greater given the higher magma and crustal temperatures and higher magma fluxes prevailing. Here, we apply new, high-resolution immobile element fingerprinting methods, based primarily on Th-Nb fractionation, to Archean lavas. In the Pilbara, for example, where there is a volcanic record extending for over >500 m.y., we note that lavas with high Th/Nb (negative Nb anomalies) are common throughout the lava sequence. Many older formations also follow a basalt-andesite-dacite-rhyolite (BADR) sequence resembling present-day arcs. However, back-extrapolation of their compositions to their primitive magmas demonstrates that these were almost certainly crustally-contaminated plume-derived lavas. By contrast, this is not the case in the uppermst part of the sequence where even the most primitive magmas have significant Nb anomalies. The

  3. Some examples of deep structure of the Archean from geophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smithson, S. B.; Johnson, R. A.; Pierson, W. R.

    1986-01-01

    The development of Archean crust remains as one of the significant problems in earth science, and a major unknown concerning Archean terrains is the nature of the deep crust. The character of crust beneath granulite terrains is especially fascinating because granulites are generally interpreted to represent a deep crustal section. Magnetic data from this area can be best modeled with a magnetized wedge of older Archean rocks (granulitic gneisses) underlying the younger Archean greenstone terrain. The dip of the boundary based on magnetic modeling is the same as the dip of the postulated thrust-fault reflection. Thus several lines of evidence indicate that the younger Archean greenstone belt terrain is thrust above the ancient Minnesota Valley gneiss terrain, presumably as the greenstone belt was accreted to the gneiss terrain, so that the dipping reflection represents a suture zone. Seismic data from underneath the granulite-facies Minnesota gneiss terrain shows abundant reflections between 3 and 6 s, or about 9 to 20 km. These are arcuate or dipping multicyclic events indicative of layering.

  4. Comparative Characterization of the Microbial Diversities of an Artificial Microbialite Model and a Natural Stromatolite ▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havemann, Stephanie A.; Foster, Jamie S.

    2008-01-01

    Microbialites are organosedimentary structures that result from the trapping, binding, and lithification of sediments by microbial mat communities. In this study we developed a model artificial microbialite system derived from natural stromatolites, a type of microbialite, collected from Exuma Sound, Bahamas. We demonstrated that the morphology of the artificial microbialite was consistent with that of the natural system in that there was a multilayer community with a pronounced biofilm on the surface, a concentrated layer of filamentous cyanobacteria in the top 5 mm, and a lithified layer of fused oolitic sand grains in the subsurface. The fused grain layer was comprised predominantly of the calcium carbonate polymorph aragonite, which corresponded to the composition of the Bahamian stromatolites. The microbial diversity of the artificial microbialites and that of natural stromatolites were also compared using automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. The ARISA profiling indicated that the Shannon indices of the two communities were comparable and that the overall diversity was not significantly lower in the artificial microbialite model. Bacterial clone libraries generated from each of the three artificial microbialite layers and natural stromatolites indicated that the cyanobacterial and crust layers most closely resembled the ecotypes detected in the natural stromatolites and were dominated by Proteobacteria and Cyanobacteria. We propose that such model artificial microbialites can serve as experimental analogues for natural stromatolites. PMID:18836014

  5. Prebiotic Synthesis of Glycine from Ethanolamine in Simulated Archean Alkaline Hydrothermal Vents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xianlong; Tian, Ge; Gao, Jing; Han, Mei; Su, Rui; Wang, Yanxiang; Feng, Shouhua

    2016-09-01

    Submarine hydrothermal vents are generally considered as the likely habitats for the origin and evolution of early life on Earth. In recent years, a novel hydrothermal system in Archean subseafloor has been proposed. In this model, highly alkaline and high temperature hydrothermal fluids were generated in basalt-hosted hydrothermal vents, where H2 and CO2 could be abundantly provided. These extreme conditions could have played an irreplaceable role in the early evolution of life. Nevertheless, sufficient information has not yet been obtained for the abiotic synthesis of amino acids, which are indispensable components of life, at high temperature and alkaline condition. This study aims to propose a new method for the synthesis of glycine in simulated Archean submarine alkaline vent systems. We investigated the formation of glycine from ethanolamine under conditions of high temperature (80-160 °C) and highly alkaline solutions (pH = 9.70). Experiments were performed in an anaerobic environment under mild pressure (0.1-8.0 MPa) at the same time. The results suggested that the formation of glycine from ethanolamine occurred rapidly and efficiently in the presence of metal powders, and was favored by high temperatures and high pressures. The experiment provides a new pathway for prebiotic glycine formation and points out the phenomenal influence of high-temperature alkaline hydrothermal vents in origin of life in the early ocean.

  6. Geochemistry of Archean Mafic Amphibolites from the Amsaga Area, West African Craton, Mauritania: Occurrence of Archean oceanic plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Atrassi, Fatima; Debaille, Vinciane; Mattielli, Nadine; Berger, Julien

    2015-04-01

    While Archean terrains are mainly composed of a TTG (Tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) suite, more mafic lithologies such as amphibolites are also a typical component of those ancient terrains. Although mafic rocks represent only ~10% of the Archean cratons, they may provide key evidence of the role and nature of basaltic magmatism in the formation of the Archean crust as well as the evolution of the Archean mantle. This study focuses on the Archean crust from the West African craton in Mauritania (Amsaga area). The Amsaga Archean crust mainly consists of TTG and thrust-imbricated slices of mafic volcanic rocks, which have been affected by polymetamorphic events from the amphibolite to granulite facies. We report the results of a combined petrologic, Sm-Nd isotopic, major element and rare earth element (REE) study of the Archean amphibolites in the West African craton. This study was conducted in order to characterize these rocks, to constrain the time of their formation and to evaluate their tectonic setting and their possible mantle source. Our petrological observations show that these amphibolites have fine to medium granoblastic and nematoblastic textures. They are dominated by amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages (mainly amphibole and plagioclase), but garnet and clinopyroxene occur in a few samples. These amphibolites have tholeiitic basalt composition. On a primitive mantle-normalized diagram, they display fairly flat patterns without negative anomalies for either Eu or Nb-Ta. We have shown using Sm-Nd whole rock isotopic data that these amphibolites formed at 3.3 ±0.075 Ga. They have positive ɛNdi values (+5.2 ± 1.6). These samples show isotopically juvenile features, which rule out the possibility of significant contamination of the protolith magmas by ancient continental crust. Based on these geochemical data we propose that the tholeiitic basalts were formed in an oceanic plateau tectonic setting from a mantle plume source and that they have a

  7. Mobility of nutrients and trace metals during weathering in the late Archean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Jihua; Sverjensky, Dimitri A.; Hazen, Robert M.

    2017-08-01

    The evolution of the geosphere and biosphere depends on the availability of bio-essential nutrients and trace metals. Consequently, the chemical and isotopic variability of trace elements in the sedimentary record have been widely used to infer the existence of early life and fluctuations in the near-surface environment on the early Earth, particularly fluctuations in the redox state of the atmosphere. In this study, we applied late Archean weathering models (Hao et al., 2017), developed to estimate the behavior of major elements and the composition of late Archean world average river water, to explore the behavior of nutrient and trace metals and their potential for riverine transport. We focused on P, Mn, Cr, and Cu during the weathering of olivine basalt. In our standard late Archean weathering model (pCO2,g = 10-1.5 bars, pH2,g = 10-5.0 bars), crustal apatite was totally dissolved by the acidic rainwater during weathering. Our model quantitatively links the pCO2,g of the atmosphere to phosphate levels transported by rivers. The development of late Archean river water (pH = 6.4) resulted in riverine phosphate of at least 1.7 μmolar, much higher than at the present-day. At the end of the early Proterozoic snowball Earth event when pCO2,g could be 0.01-0.10 bars, river water may have transported up to 70 μmolar phosphate, depending on the availability of apatite, thereby stimulating high levels of oxygenic photosynthesis in the marine environment. Crustal levels of Mn in olivine dissolved completely during weathering, except at large extents of weathering where Mn was stored as a component of a secondary carbonate mineral. The corresponding Mn content of river water, about 1.2 μmolar, is higher than in modern river water. Whiffs of 10-5 mole O2 gas or HNO3 kg-1 H2O resulted in the formation of pyrolusite (MnO2) and abundant hematite and simultaneous dramatic decreases in the concentration of Mn(II) in the river water. Chromite dissolution resulted in negligible

  8. Partition coefficients for calcic plagioclase - Implications for Archean anorthosites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phinney, W. C.; Morrison, D. A.

    1990-01-01

    In most Archean cratons, cumulates of equant plagioclase megacrysts form anorthositic complexes, including those at Bad Vermilion Lake (Ontario). In this paper, partition coefficients (Ds) of REEs between natural high-Ca plagioclase megacrysts and their basaltic matrices were determined, using a multiple aliquot techique, and megacrystic plagioclases occurring in anorthosites were analyzed for the same components which, in conjunction with their Ds, were applied to calculations of melts in equilibrium with anorthosites. The REE's Ds were found to agree well with experimentally determined values and to predict equilibrium melts for Archean anorthosites that agree well with coeval basaltic flows and dikes. The Ds also appear to be valid for both the tholeiitic and alkali basalts over a wide range of mg numbers and REE concentrations. It is suggested that the moderately Fe-rich tholeiites that are hosts to plagioclase megacrysts in greenstone belts form the parental melts for megacrysts which make up the Bad Vermilion Lake Archean anorthositic complex.

  9. Stratified Bacterial Diversity along Physico-chemical Gradients in High-Altitude Modern Stromatolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toneatti, Diego M.; Albarracín, Virginia H.; Flores, Maria R.; Polerecky, Lubos; Farías, María E.

    2017-01-01

    At an altitude of 3,570 m, the volcanic lake Socompa in the Argentinean Andes is presently the highest site where actively forming stromatolite-like structures have been reported. Interestingly, pigment and microsensor analyses performed through the different layers of the stromatolites (50 mm-deep) showed steep vertical gradients of light and oxygen, hydrogen sulfide and pH in the porewater. Given the relatively good characterization of these physico-chemical gradients, the aim of this follow-up work was to specifically address how the bacterial diversity stratified along the top six layers of the stromatolites which seems the most metabolically important and diversified zone of the whole microbial community. We herein discussed how, in only 7 mm, a drastic succession of metabolic adaptations occurred: i.e., microbial communities shift from a UV-high/oxic world to an IR-low/anoxic/high H2S environment which force stratification and metabolic specialization of the bacterial community, thus, modulating the chemical faces of the Socompa stromatolites. The oxic zone was dominated by Deinococcus sp. at top surface (0.3 mm), followed by a second layer of Coleofasciculus sp. (0.3 to ∼2 mm). Sequences from anoxygenic phototrophic Alphaproteobacteria, along with an increasing diversity of phyla including Bacteroidetes, Spirochaetes were found at middle layers 3 and 4. Deeper layers (5–7 mm) were mostly occupied by sulfate reducers of Deltaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, next to a high diversity and equitable community of rare, unclassified and candidate phyla. This analysis showed how microbial communities stratified in a physicochemical vertical profile and according to the light source. It also gives an insight of which bacterial metabolic capabilities might operate and produce a microbial cooperative strategy to thrive in one of the most extreme environments on Earth. PMID:28446906

  10. Mantle differentiation and chemical cycling in the Archean (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, C.

    2010-12-01

    Differentiation of Earth’s silicate mantle is largely controlled by solid-state convection. Today, upwelling mantle leads to decompression melting. Melts, being of low density, rise to form the continental and oceanic crusts. Because many trace elements, such as heat-producing U, Th and K, as well as the noble gases, preferentially partition into melts, melt extraction concentrates these elements into the crust or atmosphere. However, one by-product of whole-mantle convection is that melting during the Earth’s first billion years was likely deep and hot. Such high pressure melts may have been dense, allowing them to stall, crystallize and later founder back into the lower mantle. These sunken lithologies would have ‘primordial’ chemical signatures despite a non-primordial origin. As the Earth cools, the proportion of upwards melt segregation relative to downwards melt segregation increases, removing volatiles and other incompatible elements to the surface. Recycling of these elements back into the Earth’s interior occurs by subduction, but because of chemical weathering, hydrothermal alteration and photosynthetic reactions occurring in the Earth’s exosphere, these recycled materials may re-enter the mantle already chemically transformed. In particular, photosynthetic production of oxygen and, especially, the progressive oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere require removal of reduced carbon from the Earth’s surface. If such removal occurred by subduction, the mantle would have become progressively reduced. During the Archean and early Proterozoic, much of this material may have contributed to making cratonic mantle, and if so, cratonic mantle may have been assembled by reduced building blocks, perhaps explaining the origin of diamonds with organic carbon isotopic signatures. The origin of peridotitic diamonds in cratonic mantle could then be explained if the underlying convecting mantle was in fact more oxidizing such that carbonatitic liquids

  11. Reconstructing Earth's Surface Oxidation Across The Archean- Proterozoic Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, A. J.; Guo, Q.; Strauss, H.; Schröder, S.; Gutzmer, J.; Wing, B. A.; Baker, M.; Bekker, A.; Jin, Q.; Kim, S.; Farquhar, J.

    2010-12-01

    The Archean-Proterozoic transition is characterized by the widespread deposition of organic-rich shale, sedimentary iron formation, glacial diamictite, and marine carbonates recording profound carbon isotope anomalies, but notably lacks bedded evaporites. All deposits reflect environmental changes in oceanic and atmospheric redox states, in part associated with Earth’s earliest ice ages. Time-series data for multiple sulfur isotopes from carbonate associated sulfate as well as sulfides in the glaciogenic Duitschland Formation of the Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa, capture the concomitant buildup of sulfate in the ocean and the loss of mass independent sulfur isotope fractionation. This is arguably associated with the atmospheric rise of oxygen (as well as the protective ozone layer) coincident with profound changes in ocean chemistry and biology. The loss of the MIF signal within the Duitschland succession is in phase with the earliest recorded positive carbon isotope anomaly, convincingly linking these environmental perturbations to the Great Oxidation Event (ca. 2.3 Ga). The emergence of cyanobacteria and oxygenic photosynthesis may be associated with a geochemical “whiff of oxygen” recorded in 2.5 Ga sediments. If true, the delay in the GOE can then be understood in terms of a finite sink for molecular oxygen - ferrous iron, which was abundant in deep Neoarchean seawater and sequestered in a worldwide episode of iron formation deposition ending shortly before accumulation of the Duitschland Formation. Insofar as early Paleoproterozoic glaciation is associated with oxygenation of a methane-rich atmosphere, we conclude that Earth’s earliest ice age(s) and the onset of a modern and far more energetic carbon cycle are directly related to the global expansion of cyanobacteria that released oxygen to the environment, and of eukaryotes that respired it.

  12. The Case for a Hot Archean Climate and its Implications to the History of the Biosphere

    CERN Document Server

    Schwartzman, David W

    2015-01-01

    The case for a much warmer climate on the early Earth than now is presented. The oxygen isotope record in sedimentary chert and the compelling case for a near constant isotopic oxygen composition of seawater over geologic time support thermophilic surface temperatures prevailing in the Archean, with some support for hot conditions lasting until about 1.5 billion years ago, aside from lower temperatures including glacial episodes at 2.1-2.4 Ga and possibly an earlier one at 2.9 Ga. Other evidence includes the following: 1) Melting temperatures of proteins resurrected from sequences inferred from robust molecular phylogenies give paleotemperatures at emergence consistent with a very warm early climate. 2) High atmospheric pCO2 levels in the Archean are consistent with high climatic temperatures near the triple point of primary iron minerals in banded iron formations, the formation of Mn-bicarbonate clusters leading to oxygenic photosynthesis and generally higher weathering intensities on land. These higher weat...

  13. 叠层石形成的光合作用信号:来自于锥状叠层石形态学研究的精妙启示%Photosynthesis Signals Represented by the Stromatolitic Formation:An Excellent Revelation from the Study on Morphology of Conical Stromatolites

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    梅冥相; 高金汉

    2015-01-01

    Of all the biochemical inventions in the history of life,photosynthesis is surely one of the grandest, since the production of oxygen as a waste product resulted from the photosynthesis also profoundly changed the composition of the world's oceans,continents and atmosphere.However,the definitive evidence of the origin and evolution of photosynthesis such as the essential biological process,i.e.the nature of the earliest photosyn-thetic organisms as well as the problem dealing with how photosynthetic organisms obtain their photosynthetic ap-paratus and so on,may be lost forever.Thus,studies on the origin and evolution of photosynthesis became an important and enchanting scientific theme.Stromatolites may be Earth's oldest macroscopic fossils;however,it remains controversy what,if any,biological processes are recorded in their morphology.Interestingly and en-chantingly,two aspects of innovating cognitions have been obtained from the study on the biological process of stromatolites:(1)a qualitative similarity between conical stromatolites and some modern microbial mats suggests a photosynthetic origin for ancient stromatolites;(2)conical stromatolites are thought to be robust indicators of the presence of photosynthetic microbes in aquatic environments as early as 3.5 billion years ago,and the cya-nobacterial production of oxygen in the tips of modern conical aggregates implies not only that cyanobacteria built conical stromatolites but also that oxygen bubbles resulted from the photosynthesis may constrain the timing of the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis.Therefore,many innovating cognitions obtained from studies on the morphological nature and its photosynthetic signals of the conical stromatolite,not only delegate an important ad-vancement on the study of stromatolites but also become a typical paradigm to interpret the biological process from sedimentological feature.Ultimately,it is meaningful to trace this aspect of studies for the further under-standing of

  14. Peritidal stromatolites at the convergence of groundwater seepage and marine incursion: Patterns of salinity, temperature and nutrient variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rishworth, Gavin M.; Perissinotto, Renzo; Bornman, Thomas G.; Lemley, Daniel A.

    2017-03-01

    Living peritidal stromatolites forming at the interface of coastal groundwater seepage and regular marine input are known from only a few locations globally, including South Africa, Western Australia and Northern Ireland. In contrast to modern stromatolites from exclusively fresh or marine waters, which persist due to high calcium carbonate saturation states or hypersaline and erosive conditions (which exclude organisms that might disrupt or out-compete the stromatolite-forming benthic microalgae), the factors supporting stromatolite formation at peritidal locations have not been well-documented. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the fine-scale physico-chemical parameters in terms of pool temperature, salinity and nutrient dynamics at three representative sites along the coastline near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. These parameters were assessed with reference to potential physical, meteorological and ocean drivers using a linear or linear mixed-effects modelling approach. Results demonstrate that nutrient inputs into the pools supporting the majority of stromatolite accretion (barrage pools) are driven by groundwater seepage site-specific properties related to anthropogenic occupation (dissolved inorganic nitrogen; DIN) as well as marine water incursion (dissolved inorganic phosphorus; DIP). Pool temperature is a function of seasonal ambient variability while salinity reflects regular state shifts from fresh to marine conditions, which are related to tidal amplitude and swell height. The regular marine incursions likely promote benthic primary biomass in the phosphorus-limited stromatolite pools, as well as preclude organisms which might otherwise outcompete or disrupt the stromatolite microalgae due to intolerances to extreme ( 1.5 to ≥ 30) salinity variability.

  15. Decreasing µ142Nd Variation in the Archean Convecting Mantle from 4.0 to 2.5 Ga: Heterogeneous Domain Mixing or Crustal Recycling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, A. D.; Debaille, V.

    2014-12-01

    The 146Sm-142Nd (t1/2=68 Ma) chronometer can be used to examine silicate differentiation in the first 400 Ma of Earth history. Early fractionation between Sm and Nd is recorded in cratonic Archean rocks in their 142Nd/144Nd ratios that that deviate up to ±20 ppm, or μ142Nd - ppm deviation relative to the present-day convecting mantle at 0. These values likely record early extraction of incompatible trace element (ITE) enriched material with -μ142Nd, either as crust or late stage residual melt from a magma ocean, and resulting in a complimentary ITE depleted residual mantle with +μ142Nd. If this early-formed ITE-enriched material was re-incorporated rapidly back into the convecting mantle, both ITE-enriched and ITE-depleted mantle domains would have been established in the Hadean. Alternatively, if it was early-formed crust that remained stable it could have slowly eroded and progressively remixed into the convecting mantle as subducted sediment during the Archean. Each of these scenarios could potentially explain the decrease in the maximum variation in µ142Nd from ±20 at 4.0 Ga to 0 at 2.5 Ga [1,2,3]. In the scenario where these variations reflect mixing of mantle domains, this implies long mantle mixing times of greater than 1 Ga in the Archean in order to preserve the early-formed heterogeneities. This can be achieved in a stagnant lid tectonic regime in the Archean with sporadic and short subduction cycles [2]. This scenario would also indicate that mixing times in the convecting mantle were much slower than the previously proposed 100 Ma in the Hadean and Archean. In the alternative scenario, sediment with -µ142Nd was progressively mixed into the mantle via subduction in the Archean [3]. This scenario doesn't require slow mantle mixing times or a stagnant-lid regime. It requires crustal resident times of up to 750 Ma to maintain a steady supply of ancient sediment recycling over the Archean. Each of these scenarios evoke very contrasting conditions for

  16. Exceptional preservation of Mn-oxidizing microbes in cave stromatolites (El Soplao, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano, Rafael P.; Rossi, Carlos

    2012-05-01

    Many ferromanganese stromatolites of El Soplao Cave (N Spain) are characterized for the exceptional preservation and high diversity of microbial fossils, probably representing the best example of microbial preservation described in ferromanganese deposits so far. The El Soplao stromatolites are mainly formed by polymetallic Mn-rich oxides with subordinate and variable amounts of detrital material, and consist of both dendritic and laminar microfacies. In both microfacies, microbial forms are abundant in the relatively pure Mn-oxide rich material, whereas they are scarce in areas with significant detrital material. Microbial forms are observed either in cross section, completely embedded in the Mn-oxide-rich matrix, or in three dimensions lining the walls of pores. Based on their morphology, we have separated the most abundant microbial forms into six main morphotypes and six additional submorphotypes, most of which can be assigned to bacteria. Most morphotypes consist of coccoid, coccobacilus, or filamentous forms. Therefore they are not diagnostic of any particular bacterial group. However, the ovoid cells of morphotype B show cylindrical polar protuberances typical of prosthecate alpha-Proteobacteria. On the basis of characteristic morphological features, three submorphotypes of morphotype B can be assigned to three alpha-Proteobacteria genera: Hyphomicrobium, Pedomicrobium, and Caulobacter. This ascription is supported by the well known Mn-oxidizing behavior of both Pedomicrobium and Caulobacter, and by the common presence of Hyphomicrobium in ferromanganese deposits elsewhere. The excellent microbial preservation is partly related to the origin of the ferromanganese oxides, i.e. extracellular precipitation induced by microbial metabolism. Other factors contributing to the good microbial preservation are the relatively low degree of diagenetic alteration, and the relatively high accretion rates of stromatolites compared to other ferromanganese deposits. The

  17. Hydrothermal Processes in the Archean - New Insights from Imaging Spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruitenbeek, F.J.A. van

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this research was to gain new insights in fossil hydrothermal systems using airborne imaging spectroscopy. Fossil submarine hydrothermal systems in Archean greenstone belts and other geologic terranes are important because of their relationship with volcanic massive sulfide (VMS) mineral

  18. Hydrothermal Processes in the Archean - New Insights from Imaging Spectroscopy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruitenbeek, F.J.A. van

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this research was to gain new insights in fossil hydrothermal systems using airborne imaging spectroscopy. Fossil submarine hydrothermal systems in Archean greenstone belts and other geologic terranes are important because of their relationship with volcanic massive sulfide (VMS) mineral

  19. Late Archean Surface Ocean Oxygenation (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, B.; Reinhard, C.; Lyons, T. W.; Kaufman, A. J.; Anbar, A. D.

    2009-12-01

    Oxygenic photosynthesis must have evolved by 2.45-2.32 Ga, when atmospheric oxygen abundances first rose above 0.001% present atmospheric level (Great Oxidation Event; GOE). Biomarker evidence for a time lag between the evolution of cyanobacterial oxygenic photosynthesis and the GOE continues to be debated. Geochemical signatures from sedimentary rocks (redox-sensitive trace metal abundances, sedimentary Fe geochemistry, and S isotopes) represent an alternative tool for tracing the history of Earth surface oxygenation. Integrated high-resolution chemostratigraphic profiles through the 2.5 Ga Mt. McRae Shale (Pilbara Craton, Western Australia) suggest a ‘whiff’ of oxygen in the surface environment at least 50 M.y. prior to the GOE. However, the geochemical data from the Mt. McRae Shale does not uniquely constrain the presence or extent of Late Archean ocean oxygenation. Here, we present high-resolution chemostratigraphic profiles from 2.6-2.5 Ga black shales (upper Campbellrand Subgroup, Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa) that provide the earliest direct evidence for an oxygenated ocean water column. On the slope beneath the Campbellrand - Malmani carbonate platform (Nauga Formation), a mildly oxygenated water column (highly reactive iron to total iron ratios [FeHR/FeT] ≤ 0.4) was underlain by oxidizing sediments (low Re and Mo abundances) or mildly reducing sediments (high Re but low Mo abundances). After drowning of the carbonate platform (Klein Naute Formation), the local bottom waters became anoxic (FeHR/FeT > 0.4) and intermittently sulphidic (pyrite iron to highly reactive iron ratios [FePY/FeHR] > 0.8), conducive to enrichment of both Re and Mo in sediments, followed by anoxic and Fe2+-rich (ferruginous) conditions (high FeT, FePY/FeHR near 0). Widespread surface ocean oxygenation is suggested by Re enrichment in the broadly correlative Klein Naute Formation and Mt. McRae Shale, deposited ~1000 km apart in the Griqualand West and Hamersley basins

  20. Reconstructed ancestral enzymes suggest long-term cooling of Earth's photic zone since the Archean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Amanda K.; Schopf, J. William; Yokobori, Shin-ichi; Akanuma, Satoshi; Yamagishi, Akihiko

    2017-05-01

    Paleotemperatures inferred from the isotopic compositions (δ18O and δ30Si) of marine cherts suggest that Earth’s oceans cooled from 70 ± 15 °C in the Archean to the present ˜15 °C. This interpretation, however, has been subject to question due to uncertainties regarding oceanic isotopic compositions, diagenetic or metamorphic resetting of the isotopic record, and depositional environments. Analyses of the thermostability of reconstructed ancestral enzymes provide an independent method by which to assess the temperature history inferred from the isotopic evidence. Although previous studies have demonstrated extreme thermostability in reconstructed archaeal and bacterial proteins compatible with a hot early Earth, taxa investigated may have inhabited local thermal environments that differed significantly from average surface conditions. We here present thermostability measurements of reconstructed ancestral enzymatically active nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDKs) derived from light-requiring prokaryotic and eukaryotic phototrophs having widely separated fossil-based divergence ages. The ancestral environmental temperatures thereby determined for these photic-zone organisms--shown in modern taxa to correlate strongly with NDK thermostability--are inferred to reflect ancient surface-environment paleotemperatures. Our results suggest that Earth's surface temperature decreased over geological time from ˜65-80 °C in the Archean, a finding consistent both with previous isotope-based and protein reconstruction-based interpretations. Interdisciplinary studies such as those reported here integrating genomic, geologic, and paleontologic data hold promise for providing new insight into the coevolution of life and environment over Earth history.

  1. Development of the archean crust in the medina mountain area, wind river range, wyoming (U.S.A.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koesterer, M.E.; Frost, C.D.; Frost, B.R.; Hulsebosch, T.P.; Bridgwater, D.; Worl, R.G.

    1987-01-01

    Evidence for an extensive Archean crustal history in the Wind River Range is preserved in the Medina Mountain area in the west-central part of the range. The oldest rocks in the area are metasedimentary, mafic, and ultramafic blocks in a migmatite host. The supracrustal rocks of the Medina Mountain area (MMS) are folded into the migmatites, and include semi-pelitic and pelitic gneisses, and mafic rocks of probable volcanic origin. Mafic dikes intrude the older migmatites but not the MMS, suggesting that the MMS are distinctly younger than the supracrustal rocks in the migmatites. The migmatites and the MMS were engulfed by the late Archean granite of the Bridger, Louis Lake, and Bears Ears batholiths, which constitutes the dominant rock of the Wind River Range. Isotopic data available for the area include Nd crustal residence ages from the MMS which indicate that continental crust existed in the area at or before 3.4 Ga, but the age of the older supracrustal sequence is not yet known. The upper age of the MMS is limited by a 2.7 Ga RbSr age of the Bridger batholith, which was emplaced during the waning stages of the last regional metamorphism. The post-tectonic Louis Lake and Bears Ears batholiths have ages of 2.6 and 2.5 Ga, respectively (Stuckless et al., 1985). At least three metamorphic events are recorded in the area: (1) an early regional granulite event (M1) that affected only the older inclusions within the migmatites, (2) a second regional amphibolite event (M2) that locally reached granulite facies conditions, and (3) a restricted, contact granulite facies event (M3) caused by the intrusion of charnockitic melts associated with the late Archean plutons. Results from cation exchange geobarometers and geothermometers yield unreasonablu low pressures and temperatures, suggesting resetting during the long late Archean thermal evenn. ?? 1987.

  2. Stromatolite laminae (Lagoa Vermelha, Brasil) as archives for reservoir age changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruggmann, Sylvie; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Hajdas, Irka

    2016-04-01

    As laminated biogenic or abiogenic sedimentary structures [1], stromatolites record environmental changes along growth profiles, revealing possible changes in reservoir ages due to input of older carbon. A modern stromatolite sample was collected in Lagoa Vermelha (100 km east of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil) an area known for upwelling of South Atlantic Central Water (SACW). 34 samples from a transect cutting the lamination were collected with a hand-driller for standard geochemistry and 14C AMS analyses. Shells collected in 2015 were analysed for estimation of the present-day reservoir age. 14C ages of laminae and the reservoir age were used to apply the age-depth model to the stromatolite transect with the OxCal depositional model (Marine13 calibration curve; [2]). Small-scale changes in the composition of laminae report environmental changes, e.g. upwelling. The well-laminated middle part (laminated boundstone; ca. 4cm) of the stromatolite transect was found to have grown in a short time period of less than 100 years (1163-1210 14C y BP), with four excursions towards older 14C ages (ca. 1200 14C y BP). To detect possible changes of marine 14C, calendar years assuming a stable modern reservoir age were used to simulate atmospheric 14C ages with the southern hemisphere IntCal13 atmospheric calibration curve [3]. The offset between the measured and simulated 14C ages indicates a variability of the reservoir age between -99 and 268 14C y with highest reservoir correction found for the layers with indication of environmental changes (e.g. upwelling). Thus, this simulation confirms the occurrence of older carbon and points out the sensitivity of stromatolites for changing reservoir ages. [1] M.A. Semikhatov, C.D. Gebelein, P. Cloud, S.M. Awramik, W.C. Benmore (1979). Stromatolite morphogenesis - progress and problems. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 19:992-1015. [2] P.J. Reimer, E. Bard, A. Bayliss, J. W. Beck, P. G. Blackwell, C. Bronk Ramsey, C. E. Buck, H. Cheng, R

  3. Complex patterns in fossilized stromatolites revealed by hyperspectral imaging (400-2496 nm).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, R J; Van Kranendonk, M J; Kelloway, S J; Wainwright, I E

    2016-09-01

    Hyperspectral imaging (400-2496 nm) was used to quantitatively map surface textures and compositional variations in stromatolites to determine whether complexity of textures could be used as evidence to support biogenicity in the absence of preserved biomarkers. Four samples of 2.72-2.4 Ga stromatolites from a variety of settings, encompassing marine and lacustrine environments, were selected for hyperspectral imaging. Images of the sawn surfaces of samples were processed to identify reflectance and mineral absorption features and quantify their intensity (as an index of mineral abundance) using automated feature extraction. Amounts of ferrous iron were quantified using a ratio of reflectance at 1650 and 1299 nm. Visible near infrared imagery (400-970 nm) did not reveal additional textural patterns to those obtained from visual inspection. Shortwave infrared imagery (1000-2496 nm), however, revealed complex laminar and convoluted patterns, including a distinctive texture of sharp peaks and broad, low troughs in one sample, similar to living tufted microbial mats. Spectral analysis revealed another sample to be composed of dolomite. Two other samples were dominated by calcite or chlorite ± illite. Large variations in amounts of ferrous iron were found, but ferric iron was exclusively located in the oxidation crust. Hyperspectral imaging revealed large differences between parts of a sample of biogenic and non-biogenic origin. The former was characterized by calcite with varying amounts of ferrous iron, distributed in lenticular, convoluted patterns; the latter by Mg-Fe chlorite with large amounts of aluminium silicate, distributed as fine laminar layers. All minerals identified by hyperspectral imaging were confirmed by thin section petrography and XRD analyses. Spatial statistics generated from quantitative minerals maps showed different patterns between these different parts of the sample. Thus, hyperspectral imaging was shown to be a powerful tool for

  4. A proposal for formation of Archaean stromatolites before the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Frederick Allen

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Stromatolites are solid, laminar structures of biological origin. Living examples are sparsely distributed and formed by cyanobacteria, which are oxygenic phototrophs. However, stromatolites were abundant between 3.4 and 2.4 Gyr, prior to the advent of cyanobacteria and oxygenic photosynthesis. Here I propose that many Archaean stromatolites were seeded at points of efflux of hydrogen sulfide from hydrothermal fields into shallow water, while their laminar composition arose from alternating modes of strictly anoxygenic photosynthetic metabolism. These changes were a redox regulatory response of gene expression to changing hydrogen sulfide concentration, which fluctuated with intermittent dilution by tidal action or by rainfall into surface waters. The proposed redox switch between modes of metabolism deposited sequential microbial mats. These mats gave rise to alternating carbonate sediments predicted to retain evidence of their origin in differing ratios of isotopes of carbon and sulfur. The mats may have arisen either by replacement of microbial populations or by continuous lineages of protocyanobacteria in which a redox genetic switch selected between type I and type II photosynthetic reaction centers, and thus between photolithoautotrophic and photoorganoheterotrophic metabolism. In the latter case, and by 2.4 Gyr at the latest, a mutation had disabled the redox genetic switch to give simultaneous constitutive expression of both type I and type II reaction centers, and thus to the ability to extract electrons from manganese and then water. By this simple step, the first cyanobacterium had the dramatic advantage of emancipation from limiting supplies of inorganic electron donors, produced free molecular oxygen as a waste product, and initiated the Great Oxidation Event in Earth’s history at the transition from the Archaean to the Paleoproterozoic.

  5. Changing Microspatial Patterns of Sulfate-Reducing Microorganisms (SRM during Cycling of Marine Stromatolite Mats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru I. Petrisor

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Microspatial arrangements of sulfate-reducing microorganisms (SRM in surface microbial mats (~1.5 mm forming open marine stromatolites were investigated. Previous research revealed three different mat types associated with these stromatolites, each with a unique petrographic signature. Here we focused on comparing “non-lithifying” (Type-1 and “lithifying” (Type-2 mats. Our results revealed three major trends: (1 Molecular typing using the dsrA probe revealed a shift in the SRM community composition between Type-1 and Type-2 mats. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH coupled to confocal scanning-laser microscopy (CSLM-based image analyses, and 35SO42−-silver foil patterns showed that SRM were present in surfaces of both mat types, but in significantly (p < 0.05 higher abundances in Type-2 mats. Over 85% of SRM cells in the top 0.5 mm of Type-2 mats were contained in a dense 130 µm thick horizontal layer comprised of clusters of varying sizes; (2 Microspatial mapping revealed that locations of SRM and CaCO3 precipitation were significantly correlated (p < 0.05; (3 Extracts from Type-2 mats contained acylhomoserine-lactones (C4- ,C6- ,oxo-C6,C7- ,C8- ,C10- ,C12- , C14-AHLs involved in cell-cell communication. Similar AHLs were produced by SRM mat-isolates. These trends suggest that development of a microspatially-organized SRM community is closely-associated with the hallmark transition of stromatolite surface mats from a non-lithifying to a lithifying state.

  6. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wei; Paterson, Greig A; Zhu, Qiyun; Wang, Yinzhao; Kopylova, Evguenia; Li, Ying; Knight, Rob; Bazylinski, Dennis A; Zhu, Rixiang; Kirschvink, Joseph L; Pan, Yongxin

    2017-02-28

    Microbes that synthesize minerals, a process known as microbial biomineralization, contributed substantially to the evolution of current planetary environments through numerous important geochemical processes. Despite its geological significance, the origin and evolution of microbial biomineralization remain poorly understood. Through combined metagenomic and phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching magnetotactic bacteria from the Nitrospirae phylum, and using a Bayesian molecular clock-dating method, we show here that the gene cluster responsible for biomineralization of magnetosomes, and the arrangement of magnetosome chain(s) within cells, both originated before or near the Archean divergence between the Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria This phylogenetic divergence occurred well before the Great Oxygenation Event. Magnetotaxis likely evolved due to environmental pressures conferring an evolutionary advantage to navigation via the geomagnetic field. Earth's dynamo must therefore have been sufficiently strong to sustain microbial magnetotaxis in the Archean, suggesting that magnetotaxis coevolved with the geodynamo over geological time.

  7. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, Greig A.; Wang, Yinzhao; Kopylova, Evguenia; Li, Ying; Knight, Rob; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Zhu, Rixiang; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Pan, Yongxin

    2017-01-01

    Microbes that synthesize minerals, a process known as microbial biomineralization, contributed substantially to the evolution of current planetary environments through numerous important geochemical processes. Despite its geological significance, the origin and evolution of microbial biomineralization remain poorly understood. Through combined metagenomic and phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching magnetotactic bacteria from the Nitrospirae phylum, and using a Bayesian molecular clock-dating method, we show here that the gene cluster responsible for biomineralization of magnetosomes, and the arrangement of magnetosome chain(s) within cells, both originated before or near the Archean divergence between the Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria. This phylogenetic divergence occurred well before the Great Oxygenation Event. Magnetotaxis likely evolved due to environmental pressures conferring an evolutionary advantage to navigation via the geomagnetic field. Earth’s dynamo must therefore have been sufficiently strong to sustain microbial magnetotaxis in the Archean, suggesting that magnetotaxis coevolved with the geodynamo over geological time. PMID:28193877

  8. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wei; Paterson, Greig A.; Zhu, Qiyun; Wang, Yinzhao; Kopylova, Evguenia; Li, Ying; Knight, Rob; Bazylinski, Dennis A.; Zhu, Rixiang; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Pan, Yongxin

    2017-02-01

    Microbes that synthesize minerals, a process known as microbial biomineralization, contributed substantially to the evolution of current planetary environments through numerous important geochemical processes. Despite its geological significance, the origin and evolution of microbial biomineralization remain poorly understood. Through combined metagenomic and phylogenetic analyses of deep-branching magnetotactic bacteria from the Nitrospirae phylum, and using a Bayesian molecular clock-dating method, we show here that the gene cluster responsible for biomineralization of magnetosomes, and the arrangement of magnetosome chain(s) within cells, both originated before or near the Archean divergence between the Nitrospirae and Proteobacteria. This phylogenetic divergence occurred well before the Great Oxygenation Event. Magnetotaxis likely evolved due to environmental pressures conferring an evolutionary advantage to navigation via the geomagnetic field. Earth’s dynamo must therefore have been sufficiently strong to sustain microbial magnetotaxis in the Archean, suggesting that magnetotaxis coevolved with the geodynamo over geological time.

  9. Hospitable archean climates simulated by a general circulation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, E T; Toon, O B

    2013-07-01

    Evidence from ancient sediments indicates that liquid water and primitive life were present during the Archean despite the faint young Sun. To date, studies of Archean climate typically utilize simplified one-dimensional models that ignore clouds and ice. Here, we use an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to a mixed-layer ocean model to simulate the climate circa 2.8 billion years ago when the Sun was 20% dimmer than it is today. Surface properties are assumed to be equal to those of the present day, while ocean heat transport varies as a function of sea ice extent. Present climate is duplicated with 0.06 bar of CO2 or alternatively with 0.02 bar of CO2 and 0.001 bar of CH4. Hot Archean climates, as implied by some isotopic reconstructions of ancient marine cherts, are unattainable even in our warmest simulation having 0.2 bar of CO2 and 0.001 bar of CH4. However, cooler climates with significant polar ice, but still dominated by open ocean, can be maintained with modest greenhouse gas amounts, posing no contradiction with CO2 constraints deduced from paleosols or with practical limitations on CH4 due to the formation of optically thick organic hazes. Our results indicate that a weak version of the faint young Sun paradox, requiring only that some portion of the planet's surface maintain liquid water, may be resolved with moderate greenhouse gas inventories. Thus, hospitable late Archean climates are easily obtained in our climate model.

  10. Mantle decarbonation and Archean high-Mg magmas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Garth R.

    1992-10-01

    Magnesium-rich mane to ultramafic extrusions were most common in the Archean and pose interesting petrological problems. The high Mg content of komatiites (>18 wt%, for example, is usually interpreted as indicating an origin at higher temperatures than exist in mantle melting zones in the modern Earth. Current contrasting models for the origin of komatiites in the mantle require either high degrees of melting or lower degrees of melting at great depth. A potential complementary mechanism for Mg enrichment in magmas involves the melting of magnesite-bearing garnet Iherxolite. In this model, the ascending primary mafic or ultramafic magma is enriched in MgO by the loss of some off the CO2 to the adjacent mantle at pressures of ˜2.2 GPa, where the magma becomes saturated with CO2. To generate komatiite in this way from a picritelike parent, for example, requires that the primary magma lose some of its major and trace element components to the adjacent mantle concurrently with the CO2. Production of magnesian magmas by magnesite breakdown may not have required the heat or depth of those produced by other means; this mechanism may help to explain some apparently low Archean geothermal gradients, as well as the contemporaneity of Archean diamonds and komatites. The mantle magnesite could have formed by direct reaction of primordial CO2 or CO with hot, protomantle material during Earth's accretionary period.

  11. How widely is the Andean type of continental margin represented in the Archean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Kevin

    1988-01-01

    Application of the principle of uniformitarianism to the Archean was discussed in a search for evidence of Archean-type continental margins in Archean rocks. The author cautioned that Archean rocks represent only 2 percent of the current exposure of the continents, half of which is in the North American Superior Province. Care must be taken in interpreting the global tectonic significance of relatively small exposures of Archean rocks, such as South India. Andean margins were characterized by their elongate shape, magmatic associations, and isotopic signatures. Although the compositional evidence alone will always be ambiguous, it was suggested that supporting structural evidence may aid in the identification of Archean Andean margins. Andean margin remains have been recognized in the Superior Province of Canada by these criteria, and the author suggested that the Closepet granite of South India may represent another example.

  12. Composition and origin of Archean lower crust, Northern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansur, A. T.; Manya, S.; Rudnick, R.

    2008-12-01

    Granulite-facies xenoliths from tuff cones erupted on the margin of the Tanzanian craton and within the adjacent Mozambique belt in northern Tanzania offer an opportunity to assess the role of lower crustal processes in the tectonic evolution of these two terranes. Both terranes are Archean, but record very different histories, starting in the Proterozoic and continuing today. Whereas the craton experienced little metamorphism or igneous activity following its stabilization around 2.8 Ga, Archean rocks of the Mozambique belt in the study area experienced at least one episode of high-grade metamorphism during the East African orogeny (ca. 640 Ma). Today, the East African rift exists at the contact between the Mozambique belt and the craton, implying a fundamental lithospheric weakness at this boundary. Granulite xenoliths come from Labait, on the craton margin, and Lashaine and Naibor Soito in the metamorphic belt. Most xenoliths are mafic and all are igneous in origin. Cratonic xenoliths (pl- opx±cpx±gt±hbl) are primarily anhydrous two-pyroxene granulites that likely originated as crystallized high-Ni, Archean basaltic melts. Xenoliths from the Mozambique belt are dominated by mafic granulites (pl-cpx-gt±opx) at Lashaine and banded, mafic to intermediate granulites at Naibor Soito. Positive Sr and Eu anomalies imply that the Lashaine granulites originated as plagioclase cumulates. The wide range in SiO2 (47-65 wt%) and correlation of Ni-MgO in the Naibor Soito xenoliths suggests they may have originated as igneous rocks that subsequently underwent partial melting to form the mafic (pl- opx±cpx±gt±hbl±bt) and felsic bands (pl-qtz-opx±kfs). U-Pb zircon ages for xenoliths from both terranes are Archean, as are most TDM ages, though younger TDM ages are seen in some Lashaine samples that were contaminated by rift magma. High pressures (up to 2.7GPa) are recorded by the Mozambique belt xenoliths, suggesting equilibration in thickened crust during the East

  13. The Role of Cyanobacteria in Stromatolite Morphogenesis, Highborn Cay Bahamas: An Integrated Field and Laboratory Simulation Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prufert-Bebout, Leslie; Shepard, Rebekah; Reid, Pamela R.; Fonda, Mark (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Geomicrobiological phenomena are among the most fundamental of interactions between Earth and its biosphere. Actively growing and lithifying stromatolites at Highborne Cay Bahamas, have recently been documented and allow for detailed examination of the roles microbes play in the mineralization process. These stromatolites contain a variety of complex microbial communities with distinct distribution patterns for different microbial groups. Cyanobacteria are the primary producers in this system providing energy, directly or indirectly, for the entire stromatolite microbial community. They also play key roles in the trapping and binding of sediments. Most of these species are highly motile and can adjust their position and orientation within the sediment matrix in order to optimize their access to irradiance and nutrients. As individual species have different physical and metabolic properties, this motility generally results in segregated distributions of species, which in turn contributes to the laminated textures observed in these actively forming stromatolites. Increasingly our studies suggest that the activities and locations of various cyanobacterial species also contribute greatly to the localization of new mineral precipitation through a variety of processes. We are investigating these contributions using an integrated approach combining detailed observations of field samples with manipulative experiments using both field samples and cultures of specific organisms isolated from these stromatolites. Experiments are conducted both in standard laboratory conditions and in outdoor running seawater flumes. A variety of standard techniques; SEM (scanning electron microscopy), petrographic analyses, TEM (transmission electron microscopy), are used to compare mineralization processes in field samples with those generated in laboratory-flume simulations. Using this approach we are able to more thoroughly investigate the effects of irradiance, CaCO3 saturation, and

  14. Xenon Fractionation and Archean Hydrogen Escape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahnle, K. J.

    2015-01-01

    Xenon is the heaviest gas found in significant quantities in natural planetary atmospheres. It would seem the least likely to escape. Yet there is more evidence for xenon escape from Earth than for any element other than helium and perhaps neon. The most straightforward evidence is that most of the radiogenic Xe from the decay of (129)I (half-life 15.7 Myr) and (244)Pu (half-life 81 Myr) that is Earth's birthright is missing. The missing xenon is often attributed to the impact erosion of early atmospheres of Earth and its ancestors. It is obvious that if most of the radiogenic xenon were driven off by impacts, most of the rest of the atmophiles fared the same fate. The other line of evidence is in the nonradiogenic isotopes of xenon and its silent partner, krypton. Atmospheric xenon is strongly mass fractionated (at about 4% per amu) compared to any known solar system source (Figure 1). This is in stark contrast to krypton, which may not be fractionated at all: atmospheric Kr is slightly heavier than solar Kr (at about 0.5% per amu), but it is the same as in carbonaceous chondrites. Nonradiogenic xenon is also under abundant relative to krypton (the so-called "missing xenon" problem). Together these observations imply that xenon has been subject to fractionating escape and krypton not.

  15. Radiative forcings for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Byrne

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Despite reduced insolation in the late Archean, evidence suggests a warm climate which was likely sustained by a stronger greenhouse effect, the so-called Faint Young Sun Problem (FYSP. CO2 and CH4 are generally thought to be the mainstays of this enhanced greenhouse, though many other gases have been proposed. We present high accuracy radiative forcings for CO2, CH4 and 26 other gases, performing the radiative transfer calculations at line-by-line resolution and using HITRAN 2012 line data for background pressures of 0.5, 1, and 2 bar. For CO2 to resolve the FYSP alone, 0.21 bar is needed with 0.5 bar of atmospheric pressure, 0.13 bar with 1 bar of atmospheric pressures, or 0.07 bar with 2 bar of atmospheric pressure. For CH4, we find that near-infrared absorption is much stronger than previously thought, arising from updates to the HITRAN database. CH4 radiative forcing peaks at 10.3, 9, or 8.3 W m−2 for background pressures of 0.5, 1 or 2 bar, likely limiting the utility of CH4 for warming the Archean. For the other 26 HITRAN gases, radiative forcings of up to a few to 10 W m−2 are obtained from concentrations of 0.1–1 ppmv for many gases. We further calculate the reduction of radiative forcing due to gas overlap for the 20 strongest gases. We recommend the forcings provided here be used both as a first reference for which gases are likely good greenhouse gases, and as a standard set of calculations for validation of radiative forcing calculations for the Archean.

  16. Accretionary origin for the late Archean Ashuanipi Complex of Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Percival, J. A.

    1988-01-01

    The Ashuanipi complex is one of the largest massif granulite terrains of the Canadian Shield. It makes up the eastern end of the 2000 km long, lower-grade, east-west belts of the Archean Superior Province, permitting lithological, age and tectonic correlation. Numerous lithological, geochemical and metamorphic similarities to south Indian granulites suggest common processes and invite comparison of tectonic evolution. The Ashuanipi granulite terrain of the Cannadian Superior Province was studied in detail, and an origin through self-melting of a 55 km thick accretionary wedge seems possible.

  17. The Photochemical Oxidation of Siderite That Drove Hydrogen Based Microbial Redox Reactions in The Archean Biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J. D.; Yee, N.; Falkowski, P. G.

    2012-12-01

    Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and molecular hydrogen (H2) is a rich source of electron in a mildly reducing environment for microbial redox reactions, such as anoxygenic photosynthesis and methanogenesis. Subaerial volcanoes, ocean crust serpentinization and mid-ocean ridge volcanoes have been believed to be the major source of the hydrogen flux to the atmosphere. Although ferrous ion (Fe2+) photooxidation has been proposed as an alternative mechanism by which hydrogen gas was produced, ferruginous water in contact with a CO2-bearing atmosphere is supersaturated with respect to FeCO3 (siderite), thus the precipitation of siderite would have been thermodynamically favored in the Archean environment. Siderite is the critical mineral component of the oldest fossilized microbial mat. It has also been inferred as a component of chemical sedimentary protolith in the >3750 Ma Nuvvuagittuq supracrustal belt, Canada and the presence of siderite in the protolith suggests the occurrence of siderite extends to Hadean time. Analyses of photooxidation of siderite suggest a significant flux of hydrogen in the early atmosphere. Our estimate of the hydrogen production rate under Archean solar flux is approximately 50 times greater than the estimated hydrogen production rate by the volcanic activity based on a previous report (Tian et al. Science 2005). Our analyses on siderite photooxidation also suggest a mechanism by which banded iron formation (BIF) was formed. The photooxidation transforms siderite to magnetite/maghemite (spinnel iron oxide), while oxygenic oxidation of siderite leads to goethite, and subsequently to hematite (Fe3+2O3) upon dehydration. We will discuss the photochemical reaction, which was once one of the most ubiquitous photochemical reactions before the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. Photooxidation of siderite over time by UV light From left to right: UV oxidized siderite, pristine siderite, oxidized siderite by oxygen

  18. Oxidative Weathering of Archean Sulfides: Implications for the Great Oxidation Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, A.; Romaniello, S. J.; Reinhard, C.; Garcia-Robledo, E.; Revsbech, N. P.; Canfield, D. E.; Lyons, T. W.; Anbar, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    The first widely accepted evidence for oxidation of Earth's atmosphere and oceans occurs ~2.45 Ga immediately prior to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). A major line of evidence for this transition includes the abundances and isotopic variations of redox-sensitive transition metals in marine sediments (e.g., Fe, Mo, Re, Cr, and U). It is often assumed that oxidative weathering is required to liberate these redox-sensitive elements from sulfide minerals in the crust, and hence that their presence in early Archean marine sediments signifies that oxidative weathering was stimulated by small and/or transient "whiffs" of O2 in the environment.1 However, studies of crustal sulfide reactivity have not been conducted at O2 concentrations as low as those that would have prevailed when O2 began its rise during the late Archean (estimated at consumed dissolved O2 in a range of pH-buffered solutions.3Our data extend the range of experimental pyrite oxidation rates in the literature by three orders of magnitude from ~10-3 present atmospheric O2 to ~10-6. We find that molybdenite and pyrite oxidation continues to law and reaction order of pyrite oxidation kinetics change significantly at nanomolar concentrations of O2 when compared to previous compilations.2 Our results provide new empirical data that should allow for more precise quantitative constraints on atmospheric pO2 based on the sedimentary rock record. 1Anbar, A.D. et al., 2007. Science, 317, i. 5846: 1903-1906. 2Williamson & Rimstidt, 1994. Geochim. et Cosmochim. Acta, 58, n. 24: 5443-5454. 3Lehner et al., 2015. PLoS ONE, 10, n. 6: 1-15.

  19. Ediacaran stromatolites and intertidal phosphorite of the Salitre Formation, Brazil: Phosphogenesis during the Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caird, R. A.; Pufahl, P. K.; Hiatt, E. E.; Abram, M. B.; Rocha, A. J. D.; Kyser, T. K.

    2017-04-01

    The Ediacaran Nova America and Gabriel members of the Salitre Formation are composed of limestone and economic phosphorite that accumulated on an unrimmed epeiric ramp along the margins of the Irecê Basin, Brazil. Deposition occurred during a marine transgression punctuated by higher-order fluctuations in relative sea-level that produced m-scale, shallowing-upward peritidal cycles. Cycles consist of six lithofacies rich in microbial sedimentary structures including subtidal, cross-stratified grainstones and hemispheroidal columnar stromatolite reefs overlain by intertidal flat sediments indicative of decreasing accommodation. Phosphorite is restricted to the paleocoast where digitate stromatolite biostromes colonized tidal flats. Phosphorite accumulation is interpreted to have been associated with biostromes because photosynthetic oxygen production created a redox gradient beneath the seafloor that phosphogenic chemosynthetic bacteria exploited. The concentration of francolite or sedimentary apatite in microbial laminae suggests these bacteria actively stored, released, and concentrated phosphate to promote in situ precipitation. The sealing effect of interbedded, fine-grained tidal deposits was also critical for maintaining the high levels of pore water phosphate required. The absence of francolite in subtidal columnar stromatolite reefs implies phosphogenesis was prevented in deeper, more energetic environments because wave pumping of oxygenated seawater through reefs surrounded by constantly moving grainy sediment promoted the recycling of P directly back to the water column. The Salitre Formation has a complex paragenesis, including hydrothermal alteration that produced Mississippi Valley-type Pb-Zn mineralization. δ18O values of Nova America member dolomites range from - 10.2‰ to - 0.5‰ (mean = - 3.9‰) and δ13C ranges from - 9.2‰ to + 10.0‰ (mean = + 2.8‰). Samples contain varying proportions of low-Mg calcite and saddle dolomite. δ18O values

  20. Diatoms in acid mine drainage and their role in the formation of iron-rich stromatolites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brake, S.S.; Hasiotis, S.T.; Dannelly, H.K. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2004-08-01

    Adverse conditions in the acid mine drainage (AMD) system at the Green Valley mine, Indiana, limit diatom diversity to one species, Nitzschia tubicola. It is present in three distinct microbial consortia: Euglena mutabilis-dominated biofilm, diatom-dominated biofilm, and diatom-exclusive biofilm. E. mutabilis dominates the most extensive biofilm, with lesser numbers of N. tubicola, other eukaryotes, and bacteria. Diatom-dominated biofilm occurs as isolated patches containing N. tubicola with minor fungal hyphae, filamentous algae, E. mutabilis, and bacteria. Diatom-exclusive biofilm is rare, composed entirely of N. tubicola. Diatom distribution is influenced by seasonal and intraseasonal changes in water temperature and chemistry. Diatoms are absent in winter due to cool water temperatures. In summer, isolated patchy communities are present due to warmer water temperatures. In 2001, the diatom community expanded its distribution following a major rainfall that temporarily diluted the effluent, creating hospitable conditions for diatom growth. After several weeks when effluent returned to preexisting conditions, the diatom biofilm retreated to isolated patches, and E. mutabilis biofilm flourished. Iron-rich stromatolites underlie the biofilms and consist of distinct laminae, recording spatial and temporal oscillations in physicochemical conditions and microbial activity. The stromatolites are composed of thin, wavy laminae with partially decayed E. mutabilis biofilm, representing microbial activity and iron precipitation under normal AMD conditions. Alternating with the wavy layers are thicker, porous, spongelike laminae composed of iron precipitated on and incorporated into radiating colonies of diatoms. These layers indicate episodic changes in water chemistry, allowing diatoms to temporarily dominate the system.

  1. Carbonate organo-mineral micro- and ultrastructures in sub-fossil stromatolites: Marion lake, South Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perri, E; Tucker, M E; Spadafora, A

    2012-03-01

    Sub-fossil stromatolites (5000-3000 years old) occur on the marginal flat surrounding Marion Lake (South Australia). A micrite/microsparite crystal fabric characterises these fine-grained, well-laminated stromatolites, which lack trapped grains. The internal lamination is characterised by a sub-millimetric alternation of porous and dense laminae. The microfabric of the laminae is ubiquitously composed of a fine (10-20 μm) peloidal texture, with many thinner aphanitic layers. Aggregates of very fine, low-Mg calcite and aragonite constitute both peloidal and aphanitic micrite, which is coated, respectively, by spherulitic and fringing acicular microspar. Micrite, with a high organic matter content, is formed of coalescing nanospheres grading into small polyhedrons, probably composed mainly of aragonite, with less calcite enriched in Mg, Sr, Na and S. Bacteria-like microfossils and relics of extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) occur abundantly within this micritic framework. The former consist of empty moulds and mineralised bodies of coccoid forms, whereas EPS relics consist of sheet-like or filamentous structures that appear both mineralised and more often still preserved as a C-enriched dehydrated substance that represents the main organic matter component of the deposit. Acicular crystals, which show a prismatic elongate shape, are composed of Mg-depleted aragonite that lacks fossils or organic relicts. Degrading EPS and micro-organisms appear gradually to be replaced and entombed by the nanospherical precipitates, implying the existence of processes of organo-mineralisation within an original syn-sedimentary microbial community. Succeeding micron-scale crystals merge to form isolated or connected micritic aggregates (the peloids), followed by the gradual formation of the acicular crystals as purely inorganic precipitates.

  2. Erosion of Archean continents: The Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic record of Barberton sedimentary rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garçon, M.; Carlson, R. W.; Shirey, S. B.; Arndt, N. T.; Horan, M. F.; Mock, T. D.

    2017-06-01

    Knowing the composition, nature and amount of crust at the surface of the early Earth is crucial to understanding the early geodynamics of our planet. Yet our knowledge of the Hadean-Archean crust is far from complete, limited by the poor preservation of Archean terranes, and the fact that less attention has been paid to the sedimentary record that tracks erosion of these ancient remnants. To address this problem and get a more comprehensive view of what an Archean continent may have looked like, we investigated the trace element and Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf isotopic records of Archean metasedimentary rocks from South Africa. We focused our study on sandstone and mudstone from drill core in the Fig Tree Group (3.23-3.26 Ga) of the Barberton granite-greenstone belt, but also analyzed the 3.4 Ga Buck Reef cherts and still older (3.5-3.6 Ga) meta-igneous rocks from the Ancient Gneiss Complex, Swaziland. Based on principal component analysis of major and trace element data, the Fig Tree metasedimentary rocks can be classified into three groups: crustal detritus-rich sediments, Si-rich sediments and Ca-, Fe-rich sediments. The detritus-rich sediments have preserved the Sm-Nd and Lu-Hf isotopic signatures of their continental sources, and hence can be used to constrain the composition of crust eroded in the Barberton area in the Paleoarchean period. Based on Sm/Nd ratios, we estimate that this crust was more mafic than today, with an average SiO2 content of 60.5 ± 2 wt.%. This composition is further supported by isotopic mixing calculations suggesting that the sedimentary source area contained equal proportions of mafic-ultramafic and felsic rocks. This implies that the Archean crust exposed to weathering was more mafic than today but does not exclude a more felsic composition at depth. Neodymium and Hf crustal residence ages show that the eroded crust was, on average, ∼300-400 Ma older than the deposition age of the sediments, which highlights the importance of intracrustal

  3. Iron isotopes in ancient and modern komatiites: Evidence in support of an oxidised mantle from Archean to present

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hibbert, K. E. J.; Williams, H. M.; Kerr, A. C.; Puchtel, I. S.

    2012-03-01

    The mantle of the modern Earth is relatively oxidised compared to the initially reducing conditions inferred for core formation. The timing of the oxidation of the mantle is not conclusively resolved but has important implications for the timing of the development of the hydrosphere and atmosphere. In order to examine the timing of this oxidation event, we present iron isotope data from three exceptionally well preserved komatiite localities, Belingwe (2.7 Ga), Vetreny (2.4 Ga) and Gorgona (0.089 Ga). Measurements of Fe isotope compositions of whole-rock samples are complemented by the analysis of olivine, spinel and pyroxene separates. Bulk-rock and olivine Fe isotope compositions (δ57Fe) define clear linear correlations with indicators of magmatic differentiation (Mg#, Cr#). The mean Fe isotope compositions of the 2.7-2.4 Ga and 0.089 Ga samples are statistically distinct and this difference can be explained by greater extent of partial melting represented by the older samples and higher mantle ambient temperatures in the Archean and early Proterozoic relative to the present day. Significantly, samples of all ages define continuous positive linear correlations between bulk rock δ57Fe and V/Sc and δ57Fe and V, and between V/Sc and V with TiO2, providing evidence for the incompatible behaviour of V (relative to Sc) and of isotopically heavy Fe. Partial melting models calculated using partition coefficients for V at oxygen fugacities (fO2s) of 0 and + 1 relative to the fayalite-magnetite-quartz buffer (FMQ) best match the data arrays, which are defined by all samples, from late Archean to Tertiary. These data, therefore, provide evidence for komatiite generation under moderately oxidising conditions since the late Archean, and argue against a change in mantle fO2 concomitant with atmospheric oxygenation at ~ 2.4 Ga.

  4. Block and shear-zone architecture of the Minnesota River Valley subprovince: Implications for late Archean accretionary tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southwick, D.L.; Chandler, V.W.

    1996-01-01

    The Minnesota River Valley subprovince of the Superior Province is an Archean gneiss terrane composed internally of four crustal blocks bounded by three zones of east-northeast-trending linear geophysical anomalies. Two of the block-bounding zones are verified regional-scale shears. The geological nature of the third boundary has not been established. Potential-field geophysical models portray the boundary zones as moderately north-dipping surfaces or thin slabs similar in strike and dip to the Morris fault segment of the Great Lakes tectonic zone at the north margin of the subprovince. The central two blocks of the subprovince (Morton and Montevideo) are predominantly high-grade quartzofeldspathic gneiss, some as old as 3.6 Ga, and late-tectonic granite. The northern and southern blocks (Benson and Jeffers, respectively) are judged to contain less gneiss than the central blocks and a larger diversity of syntectonic and late-tectonic plutons. A belt of moderately metamorphosed mafic and ultramafic rocks having some attributes of a dismembered ophiolite is partly within the boundary zone between the Morton and Montevideo blocks. This and the other block boundaries are interpreted as late Archean structures that were reactivated in the Early Proterozoic. The Minnesota River Valley subprovince is interpreted as a late accretionary addition to the Superior Province. Because it was continental crust, it was not subductible when it impinged on the convergent southern margin of the Superior Craton in late Archean time, and it may have accommodated to convergent-margin stresses by dividing into blocks and shear zones capable of independent movement.

  5. Pre-plate tectonics and structure of the Archean mantle lithosphere imaged by seismic anisotropy - inferences from the LAPNET array in northern Fennoscandia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plomerova, Jaroslava; Vecsey, Ludek; Babuska, Vladislav; Lapnet Working Group

    2013-04-01

    Various studies of seismic anisotropy clearly demonstrate the Archean mantle lithosphere consists of domains with different fabrics reflecting fossil anisotropic structures. We detect anisotropic signal both in the P-wave travel-time deviations and shear-wave splitting recorded by the LAPNET array (2007-2009) in the Archean craton of Fennoscandia (Plomerova et al., 2011). The anisotropic parameters change across the array and stations with similar characteristics form groups. The geographical variations of seismic-wave anisotropy delimit individual sharply bounded domains of the mantle lithosphere, each of them having a consistent fabric. The domains can be modelled in 3D by peridotite aggregates with dipping lineation a, or foliation (a,c). Also radial anisotropy of the Archean lithosphere derived from surface waves indicates inclined structure of all the cratonic regions of the continents, though with less detailed lateral resolution in comparison with body-wave anisotropy. These findings allow us to interpret the domains as micro-plate fragments retaining fossil fabrics in the mantle lithosphere, reflecting thus an olivine LPO created before the micro-plates assembled. Successive subductions of oceanic lithosphere is a mechanism which can work in modern-style plate tectonics as we know it now, being considered as widespread since 2.7 Ga. Though the modern plate tectonics is the most distinct tectonic style acting up to now, we have to consider a mechanism creating oriented structures (fabrics) in a pre-plate-tectonic style. The early lithosphere formed in dynamic conditions far from simple cooling which would result in sub-horizontal layered structure of the lithosphere. Earlier tectonic modes in a hotter and more dynamic Earth might be similar in some respects to those of the modern-plate tectonics. Basaltic "rockbergs" on convecting magma ocean in the Hadean Earth are supposed to turn to either proto-plate tectonics with platelets and supercratonal, or, to

  6. Archean evolution of the Leo Rise and its Eburnean reworking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiéblemont, Denis; Goujou, Jean Christian; Egal, Emmanuel; Cocherie, Alain; Delor, Claude; Lafon, Jean Michel; Fanning, C. Mark

    2004-06-01

    Recent geological mapping in southeastern Guinea, supported by zircon dating, has called into question traditional understanding concerning the evolution of the Leo Rise. Gneiss dated at about 3540 Ma appears to constitute the earliest evidence for continental accretion within the Leo Rise. The existence of a Leonian depositional cycle at about 3000 Ma is confirmed, marked by volcanic and sedimentary rocks that can be correlated with the Loko Group in Sierra Leone. The span of ages (3244-3050 Ma) suggests that the Leonian cycle comprises different episodes whose respective chronology is as yet uncertain. Clearly distinct from the Leonian cycle, the Liberian cycle (˜2900-2800 Ma) is represented in Guinea by granite and migmatite (˜2910-2800 Ma), reflecting remobilization of the ancient Archean basement and deformation of the Leonian rocks; no deposition is associated with this cycle. After the Liberian, the Nimba and Simandou successions, containing Liberian detrital zircons, are assigned to the Birimian (˜2200-2000 Ma). Finally, Eburnean tectonism caused intense deformation of the Archean craton, accompanied by high-grade metamorphism and the intrusion of granite and syenite with ages between 2080 and 2020 Ma. The evolution of the Kénéma-Man domain, attributed to the cumulated effect of the Leonian and Liberian cycles, is thus in part Eburnean. We can suppose, therefore, that the NNE-SSW-trending structures attributed to the Liberian in Sierra Leone are, in fact, Eburnean. The Kambui Supergroup, also affected by this tectonism, should thus be assigned to the Birimian rather than the Liberian, which would explain its similarities with the Nimba and Simandou successions.

  7. Millimeter-scale concentration gradients of hydrocarbons in Archean shales: Live-oil escape or fingerprint of contamination?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brocks, Jochen J.

    2011-06-01

    Archean shales from the Pilbara in Western Australia contain biomarkers that have been interpreted as evidence for the existence of cyanobacteria and eukaryotes 2.7 billion years (Ga) ago, with far reaching implications for the evolution of Earth's early biosphere. To re-evaluate the provenance of the biomarkers, this study determined the spatial distribution of hydrocarbons in the original drill core material. Rock samples were cut into millimeter-thick slices, and the molecular content of each slice was analyzed. In core from the Hamersley Group (˜2.5 Ga), C chromatographic phenomena associated with live-oil escape and contaminant diffusion have strong effects on molecular ratios and maturity parameters, potentially with broad implications for oil-source rock correlation studies and paleoenvironmental interpretations. For the Archean shales, the live-oil effect is consistent with some of the observed patterns, but only the contamination model fully explains the complex chromatographic fingerprints. Therefore, the biomarkers in the Pilbara samples have an anthropogenic origin, and previous conclusions about the origin of eukaryotes and oxygenic photosynthesis based on these samples are not valid. However, the study also identified indigenous molecules. The spatial distribution of particular aromatic hydrocarbons suggests they are syngenetic. Although devoid of biological information, these aromatics now represent the oldest known clearly-indigenous terrestrial liquid hydrocarbons.

  8. Carbonate Platform Development and Stromatolite Morphogenesis: Constraints on Environmental and Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grotzinger, John P.

    2003-01-01

    Work has been completed on the digital mapping of a terminal Proterozoic reef complex in Namibia. This complex formed an isolated carbonate platform developed downdip on a carbonate ramp of the Nama Group. The stratigraphic evolution of the platform was digitally reconstructed from an extensive dataset that was compiled by using digital surveying technologies. The platform comprises three accommodation cycles in which each subsequent cycle experienced progressively greater influence of a long-term accommodation increase. Aggradation and progradation during the first cycle resulted in a flat, uniform, sheet-like platform. The coarsening and shallowing-upward sequence representing the first cycle is dominated by columnar stromatolitic thrombolites and massive dolostones with interbedded mudstone-grainstone at the base of the sequence grading into cross-bedded dolostones. The second cycle features aggradation, formation of a distinct margin containing thrombolite mounds and domes, and the development of a bucket geometry. Columnar stromatolitic thrombolites dominate the platform interior. The final stage of platform development shows a deepening trend with initial aggradation and formation of well-bedded, thin deposits in the interior and mound development at the margins. While the interior drowned, the platform margin kept up with rising sea level and a complex pinnacle reef formed containing fused and coalesced thrombolite mounds flanked by bioclastic grainstones (containing Cloudina and Namacalathus fossils) and collapse breccias. A set of isolated large thrombolite mounds flanked by shales indicate the final stage of the carbonate platform. During a progressive increase in accommodation, a flat-topped isolated carbonate platform becomes aerially less extensive by either backstepping or formation of smaller pinnacles or a combination of both. The overall geometric evolution of the studied platform from flat-topped to bucket with elevated margins is recorded in many

  9. Eclogite-High-Pressure Granulite Belt in Northern Edge of the Archean North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1998-01-01

    The discovery of retrograded eclogites and high-pressure basic granulites in the joining region of Hebei-Shanxi-Inner Mongolia (HSIM) abandon the old thoughts that Archean granulites in the North China craton are of middle or low pressure facies and promote the reconsideration of Early Precambrian cratonization tectonic process, and reveal the geological fact that the scale, rigid behavior and geological structure of Archean cratonic blocks have strong similarities to the present fundamental plate tectonics, which suggest new tectonic mechanism to understand the early continental evolution of the North China craton. (1) The retrograded eclogites and high-pressure granulites constitute a ENE-NE-striking structure-rock zone termed as the Sanggan structural belt. (2) The retrograded eclogites are closely associated with high-pressure granulites. We can call this belt a transitional eclogite-granulite facies metamorphic belt. Petrographically three metamorphic stages, at least, in the retrograded eclogite can be distinguished. ① The main mineral assemblage is composed of garnet+clinopyroxene+quartz+rutile. The mineral inclusions in garnet are fine-grained quartz, rutile and small inclusions of fine-grained second stage mineral aggregate. This aggregate consists of hypersthene+albite, and has the typical texture of small hypersthene core surrounded by albite micro-grained grains. ② The second mineral assemblage is represented by corona of garnet and symplectite of clinopyroxene. The corona of garnet is composed of hypersthene+plagioclase+clinopyroxene+a minor amount of quartz and magnetite. The symplectite of clinopyroxene is composed of hypersthene + albite+clinopyroxene. The secondary mineral assemblage along boundaries between quartz and garnet (or clinopyroxene) is fine-grained aggregate of hypersthene and clinopyroxene. ③ The third retrograded metamorphic minerals are mainly amphiboles replacing pyroxenes and plagioclases replacing garnets. The estimated

  10. How to draw down CO2 from severe Hadean to habitable Archean?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhelezinskaia, I.; Ding, S.; Mulyukova, E.; Martirosyan, N.; Johnson, A.; West, J. D.; Kolesnichenko, M.; Saloor, N.; Moucha, R.

    2015-12-01

    It has been hypothesized that as the magma ocean crystallized in the Hadean, volatiles such as CO2 and H2O were released to the surface culminating with the formation of a liquid ocean by about 4.4 Ga [1] and hot CO2-rich atmosphere [2]. The resulting late Hadean atmospheric pCO2 may have been as high as 100 bars [3] with corresponding surface temperatures ~500 K [4]. Geological evidence suggests that by the early-to-mid Archean, atmospheric pCO2 became less than 1 bar [5]. However, the mechanisms responsible for the great amount of CO2 drawdown in a relatively short period of time remain enigmatic. To identify these possible mechanisms, we have developed a box model during the CIDER 2015 Summer Program that takes into account geological constraints on basalt alteration [6, 7] and possible rate of new oceanic crust formation [8] for the Archean. Our model integrates geodynamic and geochemical approaches of interaction between the Hadean atmosphere, hydrosphere, oceanic crust, and mantle to drawdown CO2. Our primary assumption for the Hadean is the absence of the continental crust and thus continental weathering. Therefore in the model we present, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is regulated by the formation of oceanic crust (OC), rate of the interaction between the ocean and OC, and carbonate subduction/CO2 degassing. Preliminary results suggest that it would take about 1 billion years for the atmospheric CO2 to decrease to 1 bar if the production of oceanic crust was 10 times more than today and the pH of the ocean was less than 7, making the basalt alteration more efficient. However, there is evidence that some continental crust began to form as early as 4.4 Ga [9] and therefore the role of continental weathering and its rate of CO2 drawdown will need to be further explored. References: [1] Wilde et al. (2001). Nature 409(6817), 175-178. [2] Walker (1985). Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere 16(2), 117-127. [3] Elkins-Tanton (2008). EPSL, 271, 181

  11. Rare Earth Element and yttrium compositions of Archean and Paleoproterozoic Fe formations revisited: New perspectives on the significance and mechanisms of deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Planavsky, Noah; Bekker, Andrey; Rouxel, Olivier J.; Kamber, Balz; Hofmann, Axel; Knudsen, Andrew; Lyons, Timothy W.

    2010-11-01

    The ocean and atmosphere were largely anoxic in the early Precambrian, resulting in an Fe cycle that was dramatically different than today's. Extremely Fe-rich sedimentary deposits—i.e., Fe formations—are the most conspicuous manifestation of this distinct Fe cycle. Rare Earth Element (REE) systematics have long been used as a tool to understand the origin of Fe formations and the corresponding chemistry of the ancient ocean. However, many earlier REE studies of Fe formations have drawn ambiguous conclusions, partially due to analytical limitations and sampling from severely altered units. Here, we present new chemical analyses of Fe formation samples from 18 units, ranging in age from ca. 3.0 to 1.8 billion years old (Ga), which allow a reevaluation of the depositional mechanisms and significance of Precambrian Fe formations. There are several temporal trends in our REE and Y dataset that reflect shifts in marine redox conditions. In general, Archean Fe formations do not display significant shale-normalized negative Ce anomalies, and only Fe formations younger than 1.9 Ga display prominent positive Ce anomalies. Low Y/Ho ratios and high shale-normalized light to heavy REE (LREE/HREE) ratios are also present in ca. 1.9 Ga and younger Fe formations but are essentially absent in their Archean counterparts. These marked differences in Paleoproterozoic versus Archean REE + Y patterns can be explained in terms of varying REE cycling in the water column. Similar to modern redox-stratified basins, the REE + Y patterns in late Paleoproterozoic Fe formations record evidence of a shuttle of metal and Ce oxides across the redoxcline from oxic shallow seawater to deeper anoxic waters. Oxide dissolution—mainly of Mn oxides—in an anoxic water column lowers the dissolved Y/Ho ratio, raises the light to heavy REE ratio, and increases the concentration of Ce relative to the neighboring REE (La and Pr). Fe oxides precipitating at or near the chemocline will capture these REE

  12. Paleo-watertable definition using cave ferromanganese stromatolites and associated cave-wall notches (Sierra de Arnero, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Carlos; Villalaín, Juan J.; Lozano, Rafael P.; Hellstrom, John

    2016-05-01

    The steeply-dipping-dolostone-hosted caves of the Sierra de Arnero (N Spain) contain low-gradient relict canyons with up to ten mapped levels of ferromanganese stromatolites and associated wall notches over a vertical range of 85 m, the highest occurring ~ 460 m above base level. Despite a plausible speleogenetic contribution by pyrite oxidation, and the irregular cave-wall mesomorphologies suggestive of hypogenic speleogenesis, the Arnero relict caves are dominantly epigenic, as indicated by the conduit pattern and the abundant allogenic sediments. Allogenic input declined over time due to a piracy-related decrease in the drainage area of allogenic streams, explaining the large size of the relict Arnero caves relative to the limited present-day outcrop area of the karstified carbonates. Allogenic-sediment input also explains the observed change from watertable canyons to phreatic conduits in the paleo-downstream direction. Stromatolites and notches arguably formed in cave-stream passages at the watertable. The best-defined paleo-watertables show an overall slope of 1.7°, consistent with the present-day relief of the watertable, with higher-slope segments caused by barriers related to sulfide mineralization. The formation of watertable stromatolites favored wall notching by the combined effect of enhanced acidity by Mn-Fe oxidation and shielding of cave floors against erosion. Abrasive bedload further contributed to notch formation by promoting lateral mechanical erosion and protecting passage floors. The irregular wallrock erosional forms of Arnero caves are related partly to paragenesis and partly to the porous nature of the host dolostones, which favored irregular dissolution near passage walls, generating friable halos. Subsequent mechanical erosion contributed to generate spongework patterns. The dolostone porosity also contributes to explain the paradox that virtually all Arnero caves are developed in dolostone despite being less soluble than adjacent

  13. The oldest records of photosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awramik, S. M.

    1992-01-01

    There is diverse, yet controversial fossil evidence for the existence of photosynthesis 3500 million years ago. Among the most persuasive evidence is the stromatolites described from low grade metasedimentary rocks in Western Australia and South Africa. Based on the understanding of the paleobiology of stromatolites and using pertinent fossil and Recent analogs, these Early Archean stromatolites suggest that phototrophs evolved by 3500 million years ago. The evidence allows further interpretation that cyanobacteria were involved. Besides stromatolites, microbial and chemical fossils are also known from the same rock units. Some microfossils morphologically resemble cyanobacteria and thus complement the adduced cyanobacterial involvement in stromatolite construction. If cyanobacteria had evolved by 3500 million years ago, this would indicate that nearly all prokaryotic phyla had already evolved and that prokaryotes diversified rapidly on the early Earth.

  14. Melting of a subduction-modified mantle source: A case study from the Archean Marda Volcanic Complex, central Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, P. A.; Kirkland, C. L.

    2014-03-01

    Subduction processes on early earth are controversial, with some suggestions that tectonics did not operate until the earth cooled to a sufficient point around the Archean-Proterozoic boundary. One way of addressing this issue is to examine well-preserved successions of Archean supracrustal rocks. Here we discuss petrography, whole-rock chemical and isotopic data combined with zircon Hf isotopes from andesites, high-magnesium andesites (HMA), dacites, high-magnesium dacites (HMD), rhyolites and coeval felsic intrusive rocks of the c. 2730 Ma Marda Volcanic Complex (MVC) in the central Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. We demonstrate that these rocks result from melting of a metasomatized mantle source, followed by fractional crystallization in a crustal magma chamber. Contamination of komatiite by Archean crust, to produce the Marda Volcanic Complex andesites, is not feasible, as most of these crustal sources are too radiogenic to act as viable contaminants. The ɛNd(2730) of MVC andesites can be produced by mixing 10% Narryer semi-pelite with komatiite, consistent with modelling using Hf isotopes, but to achieve the required trace element concentrations, the mixture needs to be melted by about 25%. The most likely scenario is the modification of a mantle wedge above a subducting plate, coeval with partial melting, producing volcanic rocks with subduction signatures and variable Mg, Cr and Ni contents. Subsequent fractionation of cognate phases can account for the chemistry of dacites and rhyolites.

  15. Linking the Fe-, Mo-, and Cr isotope records with the multiple S isotope record of Archean sedimentary rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmoto, H.; Watanabe, Y.

    2011-12-01

    Researchers have interpreted the isotopic data of redox sensitive elements (e.g., Fe, Mo and Cr) in Archean- and Proterozoic-aged sedimentary rocks within a framework of an atmospheric O2 evolution model that relied on an interpretation of the multiple sulfur isotopic record of sedimentary rocks. The current paradigm is that the anomalous isotopic fractionations of sulfur (AIF-S, or MIF-S) in sedimentary rocks were created by the UV photolysis of volcanic SO2 in an O2-poor (i.e., pO2 atmosphere, and that the rise of atmospheric pO2 to > 1 ppm occurred at ~2.45 Ga. However, this paradigm has recently encountered the following serious problems: (1) UV photolysis of SO2 by a broad-band UV lamp, which simulates the UV spectra of the sun light, produced the δ34S-Δ33S values for the S0 and SO4 that are significantly different from >90% of data on natural samples. (2) Many Archean-age sedimentary rocks do not exhibit AIF-S signatures. (3) Strong AIF-S signatures are typically found in organic C- and pyrite rich Archean-age black shales that were altered by submarine hydrothermal fluids during the early diagenetic stage of the rocks. (4) H2S, rather than SO2, was probably the dominant S-bearing volcanic gas on an anoxic Earth. Yet, UV photolysis of H2S does not generate AIF-S. (5) Some post-2.0 Ga natural samples were found to possess strong AIF-S signatures, such as sulfates in air pollutants that were produced by coal burning in an oxygen-rich atmosphere. Lasaga et al. (2008) demonstrated theoretically that chemisorption reactions between some solid surfaces and S-bearing aqueous (or gaseous) species, such as between organic matter and aqueous sulfate, may generate AIF-S. Watanabe et al. (2009; in prep.) demonstrated experimentally that reactions between simple amino acid crystals and sulfate under hydrothermal conditions produced AIF-S signatures that matched with more than 90% of data on natural samples. These studies, as well as the observed correlations between the

  16. Nitrogen fixation in microbial mat and stromatolite communities from Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falcón, L I; Cerritos, R; Eguiarte, L E; Souza, V

    2007-08-01

    Nitrogen fixation (nitrogenase activity, NA) of a microbial mat and a living stromatolite from Cuatro Cienegas, Mexico, was examined over spring, summer, and winter of 2004. The goal of the study was to characterize the diazotrophic community through molecular analysis of the nifH gene and using inhibitors of sulfate reduction and oxygenic and anoxygenic photosynthesis. We also evaluated the role of ultraviolet radiation on the diazotrophic activity of the microbial communities. Both microbial communities showed patterns of NA with maximum rates during the day that decreased significantly with 3-3,4-dichlorophenyl-1',1'-dimethylurea, suggesting the potential importance of heterocystous cyanobacteria. There is also evidence of NA by sulfur-reducing bacteria in both microbial communities suggested by the negative effect exerted by the addition of sodium molybdate. Elimination of infrared and ultraviolet radiation had no effect on NA. Both microbial communities had nifH sequences that related to group I, including cyanobacteria and purple sulfur and nonsulfur bacteria, as well as group II nitrogenases, including sulfur reducing and green sulfur bacteria.

  17. Deep-Time drilling in the Australian Archean: the Agouron Institute geobiological drilling project. (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buick, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Agouron Institute has sponsored deep-time drilling across the South African Archean-Proterozoic boundary, investigating the rise of oxygen over an onshore-offshore environmental transect. It is now supporting a drilling program in the Australian Archean of the Pilbara Craton, addressing a similar theme but with the added goal of resolving controversy over the age and origin of hydrocarbon biomarker molecules in ancient kerogenous shales. As these have been claimed to provide evidence for the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis long before the rise of atmospheric oxygen to persistently high levels during the ~2.3 Ga “Great Oxidation Event”, their syngenesis with their host shales is thus of critical importance for the interpretation of Earth’s early oxygenation history. During the first drilling season, 3 holes were drilled using techniques and equipment to minimize organic geochemical contamination (new drill-string components cleaned before drilling potentially biomarker-bearing rocks, pre-contamination of drilling fluid with a synthetic organic compound of similar geochemical characteristics to biomarkers, sterile cutting and storage of samples immediately upon retrieval from the core-barrel). The initial hole was a blank control for organic geochemistry, drilled into rocks too metamorphosed to retain biomarker molecules. These rocks, cherts, carbonates and pelites of the 3.52 Ga Coucal Formation, Coonterunah Group, have been metamorphosed to upper greenschist facies at temperatures near 500°C and so should have had any ancient soluble hydrocarbons destroyed. However, because they contain both carbonate and organic carbon, these rocks can instead provide isotopic information about the earliest evolution of biological metabolism as they possess residues of both the reactant and product sides of the carbon-fixation reaction. The second hole sampled an on-shore section of carbonates and kerogenous shales in the ~2.65 Ga Carawine Dolomite and Lewin Shale

  18. Archean Earth Atmosphere Fractal Haze Aggregates: Light Scattering Calculations and the Faint Young Sun Paradox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boness, D. A.; Terrell-Martinez, B.

    2010-12-01

    As part of an ongoing undergraduate research project of light scattering calculations involving fractal carbonaceous soot aggregates relevant to current anthropogenic and natural sources in Earth's atmosphere, we have read with interest a recent paper [E.T. Wolf and O.B Toon,Science 328, 1266 (2010)] claiming that the Faint Young Sun paradox discussed four decades ago by Carl Sagan and others can be resolved without invoking heavy CO2 concentrations as a greenhouse gas warming the early Earth enough to sustain liquid water and hence allow the origin of life. Wolf and Toon report that a Titan-like Archean Earth haze, with a fractal haze aggregate nature due to nitrogen-methane photochemistry at high altitudes, should block enough UV light to protect the warming greenhouse gas NH3 while allowing enough visible light to reach the surface of the Earth. To test this hypothesis, we have employed a rigorous T-Matrix arbitrary-particle light scattering technique, to avoid the simplifications inherent in Mie-sphere scattering, on haze fractal aggregates at UV and visible wavelenths of incident light. We generate these model aggregates using diffusion-limited cluster aggregation (DLCA) algorithms, which much more closely fit actual haze fractal aggregates than do diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) algorithms.

  19. Geochemistry of Archean Tonalitic—Ganodioritic Gneisses from Chicheng County,Northwestern Hebei Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈岳龙; 陈伟邦; 等

    1989-01-01

    Detailed geological,chronological,mineralogical,petrological and geochemical studies have been conducted of the Chichent gneissic complex in northwestern Hebei province.The gneissic complex is composed mainly of tonalitic-granodioritic rocks according to O'Connor's classification.The zircou U-Pb age of the gneissic complex is 2468-27+33 Ma.,consistent with that of the rocks in the North Tonalitic-granodioritic Gneiss Belt in the North China Platorm.The Archean Chicheng gneissic complex is part of the belt.No significant difference in composition between early anhedral metasomatic and late semi-euhedral plagiocalases suggests that the gneissic complex is not composed merely of mafic rocks replaced by felsic fiuids.The REE patterns in the complex,in conjunction with major and trace elements data,show that the gneissic complex is the mixture of felsic magma produced by partial melting of FI dacitic granulite and crystallate derived from the magma produced by 50%±partial melting of TH2 tholeiitic granulite and 40%±fractional crystallization of hornblende.

  20. New Constraints on Archean-Paleoproterozoic Carbonate Chemistry and pCO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blättler, C. L.; Higgins, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Very few constraints exist on Archean and Proterozoic seawater chemistry, leaving huge uncertainties on the boundary conditions for the evolution of life and a habitable environment. Ancient carbonate chemistry, which is intimately related to oceanic pH and atmospheric pCO2, remains particularly uncertain, despite its importance for understanding environments and temperatures on early Earth. Using a new application of high-precision calcium isotope measurements, we present data from the Tumbiana Formation (2.7 Ga, Western Australia), the Campbellrand Platform (2.6 Ga, South Africa) and the Pethei Group (1.9 Ga, Northwest Territories, Canada) that allow us to place constraints on carbonate chemistry both before and after the Great Oxidation Event. By analogy with calcium isotope behavior in sulfate minerals (Blättler and Higgins, 2014) and Mono Lake (Nielsen and DePaolo, 2013), we infer a lower limit on the ratio of calcium ions to carbonate alkalinity during deposition of these three sedimentary sequences. These data rule out the soda ocean hypothesis (Kempe and Degens, 1985) and make further predictions about the role of CO2 in solving the faint young Sun problem.

  1. Microaerobic steroid biosynthesis and the molecular fossil record of Archean life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldbauer, Jacob R.; Newman, Dianne K.; Summons, Roger E.

    2011-01-01

    The power of molecular oxygen to drive many crucial biogeochemical processes, from cellular respiration to rock weathering, makes reconstructing the history of its production and accumulation a first-order question for understanding Earth’s evolution. Among the various geochemical proxies for the presence of O2 in the environment, molecular fossils offer a unique record of O2 where it was first produced and consumed by biology: in sunlit aquatic habitats. As steroid biosynthesis requires molecular oxygen, fossil steranes have been used to draw inferences about aerobiosis in the early Precambrian. However, better quantitative constraints on the O2 requirement of this biochemistry would clarify the implications of these molecular fossils for environmental conditions at the time of their production. Here we demonstrate that steroid biosynthesis is a microaerobic process, enabled by dissolved O2 concentrations in the nanomolar range. We present evidence that microaerobic marine environments (where steroid biosynthesis was possible) could have been widespread and persistent for long periods of time prior to the earliest geologic and isotopic evidence for atmospheric O2. In the late Archean, molecular oxygen likely cycled as a biogenic trace gas, much as compounds such as dimethylsulfide do today. PMID:21825157

  2. Radiative forcings for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases

    CERN Document Server

    Byrne, Brendan

    2014-01-01

    Despite reduced insolation in the late Archean, evidence suggests a warm climate which was likely sustained by a stronger greenhouse effect, the so-called Faint Young Sun Problem (FYSP). CO2 and CH4 are generally thought to be the mainstays of this enhanced greenhouse, though many other gases have been proposed. We present high accuracy radiative forcings for CO2, CH4 and 26 other gases, performing the radiative transfer calculations at line-by-line resolution and using HITRAN 2012 line data for background pressures of 0.5, 1, and 2 bar of atmospheric N2. For CO2 to resolve the FYSP alone at 2.8 Gyr BP (80% of present solar luminosity), 0.32 bar is needed with 0.5 bar of atmospheric N2, 0.20 bar with 1 bar of atmospheric N2, or 0.11 bar with 2 bar of atmospheric N2. For CH4, we find that near-infrared absorption is much stronger than previously thought, arising from updates to the HITRAN database. CH4 radiative forcing peaks at 10.3, 9, or 8.3 Wm-2 for background pressures of 0.5, 1 or 2 bar, likely limiting ...

  3. Carbon isotope discrepancy between precambrian stromatolites and their modern analogs: Inferences from hypersaline microbial mats of the sinai coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schidlowski, Manfred

    1985-12-01

    The isotopic composition of organic carbon from extant stromatolite-type microbial ecosystems is commonly slanted toward heavy δ13 C values as compared to respective compositions of average organic matter (including that from Precambrian stromatolites). This seems the more enigmatic as the bulk of primary producers from benthic microbial communities are known to fix carbon via the C3 pathway normally entailing the sizable fractionations of the RuBP carboxylase reaction. There is reason to believe that the small fractionations displayed by aquatic microorganisms result from the limitations of a diffusion-controlled assimilatory pathway in which the isotope effect of the enzymatic reaction is largely suppressed. Apart from the diffusion-control exercised by the aqueous environment, transport of CO2 to the photosynthetically active sites will be further impeded by the protective slime (polysaccharide) coatings commonly covering microbial mats in which gas diffusivities are extremely low. Ineffective discrimination against13C becomes, however, most pronounced in hypersaline environments where substantially reduced CO2 solubilities tend to push carbon into the role of a limiting nutrient (brine habitats constitute preferential sanctuaries of mat-forming microbenthos since the emergence of Metazoan grazers ˜ 0.7 Ga ago). As the same microbial communities had been free to colonize normal marine environments during the Precambrian, the CO2 concentration effect was irrelevant to the carbon-fixing pathway of these ancient forms. Therefore, it might not surprise that organic matter from Precambrian stromatolites displays the large fractionations commonly associated with C3 photosynthesis. Increased mixing ratios of CO2 in the Precambrian atmosphere may have additionally contributed to the elimination of the diffusion barrier in the carbon-fixing pathways of ancient mat-forming microbiota.

  4. Implications of the Precambrian Non-stromatolitic Carbonate Succession Making up the Third Member of Mesoproterozoic Gaoyuzhuang Formation in Yanshan Area of North China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mei Mingxiang

    2007-01-01

    A particular non-stromatolitic carbonate succession making up the third member of the the Mesoproterozoic occurring at ca. 1 450 Ma besides other three events of the Proterozoic,respectively, occurred at ca. 2 000 Ma, ca. 1 000 Ma, and ca. 675 Ma. The forming duration of this non-stromatolitic carbonate succession can be generally correlative to that of a similar depositional succession in North America, i.e. a non-stromatolitic carbonate succession made up by the Helena Formation of the Belt Supergroup, which suggests that the stromatolite decline occurring at ca. 1 450 significance for the further understanding of Precambrian sedimentology. The Mesoproterozoic Gaoyuzhuang Formation in Yanshan area is a set of more than 1 000 m thick carbonate strata that can subformation) is marked by a set of stromatolitic dolomites overlying a set of transgressive sandstones; leiolite and laminite limestones and is characterized by the development of molar-tooth structures in dolomites of stromatolitic reefs or lithoherms. Sequence-stratigraphic divisions at two sections, i.e. the member of the Mesoproterozoic Gaoyuzhuang Formation is developed in the Yanshan area of North China, in which lots of grotesque matground structures (wrinkle structures and palimpsest ripples) are developed in beds of leiolite limestone at the Qiangou Section and lotsof molar-tooth structures are developed in beds of leiolite limestone at the Jixian Section. The time scale of the Gaoyuzhuang Formation is deduced as 200 Ma (from 1 600 Ma to 1 400 Ma). The duration of an obvious hiatus between the Gaoyuzhuang thus the forming duration of the Gaoyuzhuang Formation is thought as 100 Ma (1 500 Ma to 1 400 Ma). Furthermore, the age of the subface of the third member of the Gaoyuzhuang Formation that is just in the mid position of the Gaoyuzhuang Formation can be deduced as about 1 450 Ma, which is the basis to infer a stromatolite decline of the Mesoproterozoic occurring at ca. 1 450 Ma. Importantly

  5. The Rise of Continents and the Transition Archean to Proterozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, P. F.; Flament, N.; Coltice, N.

    2011-12-01

    Terrestrial planets evolve in part via partial melting and gravitational differentiation, and in part via fluid/rock interactions at the surface. Mass and energy transfers across their various envelopes depend on the mode of convective motion, which may involve stagnant or mobile lid systems, for which plate tectonics is a possible mode; one promoting the coupling between exogenic and endogenic envelopes. In the other hand, fluid/rock interaction at the surface depends on the planet hypsometry and availability of weathering agents such as liquid water. It also depends on fluid/rock interaction at mid-oceanic ridge and therefore on the mode of convection. Hence, from 4.54 to 2.5 Ga the interplay between deep and surface processes under the forcing of secular cooling was such that the Earth differentiation was non-linear with sudden crises that punctuated periods of relative quietness. The Earth secular cooling impacted on deep and surface processes through the modulation of the Earth's hypsometry. This modulation occurred via cooling and strengthening of the lithosphere (Rey and Coltice, Geology, 2008), and via the deepening of oceanic basin, which lowered the mean sea level forcing the continents to emerge (Flament et al., EPSL, 2008). Stronger lithospheres are able to sustain higher orogenic belts and orogenic plateaux, the erosion of which lead to stronger fluxes towards the ocean. Secular strengthening and emergence conspired to enhance weathering and erosion of the continents and therefore to enhance the geochemical coupling between the endogenic and exogenic Earth's envelopes (Rey and Coltice, Geology, 2008). The shift to the aerobic world, at the Archean to Proterozic transition, took place at a time when exogenic envelopes recorded major shifts in composition (eg. Taylor and McLennan, Rev. of Geophys., 1995; Veizer and Compston, Geochem. Cosmochem Acta, 1976; Valley et al., Contrib. to Mineral. Petrol., 2005) that are consistent with the progressive exposure

  6. Geological Sulfur Isotopes Indicate Elevated OCS in the Archean Atmosphere, Solving the Faint Young Sun Paradox

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ueno, Yuichiro; Johnson, Matthew Stanley; Danielache, Sebastian Oscar

    2009-01-01

    Distributions of sulfur isotopes in geological samples would provide a record of atmospheric composition if the mechanism producing the isotope effects could be described quantitatively. We determined the UV absorption spectra of 32SO2, 33SO2, and 34SO2 and use them to interpret the geological re......-rich, reducing Archean atmosphere. The radiative forcing, due to this level of OCS, is able to resolve the faint young sun paradox. Further, the decline of atmospheric OCS may have caused the late Archean glaciation....

  7. Variations in the magnitude of non mass dependent sulfur fractionation in the Archean atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire, M.; Kasting, J. F.

    2010-12-01

    Recent experimental data have enabled quantitatively meaningful computations of the non-mass dependent fractionation of sulfur’s isotopes (Δ33S) that exemplify the Archean rock record. The Δ33S signal originates as a result of fine structure in the absorption cross-section of SO2 isotopologues [1], which only undergo significant photolysis in reducing atmospheres [2]. The Δ33S signal produced by SO2 photolysis varies significantly between 190 and 220 nm, and thus is strongly dependent on any other atmospheric gases which absorb photons in this range [3], as well as the height at which photolysis occurs. A model that is capable of resolving the altitude-dependent radiative transfer through a realistic self-consistent reducing atmosphere is therefore essential when making direct comparisons between atmospheric Δ33S production and the rock record. In this work, we investigate how the magnitude of Δ33S might vary as function of atmospheric composition, which in turn allows the rock record to constrain the Archean atmosphere. Other recent work on this topic using simplied atmospheric models has implicated large concentrations of SO2 [5], OCS [3], and CO2 [6] as being responsible for the variations in Archean Δ33S. We present results from an altitude-dependent photochemical model of Archean photochemistry [4] of necessary complexity to resolve the complicated redox structure of the Archean atmosphere. We show that while increased concentrations of these gases all affect Δ33S in an unconstrained model, the atmospheric conditions required for OCS or SO2 shielding are unlikely to occur in an Archean atmosphere constrained by reasonable expectations of volcanic and biogenic fluxes. Within the context of plausible Archean atmospheres, we investigate how shielding due to changing amounts of CO2, biogenic sulfur gases, and fractal organic haze [7] affect the magnitude of Δ33S produced by the Archean atmosphere, and show why simplified atmospheric modeling may lead to

  8. Exploring ancient microbial community assemblages by creating complex lipid biomarker profiles for stromatolites and microbial mats in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, E.; Summons, R. E.; Schubotz, F.; Matys, E. D.

    2015-12-01

    Stromatolites that are biogenic in origin, a characteristic that can be determined by the coexistence of microbial mats (active microbial communities) and stromatolites (lithified structures) like in Hamelin Pool, comprise one of the best modern analogs to ancient microbial community assemblages. Comprehensive lipid biomarker profiles that include lipids of varying persistence in the rock record can help determine how previously living microbial communities are represented in lithified stromatolites. To create these profiles, the samples analyzed included non-lithified smooth, pustular, and colloform microbial mats, as well as smooth and colloform stromatolites. Select samples were separated into upper and lower layers of 5cm depth each. Intact polar lipids, glycerol dialkyl glycerol tetraethers, and bacteriohopanepolyols were analyzed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) coupled to a Quadropole Time-of-Flight (QTOF) mass spectrometer; additionally, fatty acids from each sample were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to prove consistent signatures with those determined by Allen et al. in 2010 for similar microbial mat samples. In accordance with those findings, 2-methylhopanoids were detected, as well as limited signals from higher (vascular) plants, the latter of which suggests terrestrial inputs, potentially from runoff. The rarely detected presence of 3-methylhopanoids appears in a significant portion of the samples, though further isolations of the molecule are needed to confirm. While all lipid profiles were relatively similar, certain differences in relative composition are likely attributable to morphological differences of the mats, some of which allow deeper oxygen and/or sunlight penetration, which influence the microbial community. However, overall similarities of transient and persistent lipids suggest that the microbial communities of both the non-lithified microbial mats and stromatolites are similar.

  9. Lead isotopic evolution of Archean continental crust, Northern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellucci, J. J.; McDonough, W. F.; Rudnick, R. L.; Walker, R. J.

    2010-12-01

    The continental crust is stratified in composition; the upper crust is generally enriched in highly incompatible trace elements relative to the lower crust [1]. The Western Granulite section of the Mozambique Belt of Northern Tanzania yields Archean Nd model ages and has zircons with U-Pb ages of ~2.6 Ga [2,3], but was strongly re-worked during the Pan-African Orogeny, ca. 560 Ma [2,3,4]. Here we use time-integrated Pb isotopic modeling for lower and middle crustal xenoliths, as well as upper crustal granulites to determine the timing of, and degree of intra-crustal differentiation. The Pb isotopic compositions of most feldspars in the lower crustal samples, measured via LA-MC-ICPMS, fall on the trend defined by the Tanzanian Craton [5] and therefore, were most likely extracted from the mantle at a similar time, ca. 2.7 Ga. However, some xenoliths fall off this trend and show enrichment in 207Pb/204Pb, which we interpret as reflecting derivation from more heterogeneous mantle than that sampled in the Tanzanian Craton. In contrast to lower crustal xenoliths from the Tanzanian Craton [5], we see no single feldspar Pb-Pb isochrons, which indicates complete re-homogenization of the Pb isotopic composition of the feldspars in the lower crust of the Mozambique Belt during the Pan-African Orogeny, and heating to > 600°C [5]. Using time integrated Pb modeling, the upper crust of the Western Granulites is enriched in U by ˜ 2.5 relative to that of the lower crust, which must have taken place around the time of mantle extraction (ca. 2.7 Ga). In addition, these calculations are consistent with a Th/U ratio of ˜ 4 for the bulk lower crust and ˜ 3 for the bulk upper crust. The common Pb isotopic composition of a single middle crustal xenolith implies a Th/U of 20, but is unlikely to be generally representative of the middle crust. [1] Rudnick, R. L. and Gao, S. (2003). In the Crust, vol. 3, Treatise on Geochemistry:1-64. [2] Mansur, A. (2008) Masters Thesis, University of

  10. An Archean Terrestrial Fractionation Line for Oxygen Isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumble, D.; Blake, R. E.; Bao, H.; Bowring, S.; Komiya, T.; Rosing, M.; Ueno, Y.

    2008-12-01

    The Terrestrial Fractionation Line (TFL) for oxygen isotopes is defined by 17O/16O and 18O/16O analyses of meteoric waters, seawater, sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks and constituent minerals. Interlaboratory measurements of the slope of the TFL on a plot of d18O vs. d17O revealed eclogitic garnets with a slope of 0.526 and hydrothermal quartz of 0.524 from rocks younger than 0.8 Ga (Giga years before present). New measurements show Archean metamorphic rocks and minerals from Barberton, (3.2 Ga, S. Africa), Isua (3.8 Ga, Greenland), and Acasta (4.0 Ga, Canada) have a slope of 0.524 +/- 0.002 (95% confidence, MSWD = 0.66). Analysis of Ag3PO4 prepared from apatite mineral separates from Isua meta-sediments gives a slope of 0.509 +/- 0.022 (95% confidence, MSWD = 0.59). Taken at face value, steeper slopes on a d17O vs. d18O diagram indicate an approach towards isotope exchange equilibrium. Lower slopes are expected when isotope fractionation is kinetically controlled. The lower slope of 0.509 for Isua apatite suggests that the formation of orthophosphate was kinetically controlled. Kinetic fractionations are known to occur during catalysis of reactions by enzymes secreted by microbes. Enzymatic catalysis confers an advantage on organisms because energy-producing reactions may be induced to occur at lower temperature conditions more accessible to the organism. May it be definitively concluded that enzymatic catalysis was responsible for the measured 0.509 slope? No, abiotic kinetic fractionation cannot be disproven with existing data. The preparation of Ag3PO4 from apatite may have introduced kinetic fractionation as an analytical artifact. Conclusions fully supported by the data suggest: (1) Mixing accompanying the violent birth of the Earth- Moon system had already succeeded in establishing Earth's current oxygen isotope composition by 4.0 Ga; and (2) No trace of an episode of late heavy meteorite bombardment remains in the oxygen isotope compositions of

  11. Vertical microbial community variability of carbonate-based cones may provide insight into ancient conical stromatolite formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, James; Daille, Leslie; Trivedi, Christopher; Bojanowski, Caitlin; Nunn, Heather; Stamps, Blake; Johnson, Hope; Stevenson, Bradley; Berelson, Will; Corsetti, Frank; Spear, John

    2016-04-01

    Stromatolite morphogenesis is poorly understood, and the process by which microbial mats become mineralized is a primary question in microbialite formation. Ancient conical stromatolites are primarily carbonate-based whereas the few modern analogues in hot springs are either non-mineralized or mineralized by silica. A team from the 2015 International GeoBiology Course investigated carbonate-rich microbial cones from near Little Hot Creek (LHC), Long Valley Caldera, California, to investigate how conical stromatolites might form in a hot spring carbonate system. The cones rise up from a layered microbial mat on the east side of a 45° C pool with very low flow that is super-saturated with respect to CaCO3. Cone structures are 8-30 mm in height, are rigid and do not deform when removed from the pool. Morphological characterization through environmental scanning electronic microscopy revealed that the cone structure is maintained by a matrix of intertwining microbial filaments around carbonate grains. This matrix gives rise to cone-filaments that are arranged vertically or horizontally, and provides further stability to the cone. Preliminary 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated variability of community composition between different vertical levels of the cone. The cone tip had comparatively greater abundance of filamentous cyanobacteria including Leptolingbya, Phormidium and Isosphaera and fewer heterotrophs (e.g. Chloroflexi) compared to the cone bottom. This supports the hypothesis that cone formation may depend on the differential abundance of the microbial community and their potential functional roles. Metagenomic analyses of the cones revealed potential genes related to chemotaxis and motility. Specifically, a genomic bin identified as a member of the genus Isosphaera contained an hmp chemotaxis operon implicated in gliding motility in the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme. Isosphaera is a Planctomycete shown to have phototactic capabilities, and may play a role in

  12. Geological sulfur isotopes indicate elevated OCS in the Archean atmosphere, solving faint young sun paradox

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueno, Yuichiro; Johnson, Matthew S.; Danielache, Sebastian O.; Eskebjerg, Carsten; Pandey, Antra; Yoshida, Naohiro

    2009-01-01

    Distributions of sulfur isotopes in geological samples would provide a record of atmospheric composition if the mechanism producing the isotope effects could be described quantitatively. We determined the UV absorption spectra of 32SO2, 33SO2, and 34SO2 and use them to interpret the geological record. The calculated isotopic fractionation factors for SO2 photolysis give mass independent distributions that are highly sensitive to the atmospheric concentrations of O2, O3, CO2, H2O, CS2, NH3, N2O, H2S, OCS, and SO2 itself. Various UV-shielding scenarios are considered and we conclude that the negative Δ33S observed in the Archean sulfate deposits can only be explained by OCS shielding. Of relevant Archean gases, OCS has the unique ability to prevent SO2 photolysis by sunlight at λ >202 nm. Scenarios run using a photochemical box model show that ppm levels of OCS will accumulate in a CO-rich, reducing Archean atmosphere. The radiative forcing, due to this level of OCS, is able to resolve the faint young sun paradox. Further, the decline of atmospheric OCS may have caused the late Archean glaciation. PMID:19706450

  13. Constraining the location of the Archean--Proterozoic suture in the Great Basin based on magnetotelluric soundings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Brian D.; Sampson, Jay A.

    2012-01-01

    It is important to understand whether major mining districts in north-central Nevada are underlain by Archean crust, known to contain major orogenic gold deposits, or, alternatively, by accreted crust of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. Determining the location and orientation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone between the Archean crust and Mojave province is also critical because it may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. In the Great Basin, the attitude of the suture zone is unknown because it is concealed below cover. A regional magnetotelluric sounding profile along the Utah-Nevada State line reveals a deeply penetrating, broad electrical conductor that may be the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northwest corner of Utah. This major crustal conductor's strike direction is northwest, where it broadens to about 80 km wide below about 3-km depth. These results suggest that the southwestern limit of intact Archean crust in this part of the Great Basin is farther north than previously reported. These results also suggest that the major gold belts in north-central Nevada are located over the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province, and the Archean terrain lies northeast in the northwest corner of Utah. Rifted Archean crust segments south and west of the suture suggest that future mineral exploration northeast of current mineral trends may yield additional gold deposits.

  14. High-grade metamorphism during Archean-Paleoproterozoic transition associated with microblock amalgamation in the North China Craton: Mineral phase equilibria and zircon geochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qiong-Yan; Santosh, M.; Tsunogae, Toshiaki

    2016-10-01

    Metamorphic regimes in Archean terranes provide important keys to the plate tectonic processes in early Earth. The North China Craton (NCC) is one of the ancient continental nuclei in Asia and recent models propose that the cratonic architecture was built through the assembly of several Archean microcontinental blocks into larger crustal blocks. Here we investigate garnet- and pyroxene-bearing granulite facies rocks along the periphery of the Jiaoliao microcontinental block in the NCC. The garnet-bearing granulites contain peak mineral assemblage of garnet + clinopyroxene + orthopyroxene + magnetite + plagioclase + quartz ± biotite ± ilmenite. Mineral phase equilibria computations using pseudosection and geothermobarometry suggest peak P-T condition of 800-830 °C and 7-8 kbar for metamorphism. Isopleths using XMg of orthopyroxene and XCa of garnet in another sample containing the peak mineral assemblage of garnet + orthopyroxene + quartz + magnetite ± fluid yield peak P-T conditions of 860-920 °C and 11-14 kbar. Geochemical data show tonalitic to granodioritic composition and arc-related tectonic setting for the magmatic protoliths of these rocks. Zircon LA-ICP-MS analyses yield well-defined discordia with upper intercept ages of 2562 ± 20 Ma (MSWD = 0.94) and 2539 ± 21 Ma (MSWD = 0.59) which is correlated with the timing of emplacement of the magmatic protolith. A younger group of zircons with upper intercept ages of 2449 ± 41 Ma (MSWD = 0.83); N = 6 as 2449 ± 41 Ma (MSWD = 0.83; N = 6) and 2480 ± 44 Ma (MSWD = 1.2; N = 9) constrains the timing of metamorphism. Zircon Lu-Hf data show dominantly positive εHf(t) values (up to 8.5), and yield crustal residence ages (TDMC) in the range of 2529 to 2884 Ma, suggesting magma sources from Meso-Neoarchean juvenile components. The high temperature and medium to high pressure metamorphism is considered to have resulted from the subduction-collision tectonics associated with microblock amalgamation in the NCC at

  15. Geochemistry of Archean Mafic Amphibolites from the Amsaga Area, West African Craton, Mauritania: What Is the Message?

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Atrassi, F.; Debaille, V.; Mattielli, N. D. C.; Berger, J.

    2014-12-01

    While Archean terrains are mainly composed of a TTG (Tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite) suite, more mafic lithologies such as amphibolites are also a typical component of those ancient terrains. Although mafic rocks represent only ~10% of the Archean cratons, they may provide key evidence of the role and nature of basaltic magmatism in the formation of the Archean crust as well as the evolution of the Archean mantle. This study focuses on the Archean crust from the West African Craton in Mauritania (Amsaga area). The Amsaga Archean Crust mainly consists of TTG and thrust-imbricated slices of mafic volcanic rocks, which have been affected by polymetamorphic events from the amphibolite to granulite facies. Our main objectives aim to the identification of the mafic lithology origin and a better understanding of their role in the continental crust emplacement. Our petrological observations show that these amphibolites have fine to medium granoblastic and nematoblastic textures. The amphibolites are dominated by amphibolite-facies mineral assemblages (mainly amphibole and plagioclase), but garnet and clinopyroxene occur in a few samples. Two groups are distinct in their geochemical characteristics (major and trace elements), although both have tholeiitic basalt composition. The first group show LREE-enriched patterns and negative Nb-Ta anomalies. The second group is characterized by near-flat LREE patterns and flat HREE patterns. This second group clearly shows no Nb-Ta anomalies. The first group could be related to arc-like basalts, as it is many similarities with some Archean amphibolites probably formed in a supra-subduction zone, for instance the volcanic rocks from the southern edge of the Isua Supracrustal Belt. On the contrary, the second group has a MORB-like signature which is more unusual during the Archean. Different scenarios will be discussed regards to the Archean geodynamics.

  16. Early

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamel Abd Elaziz Mohamed

    2014-04-01

    Conclusion: Early PDT is recommended for patients who require prolonged tracheal intubation in the ICU as outcomes like the duration of mechanical ventilation length of ICU stay and hospital stay were significantly shorter in early tracheostomy.

  17. Significance of fine-grained microfabrics from a Cretaceous stromatolite bed (Muñecas Fm, late Turonian, Northern Iberian Ranges, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Martínez, Marta; Reitner, Joachim; Gil, Javier; García-Hidalgo, José; Segura, Manolo

    2010-05-01

    A fine-grained stromatolite bed of great lateral continuity (km scale) and small synoptic relief (from 15 cm up to 40 cm) is registered in the Muñecas Formation (Floquet et al., 1982), of the Northern Iberian Ranges. Muñecas Fm is mainly composed of thin-bedded limestones and marls deposited during the late Turonian. At this time, the Iberian microplate was located in subtropical palaeolatitudes (20°N-30°N according Dercourt et al., 2000) and shallow-water carbonate platform facies were deposited in a wide and shallow seaway, along a NW-SE trending, intracratonic basin (Upper Cretaceous Iberian basin), between the emergent areas of the Hesperian massif to the W and the Ebro massif to the NE (Segura et al 2002). The stromatolite bed (facies 2.1) overlies heterolithic facies (facies 1.1) composed of marls and thin-bedded, massive mudstones with micritic intraclasts, ostracods and reworked sponges, and bearing quartz-silt and bioclastic-rich wavy bands. The coeval facies, laterally equivalent to the stromatolite bed, consist of an oolite-rich, sheet-like deposit (facies 2.2). Packstone and grainstone of radial-fibrous oolites overlie burrowed bioclastic mudstone-wackestones (facies 1.2) with bivalve fragments, gastropods, foraminifers, and sponges. The stromatolite bed is capped by ostracod-rich limestones (facies 3) and marls. The stromatolite posses a stratiform to LLH macrostructure, and in some places domed bioherms up to 1 m width occur. Internally, mesostructure is composed by planar, wavy to hemispherical stromatoids. They display a broad spectrum of microestructures: dense micrite, peloids (microbial as well as bahamite peloids), clotted microfabrics, irregular micritic-wall tubes and dendroid-arborescent microframeworks (filamentous cyanobacteria?). The microfacial study of the vertical arrangement of the stromatolite laminae reveals different growth stages probably related with environmental changes. In fact, the whole fine-grained stromatolite accretion

  18. Structural development of high-temperature mylonites in the Archean Wyoming province, northwestern Madison Range, Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Karl S.; Mogk, David W.

    2009-01-01

    The Crooked Creek mylonite, in the northwestern Madison Range, southwestern Montana, is defined by several curved lenses of high non-coaxial strain exposed over a 7-km-wide, northeast-trending strip. The country rocks, part of the Archean Wyoming province, are dominantly trondhjemitic to granitic orthogneiss with subordinate amphibolite, quartzite, aluminous gneiss, and sills of metabasite (mafic granulite). Data presented here support an interpretation that the mylonite formed during a period of rapid, heterogeneous strain at near-peak metamorphic conditions during an early deformational event (D1) caused by northwest–southeast-directed transpression. The mylonite has a well-developed L-S tectonite fabric and a fine-grained, recrystallized (granoblastic) texture. The strong linear fabric, interpreted as the stretching direction, is defined by elongate compositional “fish,” fold axes, aligned elongate minerals, and mullion axes. The margins of the mylonitic zones are concordant with and grade into regions of unmylonitized gneiss. A second deformational event (D2) has folded the mylonite surface to produce meter- to kilometer-scale, tight-to-isoclinal, gently plunging folds in both the mylonite and country rock, and represents a northwest–southeast shortening event. Planar or linear fabrics associated with D2 are remarkably absent. A third regional deformational event (D3) produced open, kilometer-scale folds generally with gently north-plunging fold axes. Thermobarometric measurements presented here indicate that metamorphic conditions during D1 were the same in both the mylonite and the country gneiss, reaching upper amphibolite- to lower granulite-facies conditions: 700 ± 50° C and 8.5 ± 0.5 kb. Previous geochronological studies of mylonitic and cross-cutting rocks in the Jerome Rock Lake area, east of the Crooked Creek mylonite, bracket the timing of this high-grade metamorphism and mylonitization between 2.78 and 2.56 Ga, nearly a billion years

  19. Structural development of an Archean Orogen, Western Point Lake, Northwest Territories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kusky, Timothy M.

    1991-08-01

    The Point Lake orogen in the central Archean Slave Province of northwestern Canada preserves more than 10 km of structural relief through an eroded antiformal thrust stack and deeper anastomosing midcrustal mylonites. Fault restoration along a 25 km long transect requires a minimum of 69 km slip and 53 km horizontal shortening. In the western part of the orogen the basal decollement places mafic plutonic/volcanic rocks over an ancient tonalitic gneiss complex. Ten kilometers to the east in the Keskarrah Bay area, slices of gneiss unroofed on brittle thrusts shed molasse into several submerged basins. Conglomerates and associated thinly bedded sedimentary rocks are interpreted as channel, levee, and overbank facies of this thrust-related sedimentary fan system. The synorogenic erosion surface at the base of the conglomerate truncates premetamorphic or early metamorphic thrust faults formed during foreland propagation, while other thrusts related to hinterland-progressing imbrication displace this unconformity. Tightening of synorogenic depositional troughs resulted in the conglomerates' present localization in synclines to the west of associated thrust faults and steepening of structural dips. Eastern parts of the orogen consist of isoclinally folded graywackes composed largely of Mutti and Ricci-Lucchi turbidite facies B, C, and D, interpreted as submarine fan deposits eroded from a distant volcanic arc. Thrust faults in the metasedimentary terrane include highly disrupted slate horizons with meter-scale duplex structures, and recrystallized calcmylonites exhibiting sheath folds and boudin trains with very large interboudin distances. The sequence of fabric development and the overall geometry of this metasedimentary terrane strongly resembles younger forearc accretionary prisms. Conditions of deformation along the thrusts parallel the regional metamorphic zonation: amphibolite facies in the basal decollement through greenschist facies shear zones to cataclastic

  20. A model for late Archean chemical weathering and world average river water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Jihua; Sverjensky, Dimitri A.; Hazen, Robert M.

    2017-01-01

    Interpretations of the geologic record of late Archean near-surface environments depend very strongly on an understanding of weathering and resultant riverine transport to the oceans. The late Archean atmosphere is widely recognized to be anoxic (pO2,g =10-5 to 10-13 bars; pH2,g =10-3 to 10-5 bars). Detrital siderite (FeCO3), pyrite (FeS2), and uraninite (UO2) in late Archean sedimentary rocks also suggest anoxic conditions. However, whether the observed detrital minerals could have been thermodynamically stable during weathering and riverine transport under such an atmosphere remains untested. Similarly, interpretations of fluctuations recorded by trace metals and isotopes are hampered by a lack of knowledge of the chemical linkages between the atmosphere, weathering, riverine transport, and the mineralogical record. In this study, we used theoretical reaction path models to simulate the chemistry involved in rainwater and weathering processes under present-day and hypothetical Archean atmospheric boundary conditions. We included new estimates of the thermodynamic properties of Fe(II)-smectites as well as smectite and calcite solid solutions. Simulation of present-day weathering of basalt + calcite by world-average rainwater produced hematite, kaolinite, Na-Mg-saponite, and chalcedony after 10-4 moles of reactant minerals kg-1 H2O were destroyed. Combination of the resultant water chemistry with results for granitic weathering produced a water composition comparable to present-day world average river water (WARW). In contrast, under late Archean atmospheric conditions (pCO2,g =10-1.5 and pH2,g =10-5.0 bars), weathering of olivine basalt + calcite to the same degree of reaction produced kaolinite, chalcedony, and Na-Fe(II)-rich-saponite. Late Archean weathering of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) formed Fe(II)-rich beidellite and chalcedony. Combining the waters from olivine basalt and TTG weathering resulted in a model for late Archean WARW with the

  1. Geochemistry of some banded iron-formations of the archean supracrustals, Jharkhand–Orissa region, India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    H N Bhattacharya; Indranil Chakraborty; Kaushik K Ghosh

    2007-06-01

    Banded iron-formations (BIF) form an important part of the Archean supracrustal belts of the Jharkhand–Orissa region, India. Major, trace and REE chemistry of the banded iron-formation of the Gandhamardan, Deo Nala, Gorumahisani and Noamundi sections of the Jharkhand–Orissa region are utilized to explore the source of metals and to address the thermal regime of the basin floor and the redox conditions of the archean sea. Hydrothermal fluids of variable temperatures might have contributed the major part of the Fe and other trace elements to the studied banded iron-formations. Diagenetic fluids from the sea floor sediments and river water might have played a subdued role in supplying the Fe and other elements for the banded iron-formations.

  2. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D; Meadows, Victoria S; Wolf, Eric T; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G

    2016-11-01

    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like, organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (τ ∼ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young Sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-limiting due to their self-shielding properties, preventing catastrophic cooling of the planet. Hazes may even enhance planetary habitability through UV shielding, reducing surface UV flux by about 97% compared to a haze-free planet and potentially allowing survival of land-based organisms 2.7-2.6 billion years ago. The broad UV absorption signature produced by this haze may be visible across interstellar distances, allowing characterization of similar hazy exoplanets. The haze in Archean Earth's atmosphere was strongly dependent on biologically produced methane, and we propose that hydrocarbon haze may be a novel type of spectral biosignature on planets with substantial levels of CO2. Hazy Archean Earth is the most alien world for which we have geochemical constraints on environmental conditions, providing a useful analogue for similar habitable, anoxic exoplanets. Key Words: Haze-Archean Earth-Exoplanets-Spectra-Biosignatures-Planetary habitability

  3. Comparative microbial diversity and redox environments of black shale and stromatolite facies in the Mesoproterozoic Xiamaling Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Genming; Hallmann, Christian; Xie, Shucheng; Ruan, Xiaoyan; Summons, Roger E.

    2015-02-01

    The composition of microbial communities and their relationship to ocean redox structure in the Precambrian are topics of continuing interest in geobiology. Our knowledge of organismic diversity and environmental conditions during this time are mostly based on fragmentary paleontological and geochemical records and might be skewed accordingly. In North China the Xiamaling Formation (∼1.37 Ga) is characterized by black shales of relatively low thermal maturity (Tmax is ∼445 °C) and has been identified as a potential petroleum source rock. To date, however, the biological sources of the organic matter and the environmental conditions prevalent during the deposition of these sediments remain unclear. In this study we analyzed the hydrocarbon biomarker compositions of the Xiamaling Formation shales and a superjacent stromatolitic carbonate in order to shed light on the microbial diversity in the sedimentary environments they represent. The hydrocarbons extracted from both sediments are dominated by low-molecular-weight n-alkanes with a maximum at C15-18, suggesting that bacteria and/or algae were primary biotic precursors. Our inability to detect steranes in bitumen I, and only traces of rearranged steranes in bitumen II of black shales, indicates that modern eukaryotic algae were either ecologically insignificant or not preserved due to a taphonomic bias. The high relative concentration of hopanes and diahopanes ranging from C27 to C35, as well as monomethylalkanes, suggests that cyanobacteria may have been the dominant primary producers and could have contributed to the biologically available nitrogen pool through N2-fixation. This observation is supported by the low nitrogen isotopic composition of the kerogens. Even though all facies zones appear to have been anoxic but not sulfidic on the basis of biomarker ratios and trace metals, subtle but distinct molecular differences are observed between the stromatolite and the black shales, which can be attributed to

  4. Controls on the Archean climate system investigated with a global climate model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, E T; Toon, O B

    2014-03-01

    The most obvious means of resolving the faint young Sun paradox is to invoke large quantities of greenhouse gases, namely, CO2 and CH4. However, numerous changes to the Archean climate system have been suggested that may have yielded additional warming, thus easing the required greenhouse gas burden. Here, we use a three-dimensional climate model to examine some of the factors that controlled Archean climate. We examine changes to Earth's rotation rate, surface albedo, cloud properties, and total atmospheric pressure following proposals from the recent literature. While the effects of increased planetary rotation rate on surface temperature are insignificant, plausible changes to the surface albedo, cloud droplet number concentrations, and atmospheric nitrogen inventory may each impart global mean warming of 3-7 K. While none of these changes present a singular solution to the faint young Sun paradox, a combination can have a large impact on climate. Global mean surface temperatures at or above 288 K could easily have been maintained throughout the entirety of the Archean if plausible changes to clouds, surface albedo, and nitrogen content occurred.

  5. Comparison of Archean and Phanerozoic granulites: Southern India and North American Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcsween, Harry Y., Jr.; Kittleson, Roger C.

    1988-01-01

    Archean granulites at the southern end of the Dharwar craton of India and Phanerozoic granulites in the southern Appalachians of North America share an important characteristic: both show continuous transitions from amphibolite facies rocks to higher grade. This property is highly unusual for granulite terranes, which commonly are bounded by major shears or thrusts. These two terranes thus offer an ideal opportunity to compare petrogenetic models for deep crustal rocks formed in different time periods, which conventional wisdom suggests may have had different thermal profiles. The salient features of the Archean amphibolite-to-granulite transition in southern India have been recently summarized. The observed metamorphic progression reflects increasing temperature and pressure. Conditions for the Phanerozoic amphibolite-to-granulite transition in the southern Appalachians were documented. The following sequence of prograde reactions was observed: kyanite = sillimanite, muscovite = sillimanite + K-feldspar, partial melting of pelites, and hornblende = orthopyroxene + clinopyroxene + garnet. The mineral compositions of low-variance assemblages in mafic and intermediate rocks are almost identical for the two granulite facies assemblages. In light of their different fluid regimes and possible mechanisms for heat flow augmentation, it seems surprising that these Archean and Phanerozoic granulite terranes were apparently metamorphosed under such similar conditions of pressure and temperature. Comparison with other terrains containing continuous amphibolite-to-granulite facies transitions will be necessary before this problem can be addressed.

  6. Dome and Keel dynamics in the hot Archean lithosphere: a numerical approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duclaux, G.; Thebaud, N.; Gessner, K.; Doublier, M.

    2012-12-01

    The long-term interactions between greenstone belts and adjacent granitoids domes is key for understanding hot lithosphere rheology, crustal evolution and major ore deposits formation in Archean terrains. Some few tectonic processes have been proposed to explain both local and regional granite/greenstone finite deformation patterns observed in Archean terrains such as the West Australian Pilbara or Yilgarn cratons, including crustal extension following gravitational collapse, metamorphic core complex formation, folding interferences, and gravity driven deformation associated with exhumation of granitoids relative to a supracrustal cover. We propose to assess gravity driven deformation processes from simplified 2-D and 3-D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments using Underworld. A series of visco-plastic experiments under controlled boundary conditions have allowed us to identify three distinct stages in the hot lithosphere tectonic evolution: (1) an internal heating phase, (2) an inversion phase where dense mafic materials fall toward the lower crust while mid-crustal granitoids raise toward the surface, and (3) a freezing phase where the system stops. The relative duration of these phases is dependent on models initial geometries and inherited structures, materials thermal properties and rheologies, and the rheological contrast between granitoids and greenstones. We compare our experimental results with field observations and geophysical data from the Yilgarn craton in order to validate the gravity driven tectonic model, and eventually constrain the range of thermal and mechanical parameters that best capture Archean crustal dynamics.

  7. Sulfur and lead isotopic evidence of relic Archean sediments in the Pitcairn mantle plume

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delavault, Hélène; Chauvel, Catherine; Thomassot, Emilie; Devey, Colin W.; Dazas, Baptiste

    2016-11-01

    The isotopic diversity of oceanic island basalts (OIB) is usually attributed to the influence, in their sources, of ancient material recycled into the mantle, although the nature, age, and quantities of this material remain controversial. The unradiogenic Pb isotope signature of the enriched mantle I (EM I) source of basalts from, for example, Pitcairn or Walvis Ridge has been variously attributed to recycled pelagic sediments, lower continental crust, or recycled subcontinental lithosphere. Our study helps resolve this debate by showing that Pitcairn lavas contain sulfides whose sulfur isotopic compositions are affected by mass-independent fractionation (S-MIF down to Δ33S = -0.8), something which is thought to have occurred on Earth only before 2.45 Ga, constraining the youngest possible age of the EM I source component. With this independent age constraint and a Monte Carlo refinement modeling of lead isotopes, we place the likely Pitcairn source age at 2.5 Ga to 2.6 Ga. The Pb, Sr, Nd, and Hf isotopic mixing arrays show that the Archean EM I material was poor in trace elements, resembling Archean sediment. After subduction, this Archean sediment apparently remained stored in the deep Earth for billions of years before returning to the surface as Pitcairńs characteristic EM I signature. The presence of negative S-MIF in the deep mantle may also help resolve the problem of an apparent deficit of negative Δ33S anomalies so far found in surface reservoirs.

  8. Seismic structure of a late-Archean microcontinent in the middle of the Western Australian Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Huaiyu; Johnson, Simon; Dentith, Mike; Murdie, Ruth; Gessner, Klaus; Korhonen, Fawna; Bodin, Thomas

    2017-04-01

    The Capricorn Orogen recorded the Paleoproterozoic amalgamation of the Archean Pilbara and Yilgarn cratons to form the Western Australian Craton. Regional surveys involving geological mapping, geochemistry, and geophysics reveal a prolonged tectonic history in craton assembly and subsequent intracratonic reworking, which have significantly re-shaped the orogenic crust. A high-density earthquake seismology deployment targeted the Glenburgh Terrane, an exotic late-Archean to Paleoproterozoic crustal block previously inferred from distinct structural and isotopic characters in the core region of the terrane. Prominent Moho and intracrustal discontinuities are present, replicating the overall trend and depth range found in the previous high-resolution deep crustal reflection image. Significant lateral variations in the seismic signal are found across the terrane boundary, showing a relatively thin crust (40km) crust with elevated Vp/Vs ratios (>1.76) in the margin. The small Vp/Vs ratios ( 1.70) are mapped terrane-wide, indicating a felsic bulk crustal composition. Considering the available constraints from isotopic age, magnetotelluric models and absolute shear wave velocities from ambient noise tomography, the Glenburgh Terrane is interpreted as a microcontinent made in the Archean, which however may have been altered during the WAC assembly and cratonization, as well as subsequent intracratonic reworking/magmatic differentiation processes. Our results illustrate that multi-disciplinary datasets bring complementary resolution and therefore may put tighter constraints on the tectonic processes that have affected the crust.

  9. 2.9-1.9 Ga paleoalterations of Archean granitic basement of the Franceville basin (Gabon)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mouélé, Idalina Moubiya; Dudoignon, Patrick; El Albani, Abderrazak; Meunier, Alain; Boulvais, Philippe; Gauthier-Lafaye, François; Paquette, Jean-Louis; Martin, Hervé; Cuney, Michel

    2014-09-01

    The Archean granitoids in the Kiéné area, Gabon, are overlained by the Paleoproterozoic sediments of the Franceville basin (2.1 Ga). The basin is known for its high-grade uranium deposits among which some have been forming natural nuclear fission reactors. Most of the studies were dedicated to the FA-FB Paleoproterozoic sediments hosting these uranium deposits. Little is known on the Archean basement itself and specifically on the hydrous alteration events it experienced before and after the sediment deposition. The present work is focused on their petrographical, mineralogical and geochemical characterization. Dating the successive alteration events has been attempted on altered monazite crystals. Rocks in different alteration states have been sampled from eight drill cores crosscutting the Archean - Paleoproterozoic unconformity. The Archean granitoids observed in the deepest levels exhibit typical petrographical features of a propylitic alteration while they are intensely illitized up to the unconformity. The propylitic alteration is mainly pervasive but the original texture of the granitoïds is conserved in spite of the formation of new minerals: Mg-chlorite, allanite and epidote forming a typical paragenesis. The illitic alteration is much more invasive near the unconformity. The illitization process leads to the replacement of feldspars and the corrosion of quartz crysals by an illitic matrix while the ferromagnesian minerals are pseudomorphosed by a Fe-chlorite + phengite + hematite assemblage. The final fluid-rock interaction step is marked by fissural deposits of calcite and anhydrite. The δ13C isotopic data show that the fissural carbonates precipitated from diagenetic fluids enriched carbon products deriving from the maturation of organic matter. The U-Pb isotopic analyzes performed on monazite crystals have dated three distinct events: 3.0-2.9 Ga (magmatic), 2.6 Ga (propylitic alteration) and 1.9 Ga (diagenetic illitization). The calculation of

  10. Identification of 3.5 Ga detrital zircons from Yangtze craton in south China and the implication for Archean crust evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiaoming; GAO Shan; LING Wenli; YUAN Honglin; HU Zhaochu

    2006-01-01

    The LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of hundreds of detrital zircon grains from the Sinian sandstones of Liantuo formation and tillites of Nantuo formation at Sanxia area in Yichang identified 3319-3508 Ma zircon grains. Their 207pb/206pb and 206pb/238U ages show excellent agreement (concordia degree 99 %-100 % ). Their CL images exhibit well-developed oscillatory zoning and the Th/U ratios are within 0. 46-0. 76, implying that they are igneous zircons which formed during middle-early Archean. These zircons are the oldest ones discovered in Yangtze craton until now. However, the detrital zircons with ages older than 3.3 Ga in the metamorphic rocks of Kongling group were not found by further investigation, which suggests the presence of crust older than high-grade metamorphic Kongling terrain in Yangtze craton.

  11. Silicon isotopes and trace elements in chert record early Archean basin evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Geilert, Sonja; Vroon, Pieter Z.; van Bergen, Manfred J.

    2014-01-01

    Silicon isotopes of chemical sediments have received growing attention, given their applicability in the search for properties of ancient seawater. An important target is the reconstruction of secular changes in surface temperature of the Precambrian Earth, but interpretations are problematic since

  12. Nb/Ta variations of mafic volcanics on the Archean-Proterozoic boundary: Implications for the Nb/Ta imbalance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Yongsheng; GAO Shan; WANG Xuance; HU Shenghong; WANG Jianqi

    2005-01-01

    The HFSE and REE of the Precambrian mafic volcanics from the North China craton demonstrate obvious A(Archean)-P(Proterozoic) boundary. The Neoarchean mafic vol-canics show weak correlation between HFSE and TiO2. Their superchondritic Nb/Ta ratio (18.8(1.2) could be attributed to partial melting of mantle peridotite in the presence of garnet. Compared with Neoarchean mafic volcanics, the Paleoproterozoic ones have higher HFSE contents and lower Nb/Ta ratio (15.6(2.9). The significantly elevated HFSE and REE contents of Paleoproterozoic mafic volcanics imply metasomatic enrichment of mantle source, in which Ti-rich silicates could be present as suggested by significant positive correlations between TiO2 and HFSE. The global database of Precambrian mafic volcanics shows a similar A-P boundary. 23 Archean mafic volcanic suites yield an average Nb/Ta ratio of 17.8(1.9 higher than or close to the PM value; Proterozoic mafic volcanics from 28 suites yield an average Nb/Ta ratio of 14.7(4.1 deficit could be mainly formed in post-Archean time. Archean mafic volcanics could be one of the geochemical reservoirs complementing the low Nb/Ta of the post-Archean continental crust and DM.

  13. EPR study of thermally treated Archean microbial mats analogues and comparison with Archean cherts: towards a possible marker of oxygenic photosynthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourbin, M.; Derenne, S.; Westall, F.; Gourier, D.; Gautret, P.; Rouzaud, J.-N.; Robert, F.

    2012-04-01

    The datation of photosynthesis apparition remains an open question nowadays: did oxygenic photosynthesis appear just before the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) of the atmosphere, 2.3 to 2.4 Gyr ago, or does it originate much earlier? It is therefore of uttermost interest to find markers of oxygenic photosynthesis, applicable to samples of archean age. In order to handle this problem, Microcoleus Chtonoplastes cyanobacteria and Chloroflexus-like non-oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria, were studied using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, a high sensitivity technique for the study of organic radicals in mature geological samples (coals, cherts, meteorites...). M. chtonoplastes and Chloroflexus-like bacteria were sampled in mats from the hypersaline lake "La Salada de Chiprana" (Spain), an analogue to an Archean environment, and were submitted to accelerated ageing through cumulative thermal treatments. For thermal treatment temperatures higher than 620° C, a drastic increase in the EPR linewidth of the oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria (M. chtonoplastes) occurred, as compared with the anoxygenic photosynthetic one (Chloroflexus-like). The EPR study of a thermally treated mixture of the two bacteria evidences that this linewidth increase is driven by catalytic reaction at high temperatures on an element selectively fixed by M. chtonoplastes. Based on comparative EDS analyses, Mg is a potential candidate for this catalytic activity but its precise role and the nature of the reaction are still to be determined. The EPR study of organic radicals in chert rocks of ages ranging from 0.42 to 3.5 Gyr, from various localities and that underwent various metamorphisms, revealed a dispersion of the signal width for the most mature samples. This comparative approach between modern bacterial samples and Precambrian cherts leads to propose the EPR linewidth of mature organic matter in cherts as a potential marker of oxygenic photosynthesis. If confirmed, this marker

  14. Brazil's premier gold province. Part I: The tectonic, magmatic, and structural setting of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilátero Ferrífero

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobato, Lydia; Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Luiz; Zucchetti, Márcia; Noce, Carlos; Baltazar, Orivaldo; da Silva, Luiz; Pinto, Claiton

    2001-07-01

    Rocks of the Rio das Velhas Supergroup comprise one of the most significant Archean greenstone-belt successions in Brazil, in both their appreciable mineral productivity and extensive mineral potential. A large part of this greenstone belt is contained within the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Iron Quadrangle) region, Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil, which occupies the southernmost portion of the São Francisco craton. The Nova Lima Group rocks, at the base of the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, host important orogenic gold deposits. The group contains lithological associations from bottom to top as follows: (1) mafic-ultramafic volcanic, (2) volcanic-chemical, (3) clastic-chemical, (4) volcaniclastic, and (5) resedimented rocks. Rocks of the resedimented, volcanic-chemical, and mafic-ultramafic volcanic associations mainly host the most important gold deposits. An early compressional deformation occurs in the rocks of the Rio das Velhas greenstone belt and basement gneisses, with tangential thrusting from the north to the south or southwest. Structures generated during a second, compressional deformation, encompass NW-striking thrust faults and SW-vergent, tight to isoclinal folds, inferring a general southwest transport direction. In the central portion of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero, the Paciência lineament, which strikes northwest and dips to the northeast in the south, or strikes northeast and dips to the southeast in the north, is a thrust-related, oblique ramp fault that hosts important gold deposits. The convergence of these two trends in the Nova Lima region is accommodated by roughly E-W-striking transcurrent faults, which are the most favored sites for large gold concentrations. Intracratonic extension in Late Archean to early Paleoproterozoic times and NW-vergent, Trans-Amazonian compressional deformation post-date gold deposition. Late extension during the Paleoproterozoic led to basin formation and the prominent dome-and-keel architecture of the

  15. Leucogranites of the Teton Range, Wyoming: A record of Archean collisional orogeny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frost, Carol D.; Swapp, Susan M.; Frost, B. Ronald; Finley-Blasi, Lee; Fitz-Gerald, D. Braden

    2016-07-01

    Leucogranitic rocks formed by crustal melting are a prominent feature of collisional orogens of all ages. This study describes leucogranitic gneisses associated with an Archean collisional orogeny preserved in the Teton Range of northwestern Wyoming, USA. These leucogneisses formed at 2.68 Ga, and initial Nd isotopic compositions suggest they are derived from relatively juvenile sources. Two distinct groups of leucogneisses, both trondhjemitic, are identified on the basis of field relations, petrology, and geochemistry. The Webb Canyon gneiss forms large, sheet-like bodies of hornblende biotite trondhjemite and granodiorite. This gneiss is silica-rich (SiO2 = 70-80%), strongly ferroan, comparatively low in alumina, and is characterized by high Zr and Y, low Sr, and high REE contents that define "seagull"-shaped REE patterns. The Bitch Creek gneiss forms small sills, dikes, and plutons of biotite trondhjemite. Silica, Zr, Y, and REE are lower and alumina and Sr are higher than in the Webb Canyon gneiss. These differences reflect different melting conditions: the Webb Canyon gneiss formed by dehydration melting in which amphibole and quartz breaks down, accounting for the low alumina, high FeO, high silica content and observed trace element characteristics. The Bitch Creek gneiss formed by H2O-excess melting in which plagioclase breaks down leaving an amphibole-rich restite, producing magmas higher in alumina and Sr and lower in FeO and HREE. Both melt mechanisms are expected in collisional environments: dehydration melting accompanies gravitational collapse and tectonic extension of dramatically thickened crust, and water-excess melting may occur when collision places a relatively cool, hydrous lower plate beneath a hotter upper plate. The Archean leucogranitic gneisses of the Teton Range are calcic trondhjemites and granodiorites whereas younger collisional leucogranites typically are true granites. The difference in leucogranite composition reflects the

  16. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Meadows, Victoria S.; Wolf, Eric T.; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G.

    2016-11-01

    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like, organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (τ ˜ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young Sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-limiting due to their self-shielding properties, preventing catastrophic cooling of the planet. Hazes may even enhance planetary habitability through UV shielding, reducing surface UV flux by about 97% compared to a haze-free planet and potentially allowing survival of land-based organisms 2.7-2.6 billion years ago. The broad UV absorption signature produced by this haze may be visible across interstellar distances, allowing characterization of similar hazy exoplanets. The haze in Archean Earth's atmosphere was strongly dependent on biologically produced methane, and we propose that hydrocarbon haze may be a novel type of spectral biosignature on planets with substantial levels of CO2. Hazy Archean Earth is the most alien world for which we have geochemical constraints on environmental conditions, providing a useful analogue for similar habitable, anoxic exoplanets.

  17. Archean Arctic continental crust fingerprints revealing by zircons from Alpha Ridge bottom rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeev, Sergey; Petrov, Oleg; Morozov, Andrey; Shevchenko, Sergey; Presnyakov, Sergey; Antonov, Anton; Belyatsky, Boris

    2015-04-01

    Whereas thick Cenozoic sedimentary cover overlapping bedrock of the Arctic Ocean, some tectonic windows were sampled by scientific submarine manipulator, as well as by grabbing, dredging and drilling during «Arctic-2012» Russian High-Arctic expedition (21 thousands samples in total, from 400-km profile along Alpha-Mendeleev Ridges). Among others, on the western slope of Alpha Ridge one 10x10 cm fragment without any tracks of glacial transportation of fine-layered migmatitic-gneiss with prominent quartz veinlets was studied. Its mineral (47.5 vol.% plagioclase + 29.6% quartz + 16.6% biotite + 6.1% orthoclase) and chemical composition (SiO2:68.2, Al2O3:14.9, Fe2O3:4.44, TiO2:0.54, MgO:2.03, CaO:3.13, Na2O:3.23, K2O:2.16%) corresponds to trachydacite vulcanite, deformed and metamorphozed under amphibolite facies. Most zircon grains (>80%) from this sample has an concordant U-Pb age 3450 Ma with Th/U 0.8-1.4 and U content of 100-400 ppm, epsilon Hf from -4 up to 0, and ca 20% - ca 3.3 Ga with Th/U 0.7-1.4 and 90-190 ppm U, epsilon Hf -6.5 to -4.5, while only 2% of the grains show Proterozoic age of ca 1.9 Ga (Th/U: 0.02-0.07, U~500 ppm, epsilon Hf about 0). No younger zircons were revealed at all. We suppose that magmatic zircon crystallized as early as 3450 Ma ago during acid volcanism, the second phase zircon crystallization from partial melt (or by volcanics remelting) under amphibolite facies metamorphism was at 3.3 Ga ago with formation of migmatitie gneisses. Last zircon formation from crustal fluids under low-grade metamorphic conditions was 1.9 Ga ago. There are two principal possibilities for the provenance of this metavolcanic rock. The first one - this is ice-rafted debris deposited by melted glacial iceberg. However, presently there are no temporal and compositional analogues of such rocks in basement geology of peri-oceanic regions, including Archean Itsaq Gneiss Complex, Lewisian Complex and Baltic Shield but these regions are far from the places of

  18. Comparison of oxygen fugacities of S-type granites across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucholz, C. E.; Eiler, J. M.; Stolper, E. M.; Breaks, F. B.

    2016-12-01

    We investigate whether changes in atmospheric O2 levels across the Archean-Proterozoic (AP) boundary were translated into the igneous record via partial melting or assimilation of sedimentary rocks with potentially differing oxidation states. To isolate the effects of sediment melting, we studied 5 S-type granites from the Superior Province (2640-2685 Ma) and 19 from the Paleoproterozoic (PP) Trans-Hudson and Wopmay orogenies (1715-1885 Ma), which were derived from sediments deposited at most 100-400 Ma before subsequent burial and partial melting. Published data from sediment melting experiments indicate that at a fixed temperature, the FeT/Mg ratios of partial melts - and therefore also FeT/Mg in biotites in granites formed from such melts - are sensitive to the abundance of Fe-Ti oxides in the residue. Specifically, FeT/Mg melt and biotite ratios are lower when Fe-Ti oxides are modally important in the residue due to the incorporation of a significant amount of bulk sediment Fe in the oxide phase. In turn, Fe-Ti oxide stability is highly sensitive to the Fe oxidation state inherited from the sedimentary source, being favored at high Fe3+/Fe2+ ratios. Analyzed biotite compositions from the Archean S-type granites have higher FeT/Mg ratios than those from the PP (2.7-3.7 v. 1.6-2.3) and therefore likely reflect more reducing conditions. The simplest explanation of our results is that the Archean S-type granites were derived from more reduced metasedimentary sources relative to the PP S-type granites, being richer in Fe2+-bearing minerals (e.g., pyrite or siderite) and poorer in Fe3+-bearing phases (e.g., magnetite or hematite). The variation in Fe oxidation state of S-type granites across the AP boundary could reflect the effect on sediments of the Great Oxygenation Event that roughly coincides with this boundary. Another possibility is that there is more reduced organic carbon in the sources of the Archean versus PP S-type granites; however, existing data

  19. Controls on Atmospheric O2: The Anoxic Archean and the Suboxic Proterozoic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, J. F.

    2015-12-01

    Geochemists have now reached consensus that the Archean atmosphere was mostly anoxic, that a Great Oxidation Event (GOE) occurred at around 2.5 Ga, and that the ensuing Proterozoic atmosphere was consistently oxidized [1,2]. Evidence for this broad-scale change in atmospheric composition comes from a variety of sources, most importantly from multiple sulfur isotopes [3,4]. The details of both the Archean and Proterozoic environments remain controversial, however, as does the underlying cause of the GOE. Evidence of 'whiffs' of oxygen during the Archean [5] now extend back as far as 3.0 Ga, based on Cr isotopes [6]. This suggests that O2 was being produced by cyanobacteria well before the GOE and that the timing of this event may have been determined by secular changes in O2 sinks. Catling et al. [7] emphasized escape of hydrogen to space, coupled with progressive oxidation of the continents and a concomitant decrease in the flux of reduced gases from metamorphism. But hydrogen produced by serpentinization of seafloor could also have been a controlling factor [8]. Higher mantle temperatures during the Archean should have resulted in thicker, more mafic seafloor and higher H2 production; decreasing mantle temperatures during the Proterozoic should have led to seafloor more like that of today and a corresponding decrease in H2 production, perhaps by enough to trigger the GOE. Once the atmosphere became generally oxidizing, it apparently remained that way during the rest of Earth's history. But O2 levels in the mid-Proterozoic could have been as low at 10-3 times the Present Atmospheric Level (PAL) [9]. The evidence, once again, is based on Cr isotopes. Possible mechanisms for maintaining such a 'suboxic' Proterozoic atmosphere will be discussed. Refs: 1. H. D. Holland, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66, 3811 (2002). 2. H. D. Holland, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 361, 903 (Jun 29, 2006). 3. J. Farquhar, H. Bao, M. Thiemans, Science

  20. An Archean Geomagnetic Reversal in the Kaap Valley Pluton, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layer; Kroner; McWilliams

    1996-08-16

    The Kaap Valley pluton in South Africa is a tonalite intrusion associated with the Archean Barberton Greenstone Belt. Antipodal paleomagnetic directions determined from the central and marginal parts of the pluton record a geomagnetic reversal that occurred as the pluton cooled. The age of the reversal is constrained by an 40Ar/39Ar plateau age from hornblende at 3214 +/- 4 million years, making it the oldest known reversal. The data presented here suggest that Earth has had a reversing, perhaps dipolar, magnetic field since at least 3.2 billion years ago.

  1. Minor Sulfur Isotope Constraints on the composition of Earth's Archean atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claire, M.

    2016-12-01

    Minor sulfur isotope anomalies in the sedimentary record are direct recorders of ancient chemical reactions that occurred in the atmosphere, and therefore form the most direct proxy for Archean atmospheric composition. The mere presence of mass-independently fractionated sulfur isotopes (MIF-S) in the rock record has resolved nearly a century's worth of debate by constraining atmospheric oxygen to trace levels prior to 2.4 billion years ago, and indirectly indicates the presence of a dominant reducing gas, likely H2 or CH4. The MIF-S database has grown substantially in the past decade, and reveals complex time- and facies-dependent changes in MIF-S magnitudes. The structure within the sedimentary MIF-S record suggests that constraints beyond this simple "on-off" switch for atmospheric O2 are possible once we understand the mechanisms that generate and preserve the signal in the rock record. Recently, I proposed an initial quantitative framework for predictions of atmospheric MIF-S [1], but concluded that new measurements of MIF-S generation mechanisms were needed to provide robust constraints. Since then, identification of MIF-S arising from SO2 photoexcitation [2], and updated absorption cross-sections for SO2 and SO [3-4] provide critical new ground-truth on all 4 isotopes of sulfur. Furthermore, breakthroughs in coupled photochemical-climate modeling have enabled better predictions of UV transparency within hazy atmospheres [5] such as those that might have dominated in the Archean [6-8]. I will present 1-D photochemical modeling results based on these new fundamental constraints, in comparison with MIF-S data from the Archean, to interpret the steady-state composition of the Archean atmosphere and time-dependent perturbations to it. In particular, Δ36S/Δ33S resulting from perturbations to atmospheric species will be discussed as a key tool for constraining the composition of the reducing atmosphere. [1] Claire et al. (2014) GCA; [2] Whitehill et al., PNAS

  2. Late Archean mineralised cyanobacterial mats and their modern analogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazmierczak, J.; Altermann, W.; Kremer, B.; Kempe, S.; Eriksson, P. G.

    2008-09-01

    ,c) reminiscent of common sheaths (glycocalix), typical for coccoidal colonial (pseudoparenchymatous) entophysalidacean or pleurocapsalean cyanobacteria (Fig. 2d-f). The remains of the coccoid sheaths and capsules are visible as a system of rimmed subglobular or irregularly polygonal pits separated from adjacent pits by 2-3 μm thick walls. Microprobe analyses show that the interiors of the pits are composed of almost pure calcium carbonate whereas the rims and walls of calcium carbonate with high admixture of silicates (mostly Al-Fe clay-like silicates) and dolomite. High magnification images of rims and walls confirm the microprobe data indicating authigenic character of the minerals forming both the carbonate infilling the pits interiors (CaCO3) and their rims and walls (CaCO3 + Al-Fe silicates + dolomite). EPSC Abstracts, Vol. 3, EPSC2008-A-00493, 2008 European Planetary Science Congress, Author(s) 2008 It seems that carbonates were the first mineral phase filling the spaces remained after the plasmolysis of the cyanobacterial cell contents, whereas the formation of silicates within the exopolysaccharides forming the bulk of the sheaths and capsules was a later diagenetic process. Microprobe analyses of mineralised modern coccoid cyanobacterial mats forming tower-like structures in the highly alkaline Lake Van, Turkey [3,4] display a set of elements indicative for the presence of authigenic carbonate and silicate minerals which are almost identical with that occurring in the studied Neoarchean samples. Also the optical and SEM images of polished and etched platelets of permineralised Lake Van microbialites are strikingly similar (Fig. 2d-f). Similarly as in modern cyanobacterial and other microbial mats, the process of early post mortem mineralisation, in the case of the Nauga Formation, was most probably associated with the action of heterotrophic bacteria upon the dead cyanobacterial biomass. Heterotrophic bacteria occupying EPS layers of living and dead cyanobacterial

  3. Archean Age Fossils from Northwestern Australia (Approximately 3.3 to 3.5 GA, Warrawoona Group, Towers Formation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Penny A. Morris

    1999-01-01

    Archean aged rocks from the Pilbara Block area of western Australia (Warrawoona Group, Towers Formation, -3.3-3.5 Ga) contain microfossils that are composed of various sizes of spheres and filaments. The first descriptions of these microfossils were published in the late 1970's (Dunlop, 1978; Dunlop, et. al., 1978). The authenticity of the microfossils is well established. The small size of the microfossils prevents isotope dating, at least with the present technology. Microbiologists, however, have established guidelines to determine the authenticity of the Archean aged organic remains (Schopf, Walter, 1992).

  4. Electron paramagnetic resonance study of a photosynthetic microbial mat and comparison with Archean cherts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourbin, M; Derenne, S; Gourier, D; Rouzaud, J-N; Gautret, P; Westall, F

    2012-12-01

    Organic radicals in artificially carbonized biomass dominated by oxygenic and non-oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria, Microcoleus chthonoplastes-like and Chloroflexus-like bacteria respectively, were studied by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The two bacteria species were sampled in mats from a hypersaline lake. They underwent accelerated ageing by cumulative thermal treatments to induce progressive carbonization of the biological material, mimicking the natural maturation of carbonaceous material of Archean age. For thermal treatments at temperatures higher than 620 °C, a drastic increase in the EPR linewidth is observed in the carbonaceous matter from oxygenic photosynthetic bacteria and not anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria. This selective EPR linewidth broadening reflects the presence of a catalytic element inducing formation of radical aggregates, without affecting the molecular structure or the microstructure of the organic matter, as shown by Raman spectroscopy and Transmission Electron Microscopy. For comparison, we carried out an EPR study of organic radicals in silicified carbonaceous rocks (cherts) from various localities, of different ages (0.42 to 3.5 Gyr) and having undergone various degrees of metamorphism, i.e. various degrees of natural carbonization. EPR linewidth dispersion for the most primitive samples was quite significant, pointing to a selective dipolar broadening similar to that observed for carbonized bacteria. This surprising result merits further evaluation in the light of its potential use as a marker of past bacterial metabolisms, in particular oxygenic photosynthesis, in Archean cherts.

  5. Transient episodes of mild environmental oxygenation and oxidative continental weathering during the late Archean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Brian; Creaser, Robert A.; Reinhard, Christopher T.; Lyons, Timothy W.; Anbar, Ariel D.

    2015-01-01

    It is not known whether environmental O2 levels increased in a linear fashion or fluctuated dynamically between the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis and the later Great Oxidation Event. New rhenium-osmium isotope data from the late Archean Mount McRae Shale, Western Australia, reveal a transient episode of oxidative continental weathering more than 50 million years before the onset of the Great Oxidation Event. A depositional age of 2495 ± 14 million years and an initial 187Os/188Os of 0.34 ± 0.19 were obtained for rhenium- and molybdenum-rich black shales. The initial 187Os/188Os is higher than the mantle/extraterrestrial value of 0.11, pointing to mild environmental oxygenation and oxidative mobilization of rhenium, molybdenum, and radiogenic osmium from the upper continental crust and to contemporaneous transport of these metals to seawater. By contrast, stratigraphically overlying black shales are rhenium- and molybdenum-poor and have a mantle-like initial 187Os/188Os of 0.06 ± 0.09, indicating a reduced continental flux of rhenium, molybdenum, and osmium to seawater because of a drop in environmental O2 levels. Transient oxygenation events, like the one captured by the Mount McRae Shale, probably separated intervals of less oxygenated conditions during the late Archean. PMID:26702438

  6. Fourier transform infrared and electron spin resonance examinations of kerogen from the Gunflint stromatolitic cherts (Middle Precambrian, Ontario, Canada and related materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IVANA R. TONSA

    2000-04-01

    Full Text Available Kerogen occurrences in stromatolitic cherts from the Middle Precambrian Gunflint Formation and related rocks have been investigated by the use of elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared and electron spin reconance spectroscopies. Particular attention was paid to the structural properties of the Schreiber kerogen to allow comparison with biologically controlled kerogens from Paleozoic carbonaceous rocks. The low atomic H/C ratios (0.5 of the Schreiber kerogen indicates that this material has reached a high level of maturity. The Fourier transform infrared/electron spin resonance examinations revealed that the Schreiber kerogen contains predominantly aromatic/polyaromatic structures similar to those found in mature kerogens from Paleozoic carbonaceous rocks. The evidence from this organogeochemical comparison indicates that the Schrei-ber kerogen and mature kerogens from Paleozoic/Mesozoic carbonaceous rocks have sufficient similarity to suggest a similar origin. Consequently, this work gives strong support to the hypothesis that if the Schreiber kerogen is of biotic origin than it is derived from the remnants of various microbial organisms (mainly phytoplanktons including a minor contribution of subtidal (stromatolite-building cyanobacteria.

  7. Iron oxides, divalent cations, silica, and the early earth phosphorus crisis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jones, C.; Nomosatryo, S.; Crowe, S.A.;

    2015-01-01

    and silica content of BIFs, we estimate that seawater in the Archean and early Proterozoic Eons likely contained 0.04–0.13 µM phosphorus, on average. These phosphorus limiting conditions could have favored primary production through photoferrotrophy at the expense of oxygenic photosynthesis until upwelling......As a nutrient required for growth, phosphorus regulates the activity of life in the oceans. Iron oxides sorb phosphorus from seawater, and through the Archean and early Proterozoic Eons, massive quantities of iron oxides precipitated from the oceans, producing a record of seawater chemistry...

  8. No coincidence? Exploring the connection between the Great Oxidation Event and craton stabilization during the Archean-Proterozoic transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kump, L. R.

    2014-12-01

    As geochronological constraints on the timing of the Great Oxidation Event (here defined as the passage of atmospheric oxygen levels through the proposed upper limit of 10-5 of present) have improved, it has become increasingly clear that this event is somehow tied to the tectonic factors that have defined the Archean-Proterozoic boundary for decades, namely the stabilization of continental cratons allowing for the growth of large continents. We have proposed two connections in the past: 1) elevated late Archean mantle plume activity brought oxidized material from the lithospheric graveyard to the upper mantle, reducing the oxygen fugacity of post-Archean volcanism, and 2) that the stabilization of the cratons allowed for a proportional increase in less-reducing, subaerial volcanism at the expense of more reducing, submarine volcanism. Critiques of these two proposals will be addressed in the context of subsequent work by the geosciences community on the geodynamics and geochemistry of the Archean-Proterozoic transition, and a synthetic hypothesis for a tectonic driver for atmospheric oxygenation will be presented.

  9. Evidence for crustal recycling during the Archean: The parental magmas of the stillwater complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccallum, I. S.

    1988-01-01

    The petrology and geochemistry of the Stillwater Complex, an Archean (2.7 Ga) layered mafic intrusion in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana is discussed. Efforts to reconstruct the compositions of possible parental magmas and thereby place some constraints on the composition and history of their mantle source regions was studied. A high-Mg andesite or boninite magma best matches the crystallization sequences and mineral compositions of Stillwater cumulates, and represents either a primary magma composition or a secondary magma formed, for example, by assimilation of crustal material by a very Mg-rich melt such as komatiite. Isotopic data do not support the extensive amounts of assimilation required by the komatiite parent hypothesis, and it is argued that the Stillwater magma was generated from a mantle source that had been enriched by recycling and homogenization of older crustal material over a large area.

  10. In situ carbon isotope analysis of Archean organic matter with SIMS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williford, K. H.; Ushikubo, T.; Lepot, K.; Hallmann, C.; Spicuzza, M. J.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Summons, R. E.; Valley, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Spatiotemporal variability in the carbon isotope composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM) preserves information about the evolution of the biosphere and of the exogenic carbon cycle as a whole. Primary compositions, and imprints of the post-depositional processes that obscure them, exist at the scale of individual sedimentary grains (mm to μm). Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) (1) enables analysis at these scales and in petrographic context, (2) permits morphological and compositional characterization of the analyte and associated minerals prior to isotopic analysis, and (3) reveals patterns of variability homogenized by bulk techniques. Here we present new methods for in situ organic carbon isotope analysis with sub-permil precision and spatial resolution to 1 μm using SIMS, as well as new data acquired from a suite of Archean rocks. Three analytical protocols were developed for the CAMECA ims1280 at WiscSIMS to analyze domains of varying size and carbon concentration. Average reproducibility (at 2SD) using a 6 μm spot size with two Faraday cup detectors was 0.4%, and 0.8% for analyses using 1 μm and 3 μm spot sizes with a Faraday cup (for 12C) and an electron multiplier (for 13C). Eight coals, two ambers, a shungite, and a graphite were evaluated for μm-scale isotopic heterogeneity, and LCNN anthracite (δ13C = -23.56 ± 0.1%, 2SD) was chosen as the working standard. Correlation between instrumental bias and H/C was observed and calibrated for each analytical session using organic materials with H/C between 0.1 and 1.5 (atomic), allowing a correction based upon a 13CH/13C measurement included in every analysis and a 12CH measurement made immediately after every analysis. The total range of the H/C effect observed for the Archean samples analyzed was < 3%. Analyses of Archean OM domains for which 12C count rate varies with the proportions of organic carbon, carbonate carbon, and quartz suggest that instrumental bias is consistent for 12C count

  11. Archean relic body at lower crust in Sulu area: Evidence from magnetic data

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    After the new 1:1000000 aero magnetic data were processed and the three-dimensional inversion work was carried out, a vast high magnetic body northwestward was discovered. The magnetic body is located at the depth of about 20 km on the west side of Tanlu fault and at about 25 km on the east side of Tanlu fault beneath the Sulu area. There is a difference of vertical distance of 3-5 km in depth between both sides. We think that the magnetic body is an Archean metamorphic plate and belongs to the North China block. The discovery of the magnetic body is significant for us to reconstruct the structure model of the Sulu orogenic belt, delineate the suture of collision between the North China block and the Yangtze block, and estimate the depth of slipping surface when the eastside of Tanlu fault moved northward.

  12. Empirical Records of Environmental Change across the Archean-Proterozoic Transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, A. J.

    2011-12-01

    Time-series geochemical analyses of scientific drill cores intersecting the Archean-Proterozoic transition suggest a coupling of environmental and biological change that culminated in the pervasive oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Elemental and multiple isotope measurements of sedimentary archives, including carbonate, shale, and banded iron-formation from Western Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and southern Canada, indicate important changes in the carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen cycles that monitor the redox state of the oceans and the cyanobacterial buildup of atmospheric oxygen and ozone. In response, continental weathering would have increased, resulting in the enhanced delivery of sulfate and nutrients to seawater, further stimulating photoautotrophic fluxes of oxygen to surface environments. The positive feedback may additionally be responsible for the decline of atmospheric methane and surface refrigeration, represented by a series of discrete ice ages beginning around 2.4 billion years ago, due to the loss of greenhouse capacity during a time of lower solar luminosity. While speculative, the linkage of surface oxidation with enhanced nutrient supply and development of stratospheric sunscreen soon after the Archean-Proterozoic boundary suggests that the earliest perturbation in the carbon cycle may be associated with the rapid expansion of single-celled eukaryotes. Both sterol synthesis in eukaryotes and aerobic respiration require significant levels of oxygen in the ambient environment. Hence, Earth's earliest ice age(s) and onset of a modern and far more energetic carbon cycle may have been directly related to the global expansion of cyanobacteria that released oxygen to the environment, and of eukaryotes that respired it.

  13. Modeling the globally-integrated spectral variability of the Archean Earth: The purple planet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palle, E.; Sanroma, E.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kiang, N. Y.; Gutierrez-Navarro, A. M.; Lopez, R.; Montañes-Rodríguez, P.

    2014-03-01

    Ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected and the efforts of future missions are aimed at the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly, what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. But the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Gyr and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3 Gyr ago. At that time, one of the more widespread life forms on the planet were purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we use a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-infrared radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents and oceans. We find that purple bacteria have a reflectance spectrum that has a strong reflectivity increase, similar to the red edge of leafy plants, although shifted redward. This feature produces a detectable signal in the disk-averaged spectra of our planet, depending on cloud amount and bacteria concentration/ distribution. We conclude that by using multi-color photometric observations, it is possible to distinguish between an Archean Earth in which purple bacteria inhabit vast extensions of the planet and a present-day Earth with continents covered by deserts, vegetation, or microbial mats.

  14. Characterizing the Purple Earth: Modeling the Globally Integrated Spectral Variability of the Archean Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanromá, E.; Pallé, E.; Parenteau, M. N.; Kiang, N. Y.; Gutiérrez-Navarro, A. M.; López, R.; Montañés-Rodríguez, P.

    2014-01-01

    Ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected and the efforts of future missions are aimed at the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly, what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. However, the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Gyr and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3.0 Gyr ago. At that time, one of the more widespread life forms on the planet was purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we use a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-infrared radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents and oceans. We find that purple bacteria have a reflectance spectrum that has a strong reflectivity increase, similar to the red edge of leafy plants, although shifted redward. This feature produces a detectable signal in the disk-averaged spectra of our planet, depending on cloud amount and purple bacteria concentration/distribution. We conclude that by using multi-color photometric observations, it is possible to distinguish between an Archean Earth in which purple bacteria inhabit vast extensions of the planet and a present-day Earth with continents covered by deserts, vegetation, or microbial mats.

  15. Comment on "Radiative forcings for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases" by Byrne and Goldblatt (2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. V. Kochanov

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available In the recent article by Byrne and Goldblatt, "Radiative forcing for 28 potential Archean greenhouse gases", Clim. Past. 10, 1779–1801 (2014, the authors employ the HITRAN2012 spectroscopic database to evaluate the radiative forcing of 28 Archean gases. As part of the evaluation of the status of the spectroscopy of these gases in the selected spectral region (50–1800 cm−1, the cross sections generated from the HITRAN line-by-line parameters were compared with those of the PNNL database of experimental cross sections recorded at moderate resolution. The authors claimed that for NO2, HNO3, H2CO, H2O2, HCOOH, C2H4, CH3OH and CH3Br there exist large or sometimes severe disagreements between the databases. In this work we show that for only three of these eight gases a modest discrepancy does exist between the two databases and we explain the origin of the differences. For the other five gases, the disagreements are not nearly at the scale suggested by the authors, while we explain some of the differences that do exist. In summary, the agreement between the HITRAN and PNNL databases is very good, although not perfect. Typically differences do not exceed 10 %, provided that HITRAN data exist for the bands/wavelengths of interest. It appears that a molecule-dependent combination of errors has affected the conclusions of the authors. In at least one case it appears that they did not take the correct file from PNNL (N2O4 (dimer+ NO2 was used in place of the monomer. Finally, cross sections of HO2 from HITRAN (which do not have a PNNL counterpart were not calculated correctly in BG, while in the case of HF misleading discussion was presented there based on the confusion by foreign or noise features in the experimental PNNL spectra.

  16. Mesoproterozoic Microdigitate Stromatolites:Ultra-fabrics and Organomineralization%中元古代微指状叠层石:超微组构和有机矿化过程

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    汤冬杰; 史晓颖; 蒋干清; 张文浩

    2012-01-01

    微指状叠层石(microdigitate stromatolites,以下简称MDS)是新太古代—中元古代一种重要的沉积构造.由于其内部以纤维状组构为重要特征,而缺乏直接的微生物化石证据,被认为代表特定海洋化学条件下形成的一种海底碳酸盐沉淀,属无机成因.本文对华北中元古代雾迷山组硅化MDS的显微组构研究发现,其柱体由亚毫米级浅色微亮晶纹层(平均厚约65 μm)和暗色微晶纹层(平均厚约680μm)交互叠加而成.前者含较少细菌残余,重结晶显著;后者富含细菌残余、微晶多面体及微球粒,并进一步分为具密集连续次级微纹层的(平均厚约380μm)和具稀疏断续微纹层的(平均厚约300μm)两种暗纹层.这三种纹层在纵向上的规律性交互可能反映了季节性变化.毛发状垂向纤维贯穿于整个柱体,但在亮纹层内稀疏.这种纤维可能由垂向生长的丝状菌束(宽< 10μm)矿化而成,有些由微球粒(粒径为10 ~ 30μm)定向富集构成.微球粒富含细菌残余、胞外聚合物(EPS)以及与之密切共生的纳米颗粒(粒径< 45 nm).纳米颗粒可粘结形成亚μm级多面体,构成碳酸盐晶体生长的基点.包围微球粒的微亮晶环边和纤维组构间的微亮晶条带内少细菌残余,可能属微生物影响的矿化成因,而纤维体和微球粒则是微生物诱发矿化的结果.故中元古代MDS属微生物成因,它所展现的有机矿化过程可能也适用于更古老的叠层石.此外,MDS内有机矿物从纳米颗粒到微球粒的有序聚合可能代表了有机矿化的普遍过程,并可用作判定微生物成因碳酸盐岩的重要标识.%Microdigitate stromatolites (MDS) , a kind of important sedimentary structures in the Neoarchean to Mesoproterozoic carbonates, have long been explained as the products of sea-floor precipitates and are of abiogenic origin, for their prominent fibrous fabrics in interior but without recognizable microbial fossils

  17. A Geological Model for the Evolution of Early Continents (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rey, P. F.; Coltice, N.; Flament, N. E.; Thébaud, N.

    2013-12-01

    Geochemical probing of ancient sediments (REE in black shales, strontium composition of carbonates, oxygen isotopes in zircons...) suggests that continents were a late Archean addition at Earth's surface. Yet, geochemical probing of ancient basalts reveals that they were extracted from a mantle depleted of its crustal elements early in the Archean. Considerations on surface geology, the early Earth hypsometry and the rheology and density structure of Archean continents can help solve this paradox. Surface geology: The surface geology of Archean cratons is characterized by thick continental flood basalts (CFBs, including greenstones) emplaced on felsic crusts dominated by Trondhjemite-Tonalite-Granodiorite (TTG) granitoids. This simple geology is peculiar because i/ most CFBs were emplaced below sea level, ii/ after their emplacement, CFBs were deformed into relatively narrow, curviplanar belts (greenstone basins) wrapping around migmatitic TTG domes, and iii/ Archean greenstone belts are richly endowed with gold and other metals deposits. Flat Earth hypothesis: From considerations on early Earth continental geotherm and density structure, Rey and Coltice (2008) propose that, because of the increased ability of the lithosphere to flow laterally, orogenic processes in the Archean produced only subdued topography (atmosphere and mantle systems, and did not contribute significantly to the sedimentary records. 2/ These continents evolved under the possibly episodic drive of plate tectonic processes, and certainly also under the drive of the density inversion imposed by the greenstone/TTG stratigraphy. Thébaud and Rey (2013) emphasized that sagduction was able to drive crustal-scale deformation in the interior of continents, away from plate margins. Since this process occurred on flooded continents, an infinite fluid reservoir was available to feed crustal-scale hydrothermal circulations promoting the formation of craton-wide metal deposits in the interior of continents

  18. A linear Hf isotope-age array despite different granitoid sources and complex Archean geodynamics: Example from the Pietersburg block (South Africa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurent, Oscar; Zeh, Armin

    2015-11-01

    Combined U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotope data from zircon populations are widely used to constrain Hadean-Archean crustal evolution. Linear Hf isotope-age arrays are interpreted to reflect the protracted, internal reworking of crust derived from the (depleted) mantle during a short-lived magmatic event, and related 176Lu/177Hf ratios are used to constrain the composition of the reworked crustal reservoir. Results of this study, however, indicate that Hf isotope-age arrays can also result from complex geodynamic processes and crust-mantle interactions, as shown by U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotope analyses of zircons from well characterized granitoids of the Pietersburg Block (PB), northern Kaapvaal Craton (South Africa). Apart from scarce remnants of Paleoarchean crust, most granitoids of the PB with ages between 2.94 and 2.05 Ga (n = 32) define a straight Hf isotope-age array with low 176Lu/177Hf of 0.0022, although they show a wide compositional range, were derived from various sources and emplaced successively in different geodynamic settings. The crustal evolution occurred in five stages: (I) predominately mafic crust formation in an intra-oceanic environment (3.4-3.0 Ga); (II) voluminous TTG crust formation in an early accretionary orogen (3.0-2.92 Ga); (III) internal TTG crust reworking and subduction of TTG-derived sediments in an Andean-type setting (2.89-2.75 Ga); (IV) (post-)collisional high-K magmatism from both mantle and crustal sources (2.71-2.67 Ga); and (V) alkaline magmatism in an intra-cratonic environment (2.05-2.03 Ga). The inferred array results from voluminous TTG crust formation during stage II, and involvement of this crust during all subsequent stages by two different processes: (i) internal crust reworking through both partial melting and assimilation at 2.89-2.75 Ga, leading to the formation of biotite granites coeval with minor TTGs, and (ii) subduction of TTG-derived sediments underneath the PB, causing enrichment of the mantle that subsequently became

  19. The chemical conditions of the late Archean Hamersley basin inferred from whole rock and pyrite geochemistry with Δ33S and δ34S isotope analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Daniel D.; Large, Ross R.; Halpin, Jacqueline A.; Steadman, Jeffery A.; Hickman, Arthur H.; Ireland, Trevor R.; Holden, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The well-preserved late Archean sedimentary rocks of the Fortescue and Hamersley Basins in Western Australia offer fascinating insights into early earth ocean chemistry prior to the Great Oxidation Event (GOE). In this study, we use a combination of whole rock geochemistry, LA-ICPMS trace element analysis of sedimentary pyrite and pyrrhotite and SHRIMP-SI sulfur isotope analyses to elucidate the chemical changes in these sedimentary rocks. These proxies are used to examine chemical conditions of the ocean during the late Archean. Two to three periods of oxygen enrichment prior to the deposition of banded iron formations (BIF) can be identified. One minor stage of general increase in whole rock enrichment factors and trace element content of pyrite is observed up stratigraphy in the Jeerinah Formation, Fortescue Basin and a more substantial stage is present in the Paraburdoo and Bee Gorge Members of the Wittenoom Formation, Hamersley Basin. Some of the trace element enrichments indicate organic matter burial flux (Ni, Cr, Zn, Co and Cu) which suggests an increase in biological productivity. If the increased biological activity reflects an increase in cyanobacteria activity then an associated increase in oxygen is likely to have occurred during the deposition of the Bee Gorge Member. An increase in atmospheric oxygen would result in continental weathering of sulfide and other minerals, increasing the trace element content of the water column via erosion and avoiding excessive depletion of trace elements due to drawdown in seawater. Since some of these trace elements may also be limiting nutrients (such as Mo and Se) for the cyanobacteria, the degree of biological productivity may have further increased due to the increasing amount of trace elements introduced by oxygenation in a positive feedback loop. These periods of increased productivity and oxygen rise stopped prior to the onset of BIF deposition in the Hamersley Basin. This may be due to the ocean reaching an

  20. Spatially Resolved, In Situ Carbon Isotope Analysis of Archean Organic Matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williford, Kenneth H.; Ushikubo, Takayuki; Lepot, Kevin; Hallmann, Christian; Spicuzza, Michael J.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Summons, Roger E.; Valley, John W.

    2011-01-01

    Spatiotemporal variability in the carbon isotope composition of sedimentary organic matter (OM) preserves information about the evolution of the biosphere and of the exogenic carbon cycle as a whole. Primary compositions, and imprints of the post-depositional processes that obscure them, exist at the scale of individual sedimentary grains (mm to micron). Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) (1) enables analysis at these scales and in petrographic context, (2) permits morphological and compositional characterization of the analyte and associated minerals prior to isotopic analysis, and (3) reveals patterns of variability homogenized by bulk techniques. Here we present new methods for in situ organic carbon isotope analysis with sub-permil precision and spatial resolution to 1 micron using SIMS, as well as new data acquired from a suite of Archean rocks. Three analytical protocols were developed for the CAMECA ims1280 at WiscSIMS to analyze domains of varying size and carbon concentration. Average reproducibility (at 2SD) using a 6 micron spot size with two Faraday cup detectors was 0.4 %, and 0.8 % for analyses using 1 micron and 3 micron spot sizes with a Faraday cup (for C-12) and an electron multiplier (for C-13). Eight coals, two ambers, a shungite, and a graphite were evaluated for micron-scale isotopic heterogeneity, and LCNN anthracite (delta C-13 = -23.56 +/- 0.1 %, 2SD) was chosen as the working standard. Correlation between instrumental bias and H/C was observed and calibrated for each analytical session using organic materials with H/C between 0.1 and 1.5 (atomic), allowing a correction based upon a C-13H/C-13 measurement included in every analysis. Matrix effects of variable C/SiO2 were evaluated by measuring mm to sub-micron graphite domains in quartzite from Bogala mine, Sri Lanka. Apparent instrumental bias and C-12 count rate are correlated in this case, but this may be related to a crystal orientation effect in graphite. Analyses of amorphous

  1. Geochemistry of Archean metasedimentary rocks of the Aravalli craton, NW India: Implications for provenance, paleoweathering and supercontinent reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Iftikhar; Mondal, M. E. A.; Satyanarayanan, M.

    2016-08-01

    Basement complex of the Aravalli craton (NW India) known as the Banded Gneissic Complex (BGC) is classified into two domains viz. Archean BGC-I and Proterozoic BGC-II. We present first comprehensive geochemical study of the Archean metasedimentary rocks occurring within the BGC-I. These rocks occur associated with intrusive amphibolites in a linear belt within the basement gneisses. The association is only concentrated on the western margin of the BGC-I. The samples are highly mature (MSm) to very immature (MSi), along with highly variable geochemistry. Their major (SiO2/Al2O3, Na2O/K2O and Al2O3/TiO2) and trace (Th/Sc, Cr/Th, Th/Co, La/Sc, Zr/Sc) element ratios, and rare earth element (REE) patterns are consistent with derivation of detritus from the basement gneisses and its mafic enclaves, with major contribution from the former. Variable mixing between the two end members and closed system recycling (cannibalism) resulted in the compositional heterogeneity. Chemical index of alteration (CIA) of the samples indicate low to moderate weathering of the source terrain in a sub-tropical environment. In A-CN-K ternary diagram, some samples deceptively appear to have undergone post-depositional K-metasomatism. Nevertheless, their petrography and geochemistry (low K2O and Rb) preclude the post-depositional alteration. We propose non-preferential leaching of elements during cannibalism as the cause of the deceptive K-metasomatism as well as enigmatic low CIA values of some highly mature samples. The Archean metasedimentary rocks were deposited on stable basement gneisses, making the BGC-I a plausible participant in the Archean Ur supercontinent.

  2. Large sulfur-isotope anomaly in nonvolcanic sulfate aerosol and its implications for the Archean atmosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaheen, Robina; Abaunza, Mariana M; Jackson, Teresa L; McCabe, Justin; Savarino, Joël; Thiemens, Mark H

    2014-08-19

    Sulfur-isotopic anomalies have been used to trace the evolution of oxygen in the Precambrian atmosphere and to document past volcanic eruptions. High-precision sulfur quadruple isotope measurements of sulfate aerosols extracted from a snow pit at the South Pole (1984-2001) showed the highest S-isotopic anomalies (Δ(33)S = +1.66‰ and Δ(36)S = +2‰) in a nonvolcanic (1998-1999) period, similar in magnitude to Pinatubo and Agung, the largest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. The highest isotopic anomaly may be produced from a combination of different stratospheric sources (sulfur dioxide and carbonyl sulfide) via SOx photochemistry, including photoexcitation and photodissociation. The source of anomaly is linked to super El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (1997-1998)-induced changes in troposphere-stratosphere chemistry and dynamics. The data possess recurring negative S-isotope anomalies (Δ(36)S = -0.6 ± 0.2‰) in nonvolcanic and non-ENSO years, thus requiring a second source that may be tropospheric. The generation of nonvolcanic S-isotopic anomalies in an oxidizing atmosphere has implications for interpreting Archean sulfur deposits used to determine the redox state of the paleoatmosphere.

  3. The Pale Orange Dot: The Spectrum and Habitability of Hazy Archean Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria S; Wolf, Eric T; Schwieterman, Edward; Charnay, Benjamin; Claire, Mark; Hébrard, Eric; Trainer, Melissa G

    2016-01-01

    Recognizing whether a planet can support life is a primary goal of future exoplanet spectral characterization missions, but past research on habitability assessment has largely ignored the vastly different conditions that have existed in our planet's long habitable history. This study presents simulations of a habitable yet dramatically different phase of Earth's history, when the atmosphere contained a Titan-like organic-rich haze. Prior work has claimed a haze-rich Archean Earth (3.8-2.5 billion years ago) would be frozen due to the haze's cooling effects. However, no previous studies have self-consistently taken into account climate, photochemistry, and fractal hazes. Here, we demonstrate using coupled climate-photochemical-microphysical simulations that hazes can cool the planet's surface by about 20 K, but habitable conditions with liquid surface water could be maintained with a relatively thick haze layer (tau ~ 5 at 200 nm) even with the fainter young sun. We find that optically thicker hazes are self-...

  4. Characterizing the purple Earth: Modelling the globally-integrated spectral variability of the Archean Earth

    CERN Document Server

    Sanromá, E; Parenteau, M N; Kiang, N Y; Gutiérrez-Navarro, A M; López, R; Montañés-Rodríguez, P

    2013-01-01

    The ongoing searches for exoplanetary systems have revealed a wealth of planets with diverse physical properties. Planets even smaller than the Earth have already been detected, and the efforts of future missions are placed on the discovery, and perhaps characterization, of small rocky exoplanets within the habitable zone of their stars. Clearly what we know about our planet will be our guideline for the characterization of such planets. But the Earth has been inhabited for at least 3.8 Ga, and its appearance has changed with time. Here, we have studied the Earth during the Archean eon, 3.0 Ga ago. At that time one of the more widespread life forms on the planet were purple bacteria. These bacteria are photosynthetic microorganisms and can inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Here, we used a radiative transfer model to simulate the visible and near-IR radiation reflected by our planet, taking into account several scenarios regarding the possible distribution of purple bacteria over continents an...

  5. Trace element differences between Archean, Proterozoic and Phanerozoic crustal components: Implications for crustal growth processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarney, J.; Wyborn, L. E. A.; Sheraton, J. W.; Wyborn, D.

    1988-01-01

    Critical to models for continental crust growth and recycling are the processes through which crustal growth takes place. In particular, it is important to know whether these processes have changed fundamentally with time in response to the earth's thermal evolution, and whether the crustal compositions generated are compatible with crustal remobilization, crustal recycling, or represent primary additions. There are some significant and consistent differences in the major and trace element compositions of crustal components with time which have important implications for crustal growth processes. These will be illustrated with reference to Archean rocks from a number of shield areas, Proterozoic granitoids from Australia and elsewhere, Palaeozoic granitoids from Australia and Scotland, and Mesozoic - recent granitoids from present continental margin belts. Surprisingly some rather simple and consistent patterns energy using this technique. There are then significant differences in compositions of granitoid crustal additions throughout geological time, with a particular type of granitoid apparently dominating a particular time period. This implies that the tectonic processes giving rise to granite generation have changed in response to the earth's thermal evolution.

  6. A Detailed Record of Archean Biogochemical Cycles and Seawater Chemistry Preserved in Black Shales of the Abitibi Greenstone Belt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, C.; Planavsky, N. J.; Bates, S. M.; Wing, B. A.; Lyons, T. W.

    2011-12-01

    Geological and biological evolution are intimately linked within the Earth System through the medium of seawater. Thus, in order to track the co-evolution of Life and Earth during the Archean Eon we must determine how biogeochemical cycles responded to and initiated changes in the composition of Archean seawater. Among our best records of biogeochemical cycles and seawater chemistry are organic carbon-rich black shales. Here we present a detailed multi-proxy study of 2.7 Ga black shales from the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, Canada. Abitibi shales demonstrate extreme enrichments in total organic carbon (up to 15 wt. %) and total sulfur (up to 6 wt. %) reflecting vigorous biogeochemical cycling in the basin, likely driven by cyanobacteria. The speciation of reactive Fe minerals indicates that pyrite formed in a sulfidic water column (euxinia) and that dissolved Fe was the limiting reactant. The deposition of more than 50 m of euxinic black shales suggests that the Fe-rich conditions reflected by Archean BIF deposition were not necessarily ubiquitous. Biologically significant trace metals fall into two categories. Metals that can be delivered to seawater in large quantities from hydrothermal sources (e.g., Cu and Zn) are enriched in the shales, reflecting their relative abundance in seawater. Conversely, metals that are primarily delivered to the ocean during oxidative weathering of the continents (e. g., Mo and V) are largely absent from the shales, reflecting depleted seawater inventories. Thus, trace metal supply at 2.7 Ga was still dominated by geological processes. Biological forcing of trace metal inventories, through oxidative weathering of the continents, was not initiated until 2.5 Ga, when Mo enrichments are first observed in the Mt. McRae Shale, Hamersley Basin. Multiple sulfur isotope analysis (32S, 33S, 34S) of disseminated pyrite displays large mass independent fractionations (Δ33S up to 6 %) reflecting a sulfur cycle dominated by atmospheric processes

  7. Multiple sulfur isotope characteristics of 3.46-2.7 Ga sedimentary rocks from drill cores of the Archean Biosphere Drilling Project (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Y.; Ohmoto, H.

    2010-12-01

    As part of the Archean Biosphere Drilling Project (ABDP), we have determined the multiple sulfur isotope ratios and examined the mineralogical and geochemical characteristics of the sulfur-bearing minerals (e.g., pyrite, sphalerite, barite) and the host rocks (e.g., major and trace element chemistry; Corg, Ccarb and S contents; δ13Corg and δ13Ccarb) of >100 samples of sedimentary rocks from five ABDP drill cores in the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. The total ranges of Δ33S and δ34S values of the studied samples are -0.9 to +1.2‰ and -4 to +8‰, respectively. We have found that the Δ33S and δ34S relationships show unique values depending on their depositional environment: (1) Pyrites in the 3.46 Ga Marble Bar Chert Member (ABDP #1), which were formed by submarine hydrothermal fluids, show no AIF-S (anomalously fractionated sulfur isotope) signatures: Δ33S = -0.08 to +0.08‰ and δ34S = -3.3 to +0.6‰ (n = 5). This indicates that the H2S presented in the submarine hydrothermal fluid, which was partly generated through seawater sulfate reduction by Fe2+, did not possess AIF-S signatures. (2) Pyrites in organic C-poor lacustrine shales of the 2.76 Ga Hardey Formation (ABDP #3) also show no or very little AIF-S signatures: Δ33S = -0.38 to +0.25‰ and δ34S = -2.7 to +1.9‰ (n = 18). (3) Pyrites in organic C-poor marine shales of the 2.92 Ga Mosquito Creek Formation (ABDP#5) show no or small negative AIF-S signatures: Δ33S = -0.59 to 0.19 ‰ and all positive δ34S = +1.4 to +7.7‰ (n = 24). (4) Pyrites in organic C-rich (> 1 wt%) and hydrothermally altered marine shales in the 3.46 Ga Panorama Formation (ABDP #2) show constant and small positive AIF-S signatures (+0.44 to +0.61‰) and the smallest variation in δ34S (-1.1 to +1.6‰) (n = 35). In contrast, pyrites in organic C-rich shales in the 2.72 Ga Mt. Roe Basalt show negative Δ33S = -0.50 to -0.10‰ and δ34S = -3.7 to 1.8‰ (n = 10). (5) Pyrites in stromatolitic carbonates of the 2.7 Ga

  8. The origin and early evolution of life on earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oro, J.; Miller, Stanley L.; Lazcano, Antonio

    1990-01-01

    Results of the studies that have provided insights into the cosmic and primitive earth environments are reviewed with emphasis on those environments in which life is thought to have originated. The evidence bearing on the antiquity of life on the earth and the prebiotic significance of organic compounds found in interstellar clouds and in primitive solar-system bodies such as comets, dark asteroids, and carbonaceous chondrites are assessed. The environmental models of the Hadean and early Archean earth are discussed, as well as the prebiotic formation of organic monomers and polymers essential to life. The processes that may have led to the appearance in the Archean of the first cells are considered, and possible effects of these processes on the early steps of biological evolution are analyzed. The significance of these results to the study of the distribution of life in the universe is evaluated.

  9. Mesoproterozoic suturing of Archean crustal blocks in western peninsular India: Implications for India-Madagascar correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishwar-Kumar, C.; Santosh, M.; Wilde, S. A.; Tsunogae, T.; Itaya, T.; Windley, B. F.; Sajeev, K.

    2016-10-01

    The Kumta and Mercara suture zones welding together Archean crustal blocks in western peninsular India offer critical insights into Precambrian continental juxtapositions and the crustal evolution of eastern Gondwana. Here we present the results from an integrated study of the structure, geology, petrology, mineral chemistry, metamorphic P-T conditions, zircon U-Pb ages and Lu-Hf isotopes of metasedimentary rocks from the two sutures. The dominant rocks in the Kumta suture are greenschist- to amphibolite-facies quartz-phengite schist, garnet-biotite schist, chlorite schist, fuchsite schist and marble. The textural relations, mineral chemistry and thermodynamic modelling of garnet-biotite schist from the Kumta suture indicate peak metamorphic P-T conditions of ca. 11 kbar at 790 °C, with detrital SHRIMP U-Pb zircon ages ranging from 3420 to 2547 Ma, εHf (t) values from - 9.2 to 5.6, and TDMc model ages from 3747 to 2792 Ma. The K-Ar age of phengite from quartz-phengite schist is ca. 1326 Ma and that of biotite from garnet-biotite schist is ca. 1385 Ma, which are interpreted to broadly constrain the timing of metamorphism related to the suturing event. The Mercara suture contains amphibolite- to granulite-facies mylonitic quartzo-feldspathic gneiss, garnet-kyanite-sillimanite gneiss, garnet-biotite-kyanite-gedrite-cordierite gneiss, garnet-biotite-hornblende gneiss, calc-silicate granulite and metagabbro. The textural relations, mineral chemistry and thermodynamic modelling of garnet-biotite-kyanite-gedrite-cordierite gneiss from the Mercara suture indicate peak metamorphic P-T conditions of ca. 13 kbar at 825 °C, followed by isothermal decompression and cooling. For pelitic gneisses from the Mercara suture, LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon ages vary from 3249 to 3045 Ma, εHf (t) values range from - 18.9 to 4.2, and TDMc model ages vary from 4094 to 3314 Ma. The lower intercept age of detrital zircons in the pelitic gneisses from the Mercara suture ranges from 1464 to 1106

  10. Generation of TTG rocks in the Archean: insight from numerical simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozel, Antoine; Golabek, Gregor; Gerya, Taras; Jain, Charitra; Tackley, Paul

    2017-04-01

    We study the creation of primordial continental crust (TTG rocks) for the first time employing fully self-consistent numerical models of thermochemical convection on a global scale. Starting from a pyrolytic bulk composition and an initially hot core, we first generate oceanic crust and depleted mantle. In our model, the basaltic material is both erupted at the surface and intruded at the base of the crust following a predefined partitioning. Second, we track the pressure-temperature conditions of the newly formed hydrated basalt and check if it matches the conditions necessary for the formation of primordial continental crust. We show that the "heat-pipe" model (assuming 100% eruption and no intrusion) proposed to be the main heat loss mechanism during the Archean epoch (Moore & Webb 2013) is not able to produce continental crust since it forms a cold and thick lithosphere. We systematically test various mechanical properties of the brittle domain (friction coefficients). Using our parameter study, we are also able to show that an intrusion fraction close to 70% (in agreement with [Crisp 1984]) combined with a friction coefficient of 0.2 products the expected amount of the three main petrological TTG compositions previously reported (Moyen 2011). This study represents a major step towards the production of self-consistent convection models able to generate the continental crust of the Earth. REFERENCES Crisp, J. A. (1984), Rates of magma emplacement and volcanic output. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 20(3-4), 177-211. Moore, W., and A. Webb (2013), Heat-pipe earth. Nature, 501, 501-505, doi:10.1038/nature12473. Moyen, J. (2011), The composite archaean grey gneisses: Petrological significance, and evidence for a non-unique tectonic setting for archaean crustal growth. Lithos, 123, 21-36, doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2010.09.015.

  11. Cenozoic uplift on the West Greenland margin: active sedimentary basins in quiet Archean terranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jess, Scott; Stephenson, Randell; Brown, Roderick

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic is believed by some authors to have experienced tectonically induced uplift within the Cenozoic. Examination of evidence, onshore and offshore, has been interpreted to imply the presence of kilometre scale uplift across the margins of the Barents Sea, North Sea, Baffin Bay and Greenland Sea. Development of topography on the West Greenland margin (Baffin Bay), in particular, has been subject to much discussion and dispute. A series of low temperature thermochronological (AFT and AHe) studies onshore and interpretation of seismic architecture offshore have suggested uplift of the entire margin totalling ~3km. However, challenges to this work and recent analysis on the opposing margin (Baffin Island) have raised questions about the validity of this interpretation. The present work reviews and remodels the thermochronological data from onshore West Greenland with the aim of re-evaluating our understanding of the margin's history. New concepts within the discipline, such as effect of radiation damage on Helium diffusivity, contemporary modelling approaches and denudational mapping are all utilised to investigate alternative interpretations to this margins complex post rift evolution. In contrast to earlier studies our new approach indicates slow protracted cooling across much of the region; however, reworked sedimentary samples taken from the Cretaceous Nuussuaq Basin display periods of rapid reheating and cooling. These new models suggest the Nuussuaq Basin experienced a tectonically active Cenozoic, while the surrounding Archean basement remained quiet. Faults located within the basin appear to have been reactivated during the Palaeocene and Eocene, a period of well-documented inversion events throughout the North Atlantic, and may have resulted in subaerial kilometre scale uplift. This interpretation of the margin's evolution has wider implications for the treatment of low temperature thermochronological data and the geological history of the North

  12. Archean rocks in antarctica: 2.5-billion-year uranium-lead ages of pegmatites in enderby land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grew, E S; Manton, W I

    1979-10-26

    Uranium-lead isotopic data indicate that the granulite-facies Napier complex of Enderby Land, Antarctica, was cut by charnockitic pegmatites 2.5 billion years ago and by pegmatites lacking hypersthene 0.52 billion years ago. The 4-bil-lion-years lead-lead ages (whole rock) reported for the Napier complex are rejected since these leads developed in three stages. Reconstructions of Gondwanaland suggest that the Napier complex may be a continuation of the Archean granulitic terrain of southern India.

  13. Modern-style Subduction Processes in the Archean:Evidence from the Shangyi Complex in North China Craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Renmin; WAN Yusheng; CHENG Suhua; FENG Yonggang

    2009-01-01

    Three fragments of the Arehean oceanic crust have been found between the Archean granulite belt and the Paleo-Proterozoic Hongqiyingzi group in North China craton,which spread and geochronology evidence of the ancient oceanic fragments.The magma crystallizing age of the tonalite in the Shangyi complex is 2512+19 Ma and the geochemical characteristics suggest that the Nb-enriched basalts may be related to crustal contamination and formed in the intra-oceanic arc of the supra subduction zone setting.

  14. Across an early Holocene humid phase in western Sahara:Pollen and isotope stratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lézine, Anne-Marie; Casanova, Joël; Hillaire-Marcel, Claude

    1990-03-01

    Paleohydrology and paleoecology of the region around the Chemchane sabkha (Mauritania) are reconstructed from the comparative analyses of mineralogy, stable isotope ratios of bulk carbonates, and palynology from sediment cores. The age of the section is from ca. 13.5 ka to the middle Holocene. Maximum lake expansion between about 8.3 and 6.5 ka is recorded in a girdle of stromatolite carbonates. These document a lower-salinity lake concomitant with a general establishment of Sahel-Sudan vegetation. The Chemchane area is the northernmost (lat 21°N) occurrence of humid- phase elements that are related to maximum intensity of monsoon activity during the early Holocene.

  15. Controversial Pb-Pb and Sm-Nd isotope results in the early Archean Isua (West Greenland) oxide iron formation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frei, Robert; Rosing, Minik; Stecher, Ole

    1999-01-01

    as crystal overgrowths in the magnetite-rich bands. The timing of the hydrothermal event during which apatite was deposited within the BIF remains uncertain, but a TCHUR model age of 1.85 Ga from the apatite-dominated HCl leachate may point to a close genetic relationship with local Proterozoic metamorphism...

  16. Search for petrographic and geochemical evidence for the late heavy bombardment on earth in early archean rocks from Isua, Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; McDonald, Iain; Rosing, Minik

    The Moon was subjected to intense post-accretionary bombardment between about 4.5 and 3.9 billion years ago, and there is evidence for a short and intense late heavy bombardment period, around 3.85 ± 0.05 Ga. If a late heavy bombardment occurred on the Moon, the Earth must have been subjected to an impact flux at least as intense. The consequences for the Earth must have been devastating. In an attempt to investigate if any record of such a late heavy bombardment period on the Earth has been preserved, we performed a petrographic and geochemical study of some of the oldest rocks on Earth, from Isua in Greenland. We attempted to identify any remnant evidence of shock metamorphism in these rocks by petrographic studies, and used geochemical methods to detect the possible presence of an extraterrestrial component in these rocks. For the shock metamorphic study, we studied zircon, a highly refractive mineral that is resistant to alteration and metamorphism. Zircon crystals from old and eroded impact structures were found earlier to contain a range of shock-induced features at the optical and electron microscope level. Many of the studied zircon grains from Isua are strongly fractured, and single planar fractures do occur, but never as part of sets; none of the crystals studied shows any evidence of optically visible shock deformation. Several samples of Isua rocks were analyzed for their chemical composition, including the platinum group element (PGE) abundances, by neutron activation analysis and ICP-MS. Three samples showed somewhat elevated Ir contents (up to 0.2 ppb) compared to the detection limit, which is similar to the present-day crustal background content (0.03 ppb), but the chondrite-normalized siderophile element abundance patterns are non-chondritic, which could be a sign of either a small extraterrestrial component (if an indigenous component is subtracted), or terrestrial (re)mobilization mechanisms. In absence of any evidence for shock metamorphism, and with ambiguous geochemical signals, no unequivocal conclusions regarding the presence of extraterrestrial matter (as a result of possible late heavy bombardment) in these Isua rocks can be reached.

  17. Retrograde fluids in the Archean Shawmere anorthosite, Kapuskasing Structural Zone, Ontario, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, William M.; Morrison, Jean

    The Archean Shawmere anorthosite lies within the granulite facies portion of the Kapuskasing Structural Zone (KSZ), Ontario, and is crosscut by numerous linear alteration veins containing calcite+quartz+/- dolomite+/-zoisite+/-clinozoisite+/-margarite+/-paragonite+/-chlorite. These veins roughly parallel the trend of the Ivanhoe Lake Cataclastic Zone. Equilibria involving clinozoisite+margarite+quartz+/-calcite +/-plagioclase show that the vein minerals were stable at T0.9. Thus, vein formation, while clearly retrograde, spanned a range of temperatures, and fluid compositions evolved from H2O-rich to CO2-rich. The calcite in the retrograde veins has δ18O values that range from 8.4 to 11.2‰ (average=+9.7+/-0.9‰) and δ13C values that range from -3.9 to -1.6‰ (average=-3.1+/-0.6‰). These values indicate that the fluids from which calcite precipitated underwent extensive exchange with the anorthosite and other crustal lithologies. The fluids may have been initially derived either from devolatilization of metamorphic rocks or crystallization of igneous rocks in the adjacent Abitibi subprovince. Vein quartz contains CO2-rich fluid inclusions (final melting T=-57.0 to -58.7°C) that range in size from 5 to 17 μm. Measured homogenization temperatures (T h) range from -44.0 to 14.5°C, however for most inclusions (46 of S1), T h=-44.0 to -21.1°C (ρCO2 1.13 to 1.05g/cm3). At 400 to 600°C, these densities correspond to pressures of 3.5 to 7 kbar, which is the best estimate of pressures of vein formation. It has been argued that some high density CO2-rich fluid inclusions found in the KSZ were formed during peak metamorphism and thus document the presence of a CO2-rich fluid during peak granulite facies metamorphism (Rudnick et al. 1984). The association of high density CO2-rich fluid inclusions with clearly retrograde veins documents the formation of similar composition and density inclusions after the peak of metamorphism. Thus, the coincidence of entrapment

  18. Coupled Iron and Sulfur Isotope Constraints on the Archean and Paleoproterozoic Ocean Redox State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouxel, O. J.; Bekker, A.

    2009-05-01

    The rise of atmospheric oxygen level by ca. 2.3 Ga have led to dramatic shifts in the iron and sulfur oceanic cycles. Past studies of non-mass dependent and mass dependent sulfur isotope record in sedimentary sulfides over geological time have placed important constraints on biogeochemical cycle of sulfur and evolution of Precambrian ocean chemistry. Recently, we applied a similar time-record approach to explore potential changes in Fe isotope composition of pyrite in black shales. Although the underlying mechanisms for Fe isotope fractionation in organic-rich sediments are debated, we identified direct link between the rise of atmospheric oxygen and changes in the Fe ocean cycle suggesting that Fe isotopes are useful proxies to the past ocean redox state. Since biogeochemical cycles of Fe and S are closely coupled in marine systems, Fe-limitation and S-limitation for pyrite formation in black shales should leave imprint on the isotopic record of both elements. Coupled Fe and S isotope systematics of Devonian pyrite display a range of 50‰ in δ34S values whereas δ56Fe values vary between - 1.0 and +0.1‰ consistent with Fe isotope variations in modern marine sediments. Similarly, pyrite in the 1.88 Ga Gunflint Formation has δ34S values ranging from - 32‰ to +10‰ and displays a range of δ56Fe values between 0 to - 0.4‰. In contrast, Archean black shales (e.g. Manjeri Fm., Belingwe Belt and Jeerinah Fm., Hamersley Basin) display a smaller range of δ34S values between together with ubiquitous non-mass dependent S-isotope fractionation but a larger range of δ56Fe values from - 3.5 to +0.2‰. A transitional period between ca. 2.3 and ca. 1.8 Ga is marked by a larger spread of δ34S values from - 34 to +28‰, disappearance of MIF and a larger range of δ56Fe values from - 1.7 to +1.1‰. These results confirm that after the rise of atmospheric oxygen by ca. 2.3 Ga, Paleoproterozoic ocean became stratified and gradually affected by an increase of seawater

  19. Archean Lithosphere Beneath Arctic Canada: Lu-Hf Isotope Systematics for Kimberlite-Hosted Garnet-Peridotites From Somerset Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidberger, S. S.; Simonetti, A.; Francis, D.; Gariepy, C.

    2001-05-01

    Knowledge of the age of lithospheric mantle underlying the continents provides valuable constraints for the timing of formation and stabilization of Archean cratons. This study reports Lu-Hf isotopic data for garnet-peridotites, and their constituent garnets, from the Nikos kimberlite (100 Ma) on Somerset Island in the Canadian Arctic obtained using a Micromass IsoProbe multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS) at GEOTOP-UQAM. The low temperature peridotites (1100 C; 160-190 km) and their 176Hf/177Hf(0.1Ga) isotopic compositions (0.28265-0.28333; \\epsilonHf(0.1Ga)=-2 to +22) are less radiogenic than those of the shallow xenoliths. A Lu-Hf isochron for six peridotites yields a mid Archean age of 3.4\\pm0.3 Ga and an initial 176Hf/177Hf ratio of 0.28101\\pm24. The remaining peridotites (n=9), in contrast, are characterized by extremely high (+35) initial \\epsilonHf(3.4Ga) values, which correlate negatively with their 176Lu/177Hf ratios, suggesting addition of Hf as a result of metasomatic interaction with the host kimberlite. The garnets from the low temperature (3.4 Ga old) peridotites are characterized by high 176Lu/177Hf ratios and define an errorchron age of 1.4\\pm0.2 Ga, which may reflect re-equilibration of Hf during kimberlite magmatism.

  20. Stratigraphy of the Archean western Superior Province from P- and S-wave receiver functions: Further evidence for tectonic accretion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angus, D. A.; Kendall, J.-M.; Wilson, D. C.; White, D. J.; Sol, S.; Thomson, C. J.

    2009-12-01

    The Archean western Superior Province in Canada represents the nucleus of the North American continent whose origin has been speculated to be the result of widespread crustal accretion some 2.7 Ga ago. In this paper, crustal and upper-mantle seismic discontinuities beneath the western Superior Province of the Canadian shield are imaged with teleseismic P-to-S and S-to-P converted phases using the receiver function method. Three crustal discontinuities are observed: the Moho, ranging in depth between 38 and 47 km and dipping to the south; and two intra-crustal discontinuities having depths of approximately 15 and 30 km. The crustal discontinuities undulate laterally and often lose continuity, possibly indicating an imbricated structure and/or regions of velocity gradients. In the shallow lithosphere, a positive discontinuity is imaged at approximately 65 km depth and is consistent with earlier refraction and wide-angle reflection results. Additionally, two zones of negative receiver function amplitudes at 55 km depth are observed and are coincident with a region of anomalous tomographic low P- and S-wave velocities as well as a zone of high electrical conductivity. The images for the crust and shallow upper-mantle, when integrated with previous geophysical studies, are consistent with ideas of continental root formation due to imbrication of Archean subducted material and accretion of island arcs observed in surface geology.

  1. Extensive seismic anisotropy in the lower crust of Archean metamorphic terrain, South India, inferred from ambient noise tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Ritima; Rai, S. S.

    2017-01-01

    We use Rayleigh and Love wave empirical Green's function (EGF) recovered from the cross correlation of seismic ambient noise to study the spatial distribution of radial anisotropy in the southern India crust. The corresponding dispersion curves in the period 2 to 32 s are measured from ambient noise data recorded at 57 sites, and the strength of anisotropy computed from the discrepancy between shear velocities obtained from Rayleigh (VSV) and Love (VSH) at various depths down to 40 km. In upper crust (up to a depth of 20 km) the region is characterized by anisotropy coefficients of - 2 to + 2% that could be explained due to a combination of fluid-filled open cracks and foliated metamorphic rocks. At deeper levels (beyond 20 km), except for the Archean metamorphic terrain, most part of south India has anisotropies of up to 5%. This may be due to rocks with varying degree of metamorphism. Beneath the Archean metamorphic terrain, the anisotropy is recorded up to 9% in the depth range of 20-40 km. This high anisotropy is unlikely to be the manifestation of any recent geodynamic process, considering that the region has low surface heat flow ( 30 mW/m2). We propose that the observed strong anisotropy in the metamorphic belt of southern India crust could best be explained as due to the presence of micaceous minerals or amphiboles in the deep crust that are formed possibly during the evolution of granulite terrain at 2.5 Ga.

  2. Constraints on mantle evolution from 187Os/ 188Os isotopic compositions of Archean ultramafic rocks from southern West Greenland (3.8 Ga) and Western Australia (3.46 Ga)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Victoria C.; Nutman, Allen P.; Esat, Tezer M.

    2002-07-01

    Initial 187Os/ 188Os isotopic compositions for geochronologically and geologically well -constrained 3.8-Ga spinel peridotites from the Itsaq Gneiss Complex of southern West Greenland and chromite separates from 3.46-Ga komatiites from the Pilbara region of Western Australia have been determined to investigate the osmium isotopic evolution of the early terrestrial mantle. The measured compositions of 187Os/ 188Os(0) = 0.10262 ± 2, from an olivine separate, and 0.10329 ± 3, for a spinel separate from ˜3.8-Ga peridotite G93/42, are the lowest yet reported from any terrestrial sample. The corrections for in situ decay over 3.8 Ga for these low Re/Os phases are minimal and change the isotopic compositions by only 0.5 and 2.2% for the spinel and the olivine, respectively, resulting in 187Os/ 188Os (3.8 Ga) = 0.1021 ± 0.0002 and 0.1009 ± 0.0002, respectively. These data extend direct measurement of Os isotopic compositions to much earlier periods of Earth history than previously documented and provide the best constraints on the Os isotopic composition of the early Archean terrestrial mantle. Analyses of Pilbara chromites yield 3.46-Ga mantle compositions of 0.1042 ± 0.0002 and 0.1051 ± 0.0002. These new data, combined with published initial Os isotopic compositions from late Archean and early Proterozoic samples, are compatible with the mantle, or at least portions of it, evolving from a solar system initially defined by meteorites to a modern composition of 187Os/ 188Os(0) = 0.1296 ± 0.0008 as previously suggested from peridotite xenolith data ( Meisel et al., 2001); the associated 187Re/ 188Os(0) = 0.435 ± 0.005. Thus, chondritic 187Os/ 188Os compositions were a feature of the upper mantle for at least 3.8 billion years, requiring chondritic Re/Os ratios to have been a characteristic of the very early terrestrial mantle. In contrast, nonchondritic initial compositions of some Archean komatiites demonstrate that Os isotopic heterogeneity is an ancient feature

  3. Lithophile and siderophile element systematics of Earth's mantle at the Archean-Proterozoic boundary: Evidence from 2.4 Ga komatiites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puchtel, I. S.; Touboul, M.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Walker, R. J.; Brandon, A. D.; Nicklas, R. W.; Kulikov, V. S.; Samsonov, A. V.

    2016-05-01

    likely ancient mafic crust. The large positive 182W anomaly present in the tonalites requires that the precursor crust incorporated a primordial component with Hf/W that became fractionated, relative to the bulk mantle, within the first 50 Ma of Solar System history. The absolute HSE abundances in the mantle source of the Vetreny komatiite system are estimated to be 66 ± 7% of those in the present-day Bulk Silicate Earth. This observation, coupled with the normal 182W/184W composition of the komatiitic basalts, when corrected for crustal contamination (μ182W = -0.5 ± 4.5 ppm), indicates that the W-HSE systematics of the Vetreny komatiite system most likely were established as a result of late accretion of chondritic material to Earth. Our present results, combined with isotopic and chemical data available for other early and late Archean komatiite systems, are inconsistent with the model of increasing HSE abundances in komatiitic sources as a result of slow downward mixing into the mantle of chondritic material accreted to Earth throughout the Archean. The observed HSE concentration variations rather reflect sluggish mixing of diverse post-magma ocean domains characterized by variably-fractionated lithophile and siderophile element abundances.

  4. SHRIMP-RG U-Pb isotopic systematics of zircon from the Angel Lake orthogneiss, East Humboldt Range, Nevada: Is this really archean crust?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premo, Wayne R.; Castineiras, Pedro; Wooden, Joseph L.

    2008-01-01

    New SHRIMP-RG (sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe-reverse geometry) data confirm the existence of Archean components within zircon grains of a sample from the orthogneiss of Angel Lake, Nevada, United States, previously interpreted as a nappe of Archean crust. However, the combined evidence strongly suggests that this orthogneiss is a highly deformed, Late Cretaceous monzogranite derived from melting of a sedimentary source dominated by Archean detritus. Zircon grains from the same sample used previously for isotope dilution-thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) isotopic work were analyzed using the SHRIMP-RG to better define the age and origin of the orthogneiss. Prior to analysis, imaging revealed a morphological variability and intragrain, polyphase nature of the zircon population. The SHRIMP-RG yielded 207Pb/206Pb ages between ca. 2430 and 2580 Ma (a best-fit mean 207Pb/206Pb age of 2531 ± 19 Ma; 95% confidence) from mostly rounded to subrounded zircons and zircon components (cores). In addition, several analyses from rounded to subrounded cores or grains yielded discordant 207Pb/206Pb ages between ca. 1460 and ca. 2170 Ma, consistent with known regional magmatic events. All cores of Proterozoic to latest Archean age were encased within clear, typically low Th/U (206Pb/238U ages between 72 and 91 Ma, consistent with magmatic ages from Lamoille Canyon to the south. An age of ca. 90 Ma is suggested, the younger 206Pb/238U ages resulting from Pb loss. The Cretaceous and Precambrian zircon components also have distinct trace element characteristics, indicating that these age groups are not related to the same igneous source. These results support recent geophysical interpretations and negate the contention that the Archean-Proterozoic boundary extends into the central Great Basin area. They further suggest that the world-class gold deposits along the Carlin Trend are not underlain by Archean cratonal crust, but rather by the Proterozoic Mojave

  5. Raman spectra of carbonaceous material in Archean chert and silica dike: a thermal structure of ancient ocean floor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitajima, K.; Maruyama, S.

    2005-12-01

    Carbonaceous material (CM) is widespread in metamorphic rocks. CM is also reported from Archean rocks such as sedimentary rock and hydrothermal vein. Raman spectrum of CM changes with the degree of graphitization by metamorphism. The purpose of this study is to determine of the thermal structure of the low-grade zone in the Archean accretionary complex which was not able to determine using metamorphic petrology because of luck of index minerals, and to select of the best sample for analysis of molecular fossil. The North Pole area (3.5 Ga) is one of the best regions in the Archean greenstone belt, because this area had been subjected only to very low-grade metamorphism. A 1/5000 scale mapping was performed in the North Pole area. The mapped area is divided into seven units bounded by layer-parallel thrusts: Units-I, -II, -III, -IV, -V, -VI and -VII, in ascending order. These units are divided into MORB-type (Unit-I and -II) and OIB-type (Unit-III, -IV, -V, -VI and -VII) units by lithology and mode of occurrence. Microfossils are reported from the bedded chert and silica dike which is composed of very fine-grained silica in the Unit-I. We analyzed 20 bedded and silica dike samples collected from ancient seafloor (0 m) to 900 m depth of oceanic crust. The characterization of samples was performed by Raman microspectroscopy in situ using conventional petrologic double polished thin sections. All sample shows ordered peak (O-peak) and disordered peak (D-peak) around 1580-1610 cm-1 and ~1355 cm-1, respectively. There is no trend in D/O intensity and D/O area ratio. D/O width ratio and full width at half maximum (FWHM) of D-peak, however, indicate a clear trend, except bedded chert samples. D/O width ratio is decreasing with depth, from 2.2 to ~1, and FWHM of D-peak is also decreasing with depth from 100 cm-1 to 60 cm-1 between top of the unit and 180 m depth. It is considered that decreasing of D/O width ratio and FWHM of D-peak occurs with increasing of metamorphic

  6. Returning from the deep: Archean atmospheric fingerprints in modern hotspot lavas (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, M. G.; Cabral, R. A.; Rose-Koga, E. F.; Koga, K. T.; Whitehouse, M. J.; Antonelli, M. A.; Farquhar, J.; Day, J. M.; Hauri, E. H.

    2013-12-01

    Ocean plates transport surface materials, including oceanic crust and sediment, into the mantle at subduction zones. However, the fate of the subducted package--oceanic crust and sediment--in the mantle is poorly understood. A long-standing hypothesis maintains that subducted materials reside in the mantle for an extended, but unknown, period of time and are then recycled back to the Earth's surface in regions of buoyantly upwelling mantle and melted beneath hotspots. Sulfur isotopes provide an important new tool to evaluate the presence of ancient recycled materials in hotspot lavas. Widespread terrestrial mass independently fractionated sulfur (MIF-S) isotope signatures were generated exclusively through atmospheric photochemical reactions until ~2.45 Ga. In fact, the only significant reservoirs of MIF-S containing rocks documented so far are sediments and hydrothermal rocks older than ~2.45 Ga. Armed with this insight, we examined sulfur isotopes in olivine phenocrysts and olivine-hosted sulfides in lavas from the island of Mangaia, Cook Islands. Lavas from this location host unusually radiogenic Pb-isotopic compositions--referred to as a HIMU (high U/Pb) component--and this has been attributed to ancient recycled oceanic crust in the mantle source. In Cabral et al. (2013), we report MIF-S in olivine phenocrysts and olivine-hosted sulfides. The discovery of MIF-S isotopic signatures in young hotspot lavas appears to provide a "timestamp" and "signature" for preservation of subducted Archean surface materials in the mantle sourcing Mangaia lavas. We report new sulfur isotope data on olivine-hosted sulfides from the Mangaia lavas that reinforce our discovery of MIF-S anomalies reported in Cabral et al. (2013). We also report new sulfur isotopic data on Mangaia whole rock powders, and we find no evidence of MIF-S signatures. It is not yet clear why the individual Mangaia sulfides and the olivine separates have more extreme MIF-S than the whole rocks. We consider it

  7. Possible magmatic underplating beneath the west coast of India and adjoining Dharwar craton: Imprint from Archean crustal evolution to breakup of India and Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikia, Utpal; Das, Ritima; Rai, S. S.

    2017-03-01

    The shear wave velocity of the crust along a ∼660 km profile from the west to the east coast of South India is mapped through the joint inversion of receiver functions and Rayleigh wave group velocity. The profile, consisting of 38 broadband seismic stations, covers the Archean Dharwar craton, Proterozoic Cuddapah basin, and rifted margin and escarpment. The Moho is mapped at a depth of ∼40 km beneath the mid-Archean Western Dharwar Craton (WDC), Cuddapah Basin (CB), and the west and east coasts formed through the rifting process. This is in contrast with a thin (∼35 km) crust beneath the late-Archean Eastern Dharwar Craton (EDC). Along the profile, the average thickness of the upper, middle and lower crust is ∼4 km, 12 ± 4 km and 24 ± 4 km respectively. Above the Moho, we observe a high-velocity layer (HVL, Vs > 4 km/s) of variable thickness increasing from 3 ± 1 km beneath the EDC to 11 ± 3 km beneath the WDC and the CB, and 18 ± 2 km beneath the west coast of India. The seismic wave velocity in this layer is greater than typical oceanic lower crust. We interpret the high-velocity layer as a signature of magmatic underplating due to past tectonic processes. Its significant thinning beneath the EDC may be attributed to crustal delamination or relamination at 2.5 Ga. These results demonstrate the dual signature of the Archean Dharwar crust. The change in the geochemical character of the crust possibly occurred at the end of Archean when Komatiite volcanism ceased. The unusually thick HVL beneath the west coast of India and the adjoining region may represent underplated material formed due to India-Madagascar rifting, which is supported by the presence of seaward dipping reflectors and a 85-90 Ma mafic dyke in the adjoining island.

  8. Consequences of an Immense Hadean-Archean Heat Flux that Results from Virial Theorem Constraints on the Earth's Initial Axial Spin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmeister, A. M.; Criss, R. E.

    2016-12-01

    Early Earth conditions were largely erased, but the powerful Virial Theorem (VT) constrains Earth's post-accretion state, which largely dictates subsequent thermal and dynamical evolution. Proposals of huge initial inventories of primordial heat are based on Kelvin's disproven theory of starlight. Rather, the VT requires that gravitational potential of the Solar nebula was converted to rotational energy in a conservative, bound accretionary system, which is confirmed by planetary orbit characteristics. In addition, the VT relates axial spin to gravitational self-potential (Ug,self) of each body [2016 Can. J. Phys. p. 380]. From the VT, ½Ug,self binds the body and is unavailable, but spin energy (SE), also equal to ½Ug,self, degrades while gradually evolving heat via friction. The VT likewise restricts primordial heat of core formation, and is consistent with entropy reduction due to ordering and volume restriction [2015 J. Earth Sci., p. 124]. High initial Virial spin is confirmed by (1) data on young stars, (2) independent projections of Earth's initial spin as 2-17 hrs (from fossils and the current rate of spin loss: Lathe 2006), and (3) current SE for all planets defining a power-law trend with Ug,self, which further requires a universal cause for spin loss [2012 Planet. Space Sci. p. 111]. Spin loss is caused by tidal friction and differential rotation of layers. Dissipation is concentrated in the upper layers and especially in the brittle zone, which are much weaker than the highly compressed, essentially hydrostatic interior. With friction, neither mechanical energy nor angular momentum are conserved. Earth's frictional dissipation is immense. Uniform release over time would provide 300-700 TW. This source dominated heat generation for 2 Ga, whereas radiogenic heat dominates today. Exponential spin down suggests 100x more heat production during the Hadean than now, which obliterated early rocks while promoting outgassing and differentiation. Reduction to 10

  9. Paleogene and Early Neogene Lacustrine Reefs in the Western Qaidam Basin, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHONG Jianhua; WEN Zhifeng; GUO Zeqing; WANG Haiqiao; GAO Jianbo

    2004-01-01

    Typical reefs in the Paleogene and early Neogene strata of the Qaidam Basin, Tibetan Plateau, China, reveal their internal structures and sedimentation environments and consist mainly of algal reef, stromatolite reef and thrombolite reef with distinct reef structures, fore-reef, back-reef and reef-plateau. The fore-reef is characterized by a combination of pinnacle reef, thrombolite and algal reef. The back reef is composed of stromatolite reef and algal reef. The pinnacle reefs (micro-atoll), most of which are several tens of centimeters in diameter (whereas some exceptionally big ones are over 200 cm in diameter), and several tens of centimeter to 2 m in height, are situated on the far front-edge of the reef; the pinnacle reef is also often of recumbent form with a gravel-filled circular hole in the center. The algal reef is in the form of dome and irregular beds, and filled with algal detritus, ostracodes, spirorbis fossils, ooid and terrigenous debris, and worm traces;cavities and scour marks are often developed. The algal reef is gray commonly when fresh and weathers to a brown color.The lacustrine thrombolite in the Qaidam Basin is light gray or deep gray when fresh, white-gray or brown when weathered, dense and homogeneous with abundant pores filled by oil and bitumen. Observed under the microscope, the thrombolite consists mainly of brown or brown-black clots with a little algal debris, ooid, pellet, ostracodes, spirorbis fossils and terrigenous debris, in some cases, terrigenous debris, even gravel, is abundant. Many features of the thrombolite suggest that it is formed in a high-energy environment. The stromatolite reefs developed on the lacustrine algal reef in the Qaldam Basin are very complex whether in shape or in internal structure. The simplest ones form laminated layers and the most complex ones have intensely branching structures. The size is also variable.

  10. Archean hydrothermal oceanic floor sedimentary environments: DXCL drilling project of the 3.2 Ga Dixon Island Formation, Pilbara, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiyokawa, S.; Ito, T.; Ikehara, M.; Yamaguchi, K. E.; Naraoka, H.; Sakamoto, R.; Suganuma, Y.

    2009-12-01

    Many place in Archean greenstone belts have been reported of the black chert to Iron rich sediments above volcanic sequence. The chemical sedimentary sequence has been recognized to form by as hydrothermal siliceous sequence. These sediments contain the hint to understand the Archean ocean and earth surface environments. Here, we will focus the Dixon Island and Cleaverville formations, which are one of the best preserved Archean hydrothermal sedimentary sequence in the world, to recognized detail stratigraphy and restored deep ocean environment. We did scientific drilling, which is called ‘DXCL drilling project’, at 2007 summer. This drilling project had been selected two coastal sites; CL site at lower part of the Cleaverville Formation, and another is DX site at the upper Dixon Island Formation. A systematic combinations of geological, sedimentological, geochemical, and geobiological approaches will be applied to the fresh samples. Here we will show the recent result of this sequence, which will be key evidence to understand the nature of the middle Archean (3.2 Ga) marine environment influenced by hydrothermal activity. The 3.2 Ga Dixon Island -Cleaverville formations composed of volcanic rock units and chemical-volcanosedimentary sequence which are identified by accreted immature island arc setting. The ~350m-thick Dixon Island Formation which is overlie by pillow basalt consists mainly of highly silicified volcanic-siliceous sequences that contain apparent microbial mats and bacterial fossil-like structure within black chert and also includes a komatiite-rhyolite sequences bearing hydrothermal veins. The >300m-thick Cleaverville Formation, which conformably overlay pillow basalt, contains a thick unit of reddish shale, bedded red-white chert and banded iron formation. It partly contains chert fragments-bearing pyroclastic beds. In detail lithology from the drill cores, the CL and DX contain different type of organic rocks. The CL 1 and CL2 core samples

  11. Morphological and chemical evidence of stromatolitic deposits in the 2.75 Ga Carajás banded iron formation, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro da Luz, Beatriz; Crowley, James K.

    2012-01-01

    We describe evidence of biogenicity in the morphology and carbon content of well-preserved, Neoarchean samples of banded iron formation (BIF) from Carajás, Brazil. Silica-rich BIF layers contain translucent ellipsoidal or trapezoidal structures (∼5–10 μm diameter) composed of silica, hematite, and kerogen, which are arranged in larger ring-like forms (rosettes). Stable carbon isotope analysis yields a δ13C value of −24.5‰ indicating that the contained carbon is likely biogenic. Raman and SEM analyses, as well as wavelength-dispersive X-ray elemental maps, show kerogen inside the rosette forms. Within the iron-rich BIF layers, tubular structures (0.5–5 μm) were observed between hematite granules and blades. Kerogen and kaolinite are present in these structures. Both the rosettes and the tubular structures resemble morphologies that are characteristic of some bacterial species.We hypothesize that the Carajás BIFs originated as biomats formed by one or more species that over time produced large stromatolitic structures. The rosettes and the tubular structures, associated with chert-rich and iron-rich BIF layers, respectively, may represent two different species, or perhaps, two phases of a bacterium life cycle. For example, some modern myxobacteria exhibit similar morphologies in their resting and vegetative stages.Fe(III) precipitation may have occurred by contact of Fe(II) with bacterial slime, leading to oxidation by chemical reactions with exposed polysaccharide hydroxyl and carboxyl groups. The Fe(III) would then have been available for use as a source of energy in a dissimilatory iron reduction type of metabolism. Organic carbon input presumably came from primary producers (not necessarily aerobic) within the local water column, perhaps in shallow-water communities. Alternatively, the carbon may have originated by Fischer–Tropsch synthesis at ocean hydrothermal vents. The observed lateral continuity of BIF layers may perhaps be explained by

  12. The Wisconsin magmatic terrane: An Early Proterozoic greenstone-granite terrane formed by plate tectonic processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, K. J.; Laberge, G. L.

    1986-01-01

    The Wisconsin magmatic terrane (WMT) is an east trending belt of dominantly volcanic-plutonic complexes of Early Proterozoic age (approx. 1850 m.y.) that lies to the south of the Archean rocks and Early Proterozoic epicratonic sequence (Marquette Range Supergroup) in Michigan. It is separated from the epicratonic Marquette Range Supergroup by the high-angle Niagara fault, is bounded on the south, in central Wisconsin, by Archean gneisses, is truncated on the west by rocks of the Midcontinent rift system, and is intruded on the east by the post-orogenic Wolf river batholith. The overall lithologic, geochemical, metallogenic, metamorphic, and deformational characteristics of the WMT are similar to those observed in recent volcanic arc terranes formed at sites of plate convergence. It is concluded that the WMT represents an evolved oceanic island-arc terrane accreated to the Superior craton in the Early Proterozoic. This conclusion is strengthened by the apparent absence of Archean basement from most of the WMT, and the recent recognition of the passive margin character of the epicratonic Marquette Range Supergroup.

  13. SHRIMP-RG U-Pb isotopic systematics of zircon from the Angel Lake orthogneiss, East Humboldt Range, Nevada: is this really Archean crust? REPLY

    Science.gov (United States)

    Premo, Wayne R.

    2010-01-01

    The comments from McGrew and Snoke are well received and their concerns for the interpretations in our paper (Premo et al., 2008), which questions the original contention that the Angel Lake orthogneiss is an Archean rock, are many and varied—all of which we will attempt to address. As they point out, this issue is an important one as this particular crustal exposure may delimit the southwestern extent of the Archean Wyoming province (Foster et al., 2006; Mueller and Frost, 2006), which has implications for the true crustal evolution of this region of the Great Basin and perhaps more importantly its relationship (if any) to the location of the world-class gold deposits of north-central Nevada (e.g., Howard, 2003).

  14. On the nature and origin of highly-refractory Archean lithosphere: Petrological and geophysical constraints from the Tanzanian craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, S. A.; McMahon, S. C.; Day, J. A.; Dawson, J. B.

    2012-12-01

    The nature and timescales of garnet formation are important to understanding how subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) has evolved since the Archean, and also to mantle dynamics, because the presence of garnet greatly influences the density of the lower lithosphere and hence the long-term stability of thick (150 to 220 km) subcratonic lithosphere. Nevertheless, the widespread occurrence of garnet in the SCLM remains one of the 'holy grails' of mantle petrology. Garnets found in mantle xenoliths from the eastern margin of the Tanzanian Craton (Lashaine) have diverse compositions and provide major constraints on how the underlying deep (120 to 160 km) mantle evolved during the last 3 billion years. Certain harzburgite members of the xenolith suite contain the first reported occurrence of pyrope garnets with rare-earth element patterns similar to hypothetical garnets proposed to have formed in the Earth's SCLM during the Archean, prior to metasomatism [Stachel et al., 2004]. These rare ultradepleted low-Cr garnets occur in low temperature (~1050 oC) xenoliths derived from depths of ~120 km and coexist in chemical and textural equilibrium with highly-refractory olivine (Fo95.4) and orthopyroxene (Mg#=96.4). These phases are all more magnesian than generally encountered in global mantle harzburgites and diamond inclusions. The ultradepleted garnets form interconnecting networks around grains of orthopyroxene which give the rocks a banded appearance: we propose that the increase in pressure associated with cratonization may have caused isochemical exsolution of ultradepleted garnet from orthopyroxene. These unique garnets have not previously been identified in global suites of mantle xenoliths or diamond inclusions. We believe they are rare because their low concentrations of trace elements make them readily susceptible to geochemical overprinting. This highly-refractory low-density peridotite may be common in the 'shallow' SCLM but not normally brought to the

  15. Constraints on the Archean atmospheric oxygen and sulfur cycle from mass-independent sulfur records from Anshan-Benxi BIFs, Liaoning Province, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The Archean atmospheric oxygen concentration and sulfur cycle was long debated. The banded iron formation (BIF) is a special type of the sedimentary formation, which has truly recorded the atmospheric and oceanic conditions at that time. In this study, the composition of multiple sulfur isotope (δ34S/δ33S/δ32S) for sulfides bedded in the Archean (~2.7 Ga) BIFs, in Anshan-Benxi area of Liaoning Province has been measured. The value of △33S varies from -0.89‰ to +1.21‰, which shows very obvious mass-independent fractionation (MIF) signatures. These non-zero △33S values indicate that the Archean sulfur cycles are different from what it is today, which have been deeply influenced by gas phase photochemical reactions. Algoma-type BIFs which are closely related to the volcanic activity have negative △33S value, however, Superior-type BIFs which are far away from the volcanic center have positive △33S value. The δ34S varies in a large range from -22.0‰ to +11.8‰, which indicates that the bacteria reduction activity has already existed at that time, and that the oceanic sulfate concentration has at least reached 1 mmol/L in local areas. Combined with the contemporaneous existence of the hematite, magnetite and the occurrence and preservation of the sulfur MIF, it can be inferred that the Archean atmospheric oxygen level must be at 10-2―10-3 of the present atmospheric level (PAL).

  16. Probing Archean lithosphere using the Lu-Hf isotope systematics of peridotite xenoliths from Somerset Island kimberlites, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidberger, Stefanie S.; Simonetti, Antonio; Francis, Don; Gariépy, Clément

    2002-04-01

    A knowledge of the Hf isotopic composition of the subcontinental lithosphere beneath Archean cratons is essential to constrain the Hf isotope budget of the Earth's mantle. Hf isotopic measurements were obtained by MC-ICP-MS for a suite of refractory peridotite xenoliths and constituent garnets from the Nikos kimberlite (100 Ma) on Somerset Island in order to constrain the isotopic composition and age of the lithosphere beneath the northern Canadian craton. The low-temperature Nikos peridotites (Somerset lithosphere, are characterized by higher 176Lu/ 177Hf ratios (0.03-0.05) and Hf isotopic values ( 176Hf/ 177Hf (0.1Ga)=0.28296-0.28419) than the deep-seated high-temperature peridotites (>1100°C; 0.004-0.03, 0.28265-0.28333, respectively). These differences in Hf isotope signatures suggest that shallow and deep subcontinental lithosphere beneath Somerset Island represent isotopically distinct domains and do not share a common petrogenetic history. The Lu-Hf isotope systematics of the shallow low-temperature peridotites define a positively sloped line that plot along a 2.8 Ga reference isochron. A number of these peridotites are characterized by highly radiogenic Hf isotopic compositions suggestive of long-term radiogenic ingrowth (billions of years). These findings are consistent with an interpretation that the shallow Somerset lithosphere (to depths of ˜150 km) stabilized in the Archean. The majority of the high-temperature peridotites plot closer to the composition of the host kimberlite. Although the observed isotopic variation may be attributed in part to kimberlite-related Hf addition, it is possible that these deep-seated xenoliths represent younger mantle. The superchondritic 176Lu/ 177Hf ratios observed for a number of the shallow low-temperature peridotites indicate strong fractionation of Lu and Hf, suggesting mantle root formation in the garnet stability field (depths >80 km). The Hf isotope compositions for the Somerset low-temperature peridotites

  17. Geological features and the Paleoproterozoic collision of four Archean crustal segments of the São Francisco Craton, Bahia, Brazil: a synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BARBOSA JOHILDO S.F.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent geological, geochronological and isotopic research has identified four important Archean crustal segments in the basement of the São Francisco Craton in the State of Bahia. The oldest Gavião Block occurs in the WSW part, composed essentially of granitic, granodioritic and migmatitic rocks. It includes remnants of TTG suites, considered to represent the oldest rocks in the South American continent (~ 3,4Ga and associated Archean greenstone belt sequences. The youngest segment, termed the Itabuna-Salvador-Curaçá Belt is exposed along the Atlantic Coast, from the SE part of Bahia up to Salvador and then along a NE trend. It is mainly composed of tonalite/trondhjemites, but also includes stripes of intercalated metasediments and ocean-floor/back-arc gabbros and basalts. The Jequié Block, the third segment, is exposed in the SE-SSW area, being characterized by Archean granulitic migmatites with supracrustal inclusions and several charnockitic intrusions. The Serrinha Block (fourth segment occurs to the NE, composed of orthogneisses and migmatites, which represent the basement of Paleoproterozoic greenstone belts sequences. During the Paleoproterozoic Transamazonian Orogeny, these four crustal segments collided, resulting in the formation of an important mountain belt. Geochronological constrains indicate that the regional metamorphism resulting from crustal thickening associated with the collision process took place around 2.0 Ga.

  18. Sm-Nd Ages of Two Meta-Anorthosite Complexes Around Holenarsipur: Constraints on the Antiquity of Archean Supracrustal Rocks of the Dharwar Craton

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Y J Bhaskar Rao; Anil Kumar; A B Vrevsky; R Srinivasan; G V Anantha Iyer

    2000-03-01

    Whole-rock Sm-Nd isochron ages are reported for two stratiform meta-anorthosite complexes emplaced into the Archean supracrustal-gneiss association in the amphibolite facies terrain around Holenarsipur, in the Dharwar carton, South India. While these metaperidotite-pyroxenite-gabbro-anorthosite complexes are petrologically and geochemically similar, they differ in the intensity of tectonic fabric developed during the late Archean (c.2.5Ga) deformation. They also differ in their whole-rock Sm-Nd isochron ages and initial Nd isotopic compositions: 3.285 ± 0.17 Ga, Nd = 0.82 ± 0.78 for the Honnavalli meta-anorthosite complex from a supracrustal enclave in the low-strain zone, and 2.495 ± 0.033 Ga, Nd = -2.2+-0.3 for the Dodkadnur meta-anorthosites from the high-strain southern arm of the Holenarsipur Supracrustal Belt (HSB). We interpret these results as indicating that the magmatic protoliths of both meta-anorthosite complexes were derived from a marginally depleted mantle at c.3.29 Ga but only the Dodkadnur rocks were isotopically reequilibrated on a cm-scake about 800 Ma later presumably due to the development of strong penetrative fabrics in them during Late Archean thermotectonic event around 2.5Ga. Our results set a younger age limit at c.3.29Ga for the supracrustal rocks of the HSB in the Dharwar craton.

  19. Chondritic osmium isotopic composition of late Archean convecting upper mantle:Evidence from Zunhua podiform chromitites, Hebei, North China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XIA Qiongxia; ZHI Xiachen; LI Jianghai; HUANG Xiongnan

    2004-01-01

    Podiform chromite deposits are a characteristic feature of the mantle sequences of harzburgitic ophiolites. The chromites usually have very low Re and high Os contents, which makes it the most resistant phase remaining from the primary magmatic history of the ultramafic sections of ophiolites. The podiform chromite is one of the robust indicators of initial Os isotopic compositions of the ophiolites where podiform chromites were derived from, which provides strong evidence for the origin and evolution of oceanic lithosphere. The Re and Os contents and the Os isotopic compositions of seven podiform chromitites from Zunhua ophiolitic mélange belt, North China are reported in this study. The Re contents range from 0.019 to 0.128 ng/g, Os from 8.828 to 354.0 ng/g, and the 187Os/188Os ratio from 0.11003 to 0.11145. Three massive chromitites among the sample set have very high Os contents (>300 ng/g), and their 187Os/188Os ratios range from 0.11021 to 0.11030, averaging 0.11026 ± 0.00005 (σ), equivalent to a γOs = -0.12 ± 0.06 at 2.6 Ga, which means that the Os isotopic composition of convecting upper mantle is chondritic in late Archean. It is the Os isotopic composition of podiform chromitites that are derived from the oldest ophiolite in the world till now.

  20. Magnetotelluric survey to locate the Archean-Proterozoic suture zone in the northeastern Great Basin, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampson, Jay A.; Rodriguez, Brian D.

    2013-01-01

    North-central Nevada contains a large amount of gold in linear belts, the origin of which is not fully understood. During July 2008, September 2009, and August 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey, as part of the Assessment Techniques for Concealed Mineral Resources project, collected twenty-three magnetotelluric soundings along two profiles in Box Elder County, Utah; Elko County, Nevada; and Cassia, Minidoka, and Blaine Counties, Idaho. The main twenty-sounding north-south magnetotelluric profile begins south of Wendover, Nev., but north of the Deep Creek Range. It continues north of Wendover and crosses into Utah, with the north profile terminus in the Snake River Plain, Idaho. A short, three-sounding east-west segment crosses the main north-south profile near the northern terminus of the profile. The magnetotelluric data collected in this study will be used to better constrain the location and strike of the concealed suture zone between the Archean crust and the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. This report releases the magnetotelluric sounding data that was collected. No interpretation of the data is included.

  1. Exploring the faint young Sun problem and the possible climates of the Archean Earth with a 3-D GCM

    CERN Document Server

    Charnay, Benjamin; Wordsworth, Robin; Leconte, Jérémy; Millour, Ehouarn; Codron, Francis; Spiga, Aymeric

    2013-01-01

    Different solutions have been proposed to solve the "faint young Sun problem", defined by the fact that the Earth was not fully frozen during the Archean despite the fainter Sun. Most previous studies were performed with simple 1-D radiative convective models and did not account well for the clouds and ice-albedo feedback or the atmospheric and oceanic transport of energy. We apply a global climate model (GCM) to test the different solutions to the faint young Sun problem. We explore the effect of greenhouse gases (CO2 and CH4), atmospheric pressure, cloud droplet size, land distribution, and Earth's rotation rate. We show that neglecting organic haze, 100 mbar of CO2 with 2 mbar of CH4 at 3.8 Ga and 10 mbar of CO2 with 2 mbar of CH4 at 2.5 Ga allow a temperate climate (mean surface temperature between 10{\\deg}C and 20{\\deg}C). Such amounts of greenhouse gases remain consistent with the geological data. Removing continents produces a warming lower than +4{\\deg}C. The effect of rotation rate is even more limit...

  2. A review of structural patterns and melting processes in the Archean craton of West Greenland: Evidence for crustal growth at convergent plate margins as opposed to non-uniformitarian models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polat, Ali; Wang, Lu; Appel, Peter W. U.

    2015-11-01

    The Archean craton of West Greenland consists of many fault-bounded Eoarchean to Neoarchean tectonic terranes (crustal blocks). These tectonic terranes are composed mainly of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) gneisses, granitic gneisses, metavolcanic-dominated supracrustal belts, layered anorthositic complexes, and late- to post-tectonic granites. Rock assemblages and geochemical signatures in these terranes suggest that they represent fragments of dismembered oceanic island arcs, consisting mainly of TTG plutons, tholeiitic to calc-alkaline basalts, boninites, picrites, and cumulate layers of ultramafic rocks, gabbros, leucogabbros and anorthosites, with minor sedimentary rocks. The structural characteristics of the terrane boundaries are consistent with the assembly of these island arcs through modern style of horizontal tectonics, suggesting that the Archean craton of West Greenland grew at convergent plate margins. Several supracrustal belts that occur at or near the terrane boundaries are interpreted as relict accretionary prisms. The terranes display fold and thrust structures and contain numerous 10 cm to 20 m wide bifurcating, ductile shear zones that are characterized by a variety of structures including transposed and redistributed isoclinal folds. Geometrically these structures are similar to those occurring on regional scales, suggesting that the Archean craton of West Greenland can be interpreted as a continental scale accretionary complex, such as the Paleozoic Altaids. Melting of metavolcanic rocks during tectonic thickening in the arcs played an important role in the generation of TTGs. Non-uniformitarian models proposed for the origin of Archean terranes have no analogs in the geologic record and are inconsistent with structural, lithological, petrological and geochemical data collected from Archean terranes over the last four decades. The style of deformation and generation of felsic rocks on outcrop scales in the Archean craton of West

  3. Phlogopite compositions as an indicator of both the geodynamic context of granitoids and the metallogeny aspect in Memve'ele Archean area, northwestern Congo craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ntomba, Sylvestre M.; Bidzang, François Ndong; Ottou, José Eric Messi; Goussi Ngalamo, François Jeannot; Bisso, Dieudonné; Magnekou Takamte, Christelle Rufine; Ondoa, Joseph Mvondo

    2016-06-01

    A barium bearing phlogopite (celsian) has been found for the first time within the charnockitic and tonalitic suites that compose Archean mineral belt in Cameroon. Electron microprobe analyses of these phlogopites are reported and contain moderate contents of BaO (0.42-1.26 wt. %) and up to 5.95 wt. % TiO2. Micas are Mg-rich and their compositions indicate phlogopites rich-meroxenes. Phlogopites from Memve'ele are characterized by a nearly horizontal trend of increasing total aluminium (2.494-2.931 a.p.f.u.) and relatively constant Fe/(Fe + Mg) suggesting contributions of aluminous supracrustal material to the magmas by anatexis or assimilation. Compositions of the barium titanium bearing phlogopite vary systematically according to rock types. It seems that the substitution scheme include Ba + Al + VI (Mg, Fe)2+ + 2 IVSi = K + Si + VITi + 2IVAl was dominant in the Memve'ele area thus, this scheme has made easy incorporation of Ba into phlogopite structure. The binary diagram of aluminium vs. titanium shows that phlogopites from the Memve'ele area have been formed by the same metasomatic mechanism as phlogopites from Canary Island xenoliths and Mezitler andesites but Ba enrichment of phlogopites from the Memve'ele area implies an early Ba-metasomatism contrary to those from Mezitler. The estimated temperature of the studied phlogopites indicated mainly two groups: (1) temperature range from 662 to 688 °C (average 676 °C) for phlogopite grains with High Mg# in the trondhjemite sample and (2) temperatures with interval limits from 757 to 800 °C (average 777.07 °C) for remnant phlogopites; reflecting primary and late crystallization respectively from slightly to highly oxidized magma (-17.30 to -13.87 Kbars). The geothermal gradient with average temperatures are 35.57-53.360 °C/Km and 30.95-46.42 °C/Km corresponding to 14.56-21.84 Km and 14.56-30.58 Km depth of below crust respectively. The crystallizing melt is enriched in Ba emanated from sea water at medium

  4. Recent Alkaline Lakes: Clues to Understanding the Evolution of Early Planetary Alkaline Oceans and Biogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kempe, S.; Hartmann, J.; Kazmierczak, J.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract New models suggest that terrestrial weathering consumes 0.26GtC/a (72% silicate-, 28% carbonateweathering), equivalent to a loss of one atmospheric C content every 3700a. Rapid weathering leads in volcanic areas to alkaline conditions, illustrated by the crater lake of Niuafo`ou/Tonga and Lake Van/Turkey, the largest soda lake on Earth. Alkaline conditions cause high CaCO3 supersaturation, permineralization of algal mats and growth of stromatolites. Alkaline conditions can nearly depress free [Ca2+] to levels necessary for proteins to function. Therefore early oceans on Earth (and possibly on Mars) should have been alkaline (i.e. "Soda Oceans"). Recent findings of MgSO4 in top soils on Mars may be misleading about the early history of martian oceans.

  5. On the nature and origin of garnet in highly-refractory Archean lithosphere: implications for continent stabilisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Sally

    2014-05-01

    The nature and timescales of garnet formation in the Earth's subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) are important to our understanding of how this rigid outer shell has evolved and stabilised since the Archean. Nevertheless, the widespread occurrence of pyrope garnet in the sub-cratonic mantle remains one of the 'holy grails' of mantle petrology. The paradox is that garnet often occurs in mantle lithologies (dunites and harzburgites) which represent residues of major melting events (up to 40 %) whereas experimental studies on fertile peridotite suggest this phase should be exhausted by <20 % melting. Furthermore, garnets commonly found in mantle peridotite suites have diverse compositions that are typically in equilibrium with high-pressure, small-fraction, mantle melts suggesting they formed as a result of enrichment of the lithospheric mantle following cratonisation. This refertilisation -- which typically involves addition of Fe, incompatible trace elements and volatiles -- affects the lower 30 km of the lithosphere and potentially leads to negative buoyancy and destabilisation. Pyrope garnets found in mantle xenoliths from the eastern margin of the Tanzanian Craton (Lashaine) have diverse compositions and provide major constraints on how the underlying deep (120 to 160 km) mantle stabilised and evolved during the last 3 billion years. The garnets display systematic trends from ultra-depleted to enriched compositions that have not been recognised in peridotite suites from elsewhere (Gibson et al., 2013). Certain harzburgite members of the xenolith suite contain the first reported occurrence of pyrope garnets with rare-earth element (REE) patterns similar to hypothetical garnets proposed by Stachel et al. (2004) to have formed in the Earth's SCLM during the Archean, prior to metasomatism. These rare ultra-depleted low-Cr garnets occur in low temperature (~1050 oC) xenoliths derived from depths of ~120 km and coexist in chemical and textural equilibrium with

  6. Volcano-sedimentary processes operating on a marginal continental arc: the Archean Raquette Lake Formation, Slave Province, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, W. U.; Corcoran, P. L.

    2001-06-01

    The 200-m thick, volcano-sedimentary Raquette Lake Formation, located in the south-central Archean Slave Province, represents a remnant arc segment floored by continental crust. The formation overlies the gneissic Sleepy Dragon Complex unconformably, is laterally interstratified with subaqueous mafic basalts of the Cameron River volcanic belt, and is considered the proximal equivalent of the turbidite-dominated Burwash Formation. A continuum of events associated with volcanism and sedimentation, and controlled by extensional tectonics, is advocated. A complex stratigraphy with three volcanic and three sedimentary lithofacies constitute the volcano-sedimentary succession. The volcanic lithofacies include: (1) a mafic volcanic lithofacies composed of subaqueous pillow-pillow breccia, and subaerial massive to blocky flows, (2) a felsic volcanic lithofacies representing felsic flows that were deposited in a subaerial environment, and (3) a felsic volcanic sandstone lithofacies interpreted as shallow-water, wave- and storm-reworked pyroclastic debris derived from explosive eruptions. The sedimentary lithofacies are represented by: (1) a conglomerate-sandstone lithofacies consistent with unconfined debris flow, hyperconcentrated flood flow and talus scree deposits, as well as minor high-energy stream flow conglomerates that formed coalescing, steep-sloped, coarse-clastic fan deltas, (2) a sandstone lithofacies, interpreted as hyperconcentrated flood flow deposits that accumulated at the subaerial-subaqueous interface, and (3) a mudstone lithofacies consistent with suspension sedimentation in a small restricted lagoon-type setting. The Raquette Lake Formation is interpreted as a fringing continental arc that displays both high-energy clastic sedimentation and contemporaneous effusive and explosive mafic and felsic volcanism. Modern analogues that develop along active plate margins in which continental crust plays a significant role include Japan and the Baja California

  7. Microbial and Metabolic Diversity of the Alkaline Hot Springs of Paoha Island: A Late Archean and Proterozoic Ocean Analogue Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, I. S.; Demirel, C.; Hyde, A.; Motamedi, S.; Frantz, C. M.; Stamps, B. W.; Nunn, H. S.; Oremland, R. S.; Rosen, M.; Miller, L. G.; Corsetti, F. A.; Spear, J. R.

    2016-12-01

    Paoha Island formed 450 years ago within Mono Lake, California, as a result of magmatic activity in the underlying Long Valley Caldera. Previous studies of Paoha Island hot springs focused on the presence of novel organisms adapted to high levels of arsenic (114-138 µM). However, the microbial community structure, relationship with Mono Lake, and preservation potential of these communities remains largely unexplored. Here, we present water chemistry, 16S and 18S rRNA gene sequences, and metagenomic data for spring water and biofilms sampled on a recently exposed mudflat along the shoreline of Paoha Island. Spring waters were hypoxic, alkaline, and saline, had variable temperature (39-70 °C near spring sources) and high concentrations of arsenic, sulfide and reduced organic compounds. Thermodynamic modeling based on spring water chemistry indicated that sulfide and methane oxidation were the most energetically favorable respiratory metabolisms. 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed distinct communities in different biofilms: red biofilms were dominated by arsenite-oxidizing phototrophs within the Ectothiorhodospiraceae, while OTUs most closely related to the cyanobacterial genus Arthrospira were present in green biofilms, as well as a large proportion of sequences assigned to sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Metagenomic analysis identified genes related to arsenic resistance, arsenic oxidation/reduction, sulfur oxidation and photosynthesis. Eukaryotic rRNA gene sequencing analyses revealed few detectable taxa in spring biofilms and waters compared to Mono Lake; springs receiving splash from the lake were dominated by the alga Picocystis. The co-occurrence of hypoxia, high pH, and close proximity of anoxygenic and oxygenic phototrophic mats makes this site a potential Archean/Proterozoic analogue environment, but suggests that similar environments if preserved in the rock record, may not preserve evidence for community dynamics or the existence of photosynthetic metabolisms.

  8. Molybdenum Isotopic Composition of the Archean Mantle As Inferred from Studies of Komatiites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greber, N. D.; Puchtel, I. S.; Nagler, T. F.; Mezger, K.

    2014-12-01

    Molybdenum isotopic composition has been shown to be a powerful tool in studies of planetary processes, e.g. estimating core formation temperatures [1,2]. However, Mo isotope compositions of terrestrial reservoirs are not well constrained. In order to better constrain the Mo isotopic composition of the early Earth's mantle, komatiites from four locations were analyzed for their Mo concentrations and isotopic compositions. Komatiites are particularly appropriate for this type of study because they formed by high degrees of partial melting of the mantle leading to a complete base metal sulfide removal from the residual mantle and the production of sulfur-undersaturated melts and thus a quantitative removal of Mo from the source into the melt. All samples, except for two strongly altered specimens specifically chosen to study the effects of secondary alteration, are very fresh having preserved most of their primary mineralogy. The Mo concentrations in komatiites range from 10 to 120 ng/g. Fresh komatiites have lighter δ98Mo (NIST SRM 3134 = 0.25‰, [3]) than altered samples. The estimated primary Mo isotope compositions of the studied komatiite melts range from 0.02 ± 0.16‰ to 0.19 ± 0.14‰ and are therefore indistinguishable within analytical uncertainty (2SD) from published values for chondritic meteorites (0.09 ± 0.04 ‰; 2SD; [2]) and lighter than the proposed average for Earth's continental crust (0.3 to 0.4‰ [4]). All data combined, although overlapping in errors, show a consistent trend of lighter δ98Mo and lower Mo concentrations in more melt-depleted mantle sources, indicating incompatible behaviour of Mo and preferential mobilization of heavy Mo isotopes during mantle melting. [1] Hin et al. (2013) EPSL, 379 [2] Burkhardt et al. (2014) EPSL, 391 [3] Nägler, et al. (2014) GGR, 38. [4] Voegelin et al. (2014) Lithos, 190-191.

  9. Carbonaceous matter and putative microfossils of the mid-Archean Kromberg type-section re-visited, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLoughlin, Nicola; Grosch, Eugene

    2014-05-01

    Silicified seafloor sediments of the Kromberg Formation from the Onverwacht Group of the Barberton greenstone belt (BGB), South Africa, have been argued to contain some of the world's oldest preserved carbonaceous microfossils. Previous studies of these cherts have reported filamentous, spheroidal and ellipsoidal microfossils in thin-section (Walsh 1992); and bacteriomorph like structures in HF-etched samples (Westall et al. 2001). These microtextural studies however, lack supporting in-situ geochemical data, and are hampered to some degree by re-mobilisation of the carbonaceous matter (Van Zuilen et al. 2007). In light of these concerns, and ongoing debates surrounding carbonaceous remains in other Archean cherts (e.g., W Australia), further in-situ data from the Kromberg is required to positively identify carbonaceous matter of biogenic origin. New data will also help to address outstanding questions regarding the relative contribution of benthic versus planktonic microorganisms, and the putative microbial metabolisms involved. This study focuses on surface samples and drill core from the Barberton Scientific Drilling Programme, (BSDP, Grosch et al. 2009) from the southeastern limb of the Onverwacht anticline of the BGB. We sampled the Footbridge chert and a second chert horizon in drill core KD1 of the BSDP in the upper Kromberg Fm; and surface outcrops of two black cherts from the lower Kromberg Fm. Sedimentological logging reveals horizons rich in volcaniclastics with interbedded finely laminated grey-black chert, also intrusive black cherts, and sulphide rich horizons. The TOC of the sampled cherts is 1.24 to 5.40 wt%. Preliminary bulk carbon isotope values range from δ13C -21.1 to -35.3o values that are consistent with organic matter produced by anoxygenic photosynthesis. Microfabrics preserved in the Kromberg cherts include, primary wispy-laminated carbonaceous films suggesting compaction of early carbonaceous laminae. Also large composite carbonaceous

  10. Tourmaline from the Archean G.R.Halli gold deposit, Chitradurga greenstone belt, Dharwar craton (India): Implications for the gold metallogeny

    OpenAIRE

    Susmita Gupta; Jayananda, M.; Fareeduddin

    2014-01-01

    Tourmaline occurs as a minor but important mineral in the alteration zone of the Archean orogenic gold deposit of Guddadarangavanahalli (G.R.Halli) in the Chitradurga greenstone belt of the western Dharwar craton, southern India. It occurs in the distal alteration halo of the G.R.Halli gold deposit as (a) clusters of very fine grained aggregates which form a minor constituent in the matrix of the altered metabasalt (AMB tourmaline) and (b) in quartz-carbonate veins (vein tourmaline). The vein...

  11. Early Life on Earth: the Ancient Fossil Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.

    2004-07-01

    The evidence for early life and its initial evolution on Earth is lin= ked intimately with the geological evolution of the early Earth. The environment of the early Earth would be considered extreme by modern standards: hot (50-80=B0C), volcanically and hydrothermally active, a= noxic, high UV flux, and a high flux of extraterrestrial impacts. Habitats = for life were more limited until continent-building processes resulted in= the formation of stable cratons with wide, shallow, continental platforms= in the Mid-Late Archaean. Unfortunately there are no records of the first appearance of life and the earliest isotopic indications of the exist= ence of organisms fractionating carbon in ~3.8 Ga rocks from the Isua greenst= one belt in Greenland are tenuous. Well-preserved microfossils and micro= bial mats (in the form of tabular and domical stromatolites) occur in 3.5-= 3.3 Ga, Early Archaean, sedimentary formations from the Barberton (South Afri= ca) and Pilbara (Australia) greenstone belts. They document life forms that = show a relatively advanced level of evolution. Microfossil morphology inclu= des filamentous, coccoid, rod and vibroid shapes. Colonial microorganism= s formed biofilms and microbial mats at the surfaces of volcaniclastic = and chemical sediments, some of which created (small) macroscopic microbi= alites such as stromatolites. Anoxygenic photosynthesis may already have developed. Carbon, nitrogen and sulphur isotopes ratios are in the r= ange of those for organisms with anaerobic metabolisms, such as methanogenesi= s, sulphate reduction and photosynthesis. Life was apparently distribute= d widely in shallow-water to littoral environments, including exposed, evaporitic basins and regions of hydrothermal activity. Biomass in t= he early Archaean was restricted owing to the limited amount of energy t= hat could be produced by anaerobic metabolisms. Microfossils resembling o= xygenic photosynthesisers, such as cyanobacteria, probably first occurred in

  12. PROTEROZOIC STROMATOLITES FROM CENTRAL BRAZIL: PALAEOECOLOGICAL AND TECTONIC SETTING IN PARANOA AND BAMBUI GROUPS%巴西中部元古代Paranoá和Bambui群叠层石的古生态和构造背景

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    EMGUIMARA^~ES; LSOARES; TFAIRCHILD; MADARDENNE

    2003-01-01

    Stromatolite morphologies and their terrigenous sediment association indicate depositional basin tectonic gin basin (Dardenne & Faria, 1986), while the other two groups represent a foreland basin (Guimaraes, 1993,1997, 1998, Dardenne et al. , 1998). The sediments of the Vazante Group were deposited near the mountain which forms the Brasilia Fold Belt; however, most of the area of Bambui Group originated in a cratonic region. Generalstromatolite buildings are associated with variations in environmental conditions. However, very often changes in the columnar growth direction and irregular terrigenous-rich intercalations into stromatolites characterize tectonically active settings such as in Vazante Group and in the western portion of the Paranoa and Bambui groups.%叠层石的形态和它们与陆源沉积的关系反映了沉积盆地的构造背景.在巴西中部地区,叠层石出现在中元古和新元古代的Paranoa群、Vazante群和Bambui群.根据沉积学和矿物学的研究分析,Paranoá群形成于被动边缘盆地,而另外两个群形成于前陆盆地.Vazante群沉积在形成巴西褶皱带的山脉附近,然而Bambui群的大部分都形成于克拉通地区.通常远离山脉褶皱带的Paranoá群和B2mbuí群内的叠层石建造的形态和规模的改变与环境的变化有关.在柱状生长方向的频繁变化和不规则的丰富陆源物质的夹层进入叠层石,表征活跃的构造背景,例如在Vazante,Paranoá群和Bambuí群的西部.

  13. A trace element and Pb isotopic investigation into the provenance and deposition of stromatolitic carbonates, ironstones and associated shales of the ∼3.0 Ga Pongola Supergroup, Kaapvaal Craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolhar, Robert; Hofmann, Axel; Siahi, Mehrnaz; Feng, Yue-xing; Delvigne, Camille

    2015-06-01

    Major and trace element, and Pb isotopic data for chemical and clastic sedimentary rocks of the Mesoarchaean Pongola Supergroup are employed to infer aspects of the provenance and depositional environment, including ambient seawater composition. Stromatolitic carbonates of the Nsuze Group were formed in a tidal-flat setting, whereas ironstones of the Mozaan Group were deposited in an outer-shelf setting during marine transgression. Geochemical criteria, employed to test for crustal contamination and diagenetic/metamorphic overprinting, demonstrate that carbonates and ironstones preserved their primary chemical signature. In comparison to other documented Precambrian stromatolites, shale-normalised REE+Y patterns for Nsuze carbonates show pronounced enrichment in middle REE, but lack strong elemental anomalies (La, Gd, Y) that are diagnostic for derivation from open marine waters. In contrast, normalised REE+Y for ironstones exhibit distinct positive La, Gd and Y anomalies. Both rock types are devoid of normalised Ce anomalies and show only minor enrichment in Eu, suggesting deposition in anoxic environments (with respect to the Ce3+/Ce4+ redox couple) accompanied by minor high-temperature hydrothermal input. Trace element geochemical data are most consistent with deposition of Nsuze carbonates in a shallow-water epicontinental basin with restricted but variable exchange to the open-ocean and dominant fluvial input, whereas ironstone precipitated in a deeper-water, epicontinental sea. Estuarine fractionation and organic complexation due to microbial activity is possibly indicated by MREE enrichment of the carbonates, also consistent with a restricted environment. Shales belonging to the Mozaan Group are characterised by high concentrations of Al and K relative to Ca, Na and Sr, indicative of pronounced in-situ weathering, coupled with K-metasomatism. The provenance is mixed, comprising (ultra)mafic and granitic source rocks. Pb isotope regression for Nsuze

  14. Petrogenesis and Tectonic Implications of Paleoproterozoic Metapelitic Rocks in the Archean Kongling Complex from the Northern Yangtze Craton, South China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y.; Zheng, J.; Wang, W.; Xiong, Q.

    2015-12-01

    The Archean Kongling Complex in the northern Yangtze Craton is an ideal target to investigate the Precambrian accretion and evolution of continental crust in South China. This study aims to unravel the crustal evolution and tectonic setting of the Yangtze Craton during the Paleoproterozoic time, using integrated studies of petrography, zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopes and whole-rock geochemistry of Paleoproterozoic metapelitic rocks in the Kongling Complex. These rocks contain garnet, sillimanite, biotite, plagioclase, minor graphite and ilmenite. Zircons from the samples show nebulous sector-zoning and rim-core structure, suggesting both metamorphic origin and detrital origin with metamorphic overprints. The metamorphic zircons and metamorphic overprints have concordant 207Pb/206Pb age at ~2.0 Ga, while detrital grains yield three distinct concordant-age populations of >2.5 Ga, 2.4-2.2 Ga and 2.2-2.1 Ga. The age patterns indicate that the depositional age of the metasedimentary rocks was 2.1-2.0 Ga. Those 2.2-2.1 Ga detrital zircons with variable ɛHf(t) values (-7.28 to 2.97) suggest the addition of juvenile materials from depleted mantle to the crust during 2.2-2.1 Ga. The 2.4-2.2 Ga zircons have Hf model ages (TDM2) of ~2.6-3.5 Ga and >2.5 Ga zircons have TDM2 ages varying from 2.9 Ga to 3.3 Ga. The new data suggest that the Kongling Complex was originally a Paleoarchean (old up to 3.5 Ga) continental nucleus, which experienced multiple episodes of growth and reworking events at 3.3-3.2 Ga, 2.9 Ga, 2.7-2.6 Ga, 2.4-2.2 Ga and 2.2-2.1 Ga. In combination with available data, the new results in this study suggest a continent-arc-continent evolution model to explain the tectonic evolution of the Yangtze Craton during the Paleoproterozoic time: the western margin of Yangtze Craton was originally an individual continent, which underwent a reworking event during 2.4-2.2 Ga and a crust growth event caused by continent-arc collision during 2.2-2.1 Ga; it subsequently collided

  15. Phosphogenesis in the 2460 and 2728 million-year-old banded iron formations as evidence for biological cycling of phosphate in the early biosphere

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yi-Liang; Sun, Si; Chan, Lung S

    2013-01-01

    The banded iron formation deposited during the first 2 billion years of Earth's history holds the key to understanding the interplay between the geosphere and the early biosphere at large geological timescales. The earliest ore-scale phosphorite depositions formed almost at approximately 2.0-2.2 billion years ago bear evidence for the earliest bloom of aerobic life. The cycling of nutrient phosphorus and how it constrained primary productivity in the anaerobic world of Archean-Palaeoproterozo...

  16. Africa and Precambrian biological evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. H. Knoll

    1983-12-01

    Full Text Available African sedimentary rocks and their contained fossils have played a fundamental role in the unravelling of Precambrian biological history. Various lines of evidence including stromatolites, filamentous and coccoidal microfossils, stable isotope ratios, organic carbon distribution, and oxide facies iron formation suggest that a complex prokaryotic ecosystem fueled by photosynthesis, and perhaps including aerobic photoautotrophs, existed as early as 3 500 m.y. ago. The primary sources of data on early Archean life are rock sequences in southern Africa and Australia. The diversity of later Archean (ca. 2 700 m.y. communities is attested to by abundant and varied stromatolites found in Zimbabwe. The extensive growth and consolidation of continents that heralded the Proterozoic Eon had profound effects on the earth’s biota. Primary productivity must have increased substantially, resulting in the establishment of an 02-rich atmosphere, and, subsequently, the radiation of aerobic respirers. Southern African sequences provide critical evidence bearing on this crust/atmosphere/biota interaction; however, the best known microfossils of this age come from North America. Upper Proterozoic sedimentary rocks abound in Africa. Stromatolites from northwestern Africa have been well studied; however, microfossil occurrences remain but sketchily described. Contemporaneous sequences from Scandinavia and Australia document the initial radiation of eukaryotes in the planktonic realm, as well as a terminal Precambrian episode of extinction among plankters. Early heterotrophic protists are known from several continents. The Nama Group of South West Africa/Namibia contains important evidence of early invertebrates. In general, Precambrian evolution can be viewed as a series of increasingly elevated biological plateaus connected by steps marking relatively short periods of evolutionary innovation and radiation. With each step, communities have increased in complexity

  17. Organic chemistry in the ionosphere of the Early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrasco, N.; Fleury, B.; Vettier, L.

    2015-10-01

    The emergence of life on the Early Earth during the Archean has required a prior complex organic chemistry providing the prerequisite bricks of life. The origin of the organic matter and its evolution on the early Earth is far from being understood. Several hypotheses are investigated, possibly complementary, which can be divided in two main categories: the endogenous and the exogenous sources. In this work we have been interested in the contribution of a specific endogenous source: the organic chemistry occurring in the ionosphere of the early Earth. At these high altitudes, the VUV contribution of the young sun was important, involving an efficient production of reactive species. Here we address the issue whether this chemistry can lead to the production of larger molecules with a prebiotic interest in spite of the competitive lysing effect of the harsh irradiation at these altitudes.

  18. Evidence for Archean inheritance in the pre-Panafrican crust of Central Cameroon: Insight from zircon internal structure and LA-MC-ICP-MS Usbnd Pb ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganwa, Alembert Alexandre; Klötzli, Urs Stephan; Hauzenberger, Christoph

    2016-08-01

    sources. It is likely that erosion, transport and deposition took place between 2116 and 821 Ma. Geochemical data show that the REE, Y, Yb, Sr/Y of some samples are similar to the known Archean craton formations (depletion in REE, Y ≤ 10 ppm, Yb ≤ 1 ppm, Sr/Y ≥ 30). These characteristics are known as specific for the Archean TTG (Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite). It means that: i) Archean TTG contribute significantly to the detritus of the sedimentary basin, ii) The depositional basin and the source rock were close and the detritus was immature. Our results show that the Pre-Panafrican history of central Cameroon includes Meso- to Neo-Archean crustal accretion and associated magmatism prior to the Paleoproterozoic event of the West Central African Belt. In respect to this new insight, any evolutionary reconstruction of the area should integrate the presence of Archean crust.

  19. Paleoproterozoic magmatism across the Archean-Proterozoic boundary in central Fennoscandia: Geochronology, geochemistry and isotopic data (Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, O)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahtinen, Raimo; Huhma, Hannu; Lahaye, Yann; Lode, Stefanie; Heinonen, Suvi; Sayab, Mohammad; Whitehouse, Martin J.

    2016-10-01

    The central Fennoscandia is characterized by the Archean-Proterozoic (AP) boundary and the Central Finland Granitoid Complex (CFGC), a roundish area of approximately 40,000 km2 surrounded by supracrustal belts. Deep seismic reflection profile FIRE 3A runs across these units, and we have re-interpreted the profile and crustal evolution along the profile using 1.92-1.85 Ga plutonic rocks as lithospheric probes. The surface part of the profile has been divided into five subareas: Archean continent (AC) in the east, AP, CFGC, boundary zone (BZ) and the Bothnian Belt (BB) in the west. There are 12 key samples from which zircons were studied for inclusions and analyzed (core-rim) by ion probe for U-Pb dating and oxygen isotopes, followed by analyzes for Lu-Hf by LA-MC-ICP-MS. The AC plutonic rocks (1.87-1.85 Ga) form a bimodal suite, where the proposed mantle source for the mafic rocks is 2.1-2.0 Ga metasomatized lower part of the Archean subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and the source for the felsic melts is related plume-derived underplated mafic material in the lower crust. Variable degrees of contamination of the Archean lower crust have produced "subduction-like" Nb-Ta anomalies in spidergrams and negative εNd (T) values in the mafic-intermediate rocks. The felsic AC granitoids originate from a low degree melting of eclogitic or garnet-bearing amphibolites with titanite ± rutile partly prevailing in the residue (Nb-Ta fractionation) followed by variable degree of assimilation/melting of the Archean lower crust. The AP plutonic rocks (ca. 1.88 Ga) can be divided into I-type and A-type granitoids (AP/A), where the latter follow the sediment assimilation trend in ASI diagram, have high δ18O values (up to 8‰) in zircons and exhibit negative Ba anomalies (Rb-Ba-Th in spidergram), as found in sedimentary rocks. A mixing/assimilation of enriched mantle-derived melts with melts from already migmatized sedimentary rocks ± amphibolites is proposed. The CFGC is

  20. Granite-hosted molybdenite mineralization from Archean Bundelkhand cratonmolybdenite characterization, host rock mineralogy, petrology, and fluid inclusion characteristics of Mo-bearing quartz

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    J K Pati; M K Panigrahi; M Chakarborty

    2014-07-01

    The dominantly high-K, moderate to high SiO2 containing, variably fractionated, volcanic-arc granitoids (± sheared) from parts of Bundelkhand craton, northcentral India are observed to contain molybdenite (Mo) in widely separated 23 locations in the form of specks, pockets, clots and stringers along with quartz ± pyrite ± arsenopyrite ± chalcopyrite ± bornite ± covellite ± galena ± sphalerite and in invisible form as well. The molybdenite mineralization is predominantly associated with Bundelkhand Tectonic Zone, Raksa Shear Zone, and localized shear zones. The incidence of molybdenite is also observed within sheared quartz and tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorite (TTG) gneisses. The fluid inclusion data show the presence of bi-phase (H2O–CO2), hypersaline and moderate temperature (100°–300°C) primary stretched fluid inclusions suggesting a possible hydrothermal origin for the Mo-bearing quartz occurring within variably deformed different granitoids variants of Archean Bundelkhand craton.

  1. Archean Mass-independent Fractionation of Sulfur Isotope:New Evidence of Bedded Sulfide Deposits in the Yanlingguan-Shihezhuang area of Xintai, Shandong Province

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yanhe; HOU Kejun; WAN Defang; YUE Guoliang

    2008-01-01

    Multiple sulfur isotope ratios (34S/33S/32S) of Archean bedded sulfides deposits were measured in the Yanlingguan Formation of the Taishan Group in Xintai, Shandong Province, East of China; δ33S =-0.7‰ to 3.8‰,δ34S = 0.1‰-8.8‰, △33S = -2.3‰ to -0.7‰ The sulfur isotope compositions show obvious mass-independent fractionation (MIF) signatures. The presence of MIF of sulfur isotope in Archean sulfides indicates that the sulfur was from products of photochemical reactions of volcanic SO2 induced by solar UV radiation, implying that the ozone shield was not formed in atmosphere at that time, and the oxygen level was less than 10-5PAL (the present atmosphere level). The sulfate produced by photolysis of SO2 with negative △33S precipitated near the volcanic activity center; and the product of element S with positive △33S precipitated far away from the volcanic activity center. The lower △33S values of sulfide (-2.30‰ to-0.25‰) show that Shihezhuang was near the volcanic center,and sulfur was mostly from sulfate produced by photolysis. The higher △33S values (-0.5‰ to-2‰)indicate that Yanlingguan was far away from the volcanic center and that some of sulfur were from sulfate, another from element S produced by photolysis. The data points of sulfur isotope from Yanlingguan are in a line parallel to MFL (mass dependent fractionation line) on the plot of δ34S-δ33S,showing that the volcanic sulfur species went through the atmospheric cycle into the ocean, and then mass dependent fractionation occurred during deposition of sulfide. The data points of sulfur isotope from Shihezhuang represent a mix of different sulfur source.

  2. Microfossils from the Neoarchean Campbell Group, Griqualand West Sequence of the Transvaal Supergroup, and their paleoenvironmental and evolutionary implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altermann, W.; Schopf, J. W.

    1995-01-01

    The oldest filament- and colonial coccoid-containing microbial fossil assemblage now known is described here from drill core samples of stromatolitic cherty limestones of the Neoarchean, approximately 2600-Ma-old Campbell Group (Ghaap Plateau Dolomite, Lime Acres Member) obtained at Lime Acres, northern Cape Province, South Africa. The assemblage is biologically diverse, including entophysalidacean (Eoentophysalis sp.), probable chroococcacean (unnamed colonial coccoids), and oscillatoriacean cyanobacteria (Eomycetopsis cf. filiformis, and Siphonophycus transvaalensis), as well as filamentous fossil bacteria (Archaeotrichion sp.); filamentous possible microfossils (unnamed hematitic filaments) also occur. The Campbell Group microorganisms contributed to the formation of stratiform and domical to columnar stromatolitic reefs in shallow subtidal to intertidal environments of the Transvaal intracratonic sea. Although only moderately to poorly preserved, they provide new evidence regarding the paleoenvironmental setting of the Campbell Group sediments, extend the known time-range of entophysalidacean cyanobacteria by more than 400 million years, substantiate the antiquity and role in stromatolite formation of Archean oscillatoriacean cyanobacteria, and document the exceedingly slow (hypobradytelic) evolutionary rate characteristic of this early evolving prokaryotic lineage.

  3. A warm or a cold early Earth? New insights from a 3-D climate-carbon model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charnay, Benjamin; Le Hir, Guillaume; Fluteau, Frédéric; Forget, François; Catling, David C.

    2017-09-01

    Oxygen isotopes in marine cherts have been used to infer hot oceans during the Archean with temperatures between 60 °C (333 K) and 80 °C (353 K). Such climates are challenging for the early Earth warmed by the faint young Sun. The interpretation of the data has therefore been controversial. 1D climate modeling inferred that such hot climates would require very high levels of CO2 (2-6 bars). Previous carbon cycle modeling concluded that such stable hot climates were impossible and that the carbon cycle should lead to cold climates during the Hadean and the Archean. Here, we revisit the climate and carbon cycle of the early Earth at 3.8 Ga using a 3D climate-carbon model. We find that CO2 partial pressures of around 1 bar could have produced hot climates given a low land fraction and cloud feedback effects. However, such high CO2 partial pressures should not have been stable because of the weathering of terrestrial and oceanic basalts, producing an efficient stabilizing feedback. Moreover, the weathering of impact ejecta during the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) would have strongly reduced the CO2 partial pressure leading to cold climates and potentially snowball Earth events after large impacts. Our results therefore favor cold or temperate climates with global mean temperatures between around 8 °C (281 K) and 30 °C (303 K) and with 0.1-0.36 bar of CO2 for the late Hadean and early Archean. Finally, our model suggests that the carbon cycle was efficient for preserving clement conditions on the early Earth without necessarily requiring any other greenhouse gas or warming process.

  4. The geology of the Morro Velho gold deposit in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilátero Ferrífero, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vial, Diogenes Scipioni; DeWitt, Ed; Lobato, Lydia Maria; Thorman, Charles H.

    2007-01-01

    The Morro Velho gold deposit, Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is hosted by rocks at the base of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt. The deposit occurs within a thick carbonaceous phyllite package, containing intercalations of felsic and intermediate volcaniclastic rocks and dolomites. Considering the temporal and spatial association of the deposit with the Rio das Velhas orogeny, and location in close proximity to a major NNW-trending fault zone, it can be classified as an orogenic gold deposit. Hydrothermal activity was characterized by intense enrichment in alteration zones of carbonates, sulfides, chlorite, white mica±biotite, albite and quartz, as described in other Archean lode-type gold ores. Two types of ore occur in the deposit: dark gray quartz veins and sulfide-rich gold orebodies. The sulfide-rich orebodies range from disseminated concentrations of sulfide minerals to massive sulfide bodies. The sulfide assemblage comprises (by volume), on average, 74% pyrrhotite, 17% arsenopyrite, 8% pyrite and 1% chalcopyrite. The orebodies have a long axis parallel to the local stretching lineation, with continuity down the plunge of fold axis for at least 4.8 km. The group of rocks hosting the Morro Velho gold mineralization is locally referred to as lapa seca. These were isoclinally folded and metamorphosed prior to gold mineralization. The lapa seca and the orebodies it hosts are distributed in five main tight folds related to F1 (the best examples are the X, Main and South orebodies, in level 25), which are disrupted by NE- to E-striking shear zones. Textural features indicate that the sulfide mineralization postdated regional peak metamorphism, and that the massive sulfide ore has subsequently been neither metamorphosed nor deformed. Lead isotope ratios indicate a model age of 2.82 ± 0.05 Ga for both sulfide and gold mineralization. The lapa seca are interpreted as the results of a pre-gold alteration process and may be

  5. 俄罗斯白海活动带中的太古宙榴辉岩%Archean eclogites from Belomorian Mobile Belt, Russia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李小犁; 张立飞; 魏春景

    2013-01-01

    The oldest eclogite outcrops with Archean age were found in Belomorian Mobile Belt in Russia, which is a sharp breakthrough in geology. The Belomorian Mobile Belt is located at the north-east of Archean nucleus of the Fennoscandian shield, in the Belomorian accretionary-collisional orogeny between Kola Peninsula and Karelian craton, which was affected many times by high-moderate-pressure metamorphism and structural deformation in Neoarchean and Paleoproterozoic periods. There are two eclogite-bearing areas, Gridino and Salma. Gidino eclogites include polygenetic Archean eclogite fragments (-2. 72 Ga) with complicated composition, consisting of migmatized and strongly deformed tectonic melange, and various Paleoproterozoic mafic dykes and veins. Salma eclogites were considered to be formed at 2. 87 Ga, and the Fe-Ti-eclogite variety at 2. 8 Ga. The two eclogite assemblages have similar p-T evolution paths in general, and the p-T condition of Gridino eclogite (T= 740 - 865 ℃ , p= 1. 4 - 1. 8 GPa) should be higher than that of Salma eclogites (T≈700 ℃ , p=1. 3 - 1. 4 GPa). The protolith of Salma eclogite might be related with oceanic environment.%在俄罗斯白海活动区发现的迄今为止最古老的太古宙榴辉岩的出露,对整个地质学领域是一次革命性事件.白海活动带位于芬诺斯干地亚地盾东北部太古宙陆核,处于科拉半岛大陆和卡累利阿克拉通之间的太古宙增生碰撞带中,在新太古代和古元古代期间多次受到中高压变质和构造变形作用.榴辉岩出露包括Gridino和Salma两大地区.Gridino榴辉岩区的榴辉岩产状可分为TTG片麻岩围岩中具有复杂成因的太古宙榴辉岩包裹镶体(2.72 Ga),组成强烈构造变形的混合混杂岩体(mélange),以及众多古元古代侵入岩墙岩脉状基性榴辉岩.Salma榴辉岩区的榴辉岩年龄应该晚于2.87 Ga,其中的Fe-Ti-榴辉岩年龄测定为约2.80 Ga.两大榴辉岩区的p-T演化轨迹比较类

  6. Petrology of the Rainy Lake area, Minnesota, USA-implications for petrotectonic setting of the archean southern Wabigoon subprovince of the Canadian Shield

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, W.C.

    1990-01-01

    The Rainy Lake area in northern Minnesota and southwestern, Ontario is a Late Archean (2.7 Ga) granite-greenstone belt within the Wabigoon subprovince of the Canadian Shield. In Minnesota the rocks include mafic and felsic volcanic rocks, volcaniclastic, chemical sedimentary rocks, and graywacke that are intrucded by coeval gabbro, tonalite, and granodiorite. New data presented here focus on the geochemistry and petrology of the Minnesota part of the Rainy Lake area. Igneous rocks in the area are bimodal. The mafic rocks are made up of three distinct suites: (1) low-TiO2 tholeiite and gabbro that have slightly evolved Mg-numbers (63-49) and relatively flat rare-earth element (REE) patterns that range from 20-8 x chondrites (Ce/YbN=0.8-1.5); (2) high-TiO2 tholeiite with evolved Mg-numbers (46-29) and high total REE abundances that range from 70-40 x chondrites (Ce/YbN=1.8-3.3), and (3) calc-alkaline basaltic andesite and geochemically similar monzodiorite and lamprophyre with primitive Mg-numbers (79-63), enriched light rare-earth elements (LREE) and depleted heavy rare-earth elements (HREE). These three suites are not related by partial melting of a similar source or by fractional crystallization of a common parental magma; they resulted from melting of heterogeneous Archean mantle. The felsic rocks are made up of two distinct suites: (1)low-Al2O3 tholeiitic rhyolite, and (2) high-Al2O3 calc-alkaline dacite and rhyolite and consanguineous tonalite. The tholeiitic felsic rocks are high in Y, Zr, Nb, and total REE that are unfractionated and have pronounced negative Eu anomalies. The calcalkaline felsic rocks are depleted in Y, Zr, and Nb, and the REE that are highly fractionated with high LREE and depleted HREE, and display moderate negative Eu anomalies. Both suites of felsic rocks were generated by partial melting of crustal material. The most reasonable modern analog for the paleotectonic setting is an immature island arc. The bimodal volcanic rocks are

  7. The Archean-Paleoproterozoic evolution of the Quadrilátero Ferrífero (Brasil): Current models and open questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farina, F.; Albert, C.; Martínez Dopico, C.; Aguilar Gil, C.; Moreira, H.; Hippertt, J. P.; Cutts, K.; Alkmim, F. F.; Lana, C.

    2016-07-01

    The Quadrilátero Ferrífero is a metallogenic district (Au, Fe, Mn) located at the southernmost end of the São Francisco craton in eastern Brazil. In this region, a supracrustal assemblage composed of Archean greenstone and overlying Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic sedimentary rocks occur in elongated keels bordering domal bodies of Archean gneisses and granites. The tectonomagmatic evolution of the Quadrilàtero Ferrífero began in the Paleoarchean with the formation of continental crust between 3500 and 3200 Ma. Although this crust is today poorly preserved, its existence is attested to by the occurrence of detrital zircon crystals with Paleoarchean age in the supracrustal rocks. Most of the crystalline basement, which is composed of banded gneisses intruded by leucogranitic dikes and weakly foliated granites, formed during three major magmatic events: Rio das Velhas I (2920-2850 Ma), Rio das Velhas II (2800-2760 Ma) and Mamona (2760-2680 Ma). The Rio das Velhas II and Mamona events represent a subduction-collision cycle, probably marking the appearance of a modern-style plate tectonic regime in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero. Granitic rocks emplaced during the Rio das Velhas I and II events formed by mixing between a magma generated by partial melting of metamafic rocks with an end member derived by recycling gneissic rocks of older continental crust. After deformation and regional metamorphism at ca. 2770 Ma, a change in the composition of the granitic magmas occurred and large volumes of high-K granitoids were generated. The ca. 6000 m-thick Minas Supergroup tracks the opening and closure of a basin during the Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic, between 2600 and 2000 Ma. The basal sequence involves continental to marine sediments deposited in a passive margin basin and contain as a marker bed the Lake Superior-type Cauê Banded Iron Formation. The overlying sediments of the Sabará Group mark the inversion of the basin during the Rhyacian Minas accretionary orogeny. This

  8. Silicon isotope fractionation during microbial reduction of Fe(III)-Si gels under Archean seawater conditions and implications for iron formation genesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Thiruchelvi R.; Zheng, Xin-Yuan; Roden, Eric E.; Beard, Brian L.; Johnson, Clark M.

    2016-10-01

    Microbial dissimilatory iron reduction (DIR) is a deeply rooted metabolism in the Bacteria and Archaea. In the Archean and Proterozoic, the most likely electron acceptor for DIR in marine environments was Fe(III)-Si gels. It has been recently suggested that the Fe and Si cycles were coupled through sorption of aqueous Si to iron oxides/hydroxides, and through release of Si during DIR. Evidence for the close association of the Fe and Si cycles comes from banded iron formations (BIFs), which consist of alternating bands of Fe-bearing minerals and quartz (chert). Although there has been extensive study of the stable Fe isotope fractionations produced by DIR of Fe(III)-Si gels, as well as studies of stable Fe isotope fractionations in analogous abiologic systems, no studies to date have investigated stable Si isotope fractionations produced by DIR. In this study, the stable Si isotope fractionations produced by microbial reduction of Fe(III)-Si gels were investigated in simulated artificial Archean seawater (AAS), using the marine iron-reducing bacterium Desulfuromonas acetoxidans. Microbial reduction produced very large 30Si/28Si isotope fractionations between the solid and aqueous phase at ˜23 °C, where Δ30Sisolid-aqueous isotope fractionations of -3.35 ± 0.16‰ and -3.46 ± 0.09‰ were produced in two replicate experiments at 32% Fe(III) reduction (solid-phase Fe(II)/FeTotal = 0.32). This isotopic fractionation was substantially greater than that observed in two abiologic controls that had solid-phase Fe(II)/FeTotal = 0.02-0.03, which produced Δ30Sisolid-aqueous isotope fractionations of -2.83 ± 0.24‰ and -2.65 ± 0.28‰. In a companion study, the equilibrium Δ30Sisolid-aqueous isotope fractionation was determined to be -2.3‰ for solid-phase Fe(II)/FeTotal = 0. Collectively, these results highlight the importance of Fe(II) in Fe-Si gels in producing large changes in Si isotope fractionations. These results suggest that DIR should produce highly

  9. Early Life on Earth and the Search for Extraterrestrial Biosignatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oehler, Dorothy Z.; House, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    In the last 2 years, scientists within the ARES Directorate at JSC have applied the technology of Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) to individual organic structures preserved in Archean (approximately 3 billion years old) sediments on Earth. These organic structures are among the oldest on Earth that may be microfossils - structurally preserved remnants of ancient microbes. The SIMS work was done to determine the microfossils' stable carbon isotopic composition (delta C-13 values). This is the first time that such ancient, potential microfossils have been successfully analyzed for their individual delta C-13 values. The results support the interpretation that these structures are remnants of early life on Earth and that they may represent planktonic organisms that were widely distributed in the Earth's earliest oceans. This study has been accepted for publication in the journal Geology.

  10. Structures of biogenic origin from Early Precambrian rocks of Euro-Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopuchin, A S

    1975-01-01

    Spheroidal microfossils mainly 20 to 100 mug in diameter and exhibiting granular surface textures have been recovered from Early Precambrian rocks by applying a new method of water separation in combination with thin chemical preparation. In contrast to the Acritarcha, these microfossils are characterized by a relatively low specific weight (close to one) and considerable fragility due to impregnation by mineral matter. They occur in Archean sediments of Hindustan, in rocks of the Baltic and Aldan Shields with ages of 3.0 to 3.5 billion (10-9) years, and in Proterozoic deposits in many regions of Euro-Asia. They commonly occur in great number in Precambrian sediments of West Africa, Australia and North America. These forms are here regarded as Menneria Lopuchin and are considered to be blue-green algae. Menneria resembles alga-like forms reported by Engel, Nagy and their co-workers from the Onverwacht Series and microfossils reported by Schopf and Barghoorn from the Fig Tree Series, both of the Swaziland System of southern Africa. In addition to spheroidal microfossils, ribbon-like and filiform microstructures are here reported from Archean deposits. The biogenic structures here described from the Early Precambrian of Euro-Asia are considered to have been photosynthetic and planktonic. Their progressive evolution, intensive production of organic matter, and biogeochemical role in concentration of rare elements is discussed.

  11. Some petrologic and oxygen isotopic relationships in the amulet mine, noranda, quebec, and their bearing on the origin of archean massive sulfide deposits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beaty, D.W.; Taylor, H.P. Jr.

    A concentrically zoned alteration pipe is present at the Amulet ''A'' Cu-Zn mine in the Archean Abitibi greenstone belt. The pipe consists of a central core zone of so-called ''dalmatianite'' surrounded by a zone of biotite-bearing grid-fracture alteration. Study of the dalmatianite indicates that these rocks experienced two episodes of recrystallization. Whole-rock /delta//sup 18/O values decrease from about 6 to 10 in most of the Abitibi belt to 5 to 7 in the country rocks surrounding the ore deposit, to values as low as 3.6 in the core of the dalmatianite zone. This oxygen isotopic zoning must have been produced by the hydrothermal activity, because the dehydration reactions associated with contact metamorphism cannot have affected /delta//sup 18/O by more than 0.5 per mil. Assuming an alteration temperature of 300/degree/sub p/lus or minus/50/degree/C and a water/rock ratio greater than two, the hydrothermal fluid must have had /delta//sup 18/O .0.5/plus or minus/1.0. This indicates that the Amulet ore deposit formed from a hydrothermal fluid that had a /delta//sup 18/O value similar both to modern seawater and to the fluids which formed the Phanerozoic massive sulfide deposits of the Kuroko and Cyprus types. 51 refs.

  12. Archean deep-water depositional system: interbedded and banded iron formation and clastic turbidites in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zentner, Danielle; Lowe, Donald

    2013-04-01

    The 3.23 billion year old sediments in the Barberton greenstone belt, South Africa include some of the world's oldest known deep-water deposits. Unique to this locality are turbidites interbedded with banded iron formation (BIF) and banded ferruginous chert (BFC). This unusual association may provide clues for reconstructing Archean deep-water depositional settings. For our study we examined freshly drilled core in addition to measuring ~500 m of outcrop exposures along road cuts. The stacking pattern follows an overall BIF to BFC to amalgamated turbidite succession, although isolated turbidites do occur throughout the sequence. The turbidites are predominately massive, and capped with thin, normally graded tops that include mud rip-ups, chert plates, and ripples. The lack of internal stratification and the amalgamated character suggests emplacement by surging high-density turbidity currents. Large scours and channels are absent and bedding is tabular: the flows were collapsing with little turbulence reaching the bed. In contrast, field evidence indicates the BIF and BFC most likely precipitated directly out of the water column. Preliminary interpretations indicate the deposits may be related to a pro-deltaic setting. (1) Deltaic systems can generate long-lived, high volume turbidity currents. (2) The contacts between the BIF, BFC, and turbidite successions are gradual and inter-fingered, possibly representing lateral facies relationships similar to modern pro-delta environments. (3) Putative fan delta facies, including amalgamated sandstone and conglomerate, exist stratigraphically updip of the basinal sediments.

  13. Nd isotopic characteristics of post-Archean sediments from the Eastern Nanling Range: Evidence for crustal evolution

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHEN Weizhou; YU Jinhai; ZHAO Lei; CHEN Zelin; LIN Hengcai

    2003-01-01

    A systematic Sm-Nd isotopic study was carried out for sediments and metasediments of different ages from Mesoproterozoic to early Mesozoic era in southwestern Fujian, Eastern Nanling Range. The results show that Nd model age (tDM) and εNd(t) value of most sediments are closely similar to those of Paleoproterozoic Mayuan Group, indicating that they may mainly be the recycling product of Paleoproterozoic crustal materials. However, the Nd model age significantly decreases with a corresponding increase in the εNd(t) value at Neoproterozoic (ca. 0.8-0.7 Ga) and Late Paleozoic (ca. 0.25 Ga), respectively. This is manifested by prominent vales and apexes on the diagrams of tDM vs. tStr. (stratum age) and εNd(t) vs. tStr.. The decrease in tDM and the increase in εNd(t) are explained as a result of the significant incorporation of juvenile crustal materials that originated from depleted mantle due to strong lithospheric extension during both periods. It appears that tectonic magmatism in the Neoproterozoic and the Late Paleozoic is of prominent importance in affecting the geochemical nature of sediments in South China.

  14. Cretaceous reactivation and intensified erosion in the Archean-Proterozoic Limpopo Belt, demonstrated by apatite fission track thermochronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belton, David X.; Raab, Matthias J.

    2010-01-01

    Cratons are generally assumed to be regions of long-lasting tectonic stability. In particular the study of the Phanerozoic exhumation history of cratons has been largely hampered by the scarcity of suitable stratigraphic controls onshore. This fact is even more pronounced in terranes lacking Mesozoic or younger penetrative structural fabrics and metamorphic overprinting. Our study in the Limpopo belt shows that modern apatite fission track thermochronology provides a hitherto unavailable perspective in the study of these rocks, and has profound implications for the crustal evolution of the Zimbabwe Craton. Apatite fission track data from 35 samples taken along two transects, in the southern edge of the Zimbabwe Craton and in the Central Zone of the Limpopo Belt, suggest that extensive regions experienced kilometer-scale exhumation in two discrete events, as recently as the Cretaceous. The first occurred at around 130 Ma, and the second at around 90 Ma. Basin subsidence and sedimentation loads on the Mozambique margin support the timing of these events and provide strong indications of the source and pathways for the eroded material. Further, the results indicate that young and old "surfaces" (in a geomorphological sense) may be structurally juxtaposed in regions of high elevation in Zimbabwe. This is contrary to early ideas of surface chronologies based on summit accordances or invoking pediplanation.

  15. Formation of Archean batholith-hosted gold veins at the Lac Herbin deposit, Val-d'Or district, Canada: Mineralogical and fluid inclusion constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezeau, Hervé; Moritz, Robert; Beaudoin, Georges

    2017-03-01

    The Lac Herbin deposit consists of a network of mineralized, parallel steep-reverse faults within the synvolcanic Bourlamaque granodiorite batholith at Val-d'Or in the Archean Abitibi greenstone belt. There are two related quartz-tourmaline-carbonate fault-fill vein sets in the faults, which consist of subvertical fault-fill veins associated with subhorizontal veins. The paragenetic sequence is characterized by a main vein filling ore stage including quartz, tourmaline, carbonate, and pyrite-hosted gold, chalcopyrite, tellurides, pyrrhotite, and cubanite inclusions. Most of the gold is located in fractures in deformed pyrite and quartz in equilibrium with chalcopyrite and carbonates, with local pyrrhotite, sphalerite, galena, cobaltite, pyrite, or tellurides. Petrography and microthermometry on quartz from the main vein filling ore stage reveal the presence of three unrelated fluid inclusion types: (1) gold-bearing aqueous-carbonic inclusions arranged in three-dimensional intragranular clusters in quartz crystals responsible for the main vein filling stage, (2) barren high-temperature, aqueous, moderately saline inclusions observed in healed fractures, postdating the aqueous-carbonic inclusions, and considered as a remobilizing agent of earlier precipitated gold in late fractures, and (3) barren low-temperature, aqueous, high saline inclusions in healed fractures, similar to the crustal brines reported throughout the Canadian Shield and considered to be unrelated to the gold mineralization. At the Lac Herbin deposit, the aqueous-carbonic inclusions are interpreted to have formed first and to represent the gold-bearing fluid, which were generated contemporaneous with regional greenschist facies metamorphism. In contrast, the high-temperature aqueous fluid dissolved gold from the main vein filling ore stage transported and reprecipitated it in late fractures during a subsequent local thermal event.

  16. Tourmaline from the Archean G.R.Halli gold deposit, Chitradurga greenstone belt, Dharwar craton (India):Implications for the gold metallogeny

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Susmita Gupta; M. Jayananda; Fareeduddin

    2014-01-01

    Tourmaline occurs as a minor but important mineral in the alteration zone of the Archean orogenic gold deposit of Guddadarangavanahalli (G.R.Halli) in the Chitradurga greenstone belt of the western Dharwar craton, southern India. It occurs in the distal alteration halo of the G.R.Halli gold deposit as (a) clusters of very fine grained aggregates which form a minor constituent in the matrix of the altered metabasalt (AMB tourmaline) and (b) in quartz-carbonate veins (vein tourmaline). The vein tourmaline, based upon the association of specific carbonate minerals, is further grouped as (i) albite-tourmaline-ankerite-quartz veins (vein-1 tourmaline) and (ii) albite-tourmaline-calcite-quartz veins (vein-2 tourmaline). Both the AMB tourmaline and the vein tourmalines (vein-1 and vein-2) belong to the alkali group and are clas-sified under schorl-dravite series. Tourmalines occurring in the veins are zoned while the AMB tour-malines are unzoned. Mineral chemistry and discrimination diagrams reveal that cores and rims of the vein tourmalines are distinctly different. Core composition of the vein tourmalines is similar to the composition of the AMB tourmaline. The formation of the AMB tourmaline and cores of the vein tour-malines are proposed to be related to the regional D1 deformational event associated with the emplacement of the adjoining ca. 2.61 Ga Chitradurga granite whilst rims of the vein tourmalines vis-à-vis gold mineralization is spatially linked to the juvenile magmatic accretion (2.56e2.50 Ga) east of the studied area in the western part of the eastern Dharwar craton.

  17. A tale of two eras: Pliocene-Pleistocene unroofing of Cenozoic and late Archean zircons from active metamorphic core complexes, Solomon Sea, Papua New Guinea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Suzanne L.; Ireland, Trevor R.

    1995-11-01

    U/Pb ion microprobe analyses of zircons from gneisses and granodiorites exposed in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands, and from conglomerate sections of the Goodenough No. 1 well in the adjacent Trobriand Basin, provide constraints on the age of magmatism, peak metamorphism, and nature of rocks unroofed during initial stages of metamorphic core complex formation in the Solomon Sea. The youngest populations of zircons from felsic gneisses and granodiorites indicate late Pliocene 206Pb*/238U ages. No inherited zircons were identified in the granodiorites, and the 206Pb*/238U ages (1.65 ± 0.18 Ma; 1.98 ± 0.08 Ma [2σ]) are interpreted as crystallization ages. These synkinematically emplaced granodiorites, intruded into actively extending continental crust, are some of the youngest known granitoids currently exposed at the Earth' surface. Zircon ages from felsic gneisses (2.63 ± 0.16 Ma; 2.72 ± 0.28 Ma [2σ]) are interpreted to date zircon growth subsequent to eclogite facies metamorphism. Felsic gneiss samples also contained zircon xenocrysts from Cretaceous-Miocene protoliths. In striking contrast, zircons from igneous and metamorphic clasts from the Goodenough No. 1 well indicate a single population with a 207Pb*/206/Pb* age of 2781 ± 9 Ma (2σ). We speculate that they are derived from basement rocks unroofed during initial stages of development of the D&Entrecasteaux metamorphic core complexes. These results provide the first direct evidence for the existence of Archean protoliths in the basement rocks of southeastern Papua New Guinea.

  18. Geochemistry of anorthositic differentiated sills in the Archean (~ 2970 Ma) Fiskenæsset Complex, SW Greenland: Implications for parental magma compositions, geodynamic setting, and secular heat flow in arcs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polat, Ali; Fryer, Brian J.; Appel, Peter W. U.; Kalvig, Per; Kerrich, Robert; Dilek, Yildirim; Yang, Zhaoping

    2011-04-01

    The Fiskenæsset Complex, SW Greenland, is one of the best preserved layered Archean intrusions in the world, consisting of an association of ca. 550-meter-thick anorthosite, leucogabbro, gabbro, and ultramafic rocks (dunite, peridotite, pyroxenite, and hornblendite). Despite poly-phase deformation and amphibolite to granulite facies metamorphism, primary cumulate textures and igneous layering are well-preserved in the complex. This study reports new major and trace element data for three variably thick (1 to 5 m) differentiated (dunite, through peridotite, pyroxenite, gabbro leucogabbro, to anorthosite) sequences (Sequences 1, 2 and 3) in the Sinarssuk area of the Fiskenæsset region. On several variation diagrams, samples from these sequences plot along a well-defined liquid line of descent, consistent with in situ fractional crystallization. The average chemical compositions of these sequences are used to constrain their approximate parental magma compositions. Petrographic observations and geochemical data suggest that Sequences 2 and 3 solidified from evolved magmas that underwent olivine fractionation prior to their intrusion. In contrast, Sequence 1 appears to have been derived from a near-primary parental magma (SiO 2 = 43 wt.%, MgO = 20 wt.%, Al 2O 3 = 16 wt.%, CaO = 9.3 wt.%, Ni = 840 ppm, Mg-number = 80). The trace element patterns of this parental magma are comparable to those of Phanerozoic boninites, consistent with a supra-subduction zone geodynamic setting. If the relative thickness of ultramafic layers, the sum of dunite, peridotite and pyroxenite layers, in differentiated sequences is taken as an analog for the original complex emplaced into Archean oceanic crust, the Fiskenæsset Complex might have had a minimum thickness of 1000 m, with a 500 m thick ultramafic unit at the bottom. The thickness of the ultramafic unit in the preserved complex is less than 50 m, suggesting that more than 90% of the original ultramafic unit was either delaminated

  19. Continental crust formation on early Earth controlled by intrusive magmatism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozel, A. B.; Golabek, G. J.; Jain, C.; Tackley, P. J.; Gerya, T.

    2017-05-01

    The global geodynamic regime of early Earth, which operated before the onset of plate tectonics, remains contentious. As geological and geochemical data suggest hotter Archean mantle temperature and more intense juvenile magmatism than in the present-day Earth, two crust-mantle interaction modes differing in melt eruption efficiency have been proposed: the Io-like heat-pipe tectonics regime dominated by volcanism and the “Plutonic squishy lid” tectonics regime governed by intrusive magmatism, which is thought to apply to the dynamics of Venus. Both tectonics regimes are capable of producing primordial tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) continental crust but lithospheric geotherms and crust production rates as well as proportions of various TTG compositions differ greatly, which implies that the heat-pipe and Plutonic squishy lid hypotheses can be tested using natural data. Here we investigate the creation of primordial TTG-like continental crust using self-consistent numerical models of global thermochemical convection associated with magmatic processes. We show that the volcanism-dominated heat-pipe tectonics model results in cold crustal geotherms and is not able to produce Earth-like primordial continental crust. In contrast, the Plutonic squishy lid tectonics regime dominated by intrusive magmatism results in hotter crustal geotherms and is capable of reproducing the observed proportions of various TTG rocks. Using a systematic parameter study, we show that the typical modern eruption efficiency of less than 40 per cent leads to the production of the expected amounts of the three main primordial crustal compositions previously reported from field data (low-, medium- and high-pressure TTG). Our study thus suggests that the pre-plate-tectonics Archean Earth operated globally in the Plutonic squishy lid regime rather than in an Io-like heat-pipe regime.

  20. Continental crust formation on early Earth controlled by intrusive magmatism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozel, A B; Golabek, G J; Jain, C; Tackley, P J; Gerya, T

    2017-05-18

    The global geodynamic regime of early Earth, which operated before the onset of plate tectonics, remains contentious. As geological and geochemical data suggest hotter Archean mantle temperature and more intense juvenile magmatism than in the present-day Earth, two crust-mantle interaction modes differing in melt eruption efficiency have been proposed: the Io-like heat-pipe tectonics regime dominated by volcanism and the "Plutonic squishy lid" tectonics regime governed by intrusive magmatism, which is thought to apply to the dynamics of Venus. Both tectonics regimes are capable of producing primordial tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) continental crust but lithospheric geotherms and crust production rates as well as proportions of various TTG compositions differ greatly, which implies that the heat-pipe and Plutonic squishy lid hypotheses can be tested using natural data. Here we investigate the creation of primordial TTG-like continental crust using self-consistent numerical models of global thermochemical convection associated with magmatic processes. We show that the volcanism-dominated heat-pipe tectonics model results in cold crustal geotherms and is not able to produce Earth-like primordial continental crust. In contrast, the Plutonic squishy lid tectonics regime dominated by intrusive magmatism results in hotter crustal geotherms and is capable of reproducing the observed proportions of various TTG rocks. Using a systematic parameter study, we show that the typical modern eruption efficiency of less than 40 per cent leads to the production of the expected amounts of the three main primordial crustal compositions previously reported from field data (low-, medium- and high-pressure TTG). Our study thus suggests that the pre-plate-tectonics Archean Earth operated globally in the Plutonic squishy lid regime rather than in an Io-like heat-pipe regime.

  1. Effects of differentiation on the geodynamics of the early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccolo, Andrea; Kaus, Boris; White, Richard; Johnson, Tim

    2016-04-01

    Archean geodynamic processes are not well understood, but there is general agreement that the mantle potential temperature was higher than present, and that as a consequence significant amounts of melt were produced both in the mantle and any overlying crust. This has likely resulted in crustal differentiation. An early attempt to model the geodynamic effects of differentiation was made by Johnson et al. (2014), who used numerical modeling to investigate the crust production and recycling in conjunction with representative phase diagrams (based on the inferred chemical composition of the primary melt in accordance with the Archean temperature field). The results of the simulations show that the base of the over-thickened primary basaltic crust becomes gravitational unstable due to the mineral assemblage changes. This instability leads to the dripping of dense material into the mantle, which causes an asthenospheric return flow, local partial melting and new primary crust generation that is rapidly recycled in to mantle. Whereas they gave important insights, the previous simulations were simplified in a number of aspects: 1) the rheology employed was viscous, and both elasticity and pressure-dependent plasticity were not considered; 2) extracted mantle melts were 100% transformed into volcanic rocks, whereas on the present day Earth only about 20-30% are volcanic and the remainder is plutonic; 3) the effect of a free surface was not studied in a systematic manner. In order to better understand how these simplifications affect the geodynamic models, we here present additional simulations to study the effects of each of these parameters. Johnson, T.E., Brown, M., Kaus, B., and VanTongeren, J.A., 2014, Delamination and recycling of Archaean crust caused by gravitational instabilities: Nature Geoscience, v. 7, no. 1, p. 47-52, doi: 10.1038/NGEO2019.

  2. Identifying early Earth microfossils in unsilicified sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javaux, Emmanuelle J.; Asael, Dan; Bekker, Andrey; Debaille, Vinciane; Derenne, Sylvie; Hofmann, Axel; Mattielli, Nadine; Poulton, Simon

    2013-04-01

    The search for life on the early Earth or beyond Earth requires the definition of biosignatures, or "indices of life". These traditionally include fossil molecules, isotopic fractionations, biosedimentary structures and morphological fossils interpreted as remnants of life preserved in rocks. This research focuses on traces of life preserved in unsilicified siliciclastic sediments. Indeed, these deposits preserve well sedimentary structures indicative of past aqueous environments and organic matter, including the original organic walls of microscopic organisms. They also do not form in hydrothermal conditions which may be source of abiotic organics. At our knowledge, the only reported occurrence of microfossils preserved in unsilicified Archean sediments is a population of large organic-walled vesicles discovered in shales and siltstones of the 3.2 Ga Moodies Group, South Africa. (Javaux et al, Nature 2010). These have been interpreted as microfossils based on petrographic and geochemical evidence for their endogenicity and syngeneity, their carbonaceous composition, cellular morphology and ultrastructure, occurrence in populations, taphonomic features of soft wall deformation, and the geological context plausible for life, as well as lack of abiotic explanation falsifying a biological origin. Demonstrating that carbonaceous objects from Archaean rocks are truly old and truly biological is the subject of considerable debate. Abiotic processes are known to produce organics and isotopic signatures similar to life. Spheroidal pseudofossils may form as self-assembling vesicles from abiotic CM, e.g. in prebiotic chemistry experiments (Shoztak et al, 2001), from meteoritic lipids (Deamer et al, 2006), or hydrothermal fluids (Akashi et al, 1996); by artifact of maceration; by migration of abiotic or biotic CM along microfractures (VanZuilen et al, 2007) or along mineral casts (Brasier et al, 2005), or around silica spheres formed in silica-saturated water (Jones and

  3. Was core formation violent enough to homogenize the early mantle?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooperman, S. A.; Kaula, W. M.

    1985-01-01

    The dynamics of iron, its thermal state and its phase in the accreting Earth probably played a major role in the Earth's early thermal evolution. Plausible impact thermal histories make it possible that pure iron was molten in the accreting Earth after it was about 10% grown. Hence, iron eutectic alloys (FeS, FeO) certainly were. Additionally, the initial temperature of the core is an important constraint on the secular cooling of the early Earth and on the strength of the early geodynamo. Whether iron is solid or molten would influence geochemical equilibria in the upper and lower mantle; the mode of core formation, by spherical or near-spherical blobs, stalk-like instabilities, or something more catastrophic would influence the partitioning of siderophiles between silicate and iron phases. Early descent of iron (during accretion) favors partitioning according to low-pressure phase equilibria, whereas late descent favors higher pressure. The later core formation occurs, the greater the heat pulse, due to the strong dependence of gravitational potential energy on planetary radius. The heat may homogenize the mantle if core formation is global; otherwise, heterogeneity of iron differentiation may leave some of the pre-archean mantle unaffected. The larger the chunks of proto-core (and hence smaller surface/volume ratios) the greater the heterogeneity.

  4. Massive impact-induced release of carbon and sulfur gases in the early Earth's atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchi, S.; Black, B. A.; Elkins-Tanton, L. T.; Bottke, W. F.

    2016-09-01

    Recent revisions to our understanding of the collisional history of the Hadean and early-Archean Earth indicate that large collisions may have been an important geophysical process. In this work we show that the early bombardment flux of large impactors (>100 km) facilitated the atmospheric release of greenhouse gases (particularly CO2) from Earth's mantle. Depending on the timescale for the drawdown of atmospheric CO2, the Earth's surface could have been subject to prolonged clement surface conditions or multiple freeze-thaw cycles. The bombardment also delivered and redistributed to the surface large quantities of sulfur, one of the most important elements for life. The stochastic occurrence of large collisions could provide insights on why the Earth and Venus, considered Earth's twin planet, exhibit radically different atmospheres.

  5. SIMS analyses of silicon and oxygen isotope ratios for quartz from Archean and Paleoproterozoic banded iron formations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Philipp R.; Huberty, Jason M.; Kita, Noriko T.; Ushikubo, Takayuki; Kozdon, Reinhard; Valley, John W.

    2011-10-01

    deposition. Silicon in BIF quartz is mostly of marine hydrothermal origin (δ 30Si < -0.5‰) but silicon from continental weathering (δ 30Si ˜ 1‰) was an important source as early as 3.8 Ga.

  6. Provenance of Greenland Ice Sheet icebergs constrained by Ar-Ar radioisotope data from late glacial-early Holocene records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutz, P. C.; Storey, M.; Kuijpers, A.

    2009-12-01

    Radiogenic Ar-Ar dating of hornblende has been used to constrain the sources of ice-rafted detritus on the southwest Greenland margin and central Davis Strait. Single hornblende grains (total of 248) were picked from sand-size fractions of two marine cores, DA04-31P and TTR462G, covering the early Holocene to late glacial interval including Heinrich events (HE) 1-3. Paleoceanographic analyses of DA04-31P have indicated that the last deglaciation of the southern Greenland Ice Sheet occurred in multiple steps during the early deglacial/HE1, Allerød and early Holocene intervals (Knutz et al., in review). Each of these collapse stages were preceded by upper ocean warming related to enhanced Irminger Current activity. Pre-HE1, Allerød and Holocene hornblende samples show a bimodal signature of late Archean (2.5-3.0 Ga) and early Proterozoic (1.6-2.2 Ga) ages consistent with southern Greenland bedrock sources. In contrast hornblende grains from detrital carbonate HE layers and within the Younger Dryas interval show a dominant early Proterozoic spectrum that is similar to results obtained from the central North Atlantic IRD belt. The early Proterozoic age of Younger Dryas samples from the Davis Strait site and the high amounts of basalt in this core, presumably derived from the Disko-Nussuaq province, suggests that icebergs carrying Archean material from southern Greenland did not enter the Baffin Bay or at least not for this specific time interval. The conclusion of our study is that the Greenland Ice Sheet appears to have been a much larger contributor to non-Heinrich IRD in the North Atlantic than thought previously. P. C. Knutz, H. Ebbesen, S. Christiansen, M.-A. Sicre and A. Kuijpers. Multiple deglaciation steps of the southern Greenland Ice Sheet driven by vigorous Irminger Current: Significance for the Younger Dryas cooling. Submitted to Quaternary Science Reviews.

  7. A new method of discriminating different types of post-Archean ophiolitic basalts and their tectonic significance using Th-Nb and Ce-Dy-Yb systematics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Emilio Saccani

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, a new discrimination diagram using absolute measures of Th and Nb is applied to post-Archean ophiolites to best discriminate a large number of different ophiolitic basalts. This diagram was obtained using >2000 known ophiolitic basalts and was tested using w560 modern rocks from known tectonic settings. Ten different basaltic varieties from worldwide ophiolitic complexes have been examined. They include two basaltic types that have never been considered before, which are: (1) medium-Ti basalts (MTB) generated at nascent forearc settings; (2) a type of mid-ocean ridge basalts showing garnet signature (G-MORB) that characterizes Alpine-type (i.e., non volcanic) rifted margins and ocean-continent transition zones (OCTZ). In the Th-Nb diagram, basalts generated in oceanic subduction-unrelated settings, rifted margins, and OCTZ can be distinguished from subduction-related basalts with a misclassification rate<1%. This diagram highlights the chemical variation of oceanic, rifted margin, and OCTZ basalts from depleted compositions to progressively more enriched compositions reflecting, in turn, the variance of source composition and degree of melting within the MORB-OIB array. It also highlights the chemical contributions of enriched (OIB-type) components to mantle sources. Enrichment of Th relative to Nb is particularly effective for highlighting crustal input via subduction or crustal contamination. Basalts formed at continental margin arcs and island arc with a complex polygenetic crust can be distinguished from those generated in intra-oceanic arcs in supra-subduction zones (SSZ) with a misclassification rate <1%. Within the SSZ group, two sub-settings can be recognized with a misclassification rate <0.5%. They are: (1) SSZ influenced by chemical contribution from subduction-derived components (forearc and intra-arc sub-settings) characterized by island arc tholeiitic (IAT) and boninitic basalts; (2) SSZ with no contribution from subduction

  8. Brazil's premier gold province. Part II: geology and genesis of gold deposits in the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt, Quadrilátero Ferrífero

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobato, Lydia; Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Luiz; Vieira, Frederico

    2001-07-01

    Orogenic, gold deposits are hosted by rocks of the Archean Rio das Velhas greenstone belt in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero region, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, one of the major gold provinces in the world. The gold deposits occur at the base of the mafic-ultramafic succession, with the most important orebodies controlled by E-W-striking, strike-slip faults. The main mineralization styles are (1) structurally controlled, sulfide replacement zones in banded iron formation (BIF); (2) disseminated sulfide minerals and gold in hydrothermally altered rocks along shear zones; and (3) auriferous quartz-carbonate-sulfide veins and veinlets in mafic, ultramafic, and felsic volcanic rocks, and also in clastic sedimentary rocks. The most common host rocks for ore are metamorphosed oxide- and carbonate-facies banded iron (± iron-rich metachert) formations (e.g., the Cuiabá, São Bento and Raposos deposits) and the lapa seca unit, which is a local term for intensely carbonatized rock (e.g., the giant Morro Velho mine with >450 t of contained gold). Metabasalts host most of the remaining gold deposits. Mineralogical characteristics and fluid inclusion studies suggest variations in the H2O/CO2 ratio of a low-salinity, near-neutral, reducing, sulfur-bearing, ore fluid. The presence of abundant CH4-rich inclusions is related to reduction of the original H2O-CO2 fluid via interaction with carbonaceous matter in the wallrocks. Oxygen fugacity was close to that of graphite saturation, with variations likely to have been influenced by reaction with the carbonaceous matter. Carbon-rich phyllites and schists, which commonly bound ore-bearing horizons, seem to have played both a physical and chemical role in localizing hydrothermal mineral deposition. Microtextural studies indicate that gold deposition was mainly related to desulfidation reactions, and was paragenetically coeval with precipitation of arsenic-rich iron sulfide minerals. Carbon isotope data are compatible with dissolution of

  9. Zircon U-Pb Age, Trace Element, and Hf Isotope Evidence for Paleoproterozoic Granulite-Facies Metamorphism and Archean Crustal Remnant in the Dabie Orogen

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lei Nengzhong; Wu Yuanbao

    2008-01-01

    .90 Gainherited zircons show the similar Hf isotope features. These indicate that both growth of juvenile crust and reworking of ancient crust took place at the time of zircon formation. It is inferred that the Archean basement of the Yangtze block occurs in thenorth as the Dabie orogen, with ca. 2.90-2.95 Ga and 2.75-2.80 Ga as two major episodes of crustalformation.

  10. A new method of discriminating different types of post-Archean ophiolitic basalts and their tectonic significance using Th-Nb and Ce-Dy-Yb systematics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilio Saccani

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, a new discrimination diagram using absolute measures of Th and Nb is applied to post-Archean ophiolites to best discriminate a large number of different ophiolitic basalts. This diagram was obtained using >2000 known ophiolitic basalts and was tested using ∼560 modern rocks from known tectonic settings. Ten different basaltic varieties from worldwide ophiolitic complexes have been examined. They include two basaltic types that have never been considered before, which are: (1 medium-Ti basalts (MTB generated at nascent forearc settings; (2 a type of mid-ocean ridge basalts showing garnet signature (G-MORB that characterizes Alpine-type (i.e., non volcanic rifted margins and ocean-continent transition zones (OCTZ. In the Th-Nb diagram, basalts generated in oceanic subduction-unrelated settings, rifted margins, and OCTZ can be distinguished from subduction-related basalts with a misclassification rate <1%. This diagram highlights the chemical variation of oceanic, rifted margin, and OCTZ basalts from depleted compositions to progressively more enriched compositions reflecting, in turn, the variance of source composition and degree of melting within the MORB-OIB array. It also highlights the chemical contributions of enriched (OIB-type components to mantle sources. Enrichment of Th relative to Nb is particularly effective for highlighting crustal input via subduction or crustal contamination. Basalts formed at continental margin arcs and island arc with a complex polygenetic crust can be distinguished from those generated in intra-oceanic arcs in supra-subduction zones (SSZ with a misclassification rate <1%. Within the SSZ group, two sub-settings can be recognized with a misclassification rate <0.5%. They are: (1 SSZ influenced by chemical contribution from subduction-derived components (forearc and intra-arc sub-settings characterized by island arc tholeiitic (IAT and boninitic basalts; (2 SSZ with no contribution from subduction

  11. Stable iron isotope fractionation between aqueous Fe(II) and model Archean ocean Fe-Si coprecipitates and implications for iron isotope variations in the ancient rock record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Lingling; Percak-Dennett, Elizabeth M.; Beard, Brian L.; Roden, Eric E.; Johnson, Clark M.

    2012-05-01

    Iron isotope fractionation between aqueous Fe(II) (Fe(II)aq) and two amorphous Fe(III) oxide-Si coprecipitates was investigated in an aqueous medium that simulated Archean marine conditions, including saturated amorphous silica, low sulfate, and zero dissolved oxygen. The equilibrium isotope fractionation (in 56Fe/54Fe) between Fe(II)aq and Fe(III)-Si coprecipitates at circum-neutral pH, as inferred by the three-isotope method, was -3.51 ± 0.20 (2σ)‰ and -3.99 ± 0.17 (2σ)‰ for coprecipitates that had Fe:Si molar ratios of 1:2 and 1:3, respectively. These results, when combined with earlier work, indicate that the equilibrium isotope fractionation factor between Fe(II)aq and Fe(III)-Si coprecipitates changes as a function of Fe:Si ratio of the solid. Isotopic fractionation was least negative when Fe:Si = 1:1 and most negative when Fe:Si = 1:3. This change corresponds with changes in the local structure of iron, as revealed by prior spectroscopic studies. The kinetics of isotopic exchange was controlled by movement of Fe(II) and Si, where sorption of Fe(II) from aqueous to solid phase facilitated atom exchange, but sorption of Si hindered isotopic exchange through blockage of reactive surface sites. Although Fe(II)-Fe(III) isotopic exchange rates were a function of solid and solution compositions in the current study, in all cases they were much higher than that determined in previous studies of aqueous Fe(III) and ferrihydrite interaction, highlighting the importance of electron exchange in promoting Fe atom exchange. When compared to analogous microbial reduction experiments of overlapping Fe(II) to Fe(III) ratios, isotopic exchange rates were faster in the biological experiments, likely due to promotion of atom exchange by the solid-phase Fe(II) produced in the biological experiments. These results provide constraints for interpreting the relatively large range of Fe isotope compositions in Precambrian marine sedimentary rocks, and highlight important

  12. Interpretation of the relations between massive, pillowed and brecciated facies in an archean submarine andesite volcano — amulet andesite, rouyn-noranda, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cousineau, Pierre; Dimroth, Erich

    1982-07-01

    The Amulet andesite formation in the Archean terrain of Rouyn-Noranda, P.Q., consists of 19 flows, distinguished by variations in phenocryst content and vesicularity and by the presence of concentric contraction fractures. Detailed mapping of flows revealed the presence of three main facies: (1) massive facies; (2) pillowed facies; and (3) foreset-bedded (brecciated) facies. The massive facies consists of > 50% massive lava overlain by pillow lava and/or pillow breccia. The pillowed facies consists of > 50% pillows. In some flows, the pillowed facies contains a thin sheet of massive lava at the base of the flow (facies 2a). Generally, massive lava fills braided channels 10-50 m wide (facies 2b). Facies 2c consists of pillows and large, irregular, megapillows. Determination of the flow direction shows that facies 1 is proximal, facies 2 distal. The foreset-bedded facies 3 consists of alternating thin (1-2 m) lobes of massive lava, pillow lava and broken-pillow breccia. It makes up flows 16-19 at the top of the sequence. Flow M, a unit entirely composed of massive lava, is ponded against flows 9 and 10. We interpret the growth of the Amulet andesite volcano in the light of new work on ocean-floor basalt and on the 1969-1973 Mauna Ulu eruption. The feeding fissure was located in the area of massive facies. At the beginning of eruptions lava spread laterally as a sheet-flood flow (massive base of facies 2a) but rapidly became channelized. The pillow lava and in particular the facies 2b, 2c and 3 are considered as the subaqueous equivalents of tube-fed pahoehoe. Flow M probably represents a lava lake. Shallowing-upward of the sequence during the built-up of the volcano is indicated by increasing vesicularity of the flows and by an upward increase of the proportion of broken pillow breccia. This increase is gradual from flow 1 to flow 15 but abrupt from flow 15 to 16-19.

  13. Phosphogenesis in the 2460 and 2728 million-year-old banded iron formations as evidence for biological cycling of phosphate in the early biosphere.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Liang; Sun, Si; Chan, Lung S

    2012-01-01

    The banded iron formation deposited during the first 2 billion years of Earth's history holds the key to understanding the interplay between the geosphere and the early biosphere at large geological timescales. The earliest ore-scale phosphorite depositions formed almost at ∼2.0-2.2 billion years ago bear evidence for the earliest bloom of aerobic life. The cycling of nutrient phosphorus and how it constrained primary productivity in the anaerobic world of Archean-Palaeoproterozoic eons are still open questions. The controversy centers about whether the precipitation of ultrafine ferric oxyhydroxide due to the microbial Fe(II) oxidation in oceans earlier than 1.9 billion years substantially sequestrated phosphate, and whether this process significantly limited the primary productivity of the early biosphere. In this study, we report apatite radial flowers of a few micrometers in the 2728 million-year-old Abitibi banded iron formation and the 2460 million-year-old Kuruman banded iron formation and their similarities to those in the 535 million-year-old Lower Cambrian phosphorite. The lithology of the 535 Million-year-old phosphorite as a biosignature bears abundant biomarkers that reveal the possible similar biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus in the Later Archean and Palaeoproterozoic oceans. These apatite radial flowers represent the primary precipitation of phosphate derived from the phytoplankton blooms in the euphotic zones of Neoarchean and Palaoeproterozoic oceans. The unbiased distributions of the apatite radial flowers within sub-millimeter bands do not support the idea of an Archean Crisis of Phosphate. This is the first report of the microbial mediated mineralization of phosphorus before the Great Oxidation Event when the whole biosphere was still dominated by anaerobic microorganisms.

  14. Diapirism on Venus and the Early Earth and The thermal effect of fluid flows in AECL's Tunnel Sealing Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin, Catherine M. I.

    2010-12-01

    Flow instabilities occur at all scales in planetary systems. In this thesis we examine three cases of such instabilities, on three very different length scales. In the first part, we test the idea that Archean granite-greenstone belts (GGBs) form by crustal diapirism, or Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. GGBs are characterized by large granitic domes (50-100 km in diameter) embedded in narrow keel-shaped greenstones. They are ubiquitous in Archean (> 2.5 Ga) terrains, but rare thereafter. We performed finite element calculations for a visco-elastic, temperature-dependent, non-Newtonian crust under conditions appropriate for the Archean, which show that dense low-viscosity volcanics overlying a felsic basement will overturn diapirically in as little as 10 Ma, displacing as much as 60 % of the volcanics to the lower crust. This surprisingly fast overturn rate suggests that diapiric overturn dominated crustal tectonics in the hot conditions of the Early Earth, becoming less important as the Earth cooled. Moreover, the deposition of large volumes of wet basaltic volcanics to the lower crust may provide the source for the formation of the distinctly Archean granitic rocks which dominate Earth's oldest continents. The second part examines the origin of Venusian coronae, circular volcanic features unique to Venus. Coronae are thought to result from small instabilities (diapirs) from the core-mantle boundary, which are typical of stagnant-lid convection. However, most young coronae are located in a region surrounded by long-lived hotspots, typical of a more active style of mantle convection. Using analogue experiments in corn syrup heated from below, we show that the co-existence of diapirs and long-lived mantle plumes are a direct consequence of the catastrophic overturn of the cold Venusian lithosphere thought to have occurred ˜ 700 Ma ago. In the last part we analyze the thermal effect of fluid flow through a full-scale experiment testing clay and concrete tunnel seals in

  15. Isotopic constraints on the age and early differentiation of the Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCulloch, M T

    1996-03-01

    The Earth's age and early differentiation history are re-evaluated using updated isotopic constraints. From the most primitive terrestrial Pb isotopic compositions found at Isua Greenland, and the Pilbara of Western Australia, combined with precise geochronology of these localities, an age 4.49 +/- 0.02 Ga is obtained. This is interpreted as the mean age of core formation as U/Pb is fractionated due to sequestering of Pb into the Earth's core. The long-lived Rb-Sr isotopic system provides constraints on the time interval for the accretion of the Earth as Rb underwent significant depletion by volatile loss during accretion of the Earth or its precursor planetesimals. A primitive measured 87Sr/86Sr initial ratio of 0.700502 +/- 10 has been obtained for an early Archean (3.46 Ga) barite from the Pilbara Block of Western Australia. Using conservative models for the evolution of Rb/Sr in the early Archean mantle allows an estimate to be placed on the Earth's initial Sr ratio at approximately 4.50 Ga, of 0.69940 +/- 10. This is significantly higher than that measured for the Moon (0.69900 +/- 2) or in the achondrite, Angra dos Reis (0.69894 +/- 2) and for a Rb/Sr ratio of approximately 1/2 of chondrites corresponds to a mean age for accretion of the Earth of 4.48 + /- 0.04 Ga. The now extinct 146Sm-142Nd (T1/2(146)=103 l0(6)yrs) combined with the long-lived 147Sm-143Nd isotopic systematics can also be used to provide limits on the time of early differentiation of the Earth. High precision analyses of the oldest (3.8-3.9 Ga) Archean gneisses from Greenland (Amitsoq and Akilia gneisses), and Canada (Acasta gneiss) do not show measurable (> +/- l0ppm) variations of 142Nd, in contrast to the 33 ppm 142Nd excess reported for an Archean sample. The general lack of 142Nd variations, combined with the presence of highly positive epsilon 143 values (+4.0) at 3.9 Ga, indicates that the record of large-scale Sm/Nd fractionation events was not preserved in the early-Earth from 4

  16. Abiologic silicon isotope fractionation between aqueous Si and Fe(III)-Si gel in simulated Archean seawater: Implications for Si isotope records in Precambrian sedimentary rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xin-Yuan; Beard, Brian L.; Reddy, Thiruchelvi R.; Roden, Eric E.; Johnson, Clark M.

    2016-08-01

    Precambrian Si-rich sedimentary rocks, including cherts and banded iron formations (BIFs), record a >7‰ spread in 30Si/28Si ratios (δ30Si values), yet interpretation of this large variability has been hindered by the paucity of data on Si isotope exchange kinetics and equilibrium fractionation factors in systems that are pertinent to Precambrian marine conditions. Using the three-isotope method and an enriched 29Si tracer, a series of experiments were conducted to constrain Si isotope exchange kinetics and fractionation factors between amorphous Fe(III)-Si gel, a likely precursor to Precambrian jaspers and BIFs, and aqueous Si in artificial Archean seawater under anoxic conditions. Experiments were conducted at room temperature, and in the presence and absence of aqueous Fe(II) (Fe(II)aq). Results of this study demonstrate that Si solubility is significantly lower for Fe-Si gel than that of amorphous Si, indicating that seawater Si concentrations in the Precambrian may have been lower than previous estimates. The experiments reached ˜70-90% Si isotope exchange after a period of 53-126 days, and the highest extents of exchange were obtained where Fe(II)aq was present, suggesting that Fe(II)-Fe(III) electron-transfer and atom-exchange reactions catalyze Si isotope exchange through breakage of Fe-Si bonds. All experiments except one showed little change in the instantaneous solid-aqueous Si isotope fractionation factor with time, allowing extraction of equilibrium Si isotope fractionation factors through extrapolation to 100% isotope exchange. The equilibrium 30Si/28Si fractionation between Fe(III)-Si gel and aqueous Si (Δ30Sigel-aqueous) is -2.30 ± 0.25‰ (2σ) in the absence of Fe(II)aq. In the case where Fe(II)aq was present, which resulted in addition of ˜10% Fe(II) in the final solid, creating a mixed Fe(II)-Fe(III) Si gel, the equilibrium fractionation between Fe(II)-Fe(III)-Si gel and aqueous Si (Δ30Sigel-aqueous) is -3.23 ± 0.37‰ (2σ). Equilibrium

  17. Early clerkships

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamalski, Digna M. A.; Ter Braak, Edith W. M. T.; Ten Cate, Olle Th. J.; Borleffs, Jan C. C.

    2007-01-01

    Background: Early clinical experience is being introduced in innovative, vertically integrated undergraduate medical curricula. While in many cases, this early clinical experience is limited to the presence of patients during lectures, in Utrecht students gain 'hands on' experience of daily clinical

  18. Cuatro Ciénegas Basin an analog of precambrian Earth and possible early mars scenario. (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, V.; Eguiarte, L. E.; Sierfert, J.

    2010-12-01

    In the present, the Cuatro Cienegas Basin (CCB) is in the Chihuahuan Desert in the state of Coahuila, Mexico. However, in the early Triasic, the sea penetrated the region of CCB with the opening of Pangea and became a continental wetland with the closing the western interior seaway only 35 million years ago. Its particular tectonics made of CCB a valley surrounded by high sierras that rose above the sea level 700 mt. All available molecular data lead us to suggest that these ancient marine microbial mats have persisted for a very long time and during all that time, the living microbial community evolved and diversified locally due to the rarity of migration and sex. The struggle for life in these structured communities generated uncountable new species that had to deal with the environment, the neighbors and most of all with the extreme lack of P. What for a long time represented the most successful community assemblage in the history of planet Earth, became mostly extinct in modern earth. The herbivores and the competition with algae left few relict communities in extreme environments such as CCB, Shark Bay and Guerrero Negro. Lets remember that stromatolite reefs have fossils as old as 3.6 billion years and that they became so successful that they changed the planet atmosphere producing the great oxygenation event. We also have data that at CCB these extensive microbialites are very patchy and differentiated both taxonomically and genetically, implying that, even though they may look as a continuum in the wetlands, each patch has been geographically isolated for a long time allowing each community to diverge in its composition. All these particularities of CCB arise because, due to its unusual geology, the valley floor was never buried, hence its marine sediment, with extensive microbial mats, always had sun and water, maintaining both the ancient lineages and the oligotrophic conditions that characterized early earth. The lack of P (less than 0.05 n

  19. Follow the Carbon: Isotopic Labeling Studies of Early Earth Aerosol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hicks, Raea K; Day, Douglas A; Jimenez, Jose L; Tolbert, Margaret A

    2016-11-01

    Despite the faint young Sun, early Earth might have been kept warm by an atmosphere containing the greenhouse gases CH4 and CO2 in mixing ratios higher than those found on Earth today. Laboratory and modeling studies suggest that an atmosphere containing these trace gases could lead to the formation of organic aerosol haze due to UV photochemistry. Chemical mechanisms proposed to explain haze formation rely on CH4 as the source of carbon and treat CO2 as a source of oxygen only, but this has not previously been verified experimentally. In the present work, we use isotopically labeled precursor gases and unit-mass resolution (UMR) and high-resolution (HR) aerosol mass spectrometry to examine the sources of carbon and oxygen to photochemical aerosol formed in a CH4/CO2/N2 atmosphere. UMR results suggest that CH4 contributes 70-100% of carbon in the aerosol, while HR results constrain the value from 94% to 100%. We also confirm that CO2 contributes approximately 10% of the total mass to the aerosol as oxygen. These results have implications for the geochemical interpretations of inclusions found in Archean rocks on Earth and for the astrobiological potential of other planetary atmospheres. Key Words: Atmosphere-Early Earth-Planetary atmospheres-Carbon dioxide-Methane. Astrobiology 16, 822-830.

  20. What traces of life can we expect on Mars? Lessons from the early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, F.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Environmental conditions on early Mars, from a microbial point of view, were largely similar to those on the early Earth. The oldest, well-preserved rocks on the early Earth (~3.5 Ga) host a wide range of morphological and geochemical traces of life, including chemolithotrophic, heterotrophic and photosynthetic anaerobic microorganisms. These microorganisms evolved in a tectonically evolving geological context, including carbonate platform formation. This scenario did not exist on Mars. Moreover, Mars was outside the habitable zone and standing bodies of water were probably ice-covered. Evolutionary advancement of martian life (if it appeared) would have been curtailed very early and it is unlikely that photosynthesis could have evolved. It is therefore unlikely that martian life will leave visible traces that can be detected with in situ instrumentation (no biolaminites or stromatolites). Geochemical detection of organic components will be possible but it is unlikely that the results will be conclusive. The return of suitable rocks from Mars is advocated. Early life on Earth and Mars The oldest, well preserved rocks on Earth, including both sedimentary and volcanic lithologies, contain abundant morphological and geochemical traces of life [1]. Evidence of borings into basalt lavas [2] and microbial colonies within volcanic sediments [3,4] testify to microbial utilisation of chemolithotrophy. Microscopic tunnels, tens of microns in length, containing traces of biologically important elements, such as C and N, in the vitreous rinds of pillow lavas are identified in petrographic thin section (Fig. 1) [2]. Similar 5-10 μm-sized tunnels have been channelled into the surfaces of detrital volcanic grains [4]. They contain the remains of microbial polymeric substances (EPS) but can only be identified in petrographic thin section and using the high magnification of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Furthermore, volcanic sediments deposited in water contain

  1. Early literacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Anders Skriver

    2012-01-01

    This paper discusses findings from the Danish contribution to the EASE project, a European research project running from 2008 to 2010 on early literacy in relation to the transition from childcare to school. It explores a holistic, inclusive approach to early literacy that resists a narrow...... and schools. The paper also draws on Gee’s (2001, 2003, 2004, 2008) sociocultural approach to literacy, and Honneth’s (2003, 2006) concept of recognition. Emphasizing participation and recognition as key elements, it claims that stakeholders in early liter- acy must pay attention to how diverse early literacy...... opportunities empower children, especially when these opportunities are employed in a project-based learning environ- ment in which each child is able to contribute to the shared literacy events....

  2. Early Differentiation of the Crust-Mantle System: a Hf Isotope Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherer, E.; Munker, C.; Mezger, K.

    2001-12-01

    The Lu decay constant recently determined by Scherer et al. 2001 (i.e., 1.865 x 10-11 yr-1) agrees with the results of the two latest physical counting experiments (1.86 x 10-11 yr-1; Dalmasso et al 1992, Nir-El and Lavi 1998), but is ca. 4 percent lower than the decay constants that have been used throughout the Hf isotope literature (e.g., 1.94 x 10-11, Tatsumoto et al., 1981; 1.93 x 10-11 Sguigna et al, 1982). In addition to making Lu-Hf ages older by ca. 4 percent, the revised decay constant also shifts the calculated initial epsilon Hf values of early Archean and Hadean rocks and zircons that are used to constrain crust-mantle differentiation in the early Earth. The initial epsilon Hf values for low-Lu/Hf samples such as zircons and evolved felsic rocks shift downward by 2-4 epsilon units, primarily due to the shift in the position of the CHUR evolution curve rather than that of the samples themselves. Mafic rocks, such as komatiites have higher Lu/Hf ratios that are closer to that of CHUR and therefore their initial epsilon Hf values do not shift as much (up to 1.3 epsilon units lower or 0.4 epsilon units higher). Using the old decay constant, some early Archean rocks (e.g., Amitsoq gneisses; Vervoort et al., 1996, Vervoort and Blichert-Toft, 1999) seemed to have very high initial epsilon Hf values (up to +6), implying that the upper mantle was moderately depleted in the early Archean and that a substantial volume of crust was produced in the Hadean. However, when recalculated with the new decay constant, the data suggest that the mantle was only slightly depleted, requiring less early crust extraction, and allowing a later date for the onset of significant crust production. In contrast, the extremely low recalculated epsilon Hf values of Earth's oldest zircons (Amelin et al., 1999, Amelin et al., 2000) indicate that Earth's first crust formed at or before 4.3 Ga, and that this crust remained intact long enough (>200 million years) to evolve to such low

  3. High-grade iron ore at Windarling, Yilgarn Craton: a product of syn-orogenic deformation, hypogene hydrothermal alteration and supergene modification in an Archean BIF-basalt lithostratigraphy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angerer, Thomas; Hagemann, Steffen G.; Danyushevsky, Leonid

    2013-08-01

    Banded iron formation (BIF)-hosted iron ore deposits in the Windarling Range are located in the lower greenstone succession of the Marda-Diemals greenstone belt, Southern Cross domain, Yilgarn Craton and constitute a total hematite-martite-goethite ore resource of minimum 52 Mt at 60 wt.% Fe (0.07 P). Banded iron formation is interlayered with high-Mg basalts at Windarling and precipitated during episodes of volcanic quiescence. Trace element content and the rare earth element (REE) ratios Y/Ho (42 to 45), Sm/Yb (1.5), together with positive La and Gd anomalies in `least-altered' hematite-magnetite-metachert-BIF indicate the precipitation from Archean seawater that was fertilised by hydrothermal vent fluids with a basaltic HREE-Y signature. Hypogene iron ore in sub-greenschist facies metamorphosed BIF formed during three distinct stages: ore stage 1 was a syn- to post-metamorphic, syn-D1, Fe-Ca-Mg-Ni-Co-P-REE metasomatism that produced local Ni-REE-rich Fe-dolomite-magnetite alteration in BIF. Hydrothermal alteration was induced by hot fluid flow controlled by brittle-ductile reactivation of BIF-basalt margins and crosscutting D1 faults. The Ni-Co-rich content of dolomite and a shift in REE ratios in carbonate-altered BIF towards Archean mafic rock signature (Y/Ho to 31 to 40, Sm/Yb to 1 to 2 and Gd/Gd* to 1.2 to 1.4) suggest that high-Mg basalts in the Windarling Range were the primary source of introduced metals. During ore stage 2, a syn-deformational and likely acidic and oxidised fluid flow along BIF-basalt margins and within D1 faults leached carbonate and precipitated lepidoblastic and anhedral/granoblastic hematite. High-grade magnetite-hematite ore is formed during this stage. Ore stage 3 hydrothermal specular hematite (spcH)-Fe-dolomite-quartz alteration was controlled by a late-orogenic, brittle, compressional/transpressional stage (D4; the regional-scale shear-zone-related D3 is not preserved in Windarling). This minor event remobilised iron oxides

  4. Insights into the behaviour of biomolecules on the early Earth: The concentration of aspartate by layered double hydroxide minerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grégoire, Brian; Erastova, Valentina; Geatches, Dawn L.; Clark, Stewart J.; Greenwell, H. Christopher; Fraser, Donald G.

    2016-03-01

    The role of mineral surfaces in concentrating and facilitating the polymerisation of simple protobiomolecules during the Hadean and Archean has been the subject of much research in order to constrain the conditions that may have led to the origin of life on early Earth. Here we examine the adsorption of the amino acid aspartate on layered double hydroxide minerals, and use a combined computer simulation - experimental spectroscopy approach to gain insight into the resulting structures of the host-aspartate material. We show that the uptake of aspartate occurs in alkaline solution by anion exchange of the dianion form of aspartate, rather than by surface adsorption. Anion exchange only occurs at values of pH where a significant population of aspartate has the amino group deprotonated, and is then highly efficient up to the mineral anion exchange capacity.

  5. Early evolution of large micro-organisms with cytological complexity revealed by microanalyses of 3.4 Ga organic-walled microfossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugitani, K; Mimura, K; Takeuchi, M; Lepot, K; Ito, S; Javaux, E J

    2015-11-01

    The Strelley Pool Formation (SPF) is widely distributed in the East Pilbara Terrane (EPT) of the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, and represents a Paleoarchean shallow-water to subaerial environment. It was deposited ~3.4 billion years ago and displays well-documented carbonate stromatolites. Diverse putative microfossils (SPF microfossils) were recently reported from several localities in the East Strelley, Panorama, Warralong, and Goldsworthy greenstone belts. Thus, the SPF provides unparalleled opportunities to gain insights into a shallow-water to subaerial ecosystem on the early Earth. Our new micro- to nanoscale ultrastructural and microchemical studies of the SPF microfossils show that large (20-70 μm) lenticular organic-walled flanged microfossils retain their structural integrity, morphology, and chain-like arrangements after acid (HF-HCl) extraction (palynology). Scanning and transmitted electron microscopy of extracted microfossils revealed that the central lenticular body is either alveolar or hollow, and the wall is continuous with the surrounding smooth to reticulated discoidal flange. These features demonstrate the evolution of large micro-organisms able to form an acid-resistant recalcitrant envelope or cell wall with complex morphology and to form colonial chains in the Paleoarchean era. This study provides evidence of the evolution of very early and remarkable biological innovations, well before the presumed late emergence of complex cells.

  6. Reactivation of the Archean-Proterozoic suture along the southern margin of Laurentia during the Mazatzal orogeny: Petrogenesis and tectonic implications of ca. 1.63 Ga granite in southeastern Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Daniel S.; Barnes, Calvin G.; Premo, Wayne R.; Snoke, Arthur W.

    2013-01-01

    The presence of ca. 1.63 Ga monzogranite (the “white quartz monzonite”) in the southern Sierra Madre, southeastern Wyoming, is anomalous given its distance from the nearest documented plutons of similar age (central Colorado) and the nearest contemporaneous tectonic margin (New Mexico). It is located immediately south of the Cheyenne belt—a ca. 1.75 Ga Archean-Proterozoic tectonic suture. New geochronological, isotopic, and geochemical data suggest that emplacement of the white quartz monzonite occurred between ca. 1645 and 1628 Ma (main pulse ca. 1628 Ma) and that the white quartz monzonite originated primarily by partial melting of the Big Creek Gneiss, a modified arc complex. There is no evidence that mafic magmas were involved. Open folds of the ca. 1750 Ma regional foliation are cut by undeformed white quartz monzonite. On a regional scale, rocks intruded by the white quartz monzonite have experienced higher pressure and temperature conditions and are migmatitic as compared to the surrounding rocks, suggesting a genetic relationship between the white quartz monzonite and tectonic exhumation. We propose that regional shortening imbricated the Big Creek Gneiss, uplifting the now-exposed high-grade rocks of the Big Creek Gneiss (hanging wall of the thrust and wall rock to the white quartz monzonite) and burying correlative rocks, which partially melted to form the white quartz monzonite. This tectonism is attributed to the ca. 1.65 Ga Mazatzal orogeny, as foreland shortening spread progressively into the Yavapai Province. Mazatzal foreland effects have also been described in the Great Lakes region and have been inferred in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We suggest that the crustal-scale rheologic contrast across the Archean-Proterozoic suture, originally developed along the southern margin of Laurentia, and including the Cheyenne belt, facilitated widespread reactivation of that boundary during the Mazatzal orogeny. This finding emphasizes the degree to

  7. Life: the first two billion years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, Andrew H; Bergmann, Kristin D; Strauss, Justin V

    2016-11-05

    Microfossils, stromatolites, preserved lipids and biologically informative isotopic ratios provide a substantial record of bacterial diversity and biogeochemical cycles in Proterozoic (2500-541 Ma) oceans that can be interpreted, at least broadly, in terms of present-day organisms and metabolic processes. Archean (more than 2500 Ma) sedimentary rocks add at least a billion years to the recorded history of life, with sedimentological and biogeochemical evidence for life at 3500 Ma, and possibly earlier; phylogenetic and functional details, however, are limited. Geochemistry provides a major constraint on early evolution, indicating that the first bacteria were shaped by anoxic environments, with distinct patterns of major and micronutrient availability. Archean rocks appear to record the Earth's first iron age, with reduced Fe as the principal electron donor for photosynthesis, oxidized Fe the most abundant terminal electron acceptor for respiration, and Fe a key cofactor in proteins. With the permanent oxygenation of the atmosphere and surface ocean ca 2400 Ma, photic zone O2 limited the access of photosynthetic bacteria to electron donors other than water, while expanding the inventory of oxidants available for respiration and chemoautotrophy. Thus, halfway through Earth history, the microbial underpinnings of modern marine ecosystems began to take shape.This article is part of the themed issue 'The new bacteriology'.

  8. Early evolution of the continental crust, the oxygenated atmosphere and oceans, and the heterogeneous mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohmoto, H.

    2011-12-01

    The current paradigm for the evolution of early Earth is that, only since ~2.5 Ga ago, the Earth began to: (a) form a large granitic continental crust; (b) form an oxygenated atmosphere; (c) operate oxidative weathering of rocks on land; (d) form Fe-poor, but S-, U- and Mo-rich, oceans; (e) operate large-scale transfers of elements between oceans and oceanic crust at MORs; (f) subduct the altered oceanic crust; (g) create the mantle heterogeneity, especially in the concentrations and isotopic compositions of Fe(III), Fe(II), U, Pb, alkali elements, C, S, REEs, and many other elements; (h) create chemical and isotopic variations among OIB-, OPB-, and MORB magmas, and between I- and S-type granitoid magmas; and (i) create variations in the chemical and isotopic compositions of volcanic gas. Submarine hydrothermal fluids have typically developed from seawater-rock interactions during deep (>2 km) circulation of seawater through underlying hot volcanic rocks. When the heated hydrothermal fluids ascend toward the seafloor, they mix with local bottom seawater to precipitate a variety of minerals on and beneath the seafloor. Thus, the mineralogy and geochemistry of submarine hydrothermal deposits and associated volcanic rocks can be used to decipher the chemistry of the contemporaneous seawater, which in turn indicate the chemistry of the atmosphere and the compositions and size of the continental crust. The results of mineralogical and geochemical investigations by our and other research groups on submarine hydrothermal deposits (VMS and BIF) and hydrothermally-altered submarine volcanic rocks in Australia, South Africa, and Canada, ~3.5-2.5 Ga in ages, suggest that the above processes (a)-(i) had began by ~3.5 Ga ago. Supportive evidence includes, but not restricted to, the similarities between Archean submarine rocks and modern ones in: (1) the abundance of ferric oxides; (2) the Fe(III)/Fe(I) ratios; (3) the abundance of barite; (4) the increased Li contents; (5) the

  9. Metamorphic fluid flow in the northeastern part of the 3.8-3.7 Ga Isua Greenstone Belt (SW Greenland): A re-evalution of fluid inclusion evidence for early Archean seafloor-hydrothermal systems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heijlen, Wouter; Appel, P. W. U.; Frezzotti, M. L.;

    2006-01-01

    segregations showed that they were affected by variable recrystallization which controlled their fluid inclusion content. The oldest unaltered fluid inclusions found are present in vein crystals that survived dynamic and static recrystallization. These crystals contain a cogenetic, immiscible assemblage of CO2......-NaCl (0.2-3.7 eq. wt% NaCl.) These successive fluid inclusion assemblages record a retrograde P-T evolution close to a geothermal gradient of similar to 30 degrees C/km, but also indicate fluid pressure variations and the introduction of highly reducing fluids at similar to 200-300 degrees C and 0......Fluid inclusions in quartz globules and quartz veins of a 3.8-3.7 Ga old, well-preserved pillow lava breccia in the northeastern Isua Greenstone Belt (IGB) were studied using microthermometry, Raman spectrometry and SEM Cathodoluminescence Imaging. Petrographic study of the different quartz...

  10. Detrital zircon geochronology and Nd isotope geochemistry of an early Paleozoic succession in Korea:

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Yong Il; Choi, Taejin; Lim, Hyoun Soo; Orihashi, Yuji

    2015-04-01

    This study reports the results of an analysis of U-Pb ages of detrital zircons and Nd isotope compositions from the well-established lower Paleozoic platform succession developed on the Precambrian gneiss and metasedimentary rocks in South Korea. The three stratigraphic units in the basal part of the succession are the Jangsan, Myeonsan, and Myobong Formations. The unfossiliferous Jangsan (white­to­pink quartz sandstone) and Myeonsan (dark-gray ilmenite-rich sandstone/shale) Formations are in fault contact and are generally considered to be coeval (Early Cambrian). Both formations are also generally considered to be conformably overlain by the dark­ gray, fossiliferous, fine-grained Myobong Formation (late Early-early Middle Cambrian). We here report U-Pb ages of detrital zircons and Nd isotopic data from the Jangsan, Myeonsan, and Myobong Formations. The Jangsan and Myeonsan Formations provide Archean-Paleoproterozoic U-Pb ages, but the former is characterized by Archean Sm-Nd model ages and the latter by late Paleoproterozoic Sm-Nd model ages, which is indicative of a significant change in provenance. This suggests that the Jangsan Formation predates the Myeonsan Formation. The Myobong Formation provides dominantly Meso- to Neoproterozoic U-Pb ages and Sm-Nd model ages that are slightly younger than those of the Myeonsan Formation. Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the combined evidence of unconformable contact and marked changes in zircon U-Pb ages and Nd isotopic compositions suggests that the Myobong Formation overlies the Jangsan and Myeonsan Formations unconformably. Considering the metamorphic age of the immediately underlying Precambrian basement metasediments (0.8 to 0.9 Ga), this stratigraphic relationship strongly suggests that the Jangsan Formation may be Neoproterozoic in age and that the Myeonsan Formation may be latest Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian and calls for reevaluation of Precambrian-Paleozoic history of the Korean Peninsula. The

  11. Constraints on the development of the early continental crust from isotopic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, S. B.

    1985-01-01

    Aspects of the origin and development of the early (AE) continential crust are addressed by radiogenic isotope and trace element studies. The most important ones are: (1) at what time did the earliest continental crust form; (2) what was its composition; (3) by what processes did it grow and by what processes was it destroyed; (4) what were the rates of production and destruction as a function of time during this time period? Nd is isotopic data on the oldest terrestrial rocks indicate that the mantle at this time had already suffered substantial depletion in incompatible elements due to earlier continent forming events. Isotopic data on young volcanic rocks derived from the depleted mantle show no evidence of this early history. The observed isotopic patterns of Nd, Sr, Hf and Pb through time together with the presently observed age spectrum of crustal rocks are considered. These patterns can be modelled by a transport model in which the continental growth and destruction rates are allowed to vary as a function of time. It is suggest that the mass of the continents at 3.8 AE ago was about 25% of the current continental mass. However, due to the very high recycling rates obtained in the early Archean only a few percent of this crust has been preserved up to the present.

  12. Early Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurston, Hugh

    The earliest investigations that can be called scientific are concerned with the sky: they are the beginnings of astronomy. Many early civilizations produced astronomical texts, and several cultures that left no written records left monuments and artifacts-ranging from rock paintings to Stonehenge-that show a clear interest in astronomy. Civilizations in China, Mesopotamia, India and Greece had highly developed astronomies, and the astronomy of the Mayas was by no means negligible. Greek astronomy, as developed by the medieval Arab philosophers, evolved into the astronomy of Copernicus. This displaced the earth from the central stationary position that almost all earlier astronomies had assumed. Soon thereafter, in the first decades of the seventeenth century, Kepler found the true shape of the planetary orbits and Galileo introduced the telescope for astronomical observations.

  13. A Review of the Isotopic and Trace Element Evidence for Mantle and Crustal Processes in the Hadean and Archean: implications for the Onset of Plate Tectonic Subduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smart, Katie A.; Tappe, Sebastian; Stern, Richard A.; Webb, Susan J.; Ashwal, Lewis D.

    2016-03-01

    Plate tectonics plays a vital role in the evolution of our planet. Geochemical analysis of Earth’s oldest continental crust suggests that subduction may have begun episodically about 3.8 to 3.2 billion years ago, during the early Archaean or perhaps more than 3.8 billion years ago, during the Hadean. Yet, mantle rocks record evidence for modern-style plate tectonics beginning only in the late Archaean, about 3 billion years ago. Here we analyse the nitrogen abundance, as well as the nitrogen and carbon isotopic signatures of Archaean placer diamonds from the Kaapvaal craton, South Africa, which formed in the upper mantle 3.1 to 3.5 billion years ago. We find that the diamonds have enriched nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions compared with typical mantle values. This nitrogen geochemical fingerprint could have been caused by contamination of the mantle by nitrogen-rich Archaean sediments. Furthermore, the carbon isotopic signature suggests that the diamonds formed by reduction of an oxidized fluid or melt. Assuming that the Archaean mantle was more reduced than the modern mantle, we argue that the oxidized components were introduced to the mantle by crustal recycling at subduction zones. We conclude, on the basis of evidence from mantle-derived diamonds, that modern-style plate tectonics operated as early as 3.5 billion years ago.

  14. Patterns of Reef Ecosystem Recovery Indicate That Adverse Early Triassic Ocean Conditions Extended into Middle Triassic Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, B. M.; Yu, M.; Lehrmann, D. J.; Jost, A. B.; Lau, K. V.; Li, X.; Schaal, E. K.; Payne, J.

    2013-12-01

    The pattern of reef ecosystem recovery from the end-Permian extinction is poorly constrained due to the limited stratigraphic, spatial, and geographic range of reef buildups in Early Triassic and Anisian (early Middle Triassic) strata. In this study, we combined field studies and petrographic analysis to examine the pattern of reef evolution in latest Permian to Late Triassic carbonate platforms in the Nanpanjiang Basin of South China, an area of extensive shallow-water carbonate deposition in the tropical eastern Tethys. We find that early Mesozoic reef recovery in the eastern Tethys was a five-step process: (1) in the immediate aftermath of extinction, calcimicrobial biostromes (P/T boundary microbialites) developed in shallow-water platform settings; (2) in late Induan time, biohermal stromatolites developed in platform interior settings; (3) in latest Spathian time, large-scale Tubiphytes, microbial, and cement reefs lacking skeletal metazoans initiated on the margins and steep upper slopes of carbonate platforms, signaling the return of reefs to platform-margin settings; (4) in the Aegean or Bithynian (early Anisian), diminutive (mm-scale) calcareous sponges and calcareous algae appeared in the Tubiphytes reef, marking the reappearance of skeletal metazoans and calcareous algae to reefs in the eastern Tethys; and (5) in the late Anisian, the appearance of scleractinian corals coincided with increased abundance, size, and diversity of metazoan and algal reef builders. Early Mesozoic reefs of the eastern Tethys were dominated by microbes, Tubiphytes, and early-marine cements until the late Anisian, several million years into the Middle Triassic. The appearance of small metazoan buildups in Early Triassic strata in other parts of the world indicates that potential reef-building organisms were present much earlier. The limited stratigraphic range of those buildups, however, reinforces the interpretation that episodic environmental disturbances such as euxinia

  15. Lipid biomarker production and preservation in acidic ecosystems: Relevance to early Earth and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahnke, L. L.; Parenteau, M. N.; Harris, R.; Bristow, T.; Farmer, J. D.; Des Marais, D. J.

    2013-12-01

    Compared to relatively benign carbonate buffered marine environments, terrestrial Archean and Paleoproterozoic life was forced to cope with a broader range of pH values. In particular, acidic terrestrial ecosystems arose from the oxidation of reduced species in hydrothermal settings and crustal reservoirs of metal sulfides, creating acid sulfate conditions. While oxidation of reduced species is facilitated by reactions with molecular oxygen, acidic conditions also arose in Archean hydrothermal systems before the rise of oxygen (Van Kranendonk, 2006), expanding the range of time over which acidophiles could have existed on the early Earth. Acidic terrestrial habitats would have included acidic hydrothermal springs, acid sulfate soils, and possibly lakes and streams lacking substantial buffering capacity with sources of acidity in their catchments. Although acidic hot springs are considered extreme environments on Earth, robust and diverse microbial communities thrive in these habitats. Such acidophiles are found across all three domains of life and include both phototrophic and chemotrophic members. In this presentation, we examine hopanes and sterols that are characteristic of microbial communities living in acidic hydrothermal environments. Moreover we discuss taphonomic processes governing the capture and preservation of these biosignatures in acid environments. In particular, we discuss the production and early preservation of hopanoids and sterols in the following geological/mineralogical settings: 1) rapid entombment of microbes and organic matter by predominantly fine-grained silica; 2) rapid burial of organic matter by clay-rich, silica poor sediments; 3) and the survival of organics in iron oxide and sulfate rich sediments. We discovered and isolated an acid-tolerant purple non-sulfur anoxygenic phototroph from Lassen Volcanic National Park that synthesizes 3methyl-bacteriohopanepolyols. These compounds were previously thought to be exclusively made by

  16. Pronounced carbonate deposition in the Early Triassic Dienerian substage: Who was the carbonate producer?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horacek, Micha; Brandner, Rainer

    2014-05-01

    At the Late Permian Mass Extinction (LPME) most marine carbonate producers were heavily affected or even terminated. After the event in several sections a "boundary clay" was deposited and in the Griesbachian microbialites have been reported from many marine sections, however, without causing substantial thicknesses. The Dienerian in many Tethyan sections, though, is characterized by a huge increase in sedimentation rate due to the deposition of limestone mud with only minor amounts of siliciclastic input. This is in contrast to the still missing "usual" (skeletal) carbonate producers that have not yet re-appeared after the extinction, and also in contrast to a steeply and constantly rising marine Sr-isotope curve. To us this pattern indicates short timed intense post-extinction acidification in some areas causing a strong decrease of carbonate precipitation and thus resulting in the sedimentation of the boundary clay. Post-extinction low sedimentation rate supported the extensive growth of microbialites, thrombolites and stromatolites on seafloors in the photic zone, resulting in the photosynthetic uptake of bicarbonate ions which induced carbonate biomineralisation within the microbial mats probably during still prevailing acidic ocean condition. In the Dienerian the ocean water pH must have returned to non-acidic conditions again due to biotic and probably mainly microbial activity, resulting in a thriving and carbonate precipitating planctic microbial community producing huge amounts of microcrystalline carbonate mud. As some sections already in the Griesbachian feature substantial accumulations of carbonate mud layers, there acidification might have lasted only for a shorter period. Burial of the mainly microbial biomass probably also resulted in the positive 13C isotope curve trend from the Griesbachian to the Dienerian-Smithian boundary. Our interpretation identifies the (marine) microbial community as one of the important and THE biotic factor influencing

  17. Contrasting geochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions of Archean metasediments from the Kongling high-grade terrain of the Yangtze craton: Evidence for cratonic evolution and redistribution of REE during crustal anatexis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Shan; Ling, Wenli; Qiu, Yumin; Lian, Zhou; Hartmann, Gerald; Simon, Klaus

    1999-07-01

    Twenty-three clastic metasediments from the Kongling high-grade terrain of the Yangtze craton, South China were analyzed for major, trace and rare earth elements and Sm-Nd isotopic ratios. Associated dioritic-tonalitic-trondhjemitic (DTT) and granitic gneisses as well as amphibolites were also analyzed in order to constrain provenance. The results show that the clastic metasediments can be classified into 3 distinct groups in terms of mineralogical, geochemical and Sm-Nd isotopic compositions. Group A is characterized by having no to slight negative Eu anomalies (Eu/Eu∗ = 0.82-1.07), being high in Cr (191-396 ppm) and Ni (68-137 ppm), and low in Th (3.3-7.8 ppm) and REE (ΣREE = 99-156 ppm). These characteristics are similar to those of metasediments from Archean greenstone belts. In addition, the Group A metasediments have the value of the Chemical Index of Alteration (CIW) close to felsic gneisses. Their Sm-Nd isotopic, REE and trace element compositions can be interpreted by mixtures of the DTT gneisses and amphibolites. Dating of detrital zircons from 2 Group A samples by SHRIMP reveals a major concordant age group of 2.87-3.0 Ga, which is identical to the age of the trondhjemitic gneiss. These results strongly suggest that Group A was principally the first-cycle erosion product of the local Kongling DTT gneiss and amphibolite. Moreover, the higher than amphibolite Cr content and slight Eu depletion exhibited by some samples from this group infer that ultramafic rocks like komatiite and granite of probably 3.0-3.3 Ga in age also played a role. Group B is characterized by the presence of graphite and shows a more evolved composition similar to post-Archean shales with a prominent negative Eu anomaly (Eu/Eu∗ = 0.48-0.77) and high CIW. On paired Cr/Th vs La/Co and Co/Th plots, Group B samples conform to a two-end member mixing line of the Kongling granitic gneiss and amphibolite. However, data on Nd model age and CIW suggest that the granite component should

  18. Plate tectonics on the early Earth: Limitations imposed by strength and buoyancy of subducted lithosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hunen, Jeroen; van den Berg, Arie P.

    2008-06-01

    The tectonic style and viability of modern plate tectonics in the early Earth is still debated. Field observations and theoretical arguments both in favor and against the uniformitarian view of plate tectonics back until the Archean continue to accumulate. Here, we present the first numerical modeling results that address for a hotter Earth the viability of subduction, one of the main requirements for plate tectonics. A hotter mantle has mainly two effects: 1) viscosity is lower, and 2) more melt is produced, which in a plate tectonic setting will lead to a thicker oceanic crust and harzburgite layer. Although compositional buoyancy resulting from these thick crust and harzburgite might be a serious limitation for subduction initiation, our modeling results show that eclogitization significantly relaxes this limitation for a developed, ongoing subduction process. Furthermore, the lower viscosity leads to more frequent slab breakoff, and sometimes to crustal separation from the mantle lithosphere. Unlike earlier propositions, not compositional buoyancy considerations, but this lithospheric weakness could be the principle limitation to the viability of plate tectonics in a hotter Earth. These results suggest a new explanation for the absence of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism (UHPM) and blueschists in most of the Precambrian: early slabs were not too buoyant, but too weak to provide a mechanism for UHPM and exhumation.

  19. Preliminary digital geologic map of the Penokean (early Proterozoic) continental margin in northern Michigan and Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, W.F.; Ottke, Doug

    1999-01-01

    The data on this CD consist of geographic information system (GIS) coverages and tabular data on the geology of Early Proterozoic and Archean rocks in part of the Early Proterozoic Penokean orogeny. The map emphasizes metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks that were deposited along the southern margin of the Superior craton and were later deformed during continental collision at about 1850 Ma. The area includes the famous iron ranges of the south shore region of the Lake Superior district. Base maps, both as digital raster graphics (DRG) and digital line graphs (DLG) are also provided for the convenience of users. The map has been compiled from many individual studies, mostly by USGS researchers, completed during the past 50 years, including many detailed (1:24,000 scale) geologic maps. Data was compiled at 1:100,000 scale and preserves most of the details of source materials. This product is a preliminary release of the geologic map data bases during ongoing studies of the geology and metallogeny of the Penokean continental margin. Files are provided in three formats: Federal Spatial Data Transfer format (SDTS), Arc export format (.e00) files, and Arc coverages. All files can be accessed directly from the CD-ROM using either ARC/INFO 7.1.2 or later or Arc View 3.0 or later software. ESRI's Arc Explorer, a free GIS data viewer available at the web site: http://www.esri.com/software/arcexplorer/index.html also provides display and querying capability for these files.

  20. On the origin and early evolution of biological catalysis and other studies on chemical evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oro, J.; Lazcano, A.

    1991-01-01

    One of the lines of research in molecular evolution which we have developed for the past three years is related to the experimental and theoretical study of the origin and early evolution of biological catalysis. In an attempt to understand the nature of the first peptidic catalysts and coenzymes, we have achieved the non-enzymatic synthesis of the coenzymes ADPG, GDPG, and CDP-ethanolamine, under conditions considered to have been prevalent on the primitive Earth. We have also accomplished the prebiotic synthesis of histidine, as well as histidyl-histidine, and we have measured the enhancing effects of this catalytic dipeptide on the dephosphorylation of deoxyribonucleotide monophosphates, the hydrolysis of oligo A, and the oligomerization 2', 3' cAMP. We reviewed and further developed the hypothesis that RNA preceded double stranded DNA molecules as a reservoir of cellular genetic information. This led us to undertake the study of extant RNA polymerases in an attempt to discover vestigial sequences preserved from early Archean times. In addition, we continued our studies of on the chemical evolution of organic compounds in the solar system and beyond.

  1. Phosphogenesis in the 2460 and 2728 million-year-old banded iron formations as evidence for biological cycling of phosphate in the early biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi-Liang; Sun, Si; Chan, Lung S

    2013-01-01

    The banded iron formation deposited during the first 2 billion years of Earth's history holds the key to understanding the interplay between the geosphere and the early biosphere at large geological timescales. The earliest ore-scale phosphorite depositions formed almost at ∼2.0–2.2 billion years ago bear evidence for the earliest bloom of aerobic life. The cycling of nutrient phosphorus and how it constrained primary productivity in the anaerobic world of Archean–Palaeoproterozoic eons are still open questions. The controversy centers about whether the precipitation of ultrafine ferric oxyhydroxide due to the microbial Fe(II) oxidation in oceans earlier than 1.9 billion years substantially sequestrated phosphate, and whether this process significantly limited the primary productivity of the early biosphere. In this study, we report apatite radial flowers of a few micrometers in the 2728 million-year-old Abitibi banded iron formation and the 2460 million-year-old Kuruman banded iron formation and their similarities to those in the 535 million-year-old Lower Cambrian phosphorite. The lithology of the 535 Million-year-old phosphorite as a biosignature bears abundant biomarkers that reveal the possible similar biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus in the Later Archean and Palaeoproterozoic oceans. These apatite radial flowers represent the primary precipitation of phosphate derived from the phytoplankton blooms in the euphotic zones of Neoarchean and Palaoeproterozoic oceans. The unbiased distributions of the apatite radial flowers within sub-millimeter bands do not support the idea of an Archean Crisis of Phosphate. This is the first report of the microbial mediated mineralization of phosphorus before the Great Oxidation Event when the whole biosphere was still dominated by anaerobic microorganisms. PMID:23404127

  2. The Early History of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisbet, E. G.; Fowler, C. M. R.

    2003-12-01

    The youth of the Earth is strange to us. Many of the most fundamental constraints on life may have been different, especially the oxidation state of the surface. Should we suddenly land on its Hadean or early Archean surface by some sci-fi accident, we would not recognize our home. Above, the sky may have been green or some other unworldly color, and above that the weak young Sun might have been unrecognizable to someone trying to identify it from its spectrum. Below, seismology would show a hot, comparatively low-viscosity interior, possibly with a magma ocean in the deeper part of the upper mantle (Drake and Righter, 2002; Nisbet and Walker, 1982), and a core that, though present, was perhaps rather smaller than today. The continents may have been small islands in an icy sea, mostly frozen with some leads of open water, ( Sleep et al., 2001). Into these icy oceans, huge protruding Hawaii-like volcanoes would have poured out vast far-spreading floods of komatiite lavas in immense eruptions that may have created sudden local hypercane storms to disrupt the nearby icebergs. And meteorites would rain down.Or perhaps it was not so strange, nor so violent. The child is father to the man; young Earth was mother to Old Earth. Earth had hydrogen, silicate rock below and on the surface abundant carbon, which her ancient self retains today. Moreover, Earth was oxygen-rich, as today. Today, a tiny part of the oxygen is free, as air; then the oxygen would have been in the mantle while the surface oxygen was used to handcuff the hydrogen as dihydrogen monoxide. Oxygen dihydride is dense, unlikely to fly off to space, and at the poles, rock-forming. Of all the geochemical features that make Earth unique, the initial degassing (Genesis 2 : b) and then the sustained presence of liquid water is the defining oddity of this planet. Early Earth probably also kept much of its carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur as oxide or hydride. And, after the most cataclysmic events had passed, ˜4.5 Ga

  3. 鄂东南地区存在古元古代-太古宙基底--来自铜鼓山岩体锆石U-Pb-Hf同位素的证据%Paleoproterozoic-Archean Basement Beneath Southeast Hubei Province:Evidence from U-Pb-Hf Isotopes in Zircons from the Tonggushan Pluton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    夏金龙; 黄圭成; 丁丽雪; 吴昌雄; 祝敬明; 金尚刚

    2013-01-01

    This paper has reported the integrated study of zircon U-Pb age and Lu-Hf isotope composition in zircons from the Tonggushan pluton, southeast Hubei Province. Tonggushan pluton is composed of quartz diorite porphyry. The 206Pb/238U mean age of magmatic zircon is (147±2.6) Ma, indicating that Tonggushan pluton was formed in the Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous, which is consistent with the formation time of other plutons in this area. A large number of inherited zircons, formed in 1798~2888 Ma, exist in Tonggushan pluton. The Paleoproterozoic zircons are of magmatic origin and have similar 176Hf/177Hf and 176Lu/177Hf ratios, suggesting that they were probably derived from the same igneous basement rock. The Paleoproterozoic zircons have low Hf-isotope compositions and characteristics of crustal source. Hf model ages of these zircons and the presence of older inherited cores within them suggest that the source of Paleoproterozoic magma was Neoarchaean crust, implying the existence of an unexposed old basement beneath southeast Hubei Province and the whole Yangtze block. These data supply new clue to the study of the Precambrian basement evolution of Yangtze block. The Paleoproterozoic-Archean basement of the Yangtze Block most likely spreads from the Sichuan Basin through western Huebei Province to southeastern Hubei Province.%对鄂东南地区位于毛铺-两剑桥断裂带上的铜鼓山岩体进行了野外地质及镜下显微研究及岩石化学分析,重点分析了其中锆石U-Pb年龄和Hf同位素组成。结果表明铜鼓山岩体为石英闪长玢岩,岩体形成于(147±2.6) Ma,属晚侏罗世-早白垩世,与鄂东南地区其它岩体年龄具有一致性。铜鼓山岩体中存在的大量继承锆石。分析的4个继承锆石形成于古元古代晚期1798~1888 Ma。继承锆石具有高的Th/U比值和极其相似的Lu-Hf同位素组成,表明它们捕获于同一火成岩。这表明鄂东南地区存在古元古代基底。这些古元古代

  4. The Archean kalsilite-nepheline syenites of the Awsard intrusive massif (Reguibat Shield, West African Craton, Morocco) and its relationship to the alkaline magmatism of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haissen, Faouziya; Cambeses, Aitor; Montero, Pilar; Bea, Fernando; Dilek, Yildirim; Mouttaqi, Abdellah

    2017-03-01

    More than 40% of the known alkaline complexes are reported from Africa. Most are ring complexes composed of syenites and associated or not, lithotypes as carbonatites, granites and mafic rocks. Radiometric dating indicates the presence of alkaline complexes with ages spanning from Precambrian to the present. In terms of outcrops, alkaline complexes are reported from cratonic zones and from belts embedded between cratonic areas. Because of the high economic potential for associated REE deposits, these alkaline complexes have received much attention from Earth scientists. These studies aim mainly to constrain the role of the mantle and the crust (and the interaction between them) in the genesis of this peculiar magmatism, and also to explain the variability observed in lithotypes and geotectonic settings. Among those alkaline complexes, Precambrian occurrences are rare. Up-to-date only a few Proterozoic examples were cited in Africa. The recently studied Awsard complex in Southern Morocco is a peculiar one with a crystallization age of 2.46 Ga and an unusual rock assemblages. This paper is a first approximation to a comparison of geochemical and isotopic fingerprints of the Awsard magmatism (as the oldest one) with other known different ages African complexes from different geotectonic settings, aiming to detect if there is any evolution in this alkaline magmatism through time. A first conclusion is that magma sources for this alkaline magmatism has been probably evaluating over geological time, from parental magmas compositions close to that of primitive mantle in these early geological time to compositions holding more and more depleted mantle and continental crust components. However, to go further in this debate more modern isotopic, geochemical and geochronological data from all these complexes are needed. Nevertheless, this comparison highlighted the peculiar character of the Awsard magmatism with an isotopic composition very close to that of Primitive mantle

  5. The evolution of oceanic 87Sr/86Sr does not rule out early continental growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flament, N.; Coltice, N.; Rey, P. F.

    2010-12-01

    Many contrasted continental growth models have been proposed to date, in which the amount of continental material extracted from the mantle at 3.8 Ga ranges between 0% (e.g. Taylor and McLennan, 1985) and 100% (e.g. Armstrong, 1981). One of the arguments in favor of delayed continental growth models is the shift in the 87Sr/86Sr of marine carbonates from mantle composition at ~ 2.8 Ga (Shields and Veizer, 2002). When using oceanic 87Sr/86Sr as a proxy of continental growth, the flux of strontium from the continents to the oceans is assumed to depend only on continental area and both continental hypsometry and continental freeboard are assumed to be constant through time. However, Rey and Coltice (2008) suggested that Archean reliefs were lower than present-day ones and Flament et al. (2008) suggested that the emerged land area is not proportional to continental growth. Therefore, the suitability of 87Sr/86Sr as a proxy of continental growth must be re-assessed. In this contribution, we develop an integrated model, from the mantle to the surface, to investigate the effect of contrasted continental growth models on the evolution of sea level, of the area of emerged land, and of oceanic 87Sr/86Sr. We estimate the evolution of mantle temperature using the model of Labrosse and Jaupart (2007) that takes the effect of continental growth into account. The maximum continental elevation is calculated using the results of Rey and Coltice (2008), sea level and the area of emerged land are calculated as in Flament et al. (2008), and the oceanic 87Sr/86Sr is calculated in a geochemical box model. We calculate Archean sea levels ~ 800 m higher than present for delayed continental growth and ~ 1500 m higher for early continental growth. In contrast, we calculate similar Archean areas of emerged land, of less than 5% of the Earth’s surface, for both early and delayed continental growth models. Because the area of emerged land does not depend on continental growth models, the

  6. Mass-independent sulfur of inclusions in diamond and sulfur recycling on early Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquhar, J; Wing, B A; McKeegan, K D; Harris, J W; Cartigny, P; Thiemens, M H

    2002-12-20

    Populations of sulfide inclusions in diamonds from the Orapa kimberlite pipe in the Kaapvaal-Zimbabwe craton, Botswana, preserve mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionations. The data indicate that material was transferred from the atmosphere to the mantle in the Archean. The data also imply that sulfur is not well mixed in the diamond source regions, allowing for reconstruction of the Archean sulfur cycle and possibly offering insight into the nature of mantle convection through time.

  7. Oxygen isotope perspective on crustal evolution on early Earth: A record of Precambrian shales with emphasis on Paleoproterozoic glaciations and Great Oxygenation Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bindeman, I. N.; Bekker, A.; Zakharov, D. O.

    2016-03-01

    .4-2.3 Ga. Shales do not show comparable δ18 O rise in the early Phanerozoic as is observed in the coeval δ18 O trends for cherts and carbonates. There is however a sharp increase in the average δ18 O value from the Early Archean to the Late Archean followed by a progressively decelerating increase into the Phanerozoic. This decelerating increase with time likely reflects declining contribution of mantle-extracted, normal-δ18 O crust and lends support to crustal maturation and increasing 18O sequestration into the crust and recycling of high-δ18 O (and 87Sr/86Sr) sedimentary rocks. This secular increase in the δ18 O composition of the continental crust could have also had a mild effect on seawater δ18 O composition.

  8. Evolving Oxygen Landscape of the Early Atmosphere and Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, T. W.; Reinhard, C. T.; Planavsky, N. J.

    2013-12-01

    The past decade has witnessed remarkable advances in our understanding of oxygen on the early Earth, and a new framework, the topic of this presentation, is now in place to address the controls on spatiotemporal distributions of oxygen and their potential relationships to deep-Earth processes. Recent challenges to the Archean biomarker record have put an added burden on inorganic geochemistry to fingerprint and quantify the early production, accumulation, and variation of biospheric oxygen. Fortunately, a wide variety of techniques now point convincingly to photosynthetic oxygen production and dynamic accumulation well before the canonical Great Oxidation Event (GOE). Recent modeling of sulfur recycling over this interval allows for transient oxygen accumulation in the atmosphere without the disappearance of non-mass-dependent (NMD) sulfur isotope anomalies from the stratigraphic record and further allows for persistent accumulation in the atmosphere well before the permanent disappearance of NMD signals. This recent work suggests that the initial rise of oxygen may have occurred in fits and starts rather than a single step, and that once permanently present in the atmosphere, oxygen likely rose to high levels and then plummeted, in phase with the Paleoproterozoic Lomagundi positive carbon isotope excursion. More than a billion years of oxygen-free conditions in the deep ocean followed and set a challenging course for life, including limited abundances and diversity of eukaryotic organisms. Despite this widespread anoxia, sulfidic (euxinic) conditions were likely limited to productive ocean margins. Nevertheless, euxinia was sufficiently widespread to impact redox-dependent nutrient relationships, particularly the availability of bioessential trace metals critical in the nitrogen cycle, which spawned feedbacks that likely maintained oxygen at very low levels in the ocean and atmosphere and delayed the arrival of animals. Then, in the mid, pre-glacial Neoproterozoic

  9. Blocks of Archean material in the structure of the Uralian Platinum Belt: insights from in situ U-Pb (SHRIMP-II) data on zircon from the Nizhny Tagil clinopyroxenite-dunite complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malitch, K. N.; Efimov, A. A.; Ronkin, Yu. L.

    2009-04-01

    The Nizhny Tagil massif forms part of the 900-km-long Uralian Platinum Belt (UPB) and represents an undisputable example of a zoned Uralian-type clinopyroxenite-dunite complex (Efimov 1998; Auge et al. 2005). The 47 km2 Nizhny Tagil massif is almond-shape, shear bounded and enclosed by Riphean and Devonian metasediments to the west and late Paleozoic to Mesozoic predominantly mafic igneous rocks to the east. It consists of a platiniferrous dunite core (Fo92-90), surrounded by a clinopyroxenite rim. Recently obtained U-Pb and Sm-Nd isotope ages defined the range for UPB complexes between 540 and 425 Ma. Geochronological data for dunite remains scarce being restricted to the Kytlym dunite block (Bea et al. 2001). To fill this gap, we present the first results of uranium-lead ages for 10 grains of zircon, which were extracted by conventional techniques from course-grained dunite sampled at Alexandrovsky Log in the central part of the Nizhny Tagil massif. Most of zircons are subeuhedral, prismatic (80-170 microns long), with an elongation between 1.3 and 1.6, and oscillatory zoning characteristic of igneous rocks. Majority of zircons yield secondary inclusions; some grains show tracers of subdivision and recrystallization, whereas several grains are characterized by curved external counters pointing to specific condition of their evolution. U-Pb analyses were performed with secondary ion mass spectrometer SHRIMP II at VSEGEI, following the procedure described by Williams (1998). Concentrations of U vary from 34 to 520 ppm, Th from 18 to 358 ppm. Three age clusters have been determined. Two subordinate groups are characterized by concordant ages of 585±29 Ma (MSWD=1.07, probability (P) =0.30) and 1608±56 Ma (MSWD=0.07, P=0.79), whereas the main data set cluster around 2781±56 Ma. We assume, therefore, that the Late Archean age testifies the timing of dunite generation in subcontinental mantle, whereas the "youngest" U-Pb age might be linked with timing of formation

  10. Long-term preservation of early formed mantle heterogeneity by mobile lid convection: Importance of grainsize evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Bradford J.; Rizo, Hanika

    2017-10-01

    The style of tectonics on the Hadean and Archean Earth, particularly whether plate tectonics was in operation or not, is debated. One important, albeit indirect, constraint on early Earth tectonics comes from observations of early-formed geochemical heterogeneities: 142Nd and 182W anomalies recorded in Hadean to Phanerozoic rocks from different localities indicate that chemically heterogeneous reservoirs, formed during the first ∼500 Myrs of Earth's history, survived their remixing into the mantle for over 1 Gyrs. Such a long mixing time is difficult to explain because hotter mantle temperatures, expected for the early Earth, act to lower mantle viscosity and increase convective vigor. Previous studies found that mobile lid convection typically erases heterogeneity within ∼100 Myrs under such conditions, leading to the hypothesis that stagnant lid convection on the early Earth was responsible for the observed long mixing times. However, using two-dimensional Cartesian convection models that include grainsize evolution, we find that mobile lid convection can preserve heterogeneity at high mantle temperature conditions for much longer than previously thought, because higher mantle temperatures lead to larger grainsizes in the lithosphere. These larger grainsizes result in stronger plate boundaries that act to slow down surface and interior convective motions, in competition with the direct effect temperature has on mantle viscosity. Our models indicate that mobile lid convection can preserve heterogeneity for ≈0.4-1 Gyrs at early Earth mantle temperatures when the initial heterogeneity has the same viscosity as the background mantle, and ≈1-4 Gyrs when the heterogeneity is ten times more viscous than the background mantle. Thus, stagnant lid convection is not required to explain long-term survival of early formed geochemical heterogeneities, though these heterogeneities having an elevated viscosity compared to the surrounding mantle may be essential for their

  11. Pellet microfossils: Possible evidence for metazoan life in Early Proterozoic time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, E I; Porter, K G; Haberyan, K A

    1985-09-01

    Microfossils resembling fecal pellets occur in acid-resistant residues and thin sections of Middle Cambrian to Early Proterozoic shale. The cylindrical microfossils average 50 x 110 mum and are the size and shape of fecal pellets produced by microscopic animals today. Pellets occur in dark gray and black rocks that were deposited in the facies that also preserves sulfide minerals and that represent environments analogous to those that preserve fecal pellets today. Rocks containing pellets and algal microfossils range in age from 0.53 to 1.9 gigayears (Gyr) and include Burgess Shale, Greyson and Newland Formations, Rove Formation, and Gunflint Iron-Formation. Similar rock types of Archean age, ranging from 2.68 to 3.8 Gyr, were barren of pellets. If the Proterozoic microfossils are fossilized fecal pellets, they provide evidence of metazoan life and a complex food chain at 1.9 Gyr ago. This occurrence predates macroscopic metazoan body fossils in the Ediacaran System at 0.67 Gyr, animal trace fossils from 0.9 to 1.3 Gyr, and fossils of unicellular eukaryotic plankton at 1.4 Gyr.

  12. What Everyone Should Know about Archeans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeland, Peter

    2013-01-01

    For many years biologists supposed that one group of microorganisms, which they called archaebacteria, were an ancient and primitive type of bacteria. Following biochemical analysis of their RNA and other cell components, it soon became clear that their distinct features merited classification in a separate domain, the archea. From an evolutionary…

  13. Autism: Why Act Early?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... What's this? Submit Button Past Emails CDC Features Autism: Why Act Early? Language: English Español (Spanish) Recommend ... helped the world make sense." Florida teenager with Autism Spectrum Disorder "Because my parents acted early, I ...

  14. Cancer treatment -- early menopause

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000912.htm Cancer treatment - early menopause To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Certain types of cancer treatments can cause women to have early menopause. This ...

  15. Overview of Early Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... infant or toddler for early intervention (e.g., Down syndrome, Fragile X syndrome). Determining eligibility | The results of the evaluation will be used to determine your child’s eligibility for early intervention services. You and a ...

  16. Early Retirement Programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everett, Peter W.

    1984-01-01

    Early retirement programs offer individuals an alternative to the work ethic while allowing them to maintain job security. Examples are given of several early, partial, and phased retirement programs currently being used in universities and public school systems. (DF)

  17. Microbes, Mineral Evolution, and the Rise of Microcontinents-Origin and Coevolution of Life with Early Earth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosch, Eugene G; Hazen, Robert M

    2015-10-01

    Earth is the most mineralogically diverse planet in our solar system, the direct consequence of a coevolving geosphere and biosphere. We consider the possibility that a microbial biosphere originated and thrived in the early Hadean-Archean Earth subseafloor environment, with fundamental consequences for the complex evolution and habitability of our planet. In this hypothesis paper, we explore possible venues for the origin of life and the direct consequences of microbially mediated, low-temperature hydrothermal alteration of the early oceanic lithosphere. We hypothesize that subsurface fluid-rock-microbe interactions resulted in more efficient hydration of the early oceanic crust, which in turn promoted bulk melting to produce the first evolved fragments of felsic crust. These evolved magmas most likely included sialic or tonalitic sheets, felsic volcaniclastics, and minor rhyolitic intrusions emplaced in an Iceland-type extensional setting as the earliest microcontinents. With the further development of proto-tectonic processes, these buoyant felsic crustal fragments formed the nucleus of intra-oceanic tonalite-trondhjemite-granitoid (TTG) island arcs. Thus microbes, by facilitating extensive hydrothermal alteration of the earliest oceanic crust through bioalteration, promoted mineral diversification and may have been early architects of surface environments and microcontinents on young Earth. We explore how the possible onset of subseafloor fluid-rock-microbe interactions on early Earth accelerated metavolcanic clay mineral formation, crustal melting, and subsequent metamorphic mineral evolution. We also consider environmental factors supporting this earliest step in geosphere-biosphere coevolution and the implications for habitability and mineral evolution on other rocky planets, such as Mars.

  18. Biological Effects of the Great Oxidation Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J.

    2012-12-01

    Fossil evidence of photoautotrophy, documented in Precambrian sediments by stromatolites, stromatolitic microfossils, and carbon isotopic data consistent with autotrophic CO2-fixation, extends to ~3,500 Ma. Such data, however, are insufficient to establish the time of origin of O2-producing (cyanobacterial) photosynthesis from its anoxygenic, photosynthetic bacterial, evolutionary precursor. The oldest (Paleoarchean) stromatolites may have been formed by anoxygenic photoautotrophs, rather than the cyanobacteria that dominate Proterozoic and modern stromatolites. Unlike the cyanobacteria of Proterozoic microbial assemblages, the filamentous and coccoidal microfossils of Archean deposits may represent remnants of non-O2-producing prokaryotes. And although the chemistry of Archean organic matter shows it to be biogenic, its carbon isotopic composition is insufficient to differentiate between oxygenic and anoxygenic sources. Though it is well established that Earth's ecosystem has been based on autotrophy since its early stages and that O2-producing photosynthesis evolved earlier, perhaps much earlier, than the increase of atmospheric oxygen in the ~2,450 and ~2,320 Ma Great Oxidation Event (GOE), the time of origin of oxygenic photoautotrophy has yet to be established. Recent findings suggest that Earth's ecosystem responded more or less immediately to the GOE. The increase of atmospheric oxygen markedly affected ocean water chemistry, most notably by increasing the availability of biologically usable oxygen (which enabled the development of obligate aerobes, such as eukaryotes), and of nitrate, sulfate and hydrogen sulfide (the increase of H2S being a result of microbial reduction of sulfate), the three reactants that power the anaerobic basis of sulfur-cycling microbial sulfuretums. Fossil evidence of the earliest eukaryotes (widely accepted to date from ~1800 Ma and, arguably, ~2200 Ma) fit this scenario, but the most telling example of life's response to the GOE

  19. Towards a palaeoecological model of the Mesoproterozoic Taoudeni Basin, Mauritania, Northwestern Africa: implications for early eukaryote evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beghin, Jérémie; Guilbaud, Romain; Poulton, Simon W.; Gueneli, Nur; Brocks, Jochen J.; Storme, Jean-Yves; Blanpied, Christian; Javaux, Emmanuelle J.

    2016-04-01

    The mid-Proterozoic rock record preserves a relatively moderate diversity of early eukaryotes, despite the early evolution of fundamental features of the eukaryotic cell. Common hypotheses involve the redox state of stratified oceans with oxic shallow waters, euxinic mid-depth waters, and anoxic and ferruginous deep waters during this time period. Mid-Proterozoic eukaryotes would have found suitable ecological niches in estuarine, fluvio-deltaic and coastal shallow marine environments near nutrient sources, while N2-fixing photoautotrophs bacteria would have been better competitors than eukaryotic algae in nutrient-poor niches. Here, we present the first palaeoecological model of the late Mesoproterozoic Taoudeni Basin, Mauritania, Northwestern Africa. Previous palaeontological studies in the basin reported stromatolites, a low diversity of microfossils - including one species of presumed eukaryotes: verrucae-bearing acritarch - and biomarkers of anoxygenic phototrophic purple and green sulfur bacteria, cyanobacteria and microaerophilic methanotrophs. However, no biomarkers diagnostic for crown group eukaryotes were reported so far. In addition to exceptionally well preserved microbial mats showing chain-like aggregates of pyrite grains, we observed a total of sixty-two morphotaxa including nine presumed prokaryotes, thirty-five possible prokaryotes or eukaryotes, fifteen unambiguous species of eukaryotes - ornamented and process-bearing acritarchs, multicellular morphotaxon, putative VSMs, large budding vesicles, and vesicles with a sophisticated excystment structure: the pylome - and three remains of structured kerogen. Here, we combined the geological context (sedimentological features and lithofacies), iron speciation (n = 156) - with the aim of reconstructing palaeoredox environmental conditions -, and microfossils quantitative analysis (n = 61). Sediments were deposited under shallow waters in pericratonic (western basin) and epicratonic (eastern basin

  20. Isotopic composition of low-latitude paleoprecipitation during the Early Cretaceous

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, M.B.; Gonzalez, Luis A.; Ludvigson, Greg A.; Vega, F.J.; Alvarado-Ortega, J.

    2009-01-01

    The response of the hydrologic cycle in global greenhouse conditions is important to our understanding of future climate change and to the calibration of global climate models. Past greenhouse conditions, such as those of the Cretaceous, can be used to provide empirical data with which to evaluate climate models. Recent empirical studies have utilized pedogenic carbonates to estimate the isotopic composition of meteoric waters and calculate precipitation rates for the AptianAlbian. These studies were limited to data from mid(35??N) to high (75??N) paleolatitudes, and thus future improvements in accuracy will require more estimates of meteoric water compositions from numerous localities around the globe. This study provides data for tropical latitudes (18.5??N paleolatitude) from the Tlayua Formation, Puebla, Mexico. In addition, the study confirms a shallow nearshore depositional environment for the Tlayua Formation. Petrographic observations of fenestral fabrics, gypsum crystal molds, stromatolitic structures, and pedogenic matrix birefringence fabric support the interpretation that the strata represent deposition in a tidal flat environment. Carbonate isotopic data from limestones of the Tlayua Formation provide evidence of early meteoric diagenesis in the form of meteoric calcite lines. These trends in ??18O versus ??13C were used to calculate the mean ??18O value of meteoric water, which is estimated at -5.46 ?? 0.56??? (Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water [VSMOW]). Positive linear covariant trends in oxygen and carbon isotopic values from some horizons were used to estimate evaporative losses of vadose groundwater from tropical exposure surfaces during the Albian, and the resulting values range from 8% to 12%. However, the presence of evaporative mineral molds indicates more extensive evaporation. The added tropical data improve latitudinal coverage of paleoprecipitation ??18O estimates. The data presented here imply that earlier isotope mass balance models most

  1. Earth's early fossil record: Why not look for similar fossils on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awramik, Stanley M.

    1989-01-01

    The oldest evidence of life on Earth is discussed with attention being given to the structure and formation of stromatolites and microfossils. Fossilization of microbes in calcium carbonate or chert media is discussed. In searching for fossil remains on Mars, some lessons learned from the study of Earth's earliest fossil record can be applied. Certain sedimentary rock types and sedimentary rock configurations should be targeted for investigation and returned by the Martian rover and ultimately by human explorers. Domical, columnar to wavy laminated stratiform sedimentary rocks that resemble stromatolites should be actively sought. Limestone, other carbonates, and chert are the favored lithology. Being macroscopic, stromatolites might be recognized by an intelligent unmanned rover. In addition, black, waxy chert with conchoidal fracture should be sought. Chert is by far the preferred lithology for the preservation of microbes and chemical fossils. Even under optimal geological conditions (little or no metamorphism or tectonic alteration, excellent outcrops, and good black chert) and using experienced field biogeologists, the chances of finding well preserved microbial remains in chert are very low.

  2. The performance of field scientists undertaking observations of early life fossils while in simulated space suit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willson, D.; Rask, J. C.; George, S. C.; de Leon, P.; Bonaccorsi, R.; Blank, J.; Slocombe, J.; Silburn, K.; Steele, H.; Gargarno, M.; McKay, C. P.

    2014-01-01

    We conducted simulated Apollo Extravehicular Activity's (EVA) at the 3.45 Ga Australian 'Pilbara Dawn of life' (Western Australia) trail with field and non-field scientists using the University of North Dakota's NDX-1 pressurizable space suit to overview the effectiveness of scientist astronauts employing their field observation skills while looking for stromatolite fossil evidence. Off-world scientist astronauts will be faced with space suit limitations in vision, human sense perception, mobility, dexterity, the space suit fit, time limitations, and the psychological fear of death from accidents, causing physical fatigue reducing field science performance. Finding evidence of visible biosignatures for past life such as stromatolite fossils, on Mars, is a very significant discovery. Our preliminary overview trials showed that when in simulated EVAs, 25% stromatolite fossil evidence is missed with more incorrect identifications compared to ground truth surveys but providing quality characterization descriptions becomes less affected by simulated EVA limitations as the science importance of the features increases. Field scientists focused more on capturing high value characterization detail from the rock features whereas non-field scientists focused more on finding many features. We identified technologies and training to improve off-world field science performance. The data collected is also useful for NASA's "EVA performance and crew health" research program requirements but further work will be required to confirm the conclusions.

  3. Optimizing Early Retirement Decisions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    the military. The U.S. Army’s early retirement program is a temporary one designed to allow some soldiers to leave the service prior to 20 years of...whether it makes financial sense for an officer to select early retirement . A spreadsheet formulation is developed and used to indicate if and when...an officer should select early retirement . The program investigates the decision that various civilian salary levels and various assumed discount rates.

  4. Spherule Beds 3.47-3.24 Billion Years Old in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Record of Large Meteorite Impacts and Their Influence on Early Crustal and Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexander

    2003-01-01

    Four layers, S1-S4, containing sand-sized spherical particles formed as a result of large meteorite impacts, occur in 3.47-3.24 Ga rocks of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ir levels in S3 and S4 locally equal or exceed chondritic values but in other sections are at or only slightly above background. Most spherules are inferred to have formed by condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds, although some may represent ballistically ejected liquid droplets. Extreme Ir abundances and heterogeneity may reflect element fractionation during spherule formation, hydraulic fractionation during deposition, and/or diagenetic and metasomatic processes. Deposition of S1, S2, and S3 was widely influenced by waves and/or currents interpreted to represent impact-generated tsunamis, and S1 and S2 show multiple graded layers indicating the passage of two or more wave trains. These tsunamis may have promoted mixing within a globally stratified ocean, enriching surface waters in nutrients for biological communities. S2 and S3 mark the transition from the 300-million-year-long Onverwacht stage of predominantly basaltic and komatiitic volcanism to the late orogenic stage of greenstone belt evolution, suggesting that regional and possibly global tectonic reorganization resulted from these large impacts. These beds provide the oldest known direct record of terrestrial impacts and an opportunity to explore their influence on early life, crust, ocean, and atmosphere. The apparent presence of impact clusters at 3.26-3.24 Ga and approx. 2.65-2.5 Ga suggests either spikes in impact rates during the Archean or that the entire Archean was characterized by terrestrial impact rates above those currently estimated from the lunar cratering record.

  5. Spherule Beds 3.47-3.24 Billion Years Old in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Record of Large Meteorite Impacts and Their Influence on Early Crustal and Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexander

    2003-01-01

    Four layers, S1-S4, containing sand-sized spherical particles formed as a result of large meteorite impacts, occur in 3.47-3.24 Ga rocks of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Ir levels in S3 and S4 locally equal or exceed chondritic values but in other sections are at or only slightly above background. Most spherules are inferred to have formed by condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds, although some may represent ballistically ejected liquid droplets. Extreme Ir abundances and heterogeneity may reflect element fractionation during spherule formation, hydraulic fractionation during deposition, and/or diagenetic and metasomatic processes. Deposition of S1, S2, and S3 was widely influenced by waves and/or currents interpreted to represent impact-generated tsunamis, and S1 and S2 show multiple graded layers indicating the passage of two or more wave trains. These tsunamis may have promoted mixing within a globally stratified ocean, enriching surface waters in nutrients for biological communities. S2 and S3 mark the transition from the 300-million-year-long Onverwacht stage of predominantly basaltic and komatiitic volcanism to the late orogenic stage of greenstone belt evolution, suggesting that regional and possibly global tectonic reorganization resulted from these large impacts. These beds provide the oldest known direct record of terrestrial impacts and an opportunity to explore their influence on early life, crust, ocean, and atmosphere. The apparent presence of impact clusters at 3.26-3.24 Ga and approx. 2.65-2.5 Ga suggests either spikes in impact rates during the Archean or that the entire Archean was characterized by terrestrial impact rates above those currently estimated from the lunar cratering record.

  6. An in situ zircon Hf isotopic,U-Pb age and trace element study of banded granulite xenolith from Hannuoba basalt:Tracking the early evolution of the lower crust in the North China craton

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENG Jianping; LU Fengxiang; YU Chunmei; TANG Huayun

    2004-01-01

    Backscattered electron images, in situ Hf isotopes, U-Pb ages and trace elements of zircons in a banded granulite xenolith from Hannuoba basalt have been studied. The results show that the banded granulite is a sample derived from the early lower crust of the North China craton. It is difficult to explain the petrogenesis of the xenolith with a single process. Abundant information on several processes, however, is contained in the granulite. These processes include the addition of mantle material, crustal remelting, metamorphic differentiation and the delamination of early lower crust. About 80% of zircons studied yield ages of 1842±40 Ma, except few ages of 3097-2824 Ma and 2489-2447 Ma. The zircons with ages older than 2447 Ma have high εHf (up to +18.3) and high Hf model age (2.5-2.6 Ga), indicating that the primitive materials of the granulite were derived mainly from a depleted mantle source in late Archean. Most εHf of the zircons with early Proterozoic U-Pb age vary around zero, but two have high εHf up to +9.2-+10.2, indicating mantle contribution during the collision and assembly between the Eastern and Western blocks in the early Proterozoic that resulted in the amalgamation of the North China craton.

  7. Early College High Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dessoff, Alan

    2011-01-01

    For at-risk students who stand little chance of going to college, or even finishing high school, a growing number of districts have found a solution: Give them an early start in college while they still are in high school. The early college high school (ECHS) movement that began with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 10 years ago…

  8. Early Retirement Payoff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Maria D.; Lovenheim, Michael F.

    2014-01-01

    As public budgets have grown tighter over the past decade, states and school districts have sought ways to control the growth of spending. One increasingly common strategy employed to rein in costs is to offer experienced teachers with high salaries financial incentives to retire early. Although early retirement incentive (ERI) programs have been…

  9. Early Earth melt production in a subduction zone, a petrological model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magni, V.; Bouilhol, P.; Van Hunen, J.; Moyen, J.

    2013-12-01

    A large part of the Archean continental crust is made of a composite rock assemblage dominated by granitoids belonging to the TTG series (tonalite-trondhejmeite-granodiorite). The modus operandi of this sodic granitoids still disputed. If the modern processes leading to continental crust formation at convergent margins are well constrained, the extrapolation to early Earth conditions is hazardous, because the composition of Earth's early crust can be achieved through several processes. However, an 'arc' signature seems to be present in TTGs, suggesting a formation of continental crust in subduction zone settings. Moreover, they show strong similarities with modern adakites, which are thought to be formed by melting of the oceanic subducting crust. We present the results of a study where numerical models of subduction are integrated with a thermodynamic database. Our goal is to investigate under which conditions slab melting can be achieved if at all. We particularly focus our attention on the fate of water, since it is a component that is essential to the formation of TTG series, independently of the petrogenetical scenario preferred. The amount and composition of water bearing fluids in a subduction zone is controlled by slab devolatilization, and influence both the melting regime and the melt composition. Our reference model of an early Earth regime, with a high mantle potential temperature, show that the slab dehydrates early, ending up being composed of a dry eclogites. Importantly, our models show that dehydration melting is not achieved in the slab crust; yet, water-present melting of the 'dry' eclogites can be achieved if a dehydration reaction occurs in the deeper portion of the slab, fuelling the melting reaction with water. Moreover, the dehydration reactions that occurred within the slab are able to metasomatize the overlying mantle wedge, forming hydrated peridotites, that becomes a melt source when dragged down by corner-flow. Our results show the

  10. Early Option Exercise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heje Pedersen, Lasse; Jensen, Mads Vestergaard

    A classic result by Merton (1973) is that, except just before expiration or dividend payments, one should never exercise a call option and never convert a convertible bond. We show theoretically that this result is overturned when investors face frictions. Early option exercise can be optimal when...... it reduces short-sale costs, transaction costs, or funding costs. We provide consistent empirical evidence, documenting billions of dollars of early exercise for options and convertible bonds using unique data on actual exercise decisions and frictions. Our model can explain as much as 98% of early exercises...

  11. Early Option Exercise

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Mads Vestergaard; Heje Pedersen, Lasse

    2016-01-01

    A classic result by Merton (1973) is that, except just before expiration or dividend payments, one should never exercise a call option and never convert a convertible bond. We show theoretically that this result is overturned when investors face frictions. Early option exercise can be optimal when...... it reduces short-sale costs, transaction costs, or funding costs. We provide consistent empirical evidence, documenting billions of dollars of early exercise for options and convertible bonds using unique data on actual exercise decisions and frictions. Our model can explain as much as 98% of early exercises...

  12. Early Head Start Evaluation

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Longitudinal information from an evaluation where children were randomly assigned to Early Head Start or community services as usual;direct assessments and...

  13. Earth's early biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, D. J.

    1998-01-01

    Understanding our own early biosphere is essential to our search for life elsewhere, because life arose on Earth very early and rocky planets shared similar early histories. The biosphere arose before 3.8 Ga ago, was exclusively unicellular and was dominated by hyperthermophiles that utilized chemical sources of energy and employed a range of metabolic pathways for CO2 assimilation. Photosynthesis also arose very early. Oxygenic photosynthesis arose later but still prior to 2.7 Ga. The transition toward the modern global environment was paced by a decline in volcanic and hydrothermal activity. These developments allowed atmospheric O2 levels to increase. The O2 increase created new niches for aerobic life, most notably the more advanced Eukarya that eventually spawned the megascopic fauna and flora of our modern biosphere.

  14. (Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education)?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    denise

    Second, I must stress the immensely precious and ..... 'useless' subjects such as emotions, sensitivity, .... a range of different sociological fields including early childhood, gender, .... The origins of intelligence in children (M. Cook, Trans.).

  15. Biogeochemistry: Early phosphorus redigested

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulton, Simon W.

    2017-02-01

    Atmospheric oxygen was maintained at low levels throughout huge swathes of Earth's early history. Estimates of phosphorus availability through time suggest that scavenging from anoxic, iron-rich oceans stabilized this low-oxygen world.

  16. Embracing early literacy indicators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Broström, Stig; Hansen, Ole Henrik; Jensen, Anders Skriver

    2010-01-01

    Abstract til paper om early literacy indikatorer. Det paper abstractet er knyttet til var en del af et inviteret, selvorganiseret symposium som afrapporterede EASE-projektet (www.ease-eu.com) på OMEP's 26. verdenskongres....

  17. Early Prediction of Preeclampsia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leona C. Poon

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Effective screening for the development of early onset preeclampsia (PE can be provided in the first-trimester of pregnancy. Screening by a combination of maternal risk factors, uterine artery Doppler, mean arterial pressure, maternal serum pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A, and placental growth factor can identify about 95% of cases of early onset PE for a false-positive rate of 10%.

  18. Early Mover Advantages

    OpenAIRE

    Bijwaard, Govert; Janssen, Maarten; Maasland, Emiel

    2005-01-01

    This paper analyzes empirically whether and if so to what extent later entrants in the European mobile telephony industry have a disadvantage vis-à-vis incumbents and early mover entrants. To analyze this question a dynamic model of market share development and a series of static models are considered. There is clear evidence of early mover advantage, mainly caused by the influence of the penetration rate: it pays to enter when still few people have acquired a mobile telephone. Another import...

  19. Early childhood aggression

    OpenAIRE

    Alink, Lenneke Rosalie Agnes

    2006-01-01

    In this thesis the development, stability, and correlates of early childhood aggression were investigated. The normative development was examined in a general population sample using questionnaires completed by the parents of 12-, 24-, and 36-month-old children and again one year later. Results showed an early childhood aggression curve, with increasing rates of aggression in the second year of life and decreasing rates in the fourth year. One-year stabilities were moderate for 12-month-olds ...

  20. How early is early dark energy?

    CERN Document Server

    Pettorino, Valeria; Wetterich, Christof

    2013-01-01

    We investigate constraints on early dark energy (EDE) from the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) anisotropy, taking into account data from WMAP9 combined with latest small scale measurements from the South Pole Telescope (SPT). For a constant EDE fraction we propose a new parametrization with one less parameter but still enough to provide similar results to the ones previously studied in literature. The main emphasis of our analysis, however, compares a new set of different EDE parametrizations that reveal how CMB constraints depend on the redshift epoch at which Dark Energy was non negligible. We find that bounds on EDE get substantially weaker if dark energy starts to be non-negligible later, with early dark energy fraction Omega_e free to go up to about 5% at 2 sigma if the onset of EDE happens at z < 100. Tight bounds around 1-2% are obtained whenever dark energy is present at last scattering, even if its effects switch off afterwards. We show that the CMB mainly constrains the presence of Dark Energy ...

  1. Ultramafic Terranes and Associated Springs as Analogs for Mars and Early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David; Schulte, Mitch; Cullings, Ken; DeVincezi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Putative extinct or extant Martian organisms, like their terrestrial counterparts, must adopt metabolic strategies based on the environments in which they live. In order for organisms to derive metabolic energy from the natural environment (Martian or terrestrial), a state of thermodynamic disequilibrium must exist. The most widespread environment of chemical disequilibrium on present-day Earth results from the interaction of mafic rocks of the ocean crust with liquid water. Such environments were even more pervasive and important on the Archean Earth due to increased geothermal heat flow and the absence of widespread continental crust formation. The composition of the lower crust and upper mantle of the Earth is essentially the-same as that of Mars, and the early histories of these two planets are similar. It follows that a knowledge of the mineralogy, water-rock chemistry and microbial ecology of Earth's oceanic crust could be of great value in devising a search strategy for evidence of past or present life on Mars. In some tectonic regimes, cross-sections of lower oceanic crust and upper mantle are exposed on land as so-called "ophiolite suites." Such is the case in the state of California (USA) as a result of its location adjacent to active plate margins. These mafic and ultramafic rocks contain numerous springs that offer an easily accessible field laboratory for studying water/rock interactions and the microbial communities that are supported by the resulting geochemical energy. A preliminary screen of Archaean biodiversity was conducted in a cold spring located in a presently serpentinizing ultramafic terrane. PCR and phylogenetic analysis of partial 16s rRNA, sequences were performed on water and sediment samples. Archaea of recent phylogenetic origin were detected with sequences nearly identical to those of organisms living in ultra-high pH lakes of Africa.

  2. Dynamic oxygenation of the early atmosphere and oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Timothy W.; Planavsky, Noah J.; Reinhard, Christopher T.

    2014-05-01

    The traditional view of the oxygenation of the early atmosphere and oceans depicts irreversibly rising abundances in two large steps: one at the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) ca. 2.3-2.4 billion years ago (Ga) and another near the end of the Neoproterozoic. This talk will explore how the latest data challenge this paradigm. Recent results reveal a far more dynamic history of early oxygenation, one with both rising and falling levels, long periods of sustained low concentrations even after the GOE, complex feedback relationships that likely coupled nutrients and ocean redox, and dramatic changes tied through still-emerging cause-and-effect relationships to first-order tectonic, climatic, and evolutionary events. In the face of increasing doubt about the robustness of organic biomarker records from the Archean, researchers are increasingly reliant on inorganic geochemical proxies for the earliest records of oxygenic photosynthesis. Proxy data now suggest oxygenesis at ca. 3.0 Ga with a likelihood of local oxygen build up in the surface ocean long before the GOE, as well as low (and perhaps transient) accumulation in the atmosphere against a backdrop of mostly less than ca. 0.001% of the present atmospheric concentration. By the GOE, the balance between oxygen sources and sinks shifted in favor of persistent accumulation, although sedimentary recycling of non-mass-dependent sulfur isotope signatures allows for the possibility of rising and falling atmospheric oxygen before the GOE as traditionally defined by the sulfur isotope record. Recycling may also hinder our ability to precisely date the transition to permanent oxygen accumulation beyond trace levels. Diverse data point to a dramatic increase in biospheric oxygen following the GOE, coincident with the largest positive carbon isotope excursion in Earth history, followed by an equally dramatic drop. This decline in Earth surface redox potential ushered in more than a billion years of dominantly low oxygen levels in

  3. The impact of solar UV radiation on the early biosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horneck, G.

    2007-08-01

    Stratospheric ozone, photochemically produced from atmospheric oxygen, is a protective filter of the Earth's atmosphere by absorbing most of the biologically harmful UV radiation of our sun in the UV-C (190-280 nm) and short wavelength-region of the UV-B (280-315 nm). Numerous lines of isotopic and geologic evidence suggest that the Archean atmosphere was essentially anoxic. As a result the column abundance of ozone would have been insufficient to affect the surface UV radiation environment. Thus, as well as UV-B radiation, UV-C radiation would have penetrated to the Earth's surface with its associated biological consequences. The history of this ultraviolet stress for the early Earth has been determined from theoretical data and data obtained in Earth orbit on the inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores under a simulated ozone layer of different thicknesses. Although the UV-C and UV-B regions contribute only 2 % of the entire solar extraterrestrial irradiance, photobiological experiments in space have demonstrated a high mutagenicity and lethality of this UV range to living organisms. The reason for these severe effects of extraterrestrial solar UV radiation - compared to conditions on present-day Earth - lies in the absorption characteristics of the DNA, which is the decisive target for inactivation and mutation induction at this UV range. Being a strong mutagen, UV-radiation is considered as a powerful promoter of biological evolution on the one hand, one the other hand, it may have deleterious consequences to individual cells and organisms, e.g. by causing inactivation, mutations or cancer induction. In response to potential harmful effects of environmental UV radiation, life on Earth has developed several strategies of survival, either avoiding exposure to UV radiation or restoring UV damage. Mechanisms of avoidance of exposure to UV radiation include (i) moving away from the UV radiation into shadowed areas, which requires the development of UV radiation

  4. Early bile duct cancer

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jae Myung Cha; Myung-Hwan Kim; Se Jin Jang

    2007-01-01

    Bile duct cancers are frequently diagnosed as advanced diseases. Over half of patients with advanced bile duct cancer present with unresectable malignancies and their prognosis has been very poor even after curative resections. Although there has been a need to diagnose bile duct cancer at its early stage, it has been a difficult goal to achieve due to our lack of knowledge regarding this disease entity. Early bile duct cancer may be defined as a carcinoma whose invasion is confined within the fibromuscular layer of the extrahepatic bile duct or intrahepatic large bile duct without distant metastasis irrespective of lymph node involvement. Approximately 3%-10% of resected bile duct cancers have been reported to be early cancers in the literature. The clinicopathological features of patients with early bile duct cancer differ from those of patients with advanced bile duct cancer, with more frequent asymptomatic presentation, characteristic histopathological findings,and excellent prognosis. This manuscript is organized to emphasize the need for convening an international consensus to develop the concept of early bile duct cancer.

  5. Early diagnosis of early stage lung cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrej Debeljak

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: For the detection of premalignant changes of bronchial mucosa and early stages of lung cancer frequent chest X-ray, spiral low dose computed tomography, fluorescence bronchoscopy, sputum cytology (also with automated systems with genetic and molecular changes in the sputum cells and bronchial mucosa were used. These screening methods of the high-risk groups for lung cancer achieved: earlier diagnosis of lung cancer in lower stage, higher operability, longer 5-year survival, but without mortality reduction.Conclusions: In the clinical practice we can examine higher risk groups for lung cancer in randomised control trials with multimodality approach: frequent chest low-dose fast spiral computed tomography, sputum cytology with genetic and molecular examinations and fluorescence bronchoscopy. Smoking cessation remains the best means to achieve mortality reduction from lung cancer.

  6. Early Reionization in Cosmology

    CERN Document Server

    Durrer, R

    1993-01-01

    The cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropies have turned out to represent one of the most stringent 'bottle necks' for scenarios of large scale structure formation. As a possibility to relax this constraint, it has been proposed that early reionization can damp CMB fluctuations on small scales due to photon diffusion in the ionized plasma. As an example, I investigate the recently proposed scenario with cold dark matter (CDM) and texture seeds. There, an analysis of CMB anisotropies shows that early reionization is a crucial ingredient for this scenario. Without damping, the small scale anisotropies would dominate and exceed observed limits. In this paper I present analytical and numerical results for the amount of damping due to early reionization for CMB perturbations induced by a collapsing texture. Furthermore, the spectral distortion of the CMB due to Compton scattering of the hotter plasma electrons is calculated. Next I discuss the physical processes which lead to a system of coupled ordinary dif...

  7. Early detection of psychosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, T. K.; Melle, I.; Auestad, B.

    2011-01-01

    Background During the last decades we have seen a new focus on early treatment of psychosis. Several reviews have shown that duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) is correlated to better outcome. However, it is still unknown whether early treatment will lead to a better long-term outcome....... This study reports the effects of reducing DUP on 5-year course and outcome.Method During 1997â€"2000 a total of 281 consecutive patients aged >17 years with first episode non-affective psychosis were recruited, of which 192 participated in the 5-year follow-up. A comprehensive early detection (ED) programme...... with public information campaigns and low-threshold psychosis detection teams was established in one healthcare area (ED-area), but not in a comparable area (no-ED area). Both areas ran equivalent treatment programmes during the first 2 years and need-adapted treatment thereafter.Results At the start...

  8. Early Islamic Syria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Walmsley, Alan

    After more than a century of neglect, a profound revolution is occurring in the way archaeology addresses and interprets developments in the social history of early Islamic Syria-Palestine. This concise book offers an innovative assessment of social and economic developments in Syria...... for considerable cultural and economic continuity rather than devastation and unrelenting decline. Much new, and increasingly non-elite, architectural evidence and an ever-growing corpus of material culture indicate that Syria-Palestine entered a new age of social richness in the early Islamic period, even...

  9. Early life vaccination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nazerai, Loulieta; Bassi, Maria Rosaria; Uddbäck, Ida Elin Maria

    2016-01-01

    the first period of life and provide a pertinent alternative in infant vaccinology. To address this, infant mice were vaccinated with three different adenoviral vectors and the CD8+ T-cell response after early life vaccination was explored. We assessed the frequency, polyfunctionality and in vivo...... cytotoxicity of the elicited memory CD8+ T cells, as well as the potential of these cells to respond to secondary infections and confer protection. We further tested the impact of maternal immunity against our replication-deficient adenoviral vector during early life vaccination. Overall, our results indicate...

  10. U/Pb (SHRIMP), {sup 207}Pb/{sup 206}Pb, Rb/Sr, Sm/Nd e K/Ar geochronology of granite-greenstone terrains of Gaviao Block: implications for the Proterozoic and Archean evolution of Sao Francisco Craton, Brazil; Geocronologia U/Pb (SHRIMP), {sup 207}Pb/{sup 206}Pb, Rb/Sr, Sm/Nd e K/Ar dos terrenos granito-greenstone do Bloco do Gaviao: implicacoes para a evolucao arqueana e proterozoica do craton do Sao Francisco, Brasil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leal, Luiz Rogerio Bastos

    1998-07-01

    The Gaviao Block (GB) in the northern portion of the Sao Francisco Craton-Northeast of Brazil, constitutes one of the oldest Archean fragments of the South American Platform Archean crust. GB underwent several events of juvenile accretion and reworking of continental crust along its evolutionary history, notably between the Archean and the Paleoproterozoic. {sup 207}Pb/{sup 206}Pb isotopic analyses were carried out in two zircons populations from strongly migmatized TTG terranes found in the proximity of Brumado: the first population (7 crystals) is taken as representative of the crystallization period of the TTG terranes at 3300 {+-} 45 Ma; the second (2 crystals) represents the age of the first even of metamorphism/migmatization at 2910 {+-} 10 Ma. {sup 207} Pb/{sup 206} Pb analyses in zircons from an outcrop of non-migmatized TTG in the area yielded a 3202 {+-} 15 Ma age (4 crystals), interpreted to be the crystallization period of the gneiss protolith. Sm/Nd analyses on the TTG rocks of the Brumado region yielded T{sub DM} model ages varying between 3.26 and 3.36 Ga and {epsilon}{sub Nd}{sup (t)} between -3.5 and +0.7. These data suggest the occurrence of juvenile accretions to the continental crust during the Archean, with differential involvement of crustal materials. The geochemical data of rare earth elements corresponding to the TTG terranes revealed moderate LRRE contents (La{sub N}=83,5), low HREE contents (La{sub N}=2,5) and a fairly fractionated pattern (La/Yb){sub N}=34, besides lack of negative Eu anomaly, showing that these rocks have similar compositions to those TTG terranes of cratonic continents, as well as some Archean rocks from CSF (e.g. Sete Voltas, Boa Vista). Finally, the youngest ages present in GB rocks (ca. 1.2-0.45 Ga) represent the role played by tectono thermal events, which produced partial or total rejuvenation of the Rb/Sr and K/Ar isotopic systems during the Espinhaco and Brasiliano cycles. In particular, K/Ar ages illustrate the

  11. Early Cosmology Constrained

    CERN Document Server

    Verde, Licia; Pigozzo, Cassio; Heavens, Alan F; Jimenez, Raul

    2016-01-01

    We investigate our knowledge of early universe cosmology by exploring how much additional energy density can be placed in different components beyond those in the $\\Lambda$CDM model. To do this we use a method to separate early- and late-universe information enclosed in observational data, thus markedly reducing the model-dependency of the conclusions. We find that the 95\\% credibility regions for extra energy components of the early universe at recombination are: non-accelerating additional fluid density parameter $\\Omega_{\\rm MR} < 0.006$ and extra radiation parameterised as extra effective neutrino species $2.3 < N_{\\rm eff} < 3.2$ when imposing flatness. Our constraints thus show that even when analyzing the data in this largely model-independent way, the possibility of hiding extra energy components beyond $\\Lambda$CDM in the early universe is seriously constrained by current observations. We also find that the standard ruler, the sound horizon at radiation drag, can be well determined in a way ...

  12. Early Learning in CRESPAR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasik, Barbara A.; Karweit, Nancy; Bond, Mary Alice; Woodruff, Lannette Burns; Jaeger, Gary; Adee, Sarah

    2000-01-01

    Summarizes research conducted by the Early Learning Program during the first 5 years of operation of the Center for Research on the Education of Children Placed At Risk (CRESPAR). Describes two integrated areas of research: practices that promote the development of language and literacy skills and systemic issues of school policy and teacher…

  13. Introduction to "Early psychosis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McGorry, Patrick; Nordentoft, Merete; Simonsen, Erik

    2005-01-01

    warrants careful analysis. The Third International Early Psychosis Conference proved to be a watershed and was the largest and most vibrant meeting to that point. This preface aims to set the scene for a selection of contributions, derived from the array of new evidence reported in Copenhagen, and recently...

  14. Early childhood aggression

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alink, Lenneke Rosalie Agnes

    2006-01-01

    In this thesis the development, stability, and correlates of early childhood aggression were investigated. The normative development was examined in a general population sample using questionnaires completed by the parents of 12-, 24-, and 36-month-old children and again one year later. Results show

  15. Early Mover Advantages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G.E. Bijwaard (Govert); M.C.W. Janssen (Maarten); E. Maasland (Emiel)

    2004-01-01

    textabstractIn this paper we analyze empirically whether and if so to what extent later entrants in the European mobile telephony industry have a disadvantage vis-à-vis incumbents and early mover entrants. To analyze this question we consider a series of static models and a dynamic model of market s

  16. Teaching polymorphism early

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2005-01-01

    Is it possible to teach dynamic polymorphism early? What techniques could facilitate teaching it in Java. This panel will bring together people who have considered this question and attempted to implement it in various ways, some more completely than others. It will also give participants an oppo...

  17. Early Adolescent Ego Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Michael A.

    1980-01-01

    Presented are the theoretical characteristics of social identity in early adolescence (ages 10 to 15). It is suggested that no longer is identity thought to begin with adolescence, but may have its beginnings in the preteen years. The article draws heavily on Eriksonian concepts. (Editor/KC)

  18. Early Childhood Trauma

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Early childhood trauma generally refers to the traumatic experiences that occur to children aged 0-6. Because infants' and young children's reactions may be different from older children's, and because they may not be able to verbalize their reactions to threatening or dangerous events, many people assume that young age protects children from the…

  19. Early malignant syphilis*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortigosa, Yara Martins; Bendazzoli, Paulo Salomão; Barbosa, Angela Marques; Ortigosa, Luciena Cegatto Martins

    2016-01-01

    Early malignant syphilis is a rare and severe variant of secondary syphilis. It is clinically characterized by lesions, which can suppurate and be accompanied by systemic symptoms such as high fever, asthenia, myalgia, and torpor state. We report a diabetic patient with characteristic features of the disease showing favorable evolution of the lesions after appropriate treatment. PMID:28300925

  20. Early Developments, 2002.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winton, Pam, Ed.; Buysse, Virginia, Ed.

    2002-01-01

    This document consists of the three 2002 issues of a journal reporting new research in early child development conducted by the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center (FPG) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Articles in the Winter 2002 issue highlight some current work at FPG on factors that enhance or inhibit social and…

  1. Creativity: The Early Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shade, Rick; Shade, Patti Garrett

    2016-01-01

    There is a myth that some people are creative and others are not. However, all children are born creative. They love to explore, ask questions, and are incredibly imaginative. Parents are key in nurturing their child's creativity in the early years. This article offers resources and strategies parents can use at different ages and stages (newborn,…

  2. Music in Early Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feierabend, John

    1990-01-01

    Argues that music activities in early childhood education foster a variety of developmental skills. Analyzes Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, contending that music intelligence is a separate intelligence. Provides ways to identify and promote musical intelligence. Suggests methods for encouraging musical development. Using songs…

  3. Teaching polymorphism early

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2005-01-01

    Is it possible to teach dynamic polymorphism early? What techniques could facilitate teaching it in Java. This panel will bring together people who have considered this question and attempted to implement it in various ways, some more completely than others. It will also give participants...

  4. The coupled 182W-142Nd record of early terrestrial mantle differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puchtel, Igor S.; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Touboul, Mathieu; Horan, Mary F.; Walker, Richard J.

    2016-06-01

    New Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, Hf-W, and Re-Os isotope data, in combination with highly siderophile element (HSE, including Re, Os, Ir, Ru, Pt, and Pd) and W abundances, are reported for the 3.55 Ga Schapenburg komatiites, South Africa. The Schapenburg komatiites define a Re-Os isochron with an age of 3550 ± 87 Ma and initial γ187Os = +3.7 ± 0.2 (2SD). The absolute HSE abundances in the mantle source of the Schapenburg komatiite system are estimated to be only 29 ± 5% of those in the present-day bulk silicate Earth (BSE). The komatiites were derived from mantle enriched in the decay products of the long-lived 147Sm and 176Lu nuclides (initial ɛ143Nd = +2.4 ± 0.1, ɛ176Hf = +5.7 ± 0.3, 2SD). By contrast, the komatiites are depleted, relative to the modern mantle, in 142Nd and 182W (μ182W = -8.4 ± 4.5, μ142Nd = -4.9 ± 2.8, 2SD). These results constitute the first observation in terrestrial rocks of coupled depletions in 142Nd and 182W. Such isotopic depletions require derivation of the komatiites from a mantle domain that formed within the first ˜30 Ma of Solar System history and was initially geochemically enriched in highly incompatible trace elements as a result of crystal-liquid fractionation in an early magma ocean. This mantle domain further must have experienced subsequent melt depletion, after 182Hf had gone extinct, to account for the observed initial excesses in 143Nd and 176Hf. The survival of early-formed 182W and 142Nd anomalies in the mantle until at least 3.55 Ga indicates that the products of early planetary differentiation survived both later planetary accretion and convective mantle mixing during the Hadean. This work moreover renders unlikely that variable late accretion, by itself, can account for all of the observed W isotope variations in Archean rocks.

  5. Sulfur Isotopic Fractionation During Vacuum Ultraviolet Photolysis of SO2: Implication for Meteorites and Early Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakraborty, S.; Jackson, T. L.; Rude, B.; Ahmed, M.; Thiemens, M. H.

    2016-12-01

    Several sulfur bearing gas phase species existed in the solar nebula, including H2S, SO2, SiS, OCS, CS2, CS, NS and SO as a consequence of multiple available chemical valence states (S2- to S6+). Sulfur directly condensed into refractory phases in the solar nebula under reducing conditions. Mass independent (MI) sulfur isotopic compositions have been measured in chondrules and organics from chondritic meteorites. Large 33S excesses in sulfides from achondrite meteoritic groups have also been found suggesting that refractory sulfide minerals condensed from a nebular gas with an enhanced carbon to oxygen ratio. Photochemical reactions in the early solar nebula have been inferred to be a leading process in generating MI sulfur compositions. Previously, we have reported wavelength dependent mass-independent sulfur isotopic compositions (with a varying degree in D33S and D36S) in the product elemental sulfur during vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) photodissociation of H2S. Recently we performed photodissociation of SO2 experiments in the wavelength region 98 to 200 nm at low pressures (0.5 torr) using the VUV photons from the Advanced Light Source Synchrotron in a differentially pumped reaction chamber. To our knowledge, this is the first ever experiment to determine the isotopic fractionation in VUV photodissociation of SO2. At VUV energy region, SO2 is mostly predissociative. The measured sulfur isotopic compositions in the product elemental sulfur are MI and dependent on the wavelength. These new results support the previous finding from photodissociation of other di- and tri-atomic molecules (CO, N2, H2S) that predissociative photodissociation produces MI isotopic products and is a quantum mechanically driven selective phenomenon. These new results are useful because (i) they are important in interpreting meteoritic data and decipher sulfur chemistry in the early nebula which is indicative of the redox condition of the nebula (ii) SO2 photolysis in the atmosphere of early

  6. Habitat of early life: Solar X-ray and UV radiation at Earth's surface 4-3.5 billion years ago

    CERN Document Server

    Cnossen, I; Favata, F; Witasse, O; Zegers, T; Arnold, N F

    2007-01-01

    Solar X-ray and UV radiation (0.1-320 nm) received at Earth's surface is an important aspect of the circumstances under which life formed on Earth. The quantity that is received depends on two main variables: the emission of radiation by the young Sun and its extinction through absorption and scattering by the Earth's early atmosphere. The spectrum emitted by the Sun when life formed, between 4 and 3.5 Ga, was modeled here, including the effects of flares and activity cycles, using a solar-like star that has the same age now as the Sun had 4-3.5 Ga. Atmospheric extinction was calculated using the Beer-Lambert law, assuming several density profiles for the atmosphere of the Archean Earth. We found that almost all radiation with a wavelength shorter than 200 nm is attenuated effectively, even by very tenuous atmospheres. Longer-wavelength radiation is progressively less well attenuated, and its extinction is more sensitive to atmospheric composition. Minor atmospheric components, such as methane, ozone, water v...

  7. The Janus face of iron on anoxic worlds: iron oxides are both protective and destructive to life on the early Earth and present-day Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jennifer; Cockell, Charles S

    2017-05-01

    The surface of the early Earth was probably subjected to a higher flux of ultraviolet (UV) radiation than today. UV radiation is known to severely damage DNA and other key molecules of life. Using a liquid culture and a rock analogue system, we investigated the interplay of protective and deleterious effects of iron oxides under UV radiation on the viability of the model organism, Bacillus subtilis. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, there exists a fine balance between iron oxide's protective effects against this radiation and its deleterious effects caused by Photo-Fenton reactions. The maximum damage was caused by a concentration of hematite of ∼1 mg/mL. Concentrations above this confer increasing protection by physical blockage of the UV radiation, concentrations below this cause less effective UV radiation blockage, but also a correspondingly less effective Photo-Fenton reaction, providing an overall advantage. These results show that on anoxic worlds, surface habitability under a high UV flux leaves life precariously poised between the beneficial and deleterious effects of iron oxides. These results have relevance to the Archean Earth, but also the habitability of the Martian surface, where high levels of UV radiation in combination with iron oxides and hydrogen peroxide can be found. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Early Childhood Caries

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yumiko Kawashita

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Dental caries is one of the most common childhood diseases, and people continue to be susceptible to it throughout their lives. Although dental caries can be arrested and potentially even reversed in its early stages, it is often not self-limiting and progresses without proper care until the tooth is destroyed. Early childhood caries (ECC is often complicated by inappropriate feeding practices and heavy infection with mutans streptococci. Such children should be targeted with a professional preventive program that includes oral hygiene instructions for mothers or caregivers, along with fluoride and diet counseling. However, these strategies alone are not sufficient to prevent dental caries in high-risk children; prevention of ECC also requires addressing the socioeconomic factors that face many families in which ECC is endemic. The aim of this paper is to systematically review information about ECC and to describe why many children are suffering from dental caries.

  9. The Early Sarmatian Knight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yablonsky Leonid T.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available During the study of the Early Sarmatian burials in the burial mounds near Filippovka village (Ilek district, Orenburg oblast, a large quantity of weapons and accessories were found, which make it possible to reconstruct the military costume. All the armament items from the burial can be divided into two major groups: offensive and defensive. The former includes bows and arrows, slingshots, spears, stilettos and war hammers (“bec de corbin” type; the latter is represented by a helmet and two varieties of scaly armor, made of iron and bone or horn. The accessories of the military costume found include sword-belt buckles with zoomorphic images, as well as a torque and a bracelet, which apparently served as insignia. The reconstructed image of an elite Early Sarmatian warrior is somewhat similar to the appearance of a Western European knight, but the Sarmatian knight was about 2000 years older.

  10. Early life vaccination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nazerai, Loulieta; Bassi, Maria Rosaria; Uddbäck, Ida Elin Maria;

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular pathogens represent a serious threat during early life. Importantly, even though the immune system of newborns may be characterized as developmentally immature, with a propensity to develop Th2 immunity, significant CD8+ T-cell responses may still be elicited in the context of optimal...... priming. Replication deficient adenoviral vectors have been demonstrated to induce potent CD8+ T-cell response in mice, primates and humans. The aim of the present study was therefore to assess whether replication-deficient adenovectors could overcome the risk of overwhelming antigen stimulation during...... the first period of life and provide a pertinent alternative in infant vaccinology. To address this, infant mice were vaccinated with three different adenoviral vectors and the CD8+ T-cell response after early life vaccination was explored. We assessed the frequency, polyfunctionality and in vivo...

  11. Samuel Goudsmit - Early Influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goudsmit, Esther

    2010-03-01

    Samuel Goudsmit, born in 1902 in The Hague, Netherlands, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Leiden in 1926 with Paul Ehrenfest. The present talk will describe some aspects of his background and early formative years in order to provide context for the broad range of his professional life. Sam belonged to a large tribe of paternal and maternal uncles, aunts and first cousins; including his parents, grandparents and sister Ro, they numbered forty. Sam was the first of the tribe to be educated beyond high school. Early interests as a child and later as a university student in the Netherlands prefigured his significant and diverse contributions in several realms including not only physics but also teaching, Egyptology and scientific Intelligence. Bibliographic sources will include: The American Institute of Physics' Oral History Transcripts and photographs from the Emilio Segre visual archives, memoirs and conversations of those who knew Sam and also letters to his daughter, Esther.

  12. Early Permian bipedal reptile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, D S; Reisz, R R; Scott, D; Henrici, A C; Sumida, S S; Martens, T

    2000-11-03

    A 290-million-year-old reptilian skeleton from the Lower Permian (Asselian) of Germany provides evidence of abilities for cursorial bipedal locomotion, employing a parasagittal digitigrade posture. The skeleton is of a small bolosaurid, Eudibamus cursoris, gen. et sp. nov. and confirms the widespread distribution of Bolosauridae across Laurasia during this early stage of amniote evolution. E. cursoris is the oldest known representative of Parareptilia, a major clade of reptiles.

  13. Hands of early primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Doug M; Yapuncich, Gabriel S; Chester, Stephen G B; Bloch, Jonathan I; Godinot, Marc

    2013-12-01

    Questions surrounding the origin and early evolution of primates continue to be the subject of debate. Though anatomy of the skull and inferred dietary shifts are often the focus, detailed studies of postcrania and inferred locomotor capabilities can also provide crucial data that advance understanding of transitions in early primate evolution. In particular, the hand skeleton includes characteristics thought to reflect foraging, locomotion, and posture. Here we review what is known about the early evolution of primate hands from a comparative perspective that incorporates data from the fossil record. Additionally, we provide new comparative data and documentation of skeletal morphology for Paleogene plesiadapiforms, notharctines, cercamoniines, adapines, and omomyiforms. Finally, we discuss implications of these data for understanding locomotor transitions during the origin and early evolutionary history of primates. Known plesiadapiform species cannot be differentiated from extant primates based on either intrinsic hand proportions or hand-to-body size proportions. Nonetheless, the presence of claws and a different metacarpophalangeal [corrected] joint form in plesiadapiforms indicate different grasping mechanics. Notharctines and cercamoniines have intrinsic hand proportions with extremely elongated proximal phalanges and digit rays relative to metacarpals, resembling tarsiers and galagos. But their hand-to-body size proportions are typical of many extant primates (unlike those of tarsiers, and possibly Teilhardina, which have extremely large hands). Non-adapine adapiforms and omomyids exhibit additional carpal features suggesting more limited dorsiflexion, greater ulnar deviation, and a more habitually divergent pollex than observed plesiadapiforms. Together, features differentiating adapiforms and omomyiforms from plesiadapiforms indicate increased reliance on vertical prehensile-clinging and grasp-leaping, possibly in combination with predatory behaviors in

  14. Early bioenergetic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Filipa L.; Thiergart, Thorsten; Landan, Giddy; Nelson-Sathi, Shijulal; Pereira, Inês A. C.; Allen, John F.; Lane, Nick; Martin, William F.

    2013-01-01

    Life is the harnessing of chemical energy in such a way that the energy-harnessing device makes a copy of itself. This paper outlines an energetically feasible path from a particular inorganic setting for the origin of life to the first free-living cells. The sources of energy available to early organic synthesis, early evolving systems and early cells stand in the foreground, as do the possible mechanisms of their conversion into harnessable chemical energy for synthetic reactions. With regard to the possible temporal sequence of events, we focus on: (i) alkaline hydrothermal vents as the far-from-equilibrium setting, (ii) the Wood–Ljungdahl (acetyl-CoA) pathway as the route that could have underpinned carbon assimilation for these processes, (iii) biochemical divergence, within the naturally formed inorganic compartments at a hydrothermal mound, of geochemically confined replicating entities with a complexity below that of free-living prokaryotes, and (iv) acetogenesis and methanogenesis as the ancestral forms of carbon and energy metabolism in the first free-living ancestors of the eubacteria and archaebacteria, respectively. In terms of the main evolutionary transitions in early bioenergetic evolution, we focus on: (i) thioester-dependent substrate-level phosphorylations, (ii) harnessing of naturally existing proton gradients at the vent–ocean interface via the ATP synthase, (iii) harnessing of Na+ gradients generated by H+/Na+ antiporters, (iv) flavin-based bifurcation-dependent gradient generation, and finally (v) quinone-based (and Q-cycle-dependent) proton gradient generation. Of those five transitions, the first four are posited to have taken place at the vent. Ultimately, all of these bioenergetic processes depend, even today, upon CO2 reduction with low-potential ferredoxin (Fd), generated either chemosynthetically or photosynthetically, suggesting a reaction of the type ‘reduced iron → reduced carbon’ at the beginning of bioenergetic evolution

  15. Early modern sport

    OpenAIRE

    Huggins, Mike

    2017-01-01

    The "early modern" has always suffered problems of periodization. Its beginnings overlap with the Late Middle Ages when sport and athletic exercise were moving away from military training. It encompasses the Renaissance, Reformation, and Counter-Reformation and the scientific shifts of the Age of Enlightenment, movements that were diverse chronologically, geographically, culturally and intellectually. Some historians link its beginnings to block-printing, the beginning of the Tudor period, or...

  16. Early Detection Of Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V B Bhatnagar

    1987-04-01

    Full Text Available Farly detection of cancer is based upon three fundamental assumptions, firstly that the trea'ment of benign and precancerous lesions reduces the incidence of cancer, secondly, that the treatment of in situ cancers is conducive to total cure and thirdly that early diagnosis and management of invasive cancer ensures be.ter survival. When patient seeks medical advice for vague symptoms, which could however be due to a possible malignant tumour at a particular site, the alert clinician should investigate the patient immediately to exclude cancer. At this stage cancer is usually not significantly advanced.Currently the U. I. C. C. (International Union for Cancer Control} is studying the epidemiology of cancers in various countries The importance of this is two folds : Firstly by focussing attention on a section of population vulnerable to a particular cancer an early detection is facilitated Secondly by changing the causative factors responsible to a particular cancer, the incidence of that cancer can be reduced e. g. reduction in lung cancer following campaigns against ciguette smoking and reductioi in breast cancer after campaigns for advocating breast feeding of infants, lowering fat consumption and encouraging self palpation of breast regularly.Indeed early diagnosis of cancer implies diagnosis of cancer in almost a symptomatic stage It involves motiva’ion of the population towards acquisitio : of knowledge, attitude and practice.. Epidemiologies and clinicians should be able to recognise high risk cases exposed to particular neoplasia and knowledge of alarming symptoms should be pro- pogated for wide publicity through common available media and means. Probable cases should have regular clhrcal examination periodically and relevant investigations including radiological, imaging techniques and Bio-Chemical examination should be undertaken as and when desired Suspicious lesions should be investigated by specific tests including smear cytology

  17. History of early atomic clocks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramsey, N.F. [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States). Lyman Lab. of Physics

    2005-06-01

    This review of the history of early atomic clocks includes early atomic beam magnetic resonance, methods of separated and successive oscillatory fields, microwave absorption, optical pumping and atomic masers. (author)

  18. Early Life Exposures and Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Early-life events and exposures have important consequences for cancer development later in life, however, epidemiological studies of early-life factors and cancer development later in life have had significant methodological challenges.

  19. Early prevention of obesity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudio Maffeis

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Childhood obesity is the metabolic disorder with the highest prevalence in both children and adults. Urgency to treat and prevent childhood obesity is based on the clear evidence that obesity tends to track from childhood to adulthood, is associated to morbidity also in childhood and to long-term mortality. Early life, i.e., intrauterine life and the first two years, is a sensitive window for prevention. Anatomical and functional maturation of the hypothalamic structures devoted to regulating energy intake and expenditure and body size mainly occurs in the first 1,000 days of life. Therefore, factors affecting the foetal exposition to maternal metabolic environment and early postnatal nutrition are crucial in modulating the definition of the metabolic programming processes in the brain. Maternal diseases, mainly malnutrition for defect or excess, obesity and diabetes, placental disorders and dysfunctions, maternal use of alcohol and drugs, smoking, affect long term metabolic programming of the foetus with lifelong consequences. Similarly, early nutrition contributes to complete the long-term metabolic regulating framework initiated in the uterus. Breastfeeding, adequate weaning, attention to portion size and diet composition are potential tools for reducing the obesity risk later in childhood. Longitudinal randomized controlled studies are needed for exploring the efficacy of obesity prevention strategies initiated after conception.Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · Cagliari (Italy · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · The last ten years, the next ten years in Neonatology Guest Editors: Vassilios Fanos, Michele Mussap, Gavino Faa, Apostolos Papageorgiou

  20. Early Onset Werner Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berna İmge Aydoğan

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Werner syndrome (WS is a rare autosomal recessive adult-onset progeroid disorder characterized by the early onset of aged-appearance and age-related metabolic disorders. Symptoms of premature aging usually first develop in the second-third decades of life. We report a 27-year-old female who was admitted to our clinic at the age of eighteen with hyperglycemia. She was diagnosed with diabetes and type 4 dyslipidemia at the age of seven. In her family history, her parents were first cousins and she had three healthy brothers. On her first physical examination; she had bird-like face appearance, global hair loss, beaked nose, short stature and she was overweight. She had global hair loss with gray and thin hair. Hoarseness of voice and hyperkeratosis of skin were observed. She had bilateral cataracts and moderate sensorineural hearing loss. On psychiatric examination, borderline mental retardation was detected. She had severe insulin resistance and hypertriglyceridemia despite levothyroxine, gemfibrozil, omega-3 and intensive insulin treatment. Routine lipid apheresis was performed to lower the triglyceride levels reaching 5256 mg/dL. She also had focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, hepatosteatosis, osteoporosis and epilepsy. Disease was accompanied by several congenital deformities, such as Rathke’s cleft cyst, angiomyolipoma and femoral neck hypoplasia. WS is a rare genetic disorder characterized by multiple endocrine manifestations as well as soft tissue changes. We present a case of early disturbances that were diagnosed before typical clinical signs and symptoms. We propose that WS should be kept in mind when type 2 diabetes and hyperlipidemia are diagnosed early in childhood. Turk Jem 2015; 19: 99-104

  1. Early Childhood Special Music Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darrow, Alice-Ann

    2011-01-01

    The process of early intervention is a critical component of Early Childhood Special Music Education. Early intervention is the process of providing services, education, and support to young children who have disabilities or to children who are at-risk of developing needs that may affect their physical, cognitive, or emotional development. The…

  2. Expenditures for Early Intervention Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebbeler, Kathleen; Levin, Jesse; Perez, Maria; Lam, Irene; Chambers, Jay G.

    2009-01-01

    What does it cost to provide early intervention services? Data collected as part of the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study were used to determine expenditures for infants, toddlers, and their families receiving services through Part C programs. The study found that the national average total expenditure for early intervention services…

  3. Early solar physics

    CERN Document Server

    Meadows, A J

    1970-01-01

    Early Solar Physics reviews developments in solar physics, particularly the advent of solar spectroscopy and the discovery of relationships between the various layers of the solar atmosphere and between the different forms of solar activity. Topics covered include solar observations during 1843; chemical analysis of the solar atmosphere; the spectrum of a solar prominence; and the solar eclipse of December 12, 1871. Spectroscopic observations of the sun are also presented. This book is comprised of 30 chapters and begins with an overview of ideas about the sun in the mid-nineteenth century, fo

  4. The not-so-sublime early Earth recorded in Hadean zircons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavosie, A. J.

    2011-12-01

    oxygen isotope ratios (up to 7.5 %) are evidence that the early formed crust was evolved (granitic), rather than primitive (gabbroic). (4) Variable oxygen and Li isotope ratios in zircon record processes of surface alteration and subsequent magmatic recycling of altered crust, constraining the appearance of low surface temperatures and liquid water oceans by 4.3 to 4.2 Ga. (5) Evidence for the Late Heavy Bombardment has not been identified in Hadean zircons; planar microstructures known to form in shock metamorphosed zircon have not been found in Hadean grains. (6) Other claims, including reports of modern-style plate interactions based on zircon mineral inclusion barometry, and the presence of diamond inclusions in Hadean zircons, remain controversial, and open to interpretation. Many aspects of the Hadean are therefore similar to the Archean; distinguishing the two eons thus remains a challenge. However, the cooling and condensation of liquid surface water and its subsequent effect on magma chemistry, as recorded in Hadean zircons from 4.3 to 4.2 Ga, suggests a global-scale process that created habitats for life, and clearly marked the end of 'hell-like' Hadean surface conditions. As the timescale and processes active on the early Earth become better quantified through careful documentation and measurement of these ancient zircons, the Hadean becomes somewhat less sublime.

  5. Sonority and early words

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærbæk, Laila; Boeg Thomsen, Ditte; Lambertsen, Claus

    2015-01-01

    Syllables play an important role in children’s early language acquisition, and children appear to rely on clear syllabic structures as a key to word acquisition (Vihman 1996; Oller 2000). However, not all languages present children with equally clear cues to syllabic structure, and since the spec......Syllables play an important role in children’s early language acquisition, and children appear to rely on clear syllabic structures as a key to word acquisition (Vihman 1996; Oller 2000). However, not all languages present children with equally clear cues to syllabic structure, and since...... acquisition therefore presents us with the opportunity to examine how children respond to the task of word learning when the input language offers less clear cues to syllabic structure than usually seen. To investigate the sound structure in Danish children’s lexical development, we need a model of syllable......-29 months. For the two children, the phonetic structure of the first ten words to occur is compared with that of the last ten words to occur before 30 months of age, and with that of ten words in between. Measures related to the sonority envelope, viz. sonority types and in particular sonority rises...

  6. Supermodels for early LHC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bauer, Christian W. [Theoretical Physics Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Ligeti, Zoltan, E-mail: zligeti@lbl.go [Theoretical Physics Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Schmaltz, Martin [Theoretical Physics Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Physics Department, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215 (United States); Thaler, Jesse [Theoretical Physics Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Walker, Devin G.E. [Theoretical Physics Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Berkeley Center for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature, Jefferson Physical Laboratory, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2010-06-21

    We investigate which new physics signatures could be discovered in the first year of the LHC, beyond the expected sensitivity of the Tevatron data by the end of 2010. We construct 'supermodels', for which the LHC sensitivity even with only 10 pb{sup -1} useful luminosity is greater than that of the Tevatron with 10 fb{sup -1}. The simplest supermodels involve s-channel resonances in the quark-antiquark and especially in the quark-quark channels. We concentrate on easily visible final states with small standard model backgrounds, and find that there are simple searches, besides those for Z{sup '} states, which could discover new physics in early LHC data. Many of these are well-suited to test searches for 'more conventional' models, often discussed for multi-fb{sup -1} data sets.

  7. Early times in tunneling

    CERN Document Server

    García-Calderón, G; Garcia-Calderon, Gaston; Villavicencio, Jorge

    2000-01-01

    Exact analytical solutions of the time-dependent Schr\\"odinger equation with the initial condition of an incident cutoff wave are used to investigate the traversal time for tunneling. The probability density starts from a vanishing value along the tunneling and transmitted regions of the potential. At the barrier width it exhibits, at early times, a distribution of traversal times that typically has a peak $\\tau_p$ and a width $\\Delta \\tau$. Numerical results for other tunneling times, as the phase-delay time, fall within $\\Delta \\tau$. The B\\"uttiker traversal time is the closest to $\\tau_p$. Our results resemble calculations based on Feynman paths if its noisy behaviour is ignored.

  8. [Early cardiotoxicity of Hydroxychloroquine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbib, Y; Guillaumont, M P; Touati, G; Duhaut, P; Schmidt, J

    2016-03-01

    Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is most frequently used in the treatment of systemic inflammatory diseases. Cardiac complications of anti-malarial drugs are uncommon, and most of the time are the result of a long-term exposition. In this case, cardiotoxicity is the consequence of the lysosomal dysfunction and the result of intracytoplasmic granular material inclusions. We report a 77-year-old woman who presented a very early and reversible cardiotoxicity, probably related to the quinidine like effect of the HCQ, 10 days after initiation of therapy for Whipple endocarditis. We discuss the different mechanisms of cardiotoxicity of anti-malarial drugs and their clinical manifestations. Copyright © 2015 Société nationale française de médecine interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  9. Artritis Temprana Early Arthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Hasta la década de los años ochenta se consideraba a la artritis reumatoide (AR como una enfermedad poco frecuente, de gravedad leve a moderada, que tenía una evolución lentamente, progresiva hacia el daño articular y la incapacidad. El aborde terapéutico convencional hasta ese momento, era el tratamiento clásico de la pirámide.Until the early the eighties was considered rheumatoid arthritis to (RA as a rare disease of mild to moderate severity, which had a slowly evolution towards joint damage and disability. The conventional therapeutic option until then, was the classic treatment of the pyramid.

  10. Sonority and early words

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjærbæk, Laila; Boeg Thomsen, Ditte; Lambertsen, Claus

    2015-01-01

    acquisition therefore presents us with the opportunity to examine how children respond to the task of word learning when the input language offers less clear cues to syllabic structure than usually seen. To investigate the sound structure in Danish children’s lexical development, we need a model of syllable...... structure; and as the theoretical basis for our analyses related to sonority we present Basbøll’s Sonority Syllable Model for phonotactics, which is based upon a non-circular version of a sonority hierarchy. We investigate spontaneous child language output in a longitudinal corpus with two children aged 9......Syllables play an important role in children’s early language acquisition, and children appear to rely on clear syllabic structures as a key to word acquisition (Vihman 1996; Oller 2000). However, not all languages present children with equally clear cues to syllabic structure, and since...

  11. Early-Onset Dementia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Konijnenberg, Elles; Fereshtehnejad, Seyed-Mohammad; Kate, Mara Ten;

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Early-onset dementia (EOD) is a rare condition, with an often atypical clinical presentation, and it may therefore be challenging to diagnose. Specialized memory clinics vary in the type of patients seen, diagnostic procedures applied, and the pharmacological treatment given. The aim...... of this study was to investigate quality-of-care indicators in subjects with EOD from 3 tertiary memory clinics in 3 European countries. METHODS: We included 1325 newly diagnosed EOD patients, ages 65 years or younger, between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2013, from the Danish Dementia Registry...... (Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen), the Swedish Dementia Registry ("SveDem", Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm), and the Amsterdam Dementia Cohort (VU University Medical Center). RESULTS: The frequency of EOD among all dementia patients was significantly lower in Copenhagen (410, 20%) and Stockholm (284, 21...

  12. Peer Bullying During Early Childhood

    OpenAIRE

    Uysal, Hatice; DİNÇER, Çağlayan

    2012-01-01

    Peer bullying during early childhood is discussed along with the literature reviewed in this article with the purpose of drawing attention to peer bullying during early childhood and its significance, and contributing to studies which are few in number in Turkey. Peer bullying during early childhood was considered with its definition and types, people who play key roles in peer bullying, factors (gender, age, parents, and friendship) that relate to peer bullying, and what should be done befor...

  13. Icebergs on early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uceda, E.; Fairen, A.; Woodworth-Lynas, C.; Palmero Rodriguez, A.

    2015-12-01

    The smooth topography of the Martian northern lowlands has been classically equated to an ancient ocean basin. The High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is providing unprecedented images of the Martian surface at scales of 25 to 32 cm per pixel. The analysis of this high-resolution imaging reveals the presence of three differentiated geomorphologies throughout the northern lowlands of Mars and the Hellas basin, which are informative of the presence of icebergs floating in ancient oceans and/or seas. These morphologies are: (i) scattered scour marks, including curvilinear furrows several km long and some meters deep; (ii) boulders ranging in size from 0.5 m to ~2 m in diameter, distributed forming clusters with sizes from several hundred meters to 1-2 km; and (iii) flat-topped and conical circular fractured mounds. The association of plough marks, clusters of boulders and mounds on the northern plains of Mars can be related to the dual processes of ice keel scouring and ice rafting of both glacial and non-glacial detritus by a floating ice canopy and icebergs. These processes are well documented on Earth and result in distinct morphologies on the ocean floor, which are analogous to features observed in the Martian basins. Importantly, the features are located in elevated areas of the northern plains and Hellas, near the dichotomy boundary and on local topographic highs. Such distribution is expected, as these relatively shoal areas are where the iceberg-related features should occur on Mars: these areas had shallow water depths, less than the iceberg's keel depth, and therefore keels reached through the full depth of the water column to impinge on the sediments below. The presence of icebergs floating in cold oceans early in Mars' history imply the occurrence of continental glaciers forming in the highlands and streaming northward towards the lowlands, and towards the Hellas and Argyre Basins. Glacier

  14. Early Attachment Relationships and the Early Childhood Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortazar, Alejandra; Herreros, Francisca

    2010-01-01

    This article explores the relationship between attachment theory and the early childhood curriculum. During the first years of life children develop early attachment relationships with their primary caregivers. These attachment relationships, either secure or insecure, will shape children's socio-emotional development. In the USA, the predominant…

  15. Critical Questions about Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winer, Abby; Hebbeler, Kathy; Nelson, Robin; Gundler, Darla; Cate, Debbie; Hudson, Laura; Taylor, Cornelia; Peters, Mary Louise

    2015-01-01

    What is a high-quality statewide data system? One characteristic is that it provides the information needed to address important questions about early intervention and early childhood special education. But what are those questions? What questions should data users, such as program directors, advocates, and policymakers, be asking? The Center for…