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Sample records for archean spherule beds

  1. Early Archean Spherule Beds-Confirmation of Impact Origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shukolyukov, A.; Kyte, F. T.; Lugmair, G. W.; Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    2000-01-01

    The oldest record of major impact events on Earth may be a number of early Archean (3.5 to 3.2 Ga) spherule beds that have been identified in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. Several field, petrographic, and geochemical criteria distinguish these beds from typical volcanic and clastic sediments. These criteria include the wide geographic distribution of two beds in a variety of depositional environments, the presence of relict quench textures, absence of juvenile volcaniclastic debris within the beds, and extreme enrichment of Ir and other platinum group elements (PGE) as compared to surrounding sediments. Some researchers, however, argued for a terrestrial origin for spherule bed formation, possibly related to volcanism and gold mineralization.

  2. Geochemistry and mineralogy of Early Archean spherule beds, Baberton Mountain Land, South Africa: Evidence for origin by impact doubtful

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Boer, Rudolf H.

    1993-09-01

    Spherule layers in the approximately 3.4 Ga Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa, have been interpreted as being the result of large asteroid or comet impacts on the early earth. This interpretation was based, among other arguments, on the enrichment of siderophile elements, especially the platinum group elements. We made a detailed mineralogical, petrological and geochemical study of spherule bed samples taken from drill cores and underground esposures at the Princeton, Mt. Morgan and Sheba gold mines, as well as surface localities. The macrostructure of each sample (from within different spherule layer units) shows evidence for multiple (more than five) events over about 30 cm. The mineralogy provides evidence for extensive hydrothermal and metasomatic alterations of the spherule beds. Geochemical analyses of alternating spherule, shale and chert layers show no correlation between the siderophile elements (e.g., Ir, Co, Ni and Au), contrary to that which would be expected if the siderophile elements had an extraterrestrial source. Furthermore, no significant variation in the content of the siderophile elements was detected between spherule layers and shale layers; however, siderophile element contents are high only in layers containing abundant sulphide minerals and having high As, Sb, Se and Cr contents. We suggest that complex mineralizations, similar to those that have formed the Barberton Archean gold deposits or the Bon Accord deposit, were responsible for the siderophile element enrichments in the spherule beds. Nowhere else in the world have such multiple (or even single) spherule beds been observed, and none of the numerous known impact craters (or the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary) is associated with comparable spherule beds. Known impact debris usually contains less than 1% meteoritic component, if any at all, while Barberton spherules are anomalous in being extremely enriched compared to any known impact deposits.

  3. Early Archean spherule beds of possible impact origin from Barberton, South Africa: A detailed mineralogical and geochemical study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Reimold, Wolf Uwe; Boer, Rudolf H.

    1992-01-01

    The Barberton Greenstone belt is a 3.5- to 3.2-Ga-old formation situated in the Swaziland Supergroup near Barberton, northeast Transvaal, South Africa. The belt includes a lower, predominantly volcanic sequence, and an upper sedimentary sequence (e.g., the Fig Tree Group). Within this upper sedimentary sequence, Lowe and Byerly identified a series of different beds of spherules with diameters of around 0.5-2 mm. Lowe and Byerly and Lowe et al. have interpreted these spherules to be condensates of rock vapor produced by large meteorite impacts in the early Archean. We have collected a series of samples from drill cores from the Mt. Morgan and Princeton sections near Barberton, as well as samples taken from underground exposures in the Sheba and Agnes mines. These samples seem much better preserved than the surface samples described by Lowe and Byerly and Lowe et al. Over a scale of just under 30 cm, several well-defined spherule beds are visible, interspaced with shales and/or layers of banded iron formation. Some spherules have clearly been deposited on top of a sedimentary unit because the shale layer shows indentions from the overlying spherules. Although fresher than the surface samples (e.g., spherule bed S-2), there is abundant evidence for extensive alteration, presumably by hydrothermal processes. In some sections of the cores sulfide mineralization is common. For our mineralogical and petrographical studies we have prepared detailed thin sections of all core and underground samples (as well as some surface samples from the S-2 layer for comparison). For geochemical work, layers with thicknesses in the order of 1-5 mm were separated from selected core and underground samples. The chemical analyses are being performed using neutron activation analysis in order to obtain data for about 35 trace elements in each sample. Major elements are being determined by XRF and plasma spectrometry. To clarify the history of the sulfide mineralization, sulfur isotopic

  4. Early Archean Spherule Beds: Chromium Isotopes Confirm Origin Through Multiple Impacts of Projectiles of Carbonaceous Chondrite Type

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alex; Lugmair, Guenter W.; Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.

    2003-01-01

    Three Early Archean spherule beds from Barberton, South Africa, have anomalous Cr isotope compositions in addition to large Ir anomalies, confirming the presence of meteoritic material with a composition similar to that in carbonaceous chondrites. The extra-terrestrial components in beds S2, S3, and S4 are estimated to be approx. l%, 50% - 60%, and 15% - 30%, respectively. These beds are probably the distal, and possibly global, ejecta from major large-body impacts. These impacts were probably much larger than the Cretaceous-Tertiary event, and all occurred over an interval of approx. 20 m.y., implying an impactor flux at 3.2 Ga that was more than an order of magnitude greater than the present flux.

  5. Early Archean Spherule Beds: Chromium Isotopes Confirm Origin Through Multiple Impacts of Projectiles of Carbonaceous Chondrite Type

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.; Shukolyukov, Alex; Lugmair, Guenter W.; Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.

    2003-01-01

    Three Early Archean spherule beds from Barberton, South Africa, have anomalous Cr isotope compositions in addition to large Ir anomalies, confirming the presence of meteoritic material with a composition similar to that in carbonaceous chondrites. The extra-terrestrial components in beds S2, S3, and S4 are estimated to be approx. l%, 50% - 60%, and 15% - 30%, respectively. These beds are probably the distal, and possibly global, ejecta from major large-body impacts. These impacts were probably much larger than the Cretaceous-Tertiary event, and all occurred over an interval of approx. 20 m.y., implying an impactor flux at 3.2 Ga that was more than an order of magnitude greater than the present flux.

  6. Early Archean Spherule Beds: Chromium Isotopes Confirm Origin through Multiple Impacts of Projectiles of Carbonaceous Chondrite Type: Comment and Reply

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    2003-01-01

    This is a exchange in the form of a comment and a reply in regards to an earlier article. The authors of the original article, consider it likely that virtually all of the projectile will condense with the silicate fraction, resulting in very little platinum group element fractionation in the final ejecta deposit. Further, we find no evidence in the commentator's, (i.e., Glikson), comment to support vapor fractionation. We note that the Pd/Ir ratios of published data on 2.56 Ga Hamersley Basin spherules are all greater than in chondrites, contrary to the assertion by Glikson. This is consistent with relatively high Pd concentrations (and Pd/Ir ratios) in crustal rocks.

  7. Early Archean Spherule Beds: Chromium Isotopes Confirm Origin through Multiple Impacts of Projectiles of Carbonaceous Chondrite Type: Comment and Reply

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, Frank T.

    2003-01-01

    This is a exchange in the form of a comment and a reply in regards to an earlier article. The authors of the original article, consider it likely that virtually all of the projectile will condense with the silicate fraction, resulting in very little platinum group element fractionation in the final ejecta deposit. Further, we find no evidence in the commentator's, (i.e., Glikson), comment to support vapor fractionation. We note that the Pd/Ir ratios of published data on 2.56 Ga Hamersley Basin spherules are all greater than in chondrites, contrary to the assertion by Glikson. This is consistent with relatively high Pd concentrations (and Pd/Ir ratios) in crustal rocks.

  8. Early terrestrial impact events: Archean spherule layers in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdemir, Seda; Koeberl, Christian; Schulz, Toni; Reimold, W. Uwe; Hofmann, Axel

    2015-04-01

    In addition to the oldest known impact structure on Earth, the 2.02-billion-year-old Vredefort Structure in South Africa, the evidence of Early Earth impact events are Archean spherule beds in South Africa and Australia. These spherules have been interpreted as condensation products from impact plumes and molten impact ejecta or/and impact ejecta that were melted during atmospheric re-entry [e.g., 1,2]. The 3.2-3.5 Ga spherule layers in the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa currently represent the oldest known remnants of impact deposits on Earth. Aiming at identification of extraterrestrial components and to determine the diagenetic and metamorphic history of spherule layer intersections recently recovered in the CT3 drill core from the northeastern part of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, we have studied samples from these layers in terms of petrography and geochemistry. All samples, including spherule layer intersections and intercalating country rocks, were studied for mineral identification by optical and electron microscopy, as well as electron microprobe analysis (EPMA) at Natural History Museum Vienna and Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN). Major and trace element compositions were determined via X-ray fluorescence spectrometry at MfN and instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) at University of Vienna. Os isotopes were measured by thermal ionization mass spectrometry (N-TIMS) at University of Vienna. Eighteen spherule beds are distributed over 150 meter drill core in CT3. Spherules are variably, deformed or undeformed. The high number of these layers may have been caused by tectonic duplication. Spherule beds are intercalated with shale, chert, carbonate, and/or sulfide deposits (country rocks). The size range of spherules is 0.5 to 2 mm, and some layers exhibit gradation. Shapes of spherules differ from spherical to ovoid, as well as teardrops, and spherules commonly show off-center vesicles, which have been interpreted as a primary

  9. PGE Chemistry and Systematics of Some Archean Spherule Layers in the Barberton Mountain Land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohr-Westheide, T.; Reimold, W. U.; Greshake, A.; Hoehnel, D.; Fritz, J.; Schmitt, R. T.; Salge, T.; Hofmann, A.; Oezdemir, S.; Schulz, T.; Koeberl, C.

    2015-07-01

    Comprehensive study of petrographic, mineralogical, and geochemical characteristics from a set of new samples of Archean spherule layers in the ICDP drill core BARB5 and drill core CT3 from the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa.

  10. Discovering the Carrier Phase of the Extraterrestrial Component in Archean Spherule Layers, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohr-Westheide, T.; Fritz, J.; Reimold, W. U.; Schmitt, R. T.; Hofmann, A.; Koeberl, C.; Luais, B.; Tagle, R.; Salge, T.; Hoehnel, D.

    2014-09-01

    Comprehensive study of sedimentary, petrographic, mineralogical, and geochemical characteristics from a set of new samples of Archean spherule layers in the ICDP Drill Core BARB5 from the Barite Valley.

  11. Archean spherule classification of CT3 drill core, Barberton Greenstone Belt (South Africa) based on petrography and mineral chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdemir, Seda; Koeberl, Christian; Mohr-Westheide, Tanja; Reimold, W. Uwe; Hofmann, Axel

    2016-04-01

    The impact history of the Early Archean Earth is not well documented. The oldest known impact structure is about 2 Ga years old; impact-related signatures in Precambrian rocks are scarce. The possible impact signature might be the Archean spherule layers that occur in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), Kaapvaal Craton, South Africa, and in the Pilbara Craton Western Australia, with ages of 3.2-3.4 and around 2.5 Ga [1]. These spherules were interpreted as impact-generated and ballistically emplaced silicate melt droplets [2]. This study is focused on petrographic and mineralogical characteristics from a set of newly drilled Archean spherule layers in drill core CT3 from the northeastern part of the BGB. The investigation of the three main intervals (A, B, and C, which include 2, 13, and 2 individual spherule layers, respectively) within CT3, contains the classification of spherules based on their shapes, textural features, deformation types, and mineral content. All of the intervals show spherule variation in those features. Therefore, the classification helps to understand if the spherules underwent processes such as tectonic deformation or if multiple impact events occurred in the area, which both might a reason of spherule layer duplications. The aim of the work is to differentiate various spherule types and the groundmasses in which they are embedded. The spherules within 17 identified spherule layers have been examined by optical microscopy (polarized and reflected) and secondary electron microscopy and were classified by shape and textural features. Subsequently, mineral phases and the chemical composition of the spherules and their matrices were investigated by using electron microprobe analysis. Regarding the shapes of the spherules they were divided into two main groups: undeformed and deformed. Undeformed spherules have spherical to ovoid as well as tear-drop shapes; deformed spherules were further subdivided into three main groups; flattened, crushed

  12. Paleoarchean Spherule Beds in the CT3 Drill Core from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: Geochemistry and Os Isotopic Signatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdemir, S.; Schulz, T.; Koeberl, C.; Reimold, W. U.; Mohr-Westheide, T.; Hofmann, A.

    2016-08-01

    Archean spherules are important to understand the early Earth's impact history. We performed detailed petrographic, geochemical and Os isotope analysis to obtain possible meteoritic components on spherule layers from Barberton Greenstone Belt.

  13. Compositional Grading in an Impact-produced Spherule Bed, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Key to Condensation History of Rock Vapor Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krull, A. E.; Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    2003-01-01

    The chemical and physical processes by which spherules form during the condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds are poorly understood. Although efforts have been made to model the processes of spherule formation, there is presently a paucity of field data to constrain the resulting theoretical models. The present study examines the vertical compositional variability in a single early Archean spherule bed in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa, in order to better identify the process by which impact vapor clouds condense and spherules form and accumulate. The BGB spherule beds are suitable for this type of study because of their great thickness, often exceeding 25cm of pure spherules, due to the massive sizes of the impactors. Two main problems complicate analysis of vertical compositional variability of graded spherule beds: (1) differential settling of particles in both the vapor and water column due to density and size differences and (2) turbulence within the vapor cloud. The present study compares sections of spherule bed S3 from four different depositional environments in the Barberton Greenstone Belt: (1) The Sheba Mine section (SAF-381) was deposited under fairly low energy conditions in deep water, providing a nice fallout sequence, and also has abundant Ni-rich spinels; (2) Jay's Chert section (SAF-380) was deposited in subaerial to shallow-water conditions with extensive post-depositional reworking by currents. The spherules also have preserved spinels; (3) the Loop Road section (loc. SAF-295; samp. KSA-7) was moderately reworked and has only rare preservation of spinels; and (4) the shallow-water Barite Syncline section (loc. SAF-206; samp KSA-1) has few to no spinels preserved and is not reworked. Although all of the spherule beds have been altered by silica diagenesis and K-metasomatism, most of the compositional differences between these sections appear to reflect their diagenetic histories, possibly related to their differing

  14. Compositional Grading in an Impact-produced Spherule Bed, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa: A Key to Condensation History of Rock Vapor Clouds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krull, A. E.; Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    2003-01-01

    The chemical and physical processes by which spherules form during the condensation of impact-produced rock vapor clouds are poorly understood. Although efforts have been made to model the processes of spherule formation, there is presently a paucity of field data to constrain the resulting theoretical models. The present study examines the vertical compositional variability in a single early Archean spherule bed in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa, in order to better identify the process by which impact vapor clouds condense and spherules form and accumulate. The BGB spherule beds are suitable for this type of study because of their great thickness, often exceeding 25cm of pure spherules, due to the massive sizes of the impactors. Two main problems complicate analysis of vertical compositional variability of graded spherule beds: (1) differential settling of particles in both the vapor and water column due to density and size differences and (2) turbulence within the vapor cloud. The present study compares sections of spherule bed S3 from four different depositional environments in the Barberton Greenstone Belt: (1) The Sheba Mine section (SAF-381) was deposited under fairly low energy conditions in deep water, providing a nice fallout sequence, and also has abundant Ni-rich spinels; (2) Jay's Chert section (SAF-380) was deposited in subaerial to shallow-water conditions with extensive post-depositional reworking by currents. The spherules also have preserved spinels; (3) the Loop Road section (loc. SAF-295; samp. KSA-7) was moderately reworked and has only rare preservation of spinels; and (4) the shallow-water Barite Syncline section (loc. SAF-206; samp KSA-1) has few to no spinels preserved and is not reworked. Although all of the spherule beds have been altered by silica diagenesis and K-metasomatism, most of the compositional differences between these sections appear to reflect their diagenetic histories, possibly related to their differing

  15. Petrography of Archean Spherule Layers from the CT3 Drill Core, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoehnel, D.; Reimold, W. U.; Mohr-Westheide, T.; Hofmann, A.; Altenberger, U.

    2016-08-01

    One of the major questions to be addressed in the core CT3 from the northeastern Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa is about the actual number of impact events represented by the 17 spherule layers over a stratigraphic interval of 150 m.

  16. Inferred Primary Compositions of Archean Spherules Formed by the Condensation of an Impact-produced Rock Vapor Cloud, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krull, A. E.; Lowe, D. R.; Byerly, G. R.

    2003-01-01

    Based on the lunar cratering record, impacts were larger and more frequent on the early Earth than they are today. There is no persevered record of these early terrestrial impacts because rocks of this age have been obliterated by tectonism and erosion. The oldest known evidence of impacts on Earth lies in four beds (S1, S2, S3 and S4) in the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB), South Africa, ranging in age from about 3.24 to 3.47 Ga. These beds are composed in large part of sand-sized spherical particles, termed spherules, that are thought to have formed by the condensation of rock vapor clouds ejected above the atmosphere as a result of large impacts. Spherule beds S2 and S3 are both about 20 cm thick where composed entirely of fall-deposited spherules and up to a meter thick where spherules are mixed with locally derived debris. The diameters the bolides have been estimated to be between 20 and 50 km, based on bed thickness, size of the largest spherules, Ir fluence and extraterrestrial Cr.

  17. Impact glass spherules in the Chicxulub K-Pg event bed at Beloc, Haiti: Alteration patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ritter, Xenia; Deutsch, Alexander; Berndt, Jasper; Robin, Eric

    2015-03-01

    We have investigated six impact glass spherules from the K-Pg event bed at Beloc, Haiti, using optical and electron microscopy, electron microprobe and in situ laser ablation-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS; 37 trace elements, spot size 90-35 μm), in order to understand geochemical changes during alteration. The mm-sized glass spherules are partly or totally altered to smectite, but original textural features are preserved. The average trace-element composition of glass matches that one of the upper continental crust. Hints for a "meteoritic component" are lacking (Ni/Cr < 1.3 Pt below detection limit). Compared to this fresh glass, smectites are strongly depleted in trace elements, except for Li, Sc, V, Ni, Ga, Ge, and Ba. The chondrite-normalized REE distribution patterns are flat with subchondritic abundances, related to their very low degree of crystallinity. We observe a positive Eu and a strong negative Ce anomaly; the latter is explained by formation of an organic Ce4+-complex, soluble under reducing conditions. Zr/Hf of glasses and smectites is chondritic to superchondritic (35-40), whereas Nb/Ta in smectite is subchondritic (5-12) compared to Nb/Ta in the glass (~14-18). The low Nb/Ta is due to the low Nb concentrations in the smectite. Using in situ techniques with high spatial resolution, we have documented for the first time the significant changes in diagnostic elemental ratios during alteration of glass spherules. This has to be taken into account in the interpretation of geochemical data of not only impact materials but also volcanic glass, especially if bulk rock methods are used.

  18. 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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  19. 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.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Donald R; Byerly, Gary R; Kyte, Frank T; Shukolyukov, Alexander; Asaro, Frank; Krull, Alexandra

    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 approximately 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.

  20. Plasma Generated Spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ransom, C. J.

    2005-04-01

    Z-pinch plasma simulations have been performed that indicate the production of spherules under certain experimental parameters. (A. L. Peratt, private communication) While performing experiments dealing with the impact of plasma discharges on various materials, we observed that spherules were created at the surface of some of the materials. For specific materials and conditions, spherules were always produced. Both individual spherules and joined spherules were created. The size and shapes were nearly identical to items found by the Mars rover, Opportunity, and called ``blueberries.'' Sky & Telescope, June 2004, p. 20, among other sources indicated the blueberries were gray spherules composed of hematite. The experiments produced hematite spherules identical in appearance to those found on Mars. These experiments suggest how the newly discovered blueberries were formed on Mars while providing an explanation that does not depend on the presence of water.

  1. Petrographic criteria for recognizing certain types of impact spherules in well-preserved precambrian successions.

    PubMed

    Simonson, Bruce M

    2003-01-01

    Impact spherule layers in sedimentary successions can open a new window on large impacts to complement the better-known record of terrestrial craters. At least six spherule layers have been found in well-preserved late Archean to Paleoproterozoic strata, and a growing body of geochemical evidence indicates they are impact ejecta. The most distinctive characteristics of these impact spherules are: (1) a predominance of highly spherical grains; (2) the presence of grains with unusual shapes such as teardrops and dumbbells; (3) fibroradial aggregates of K-feldspar crystals nucleated on the edges of spherules; and (4) clear internal spots representing both cement-filled vesicles and replaced glass cores, which, in contrast to the nuclei of ooids and armored lapilli, are not always located in the centers of the spherules. These characteristics permit the reliable differentiation of these impact spherules from spheroidal particles of other origins, such as sedimentary ooids or volcanic accretionary lapilli, often with just a hand lens. However, petrographic identification becomes progressively more difficult as the spherules become smaller or more altered. Moreover, impact spherules in other layers of other ages sometimes have different textures, so the ones described here are not representative of all types of impact spherules. They are provided as a starting point for researchers interested in identifying impact spherule layers. Given the visible record of impacts on the Moon and the much greater mass of the Earth, there should be many more impact spherule layers on Earth than have been discovered to date.

  2. Petrographic Criteria for Recognizing Certain Types of Impact Spherules in Well-Preserved Precambrian Successions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonson, Bruce M.

    2003-01-01

    Impact spherule layers in sedimentary successions can open a new window on large impacts to complement the better-known record of terrestrial craters. At least six spherule layers have been found in well-preserved late Archean to Paleoproterozoic strata, and a growing body of geochemical evidence indicates they are impact ejecta. The most distinctive characteristics of these impact spherules are: (1) a predominance of highly spherical grains; (2) the presence of grains with unusual shapes such as teardrops and dumbbells; (3) fibroradial aggregates of K-feldspar crystals nucleated on the edges of spherules; and (4) clear internal spots representing both cement-filled vesicles and replaced glass cores, which, in contrast to the nuclei of ooids and armored lapilli, are not always located in the centers of the spherules. These characteristics permit the reliable differentiation of these impact spherules from spheroidal particles of other origins, such as sedimentary ooids or volcanic accretionary lapilli, often with just a hand lens. However, petrographic identification becomes progressively more difficult as the spherules become smaller or more altered. Moreover, impact spherules in other layers of other ages sometimes have different textures, so the ones described here are not representative of all types of impact spherules. They are provided as a starting point for researchers interested in identifying impact spherule layers. Given the visible record of impacts on the Moon and the much greater mass of the Earth, there should be many more impact spherule layers on Earth than have been discovered to date.

  3. Transmission Electron Microscope Study of Platinum Group Element-Rich Micronuggets from Two Spherule Layer Intersections, Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mohr-Westheide, T.; Greshake, A.; Wirth, R.; Reimold, W. U.; Fritz, J.

    2016-08-01

    New results of a comprehensive transmission electron microscope (TEM) study including microstructural and chemical analyses of three submicrometer sized, primary PGE metal nuggets in Archean spherule layer material from the Barberton Mountain Land.

  4. Search for shock-metamorphosed grains in Precambrian spherule layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Frank C.

    2014-10-01

    . This study has documented, apparently for the first time, a shock-induced, high-pressure polymorph (TiO2 II) from Archean terrestrial rocks. The Graenseso spherule layer (˜145 cm thick) is a dolomixtite that predominantly contains spherules and mm-to-dm-sized chert and carbonate intraclasts in a dolomitic matrix, and it records a singular debris flow within a low-energy marine environment.

  5. Diagenetic alteration of impact spherules in the Neoarchean Monteville layer, South Africa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kohl, I.; Simonson, B.M.; Berke, M.

    2006-01-01

    Intercontinental correlation of distal Archean impact ejecta layers can be used to help create a global time-stratigraphic framework for early Earth events. For example, an impact spherule layer in the Neoarchean Monteville Formation (Griqualand West Basin, South Africa) may be correlated with layers in one or more formations in Western Australia. To help assess the degree to which diagenetic alteration would hinder such correlations, we performed a petrographic study of spherules in the Monteville layer. Most of the spherules in the Monteville layer have botryoidal rims composed of radial-fibrous K-feldspar, but compaction and replacement have greatly altered their appearance and mineralogy. Moreover, the Monteville spherule layer consists of three main subunits, and spherule compaction varies between subunits as well as across the Griqualand West region. Compaction is about three times greater in a medial spherulerich subunit as compared to a basal subunit rich in large intraclasts, resulting in better preservation of the shapes of melt particles in the latter. However, spherule rims have omparable numbers of fractures in both subunits, indicating the melt particles were fractured prior to compaction. Some spherules contain mica ribbons with a septarian geometry. Fracturing via rapid thermal quenching could help explain all of these features. f hot spherules possessing crystalline rims were thermally shocked when they hit the ocean, fractures would have the observed geometries and provide pathways for fluid infiltration and local replacement of glass by mica. Although heavily distorted, impact spherules in the Monteville layer are very similar to those in the Hesta occurrence of the Neoarchean Jeerinah spherule layer of the Hamersley Basin, even showing similar diagenetic histories. In this instance, diagenetic alteration may actually help rather than hinder intercontinental correlation of impact spherule layers. ??2006 Geological Society of America.

  6. Big Spherules near 'Victoria'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    This frame from the microscopic imager on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows spherules up to about 5 millimeters (one-fifth of an inch) in diameter. The camera took this image during the 924th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's Mars-surface mission (Aug. 30, 2006), when the rover was about 200 meters (650 feet) north of 'Victoria Crater.'

    Opportunity discovered spherules like these, nicknamed 'blueberries,' at its landing site in 'Eagle Crater,' and investigations determined them to be iron-rich concretions that formed inside deposits soaked with groundwater. However, such concretions were much smaller or absent at the ground surface along much of the rover's trek of more than 5 kilometers (3 miles) southward to Victoria. The big ones showed up again when Opportunity got to the ring, or annulus, of material excavated and thrown outward by the impact that created Victoria Crater. Researchers hypothesize that some layer beneath the surface in Victoria's vicinity was once soaked with water long enough to form the concretions, that the crater-forming impact dispersed some material from that layer, and that Opportunity might encounter that layer in place if the rover drives down into the crater.

  7. Sulfate-rich Archean Oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 <0.1 mmol). However, there is mounting evidence from diverse rock types of Archean ages that sulfate concentrations were likely similar to those in the modern ocean (~28 mmol). In this study we demonstrate that in different lithologies, representing a wide range of marine environments, there is ubiquitous evidence for abundant seawater sulfate. One of the more apparent lines of evidence for sulfate rich Archean waters are bedded barite (BaSO4) deposits, such as those in the ~3.4 Ga Fig Tree Group, South Africa and ~3.5 Ga Dresser Formation, Western Australia (WA). These deposits are thick (>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

  8. Spherule layers, crater scaling laws, and the population of ancient terrestrial impactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Brandon C.; Collins, Gareth S.; Minton, David A.; Bowling, Timothy J.; Simonson, Bruce M.; Zuber, Maria T.

    2016-06-01

    Ancient layers of impact spherules provide a record of Earth's early bombardment history. Here, we compare different bombardment histories to the spherule layer record and show that 3.2-3.5 Ga the flux of large impactors (10-100 km in diameter) was likely 20-40 times higher than today. The E-belt model of early Solar System dynamics suggests that an increased impactor flux during the Archean is the result of the destabilization of an inward extension of the main asteroid belt (Bottke et al., 2012). Here, we find that the nominal flux predicted by the E-belt model is 7-19 times too low to explain the spherule layer record. Moreover, rather than making most lunar basins younger than 4.1 Gyr old, the nominal E-belt model, coupled with a corrected crater diameter scaling law, only produces two lunar basins larger than 300 km in diameter. We also show that the spherule layer record when coupled with the lunar cratering record and careful consideration of crater scaling laws can constrain the size distribution of ancient terrestrial impactors. The preferred population is main-belt-like up to ∼50 km in diameter transitioning to a steep distribution going to larger sizes.

  9. Geological evidence for a 2.6-Ga strewn field of impact spherules in the Hamersley Basin of Western Australia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simonson, Bruce M.

    1992-01-01

    Sand-sized spherules up to 1.7 mm across with spherulitic, vesicular, and other crystalline textures that consist mainly of K-feldspar help define a unique horizon in the well-preserved 2.6-Ga Wittenoom Formation in the Hamersley Basin of Western Australia. This layer is informally known as the spherule marker bed. In the northeastern part of the Hamersley Basin, similar spherules again occur at only one horizon, but here they are a minor constituent of a dolomitic debris-flow deposit known as the dolomixtite layer. The dolomixtite layer occurs in the Carawine Dolomite, which is stratigraphically equivalent to the Wittenoom Formation. Moreover, paleocurrent data from closely associated carbonate and volcaniclastic turbidites indicate the spherule marker bed was deposited in deeper-water paleoenvironments than the dolomixtite layer. Therefore, the dolomixtite layer is believed to be a proximal equivalent of the spherule marker bed. The layers that host the spherules are interpreted to be the deposits of a major sediment gravity flow that exhumed and redeposited most of the spherules after shallow burial, although the flow is not believed to have been a direct result of the proposed impact. The most likely site for the proposed impact would have been in the early Precambrian ocean close to the northeastern edge of the Pilbara Craton. Another thin horizon in the overlying Brockman Iron Formation contains spherules that again consist largely of K-feldspar and have internal textures strikingly similar to those of the Wittenoom Formation and Carawine Dolomite. The close resemblance of these spherules to those of the Wittenoom Formation and Carawine Dolomite suggests they also originated as impact melt droplets, even though they are admixed with volcaniclastic detritus. The stratigraphic separation between the two suggests that a second major impact occurred near the Hamersley Basin after a time interval of about 75 m.y. elapsed. This suggests the record of impacts in

  10. Compositional Constraints on Hematite-Rich Spherule (Blueberry) Formation at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, A. L.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Gellert, R.; Jolliff, B.

    2007-01-01

    Meridiani Planum was chosen as the landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity partially based on Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data indicating an abundance of hematite. Hematite often forms through processes that involve water, so the site was a promising one to determine whether conditions on Mars were ever suitable for life. Opportunity struck pay dirt; it s Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) and Mossbauer Spectrometer (MB) confirmed the presence of hematite in sulfate-rich sedimentary beds and in lag deposits. Meridiani Planum rocks contain three main components: silicate phases, sulfate and possibly chloride salts, and ferric oxide phases such as hematite. Primary igneous phases are at low abundance despite the basaltic origin of the protoliths. Jarosite, an alkali ferric sulfate, was identified by Mossbauer. Some of the hematite is contained in the spherules, and some resides in finer grains in outcrops. Mossbauer and Mini-TES data indicate that hematite is a dominant constituent of the spherules. Panoramic Camera (Pancam) and Microscopic Imager (MI) images of spherule interiors show that hematite is present throughout. The exact composition of the spherules is unknown. Mini-TES only identifies a hematite signature in the spherules; any other constituents have an upper limit of 5-10% .The MB data are consistent with the spherules being composed of only hematite.

  11. New constraints on the Paleoarchean meteorite bombardment of the Earth - Geochemistry and Re-Os isotope signatures of spherule layers in the BARB5 ICDP drill core from the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, Toni; Koeberl, Christian; Luguet, Ambre; van Acken, David; Mohr-Westheide, Tanja; Ozdemir, Seda; Reimold, Wolf Uwe

    2017-08-01

    Archean spherule layers, resulting from impacts by large extraterrestrial objects, to date represent the only remnants of the early meteorite, asteroid, and comet bombardment of the Earth. Only few Archean impact debris layers have been documented, all of them embedded in the 3.23-3.47 billion year old successions of the Barberton Greenstone Belt (BGB) in South Africa and the Pilbara Craton in Western Australia. Some of them might be correlated with each other. Given the scarcity of Archean spherule deposits, four spherule layer intersections from the recently recovered BARB5 drill core from the central Barberton Greenstone Belt, analyzed in this study, provide an opportunity to gain new insight into the early terrestrial impact bombardment. Despite being hydrothermally overprinted, siderophile element abundance signatures of spherule-rich samples from the BARB5 drill core, at least in part, retained a meteoritic fingerprint. The impact hypothesis for the generation of the BARB5 spherule layers is supported by correlations between the abundances of moderately (Cr, Co, Ni) and highly siderophile (Re, Os, Ir, Pt, Ru and Pd) elements, whose peak concentrations and interelement ratios are within the range of those for chondrites. Rhenium-Osmium isotope evidence further support the impact hypothesis. Collectively, this study provides evidence for extraterrestrial admixtures ranging between ∼40 and up to 100% to three of the four analyzed BARB5 spherule layers, and a scenario for their genesis involving (i) impact of a chondritic bolide into a sedimentary target, (ii) varying admixtures of meteoritic components to target materials, (iii) spherule formation via condensation in an impact vapor plume, (iv) transportation of the spherules and sedimentation under submarine conditions, followed by (v) moderate post-impact remobilization of transition metals and highly siderophile elements.

  12. Peculiar spherules from Antarctica and their origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tazawa, Y.; Fujii, Y.

    1984-01-01

    Two calcium titanium oxide spherules (CTS) and an iron chromium nickel oxide one (FCN) were obtained from a segment of ice core collected at Mizuho Station, East Antarctica. An anomalous REE abundance pattern enriched in Sm by a factor of about 10 relative to the typical pattern of terrestrial perovskites was found. Subsequently, more than forty spherules from ten other depth ranges of the ice core were analyzed: (1) both CTS and FCN occur in every depth range; (2) CTS, FCN, and other are in the ratio of about 2:21 among all the analyzed spherules; (3) all of CTS show the same chemical and mineralogical characteristics as those previously obtained; (4) CTS contains some amounts of Cr and Fe, and/or FCN contains Ca and Ti; and (5) two composite particles exist among all the spherules. It is implied that CTS and FCN had originated in a common natural material and from a common natural process.

  13. ODP Hole 689B spherules and upper Eocene microtektite and clinopyroxene-bearing spherule strewn fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, B. P.; Koeberl, C.

    1999-03-01

    Montanari et al. (1993) reported a positive Ir anomaly in the upper Eocene sediments from Ocean Drilling Program Hole 689B on the Maud Rise, Southern Ocean. Vonhof (1998) described microtektites and clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherules associated with the Ir anomaly in Hole 689B and suggested that they belong to the North American and equatorial Pacific cpx strewn fields, respectively. We searched a suite of 27 samples taken through the spherule layer from Hole 689B and we recovered 386 microtektites and 667 cpx spherules. We studied the petrography of the microtektites and cpx spherules and determined the major element compositions of 31 microtektites and 14 cpx spherules using energy dispersive x-ray analysis. We also determined the minor element compositions of eight microtektites using instrumental neutron activation analysis. We found that the peak abundance of cpx spherules is ~2 cm below the peak abundance of the microtektites (~128.7 m below sea floor), suggesting that the cpx spherule layer may be slightly older (~3-5 ka). The microtektites are mostly spherical and are generally transparent and colorless. They are similar to the North American microtektites in composition; the biggest differences being their generally lower Na2O and generally higher Zr, Ba, and Ir (up to 0.3 ppb) contents. We agree with Vonhof (1998) that the Hole 689B microtektites probably belong to the North American tektite strewn field. We calculate that the number of microtektites (>125 microns)/cm2 at Hole 689B is 52. This number is close to the concentration predicted by extrapolation of the trend of concentration versus distance from the Chesapeake Bay structure based on data from other North American microtektite-bearing sites. Thus, the North American strewn field may be at least four times larger than previously mapped. The Hole 689B cpx spherules range from translucent yellow to opaque black, but most are opaque tan to dark brown. They are generally spherical in shape and all

  14. Sr and Nd Data for Upper Eocene Spherule Layers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Shaobin; Glass, B. P.; Ngo, H. H.; Papanastassiou, D. A.; Wasserburg, G. J.

    2001-01-01

    Sr and Nd data for clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherules from three sites support conclusions that there is only one cpx spherule layer and that the source crater may be Popigai. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  15. Oxygen isotopes in deep-sea spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clayton, Robert N.; Mayeda, Toshiko K.; Brownlee, Donald E.

    1986-01-01

    Oxygen isotopic compositions have been measured on several size fractions of deep-sea spherules of extraterrestrial origin. The silicate spherules have an isotopic composition unlike that of any known macrometeorite. Their pre-terrestrial compositions may have been similar to those of C3 chondrites or the anhydrous component of C2 chondrites, the latter being preferred on chemical grounds. Metallic particles oxidize in the upper atmosphere, and sample a region for which no previous oxygen isotope data exist. This part of the atmosphere, above about 100 km, is apparently strongly enriched in the heavy isotopes of oxygen.

  16. Metallic spherules in tektites from Isabela, Philippine Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chao, E.C.T.; Adler, I.; Dwornik, E.J.; Littler, J.

    1962-01-01

    Iron-nickel spherules, as much as 0.5 mm in diameter, have been found completely embedded in some philippinites. The spherules consist mainly of kamacite with unidentified pink inclusions. The meteoritic origin of these spherules seems reasonable, suggesting that the tektites containing them were formed by asteroidal or meteoritic impact.

  17. Hematite spherules at Meridiani: results from MI, Mini-TES, and Pancam

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Calvin, W.M.; Shoffner, J.D.; Johnson, J. R.; Knoll, A.H.; Pocock, J.M.; Squyres, S. W.; Weitz, C.M.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Christensen, P.R.; de Souza, P. A.; Farrand, W. H.; Glotch, T.D.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Jolliff, B.L.; Knudson, A.T.; McLennan, S.M.; Rogers, A.D.; Thompson, S.D.

    2008-01-01

    We report on observations of hematite-bearing spherules at Meridiani Planum made using the Microscopic Imager (MI), Mini-Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), and Panoramic Camera (Pancam) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. Spherules were observed on soil surfaces and in outcrop rocks, both on undisturbed surfaces and in abraded surfaces ground using the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT). Spherule size and shape change little along the 850 m eastward traverse from Eagle Crater to Endurance Crater, but spherules decrease and then slightly increase in size along the 6 km traverse from Endurance south to Victoria Crater. Local populations range from submillimeters to several millimeters in diameter. An additional small diameter (100 μm) size population is possible. An increase in irregular shapes is found near Victoria Crater. This, combined with the size decrease south of Endurance, suggests either a changing depositional environment, or variation in the duration and timing of diagenetic events. The dominant smaller size population observed early in the mission in aeolian areas and ripple crests is observed as the primary size population in abraded outcrop farther south. This suggests that successively younger beds are exposed at the surface along the southward traverse. Stratigraphically higher units removed by erosion could be recorded by the present surface lag deposit. Coordinated systematic observations are used to determine optical and infrared hematite indices of the surface soils in Pancam and Mini-TES. In spite of the systematic variation seen in MI, both Pancam and Mini-TES indices are highly variable based on the local surface, and neither show systematic trends south of Endurance. The lack of a 390 cm?1 feature in Mini-TES spectra suggests concentric or radial interior structure within the spherules at scales too fine for MI to observe. Mini-TES does not detect any silicate component in the spherules. A bound water component in soils or in

  18. Oxygen isotopes in deep sea spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayeda, T. K.; Clayton, R. N.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1984-01-01

    The determination of the genetic relationships between the dust and small particles in the solar system, and the meteorites and larger bodies are examined. Oxygen isotopes proved useful in the identification of such relationships between one meteorite group and another. Of the various samples of submillimeter extraterrestrial particles available for laboratory study, only the deep sea spherules are abundant enough for precise oxygen isotope analysis using existing techniques. Complications arise in interpretation of the isotopic data, since these particles were melted during passage through the Earth's atmosphere, and have been in contact with seawater for prolonged periods. Spherules that were originally silicates are considered with the originally metallic ones to deduce their preterrestrial isotopic compositions. The type 1 spherules which enter the atmosphere as metallic particles, contain only atmospheric oxygen. The type S spherules contain a mixture of atmospheric oxygen and their original extraterrestrial oxygen. It is suggested that the Earth's mesosphere is strongly enriched in heavy isotopes of oxygen at altitudes near 90 km at which the iron particles are oxidized. Fractionation due to the combined diffusion of O atoms and O2 molecules may be responsible.

  19. Nickel-iron spherules from aouelloul glass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chao, E.C.T.; Dwornik, E.J.; Merrill, C.W.

    1966-01-01

    Nickel-iron spherules, ranging from less than 0.2 to 50 microns in diameter and containing 1.7 to 9.0 percent Ni by weight, occur in glass associated with the Aouelloul crater. They occur in discrete bands of siliceous glass enriched in dissolved iron. Their discovery is significant tangible evidence that both crater and glass originated from terrestrial impact.

  20. Method for preparing hydrous zirconium oxide gels and spherules

    DOEpatents

    Collins, Jack L.

    2003-08-05

    Methods for preparing hydrous zirconium oxide spherules, hydrous zirconium oxide gels such as gel slabs, films, capillary and electrophoresis gels, zirconium monohydrogen phosphate spherules, hydrous zirconium oxide spherules having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent, zirconium monohydrogen phosphate spherules having suspendable particles of at least one different sorbent homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent having a desired crystallinity, zirconium oxide spherules having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, hydrous zirconium oxide fiber materials, zirconium oxide fiber materials, hydrous zirconium oxide fiber materials having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, zirconium oxide fiber materials having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite and spherules of barium zirconate. The hydrous zirconium oxide spherules and gel forms prepared by the gel-sphere, internal gelation process are useful as inorganic ion exchangers, catalysts, getters and ceramics.

  1. The Archean kerogen paradox

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohmoto, H.

    2012-12-01

    The constituents of organic matter buried in sediments (kerogen) are classified into three types: (1) liable components that may be decomposed by aerobic and anaerobic microbes during the early diagenesis of sediments, and by thermal decomposition during the burial at ~3-5 km depths (T = 100 ~150°C) to generate bitumen (oil); (2) refractory components that may decompose into gaseous components at greater depths (T = 150-230°C); and (iii) inert components that may be converted to graphite during high temperature metamorphism. Laboratory experiments and field observations indicate that matured kerogen (i.e., refractory and inert components) is decomposed during the weathering under an oxygenated atmosphere by reaction C + O2 → CO2, promoted by aerobic organisms. This has resulted in the general absence of old detrital kerogen (except debris of vascular plants) in Phanerozoic-aged sedimentary rocks. In contrast, matured kerogen would not be decomposed during the weathering under a reducing atmosphere, because the reactions C + 2H2 → CH4, C + 2H2O → CO2 + 2H2 and 2C + 2H2O → CO2 + CH4 would not proceed at low temperatures even with the aid of anaerobic organisms. If such reactions could occur at low temperatures, sedimentary rocks, regardless of their age, would have lost all their kerogen before being buried to depths ~3 km. If the Archean atmosphere had been reducing, as postulated by the dominant paradigm of the early Earth, detrital kerogen should be ubiquitously present in Archean-aged sedimentary rocks. We should also find general increasing trends in both the ratio of detrital/syngenetic kerogens and the total amount of reduced C (syngenetic and detrital kerogens) in sedimentary rocks from ~3.8 Ga to ~2.5 Ga in age. Because the detrital kerogen had been subjected to metamorphism and weathering before being transported to the oceans, detrital kerogen would have different structures, textures, and elemental and isotopic ratios compared to the syngenetic

  2. Origin and diagenesis of K/T impact spherules -- From Haiti to Wyoming and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohor, B. F.; Glass, B. P.

    1995-03-01

    altered Type 1 melt-droplet bodies. The spherules at both locations were deposited in a melt-ejecta layer as part of the KIT impact event. Previously, two types of relict impact glasses had been identified in the Haitian spherule beds: black glass of andesitic composition and high-Ca yellow glass with an unusually high S content. Most workers agree that the latter probably formed by impact melting and mixing of surficial carbonate (and minor anhydrite) rocks with the more deeply-buried crystalline parent rocks of the black glasses. However, some workers have suggested that an intermediate compositional gap exists between the two groups of glasses, implying a different origin than simple mixing of end members during impact. We report glass compositional analyses with values extending throughout this intermediate range, lending support to the impact-mixing model. Inclusions of CaSO4 found by us in relict yellow glasses further support this model.

  3. Examining Archean methanotrophy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. Analysis of Cosmic Spherule Candidates from the Kwajalein Micrometeorite Collection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wozniakiewicz, P. J.; Price, M. C.; Bradley, J. P.; Ishii, H. A.; Russell, S. S.; Zolensky, M. E.; Brownlee, D. E.

    2015-01-01

    The Kwajalein micrometeorite collection utilised high volume air samplers fitted with 5 micrometer laser-etched polycarbonate membrane filters to capture particles directly from the atmosphere. The filters were changed weekly over several months throughout 2011/12, providing the opportunity to investigate the contemporary flux of micrometeorites. We recently reported the results of our initial survey of cosmic spherule-like particles on several of these filters. We identified three main groups of particle based on bulk compositions: 1. Silicate spherules rich in Mg, Ca and Fe, 2. Silicate spherules rich in Al, Ca, K and/or Na and 3. Fe-rich spherules. Abundances appeared to change over time suggesting links with celestial activity (e.g. meteor showers), however, spherules similar to groups 2 and 3 can be produced by terrestrial and anthropogenic activity (e.g. volcanic microspherules exhibit similar compositions to group 2 spherules and metallic spherules similar to those of group 3 can be formed during fuel combustion). We are now studying the internal structures and chemistries of these spherules and comparing against cosmic spherules identified in other collections to confrim their origins and further contrain the contemporary micrometeorite flux. Particles are being picked, embedded in resin and polished through to reveal their interiors. Here we will describe our ongoing analyses of these particles via SEM. We will also introduce our new collection using this method that is currently being performed in the Antarctic.

  5. Induction of Spherule Formation in Physarum polycephalum by Polyols

    PubMed Central

    Chet, I.; Rusch, H. P.

    1969-01-01

    A method has been developed for inducing spherule formation (spherulation) in the myxomycete Physarum polycephalum by transferring the culture to synthetic medium containing 0.5 m mannitol or other polyols. This morphogenetic process occurred within 12 to 35 hr after the inducer was added. The mature spherules existed as distinct morphogenetic units, in contrast to the clusters of spherules formed during starvation. Ninety per cent of the spherules germinated by 24 hr in synthetic medium. The changes in the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA), deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and protein during plasmodial growth, spherulation, and germination of spherules are described. When spherule formation was completed, RNA, protein, and DNA decreased, compared with the values at the beginning of the conversion. The incorporation of 3H-uridine into trichloroacetic acid-insoluble material was different in each of these periods, and this incorporation was sensitive to actinomycin D. The amount of glycogen increased during growth, whereas it decreased during spherulation. 14C-glucose could be taken up by the cells in the presence of the inducer, and mannitol could not replace glucose as a source of energy. The mode of action of mannitol and its mechanism of induction are discussed. Images PMID:5389734

  6. Impacts onto the Early Earth: Archean Spherule Layers from the ICDP Drill Core BARB5

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, J. P.; Mohr-Westheide, T.; Reimold, W. U.; Schmitt, R. T.; Hofmann, A.; Koeberl, C.; McDonald, I.; Luais, B.; Tagle, R.; Schulz, T.; Mader, D.; Hoehnel, D.

    2014-09-01

    Geochemical and petrologic studies of the BARB5 ICDP drill core samples aim on identifying the “primary” signatures of the impact events least affected by (re)deposition and metamorphic overprint.

  7. Archean geotherms and supracrustal assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condie, Kent C.

    1984-06-01

    Metamorphic mineral assemblages suggest the existence of variable geotherms and lithospheric thicknesses beneath late Archean continental crust. Archean granite-greenstone terranes reflect steep geotherms (50-70°C/km) while high-grade terranes reflect moderate geotherms similar to present continental crust with high heat flow (25-40°C/km). Corresponding lithosphere thicknesses for each terrane during the late Archean are 35-50 km and 50-75 km, respectively. Early Archean (⩾ 3.0 b.y.) greenstones differ from late Archean (˜ 2.7 b.y.) greenstones by the rarity or absence of andesite and graywacke and the relative abundance of pelite, quartzite, and komatiite. Mature clastic sediments in early greenstones reflect shallow-water, stable-basin deposition. Such rocks, together with granite-bearing conglomerate and felsic volcanics imply the existence of still older granitic source terranes. The absence or rarity of andesite in early greenstones reflects the absence of tectonic conditions in which basaltic and tonalitic magmas are modified to produce andesite. A model is presented in which early Archean greenstones form at the interface between tonalite islands and oceanic lithosphere, over convective downcurrents; high-grade supracrustals form on stable continental edges or interiors; and late Archean greenstones form in intracontinental rifts over mantle plumes.

  8. Metal spherules in Wabar, Monturaqui, and Henbury impactites. [iron meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibbons, R. V.; Horz, F.; Thompson, T. D.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1976-01-01

    The Fe, Ni, and Co contents of 450 spherules with diameters of 3 to 100 microns in impact glasses from three terrestrial meteorite craters are determined by electron microprobe analysis. The objects investigated include 250 spherules from Wabar (Saudi Arabia) impactite and 100 each from Monturaqui (Chile) and Henbury (Australia) impactites. The specimens and spherules are described, noting that the Wabar and Henbury craters were produced in sandstone while the Monturaqui crater was formed in siliceous igneous rocks and has an enigmatic sulfide abundance. It is found that the spherules are enriched in Ni and Co relative to the original meteorite Fe content and are enriched in Ni relative to Co for Ni contents greater than 50%. The results indicate that, on the average, Henbury spherules are more Ni-enriched than Monturaqui spherules, and Wabar spherules exhibit the least Ni-enrichment. It is suggested that the spherules could have formed without experiencing free flight and that instantaneous dissemination of meteoritic material at the meteorite-target contact was the major fractionation process.

  9. Metal spherules in Wabar, Monturaqui, and Henbury impactites. [iron meteorites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibbons, R. V.; Horz, F.; Thompson, T. D.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1976-01-01

    The Fe, Ni, and Co contents of 450 spherules with diameters of 3 to 100 microns in impact glasses from three terrestrial meteorite craters are determined by electron microprobe analysis. The objects investigated include 250 spherules from Wabar (Saudi Arabia) impactite and 100 each from Monturaqui (Chile) and Henbury (Australia) impactites. The specimens and spherules are described, noting that the Wabar and Henbury craters were produced in sandstone while the Monturaqui crater was formed in siliceous igneous rocks and has an enigmatic sulfide abundance. It is found that the spherules are enriched in Ni and Co relative to the original meteorite Fe content and are enriched in Ni relative to Co for Ni contents greater than 50%. The results indicate that, on the average, Henbury spherules are more Ni-enriched than Monturaqui spherules, and Wabar spherules exhibit the least Ni-enrichment. It is suggested that the spherules could have formed without experiencing free flight and that instantaneous dissemination of meteoritic material at the meteorite-target contact was the major fractionation process.

  10. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Antarctic and Spherule Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Antarctic and Spherule Studies" included the following reports:In Situ Magnetic Identification and Classification of Meteorites in Antarctica; Pb, Nd and Sr Isotopes in Aerosols Extracted from Snow, Berkner Island, Antarctica; Olivine Textures and Compositions in BIT-58 Ablation Debris; and Extraterrestrial Spherules with Fe-Ni Core and Pt Group Nuggets in Pleistocene Sediment from Hungary.

  11. Method for preparing hydrous iron oxide gels and spherules

    DOEpatents

    Collins, Jack L.; Lauf, Robert J.; Anderson, Kimberly K.

    2003-07-29

    The present invention is directed to methods for preparing hydrous iron oxide spherules, hydrous iron oxide gels such as gel slabs, films, capillary and electrophoresis gels, iron monohydrogen phosphate spherules, hydrous iron oxide spherules having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form composite sorbents and catalysts, iron monohydrogen phosphate spherules having suspendable particles of at least one different sorbent homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent, iron oxide spherules having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite of hydrous iron oxide fiber materials, iron oxide fiber materials, hydrous iron oxide fiber materials having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, iron oxide fiber materials having suspendable particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, dielectric spherules of barium, strontium, and lead ferrites and mixtures thereof, and composite catalytic spherules of barium or strontium ferrite embedded with oxides of Mg, Zn, Pb, Ce and mixtures thereof. These variations of hydrous iron oxide spherules and gel forms prepared by the gel-sphere, internal gelation process offer more useful forms of inorganic ion exchangers, catalysts, getters, dielectrics, and ceramics.

  12. Hydrothermal Synthesis of Hematite-Rich Spherules: Implications for Diagenesis and Hematite Spherule Formation in Outcrops at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golden, D. C.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T. G.

    2007-01-01

    The Athena science payload onboard the Opportunity rover identified hematite-rich spherules (mean diameter of 4.2 +/- 0.8 mm) embedded in outcrops and occurring as lag deposits at Meridiani Planum. They have formed as diagenetic concretions from the rapid breakdown of pre-existing jarosite and other iron sulfates when chemically distinct groundwater passed through the sediments. Diagenetic, Fe-cemented concretions found in the Jurassic Navajo Formation, Utah and hematite-rich spherules found within sulfate-rich volcanic breccia on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii are possible terrestrial analogues for Meridiani spherules. The Navajo Formation concretions form in porous quartz arenite from the dissolution of iron oxides by reducing fluids and subsequent Fe precipitation to form spherical Fe- and Si-rich concretions. The Mauna Kea spherules form by hydrothermal, acid-sulfate alteration of basaltic tephra. The formation of hematite-rich spherules with similar chemical, mineralogical, and morphological properties to the Meridiani spherules is rare on Earth, so little is known about their formation conditions. In this study, we have synthesized in the laboratory hematite-rich spherules that are analogous in nearly all respects to the Meridiani spherules.

  13. An Archean Biosphere Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  15. Vesicle dynamics during the atmospheric entry heating of cosmic spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genge, M. J.

    2017-03-01

    Cosmic spherules are unique igneous objects that form by melting due to gas drag heating during atmospheric entry heating. Vesicles are an important component of many cosmic spherules since they suggest their precursors had finite volatile contents. Vesicle abundances in spherules decrease through the series porphyritic, glassy, barred, to cryptocrystalline spherules. Anomalous hollow spherules, with large off-center vesicles occur in both porphyritic and glassy spheres. Numerical simulation of the dynamic behavior of vesicles during atmospheric flight is presented that indicates vesicles rapidly migrate due to deceleration and separate from nonporphyritic particles. Modest rotation rates of tens of radians s-1 are, however, sufficient to impede loss of vesicles and may explain the presence of small solitary vesicles in barred, cryptocrystalline and glassy spherules. Rapid rotation at spin rates of several thousand radians s-1 are required to concentrate vesicles at the rotational axis and leads to rapid growth by coalescence and either separation or retention depending on the orientation of the rotational axis. Complex rapid rotations that concentrate vesicles in the core of particles are proposed as a mechanism for the formation of hollow spherules. High vesicle contents in porphyritic spherules suggest volatile-rich precursors; however, calculation of volatile retention indicates these have lost >99.9% of volatiles to degassing prior to melting. The formation of hollow spherules, by rapid spin, necessarily implies preatmospheric rotations of several thousand radians s-1. These particles are suggested to represent immature dust, recently released from parent bodies, in which rotations have not been slowed by magnetic damping.

  16. Serological Comparison of Spherules and Arthrospores of Coccidioides immitis1

    PubMed Central

    Landay, Marshall E.; Wheat, Robert W.; Conant, Norman F.; Lowe, Edwin P.

    1967-01-01

    Spherule and arthrospore cellular preparations were sonic-treated and separated into their respective supernatant and sediment components. Complement-fixation tests with antispherule and antiarthrospore pooled rabbit sera revealed that the soluble antigens exhibited more serological activity than the sediment preparations. After autoclaving, an arthrospore cellular antigen exhibited increased activity with either antisera, whereas autoclaved spherules exhibited increased activity only with antispherule serum. Complement-fixation tests with coccicioidin and spherule culture supernatant preparations revealed quantitative or qualitative differences in antigenic determinants between these two morphological phases of Coccidioides immitis. PMID:6057798

  17. Oriented crystallographic textures of olivine in quenched silicate melt spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isobe, H.

    2015-12-01

    Olivine is one of the most common minerals in the planetary materials including solid Earth and chondritic meteorites. Olivine crystals show characteristic textures in chondrules and micrometeorites (MMs) depending on heating and cooling histories, especially in extraordinary quick cooling rates. We have constructed a fine particle free fall apparatus in a high temperature furnace and carried out crystallization experiments of fine particles with quick heating and quenching (Isobe and Gondo, 2013). The falling particles in the furnace can reach 1400 degrees C within 2 seconds, keep above 1400 degrees C more than 1 second, and are quenched within 1 second. Run products from olivine particles show various textures depending on proportions of three kinds of starting materials in the particles. Fayalite particles melt completely and form barred olivine-like spherules with low pyramid structures on the surface. Dendritic olivine crystals with regulated crystallographic orientation are developed in melted particles. Surface texture of melted particles may be affected by the dendritic olivine crystals grown in the spherules. Oriented dendrites of magnetite also occur between olivine crystals. The texture of oriented dendrite of olivine with tiny magnetite is quite similar to natural cosmic spherules (CSs). In the completely melted spherules, barred olivine-like structures can be seen. Due to extraordinary high cooling rate up to 2×10^6 degrees C/hour and degrees of supercooling, olivine bars show chained structure of H-shaped or hourglass shaped units which are distinctive characteristics for quick growth of olivine in quenching. In spite of quite short period of crystal growth processes, chained olivine aligns parallel bars in the almost entire spherule. Nucleation of barred olivine crystals may be initiated at surface of spherules. Starting points of olivine growth can be seen as peaks on surface of the spherules. The crystallographic textures of olivine develop

  18. Archean sedimentary systems and crustal evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, D. R.

    1985-01-01

    Current knowledge of preserved Archean sedimentary rocks suggests that they accumulated in at least three major depositional settings. These are represented generally by sedimentary units: (1) in early Archean, pre-3.0 Ga old greenstone belts, (2) on late Archean sialic cratons, and (3) in late Archean, post-3.0 Ga old greenstone belts. Research suggests that the Archean was characterized by at least two distinctive and largely diachronous styles of crustal evolution. Thick, stable early Archean simatic platforms, perhaps analogous to modern oceanic islands formed over hot spots, underwent a single cycle of cratonization to form stable continental blocks in the early Archean. Later formed Archean continents show a two stage evolution. The initial stage is reflected in the existence of older sialic material, perhaps representing incompletely cratonized areas or microcontinents of as yet unknown origin. During the second stage, late Archean greenstone belts, perhaps analogous to modern magmatic arcs or back arc basins, developed upon or adjacent to these older sialic blocks. The formation of this generation of Archean continents was largely complete by the end of the Archean. These results suggest that Archean greenstone belts may represent a considerable range of sedimentological and tectonic settings.

  19. Proximal ejecta deposits of the K-Pg Chixulub impact: The case for carbonate impact melt spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deutsch, Alex; Schulte, Peter

    2010-05-01

    When 65.5 million yrs. ago an about ~10 km-sized asteroid hit Earth (Chicxulub impact event), ejecta was distributed world-wide to form the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) event bed. Continuous sections across this K-Pg boundary document unambiguously that the 'K-T' mass extinction was triggered by the Chicxulub event, not only because of the projectile's size but particularly by the specific composition of the target, namely a 3-km- (in the West) to about 4.5-km-thick (in the Gulf area) layer of volatile-rich carbonate and sulfate platform sediments on top of the crystalline basement (Schulte et al., 2010). Modeling, petrographic and geochemical studies on natural samples as well as experimental results show that shock pressure and high post-shock temperatures yield irreversible deformations and transformations on carbonate and sulfate target lithologies which are also expected to occur in the context of the Chicxulub event. Twofold devastating effects on life are predicted (i) dissociation of carbonates and sulfates with nearly instantaneous release of vast quantities of CO2, and of about 100 to 500 Gt sulfur triggering severe climate effects, and (ii) deposition of carbonate and sulfate melts together with silicate melts, causing short-term disruption of the thermal conditions proximal to the crater. Silicate impact glasses with high CaO contents occur, for example, as spherules in the K-Pg event bed at Haiti and in melt lithologies from drill cores (e.g., Yucatan-6, Chicxulub-1, Yaxcopoil-1). Carbonate melt glasses have not been reported so far in K-Pg event beds. Hence, the following question was answered so far: Where are the huge amounts of carbonates that suffered impact metamorphism and were ejected in the Chicxulub event? The Chicxulub ejecta deposits in the Gulf of Mexico area contain up to 80 wt% carbonates which, however, have been interpreted as precipitation product during diagenesis. In consequence, the abundant mm-sized ejecta spherules consisting of a

  20. Hot rock and wildfires: assessing the potential of the proximal Cretaceous-Palaeogene impact melt spherules to ignite wildfires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hadden, Rory; Belcher, Claire M.; Scott, Sarah; Fereres, Sonia; Lautenberger, Chris; Fernandez-Pello, A. Carlos

    2010-05-01

    It is generally accepted that an extraterrestrial body collided with the Earth 65 m.y. ago and that the 200-km-wide Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, is the mark of this impact. This impact blasted melted asteroidal and target rock debris across the planet, depositing the Cretaceous-Palaeogene (K-Pg) boundary impact rock layers. Several models have suggested that the thermal radiation released by the K-Pg impact ought to have been sufficient to have ignited wildfires locally, if not globally. However, a more recent model by Goldin and Melosh (2009) suggests the thermal flux to the ground surface was a maximum of 19 kW m sq. This model is consistent with the record of wildfire indicators analysed from K-Pg boundary impact rocks, which show little evidence for wildfires associated with this event across the western interior of North America. The K-Pg impact is known to have formed thick proximal ejecta deposits consisting of large (typically 1-10mm) melt spherules up to 2000km in distance from Chicxulub crater. This zone includes areas of land that are known to have been emergent from the ocean at this time and where forests may have come into direct contact with the hot ejecta. Here we test the ability of these large super-heated melt spherules to ignite wildfires in the areas proximal to Chicxulub crater using laboratory experiments. Metal ball-bearings of a variety of sizes (4.4-19.1mm in diameter) and heated to a variety of temperatures (500-1100oC) were dropped onto cellulose and pine needle fuel beds. The former is a well-characterised "laboratory" fuel while the latter is a natural fuel relevant to wildfire spread. The temperature of the fuel beds was recorded (via thermocouples) at eight locations moving away from the spherule impact point in the cellulose fuel beds, whereas mass loss of the fuel bed was used to characterise ignition in pine needle fuel beds. Our results suggest that vegetated areas receiving impacts of spherules 4.4mm or

  1. Unaltered cosmic spherules in a 1.4-Gyr-old sandstone from Finland.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, A; Greshake, A; Pesonen, L J; Pihlaja, P

    1998-09-10

    Micrometeorites-submillimetre-sized particles derived from asteroids and comets-occur in significant quantities in deep sea sediments, and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. The most abundant micrometeorites are cosmic spherules, which contain nickel-rich spinels that were crystallized and oxidized during atmospheric entry, therefore recording the oxygen content in the uppermost atmosphere. But the use of micrometeorites for detecting past changes in the flux of incoming extraterrestrial matter, and as probes of the evolution of the atmosphere, has been hampered by the fact that most objects with depositional ages higher than 0.5 Myr show severe chemical alteration. Here we report the discovery of unaltered cosmic spherules in a 1.4-Gyr-old sandstone (red bed) from Finland. From this we infer that red beds, a common lithology in the Earth's history, may contain substantial unbiased populations of fossil micrometeorites. The study of such populations would allow systematic research on variations in the micrometeorite flux from the early Proterozoic era to recent times (a time span of about 2.5 Gyr), and could help to better constrain the time when the atmospheric oxygen content was raised to its present level.

  2. Iridium and Spherules in Late Eocene Impact Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, F. T.; Liu, S.

    2002-01-01

    We have been independently examining the Ir (FTK) and spherule (SL) contents of recently discovered late Eocene impact deposits from the south Atlantic and western Indian oceans. These include ODP Sites 1090 [14,15], 709 [lo], and 699 [Liu in prep.]. Iridium abundances at these sites are within the typical range reported for late Eocene deposits, with peak concentrations between 100 and 1000 pg/g. In Table 1 we present estimated net Ir fluences (in ng Ir/cm ) for these and nine other sites. Although there are fewer sites than the K/T boundary, the average of 9 ng Ir/cm2 is probably a good estimate of the late Eocene global flux. This is enough Ir for a 6 km comet (assuming 250 ng/g Ir, p=1.5), is sufficient to produce the Popigai or Chesapeake Bay structures, and is 16% of the flux estimated for the K/T boundary (55 ng/cm2 [ 161). Figure 1 shows the relative abundances of Ir, glassy microtektites and cpx-bearing spherules in sediments from Sites 699 and 1090, which are separated by only 3100 km. Although these two sites have similar Ir anomalies, the abundances of spherules are quite different. Site 1090 has well-defined peaks for both types of spherules, with a peak of 562 cpx spheruledg, while Site 699 contains only a few glassy microtektites and no cpx spherules. While the different abundances of spherules may reflect a heterogeneous distribution of spherules on the Earth s surface, an equally likely cause of this difference may be differential preservation of spherules in the sediment. recovered are only a trace residue of the initial impact deposit. Earlier work found 0.22 ng/g Ir in glassy microtektites from Site 689 [17], an insufficient concentration to support 0.16 ng/g in the bulk sediment at this site. We measured 15 ng/g Ir in a group of 95 cpx spherules from Site 1090 with sizes from 63 to -200 pm, a set typical of the size distribution at this site. Although this is a significant concentration it also cannot support the Ir peak. We presently lack

  3. Iridium and Spherules in Late Eocene Impact Deposits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kyte, F. T.; Liu, S.

    2002-01-01

    We have been independently examining the Ir (FTK) and spherule (SL) contents of recently discovered late Eocene impact deposits from the south Atlantic and western Indian oceans. These include ODP Sites 1090 [14,15], 709 [lo], and 699 [Liu in prep.]. Iridium abundances at these sites are within the typical range reported for late Eocene deposits, with peak concentrations between 100 and 1000 pg/g. In Table 1 we present estimated net Ir fluences (in ng Ir/cm ) for these and nine other sites. Although there are fewer sites than the K/T boundary, the average of 9 ng Ir/cm2 is probably a good estimate of the late Eocene global flux. This is enough Ir for a 6 km comet (assuming 250 ng/g Ir, p=1.5), is sufficient to produce the Popigai or Chesapeake Bay structures, and is 16% of the flux estimated for the K/T boundary (55 ng/cm2 [ 161). Figure 1 shows the relative abundances of Ir, glassy microtektites and cpx-bearing spherules in sediments from Sites 699 and 1090, which are separated by only 3100 km. Although these two sites have similar Ir anomalies, the abundances of spherules are quite different. Site 1090 has well-defined peaks for both types of spherules, with a peak of 562 cpx spheruledg, while Site 699 contains only a few glassy microtektites and no cpx spherules. While the different abundances of spherules may reflect a heterogeneous distribution of spherules on the Earth s surface, an equally likely cause of this difference may be differential preservation of spherules in the sediment. recovered are only a trace residue of the initial impact deposit. Earlier work found 0.22 ng/g Ir in glassy microtektites from Site 689 [17], an insufficient concentration to support 0.16 ng/g in the bulk sediment at this site. We measured 15 ng/g Ir in a group of 95 cpx spherules from Site 1090 with sizes from 63 to -200 pm, a set typical of the size distribution at this site. Although this is a significant concentration it also cannot support the Ir peak. We presently lack

  4. K/T spherules from Haiti and Wyoming: Origin, diagenesis, and similarity to some microtektites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bohor, B. F.; Glass, B. P.; Betterton, W. J.

    1993-01-01

    Spherules with relict glass cores in the K/T boundary bed of Haiti allow for a comparison of these bodies with hollow goyazite shells in the K/T boundary claystone of Wyoming and with younger microtektites of the Ivory Coast strewn field. Samples of the Haitian beds from undisturbed sections at Beloc, as determined by Jehanno et al., contain both hollow shells and relict glass cores rimmed by palagonite that has been partially converted to smectite. These palagonite rims developed from hydration zones formed when hot, splash-form droplets of andesitic impact glass were deposited into water. Mutual collisions between these droplets in the ejecta curtain may have formed point-source stresses on their surfaces. Initiation of hydration would be facilitated at these surface stress points and propagated radially into the glass. The inner surface of these merged hemispherical fronts appears mammillary, which is reflected as scalloping in Haitian relict glass cores.

  5. Spherules associated with the cretaceous-paleogene boundary in Poland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brachaniec, Tomasz; Karwowski, Łukasz; Szopa, Krzysztof

    2014-03-01

    The succession of the Lechówka section near Chełm in south-eastern Poland presents the first complete record of the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary in Poland. Samples of the boundary clay were examined for microtektites and shocked minerals to confirm the impact origin of the sediment. The spheroidal fraction reveals morphological and mineralogical features, e.g., spherules, similar to material from the K-Pg boundary as described from elsewhere. The impact genesis of the spherules is confirmed by the presence of nickel-rich spinel grains on their surfaces. The spinels are considered to be primary microlites and, thus, the spherules at Lechówka can be classified as microkrystites. No shocked minerals were noted. The deposits with spherules comprise Aland Mg-rich smectite (Cheto smectite). This almost pure Mg-rich smectite, forming up to 100% of the clay fraction, derived from the weathering of the impact glass. It is proposed that the spherules isolated from the Cretaceous- Paleogene boundary clay at Lechówka come from the Chicxulub crater in Mexico.

  6. Upper Eocene Spherules at ODP Site 1090B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, S.; Kyte, F. T.; Glass, B. P.; Gersonde, R.

    2000-01-01

    Our two labs independently discovered upper Eocene microtektites and microkrystites at ODP Site 1090, a new South Atlantic locality near the Agulhus Ridge. This is a significant new data point for the strewn fields of these spherules, which were recently extended into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean when they were reported at ODP Site 689 on the Maude Rise. The microtektites have been regarded as related to North American tektites and the microkrystites as belonging to the clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherule strewn field. Initial reports indicate that Site 1090 contains a complete sequence of upper Eocene sediments composed of diatom and nannofossil oozes. The magneto- and bio-stratigraphy indicate that impact-age sediments should occur in core 30X of Hole 1090B. One of us (FTK) took 2 cc samples at 10 cm intervals over 600 cm of core for Ir analyses and the senior author (SL) took 3 cc samples at 20 cm intervals to search for spherules. Both studies proved successful and additional samples were obtained to confirm initial results and better define the Ir anomaly and spherule abundances. Peak Ir concentrations of 0.97 ng/g were found at 1090B-30X-5, 105-106cm and 0.78 ng/g at 115-116 cm. Anomalous Ir concentrations (greater than 0.1 ng/g) extend over about 100 cm of core. Preliminary results indicate that the excess Ir at this site is about 25 ng per sq cm. About 380 microtektites (>63 pm) and 2492 microkrystites (>63 pm) were recovered over a 1.8 m interval with a peak abundance of microtektites (106/gram) and microkrystites (562/gram) at 1090B-30X- 5, 114-115 cm. The largest microtektite is approximately 960 x 1140 micron in size. About 55 % are spherical, and the rest are disc, cylinder, dumbbell, teardrop, or fragments. Most of the microtektites are transparent colorless, but a few are transparent pale brown or green. Preliminary data indicate that the microtektites at Site 1090 have similar major oxide compositions to those at Site 689. About 50% of

  7. Upper Eocene Spherules at ODP Site 1090B

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, S.; Kyte, F. T.; Glass, B. P.; Gersonde, R.

    2000-01-01

    Our two labs independently discovered upper Eocene microtektites and microkrystites at ODP Site 1090, a new South Atlantic locality near the Agulhus Ridge. This is a significant new data point for the strewn fields of these spherules, which were recently extended into the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean when they were reported at ODP Site 689 on the Maude Rise. The microtektites have been regarded as related to North American tektites and the microkrystites as belonging to the clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherule strewn field. Initial reports indicate that Site 1090 contains a complete sequence of upper Eocene sediments composed of diatom and nannofossil oozes. The magneto- and bio-stratigraphy indicate that impact-age sediments should occur in core 30X of Hole 1090B. One of us (FTK) took 2 cc samples at 10 cm intervals over 600 cm of core for Ir analyses and the senior author (SL) took 3 cc samples at 20 cm intervals to search for spherules. Both studies proved successful and additional samples were obtained to confirm initial results and better define the Ir anomaly and spherule abundances. Peak Ir concentrations of 0.97 ng/g were found at 1090B-30X-5, 105-106cm and 0.78 ng/g at 115-116 cm. Anomalous Ir concentrations (greater than 0.1 ng/g) extend over about 100 cm of core. Preliminary results indicate that the excess Ir at this site is about 25 ng per sq cm. About 380 microtektites (>63 pm) and 2492 microkrystites (>63 pm) were recovered over a 1.8 m interval with a peak abundance of microtektites (106/gram) and microkrystites (562/gram) at 1090B-30X- 5, 114-115 cm. The largest microtektite is approximately 960 x 1140 micron in size. About 55 % are spherical, and the rest are disc, cylinder, dumbbell, teardrop, or fragments. Most of the microtektites are transparent colorless, but a few are transparent pale brown or green. Preliminary data indicate that the microtektites at Site 1090 have similar major oxide compositions to those at Site 689. About 50% of

  8. Morphological Diversity of the Rod Spherule: A Study of Serially Reconstructed Electron Micrographs

    PubMed Central

    Li, Shuai; Mitchell, Joe; Briggs, Deidrie J.; Young, Jaime K.; Long, Samuel S.; Fuerst, Peter G.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Rod spherules are the site of the first synaptic contact in the retina’s rod pathway, linking rods to horizontal and bipolar cells. Rod spherules have been described and characterized through electron micrograph (EM) and other studies, but their morphological diversity related to retinal circuitry and their intracellular structures have not been quantified. Most rod spherules are connected to their soma by an axon, but spherules of rods on the surface of the Mus musculus outer plexiform layer often lack an axon and have a spherule structure that is morphologically distinct from rod spherules connected to their soma by an axon. Retraction of the rod axon and spherule is often observed in disease processes and aging, and the retracted rod spherule superficially resembles rod spherules lacking an axon. We hypothesized that retracted spherules take on an axonless spherule morphology, which may be easier to maintain in a diseased state. To test our hypothesis, we quantified the spatial organization and subcellular structures of rod spherules with and without axons. We then compared them to the retracted spherules in a disease model, mice that overexpress Dscam (Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule), to gain a better understanding of the rod synapse in health and disease. Methods We reconstructed serial EM images of wild type and DscamGoF (gain of function) rod spherules at a resolution of 7 nm in the X-Y axis and 60 nm in the Z axis. Rod spherules with and without axons, and retracted spherules in the DscamGoF retina, were reconstructed. The rod spherule intracellular organelles, the invaginating dendrites of rod bipolar cells and horizontal cell axon tips were also reconstructed for statistical analysis. Results Stereotypical rod (R1) spherules occupy the outer two-thirds of the outer plexiform layer (OPL), where they present as spherical terminals with large mitochondria. This spherule group is highly uniform and composed more than 90% of the rod spherule

  9. Search for Possible Extraterrestrial Matter Among Shiny Small Iron Oxide Spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duprat, J.; Engrand, C.; Gounelle, M.; Maurette, M.; Matrajt, G.; Kurat, G.; Brandstätter, F.

    2001-03-01

    We performed oxygen isotopic analyses of 13 iron oxide spherules collected in Antarctica to find extraterrestrial spherules. One sample has a heavy oxygen isotopic composition suggesting an extraterrestrial origin. Other types may be from diesel engine fumes.

  10. Measurement of cosmic ray produced Mn-53 in deep sea metallic spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, K.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1980-01-01

    Cosmic ray originated Mn-53 nuclides were measured in deep sea metallic spherules by neutron activation analysis. The spherules may be fused micrometeoroids or ablation droplets from larger objects; the low activities of Mn-53 may indicate its evaporation loss resulting from the heating in the earth's atmosphere or short exposure age. The Mn-53 nuclide is now being measured in chondritic spherules, and Be-10 and Cl-36 concentrations are determined in individual spherules using ion counting methods.

  11. Extraterrestrial spherules in glacial sediment from the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica - Structure, mineralogy, and chemical composition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koeberl, Christian; Hagen, Erik H.

    1989-01-01

    The morphological, mineralogical, and chemical characteristics of silicate and glassy spherules from a number of new localities in the Transantarctic Mountains were determined. The results indicate that these Antarctic spherules are of extraterrestrial origin. It is concluded that they, most likely, represent individual micrometeorites that melted during passage through the atmosphere; alternatively, they may be ablation spherules.

  12. Synthetic (Hydrothermal) Hematite-Rich Mars-Analog Spherules from Acid-Sulfate Brines: Implications for Formation and Diagenesis of Hematite Spherules in Outcrops at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Golden, D. C.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Graff, T. G.

    2008-01-01

    The Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) onboard the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) orbiter discovered a large area at Meridiani Planum (MP) covered with the Fe-oxide hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) [1,2]. This discovery and favorable landing site characteristics led to selection of MP as the landing site for the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover (MER) [3]. The Athena science payload onboard the Opportunity rover identified hematite-rich spherules (mean spherule diameter approx.4.2+/-0.8 mm) embedded in S-rich outcrop rock and also as lag deposits of whole and broken spherules [4,5,6,7,8,9]. Although the chemical and mineralogical compositions of spherules are not fully constrained, Moessbauer spectrometer (MB) Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) and chemical analyses from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) are consistent with a hematite mineralogical composition and an oxide bulk chemical composition consisting of Fe2O3. MGS-TES, also provides an important constraint that emission from the hematite-rich spherules is dominated by emission along the crystallographic c-axis [1,2,10,11]. The formation of hematite-rich spherules with similar chemical, mineralogical, morphological, and crystallographic properties to the MP spherules is rare on Earth, to date, only two natural analogs have been proposed; one from Utah (Navaho Concretions) and the other from Mauna Kea, Hawaii [12,13]. In this study, we synthesized in the laboratory hematite-rich spherules using conditions that may have existed on Early Mars [14] and compared their properties to those for MP hematite spherules of Mars and the analog spherules from Utah and Mauna Kea in order to assess their relative merit as MP hematite spherule analogs. Such comparisons yield clues to the formation pathway for MP spherules.

  13. Extraterrestrial spherules in glacial sediment from the Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica: Structure, mineralogy, and chemical composition

    SciTech Connect

    Koeberl, C. Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, TX ); Hagen, E.H. )

    1989-04-01

    Silicate and glassy spherules of probably extraterrestrial origin have been discovered in glacial till from localities in the Beardmore glacier region, Transantarctic Mountains, Antarctica. These spherules are similar in structure, appearance, and composition to spherules found in deep-sea sediments and in Greenland. Most spherules have a shiny and smooth dark surface, while some show a characteristic brickwork pattern composed of intergrown olivine crystals and magnetite dendrites. Several spherules have been sectioned after trace element analysis by INAA. The interiors of the spherules contain olivine crystals of varying size (predominantly of forsteritic composition) set in a glassy Fe-rich and Mg-poor matrix. The matrix contains very fine-grained dendritic magnetite crystals and rare accessory wustite. SEM and microprobe studies show that most of the spherules have not experienced significant weathering. Trace element analyses for individual particles confirm the extraterrestrial nature of the spherules. They have undifferentiated chondritic rare earth element (REE) patterns and are enriched in Ir and other siderophile elements (with Ir contents between 10 and > 1,000 ppb). Some spherules have experienced loss of volatile elements and some differentiation of siderophile elements (e.g., Ni). The Antarctic spherules--which might be micrometeorites that melted during passage through the atmosphere, or ablation spherules--are a significant addition to the collection of extraterrestrial microparticles. Of key importance is their high abundance in the sediment and the fact that they have been concentrated by glacial action.

  14. Geochemistry of Cenozoic microtektites and clinopyroxene-bearing spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, Billy P.; Huber, Heinz; Koeberl, Christian

    2004-10-01

    We have determined the major and trace element compositions of 176 individual microtektites/spherules from the Australasian, Ivory Coast, and North American microtektite and clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherule layers. Trace element contents for up to 30 trace elements were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), and major element compositions were determined using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis in combination with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). In addition, petrographic data were obtained for the cpx spherules using the SEM and EDX. This is the first trace element study of individual Australasian microtektites, and the data revealed the presence of a previously unrecognized group of Australasian microtektites with high contents of Ni (up to 471 ppm). In previous studies the high-Mg (HMg) Australasian microtektites were thought to be related to the HMg Australasian tektites, but our trace element data suggest that the high-Ni (HNi) Australasian microtektites, rather than the high-Mg microtektites, are related to the high-Mg Australasian tektites. We find that Cenozoic microtektites/spherules from a given layer can be distinguished from microtektites/spherules from other layers as a group, but it is not always possible to determine which layer an individual microtektite/spherule came from based only on trace element compositions. The cpx spherules and most of the microtektites have Cr, Co, and Ni contents that are higher than the average contents of these elements in the upper continental crust, suggesting the presence of a meteoritic component. The highest Cr, Co, and Ni contents are found in the cpx spherules (and low-Si cpx-related microtektites). Unetched to slightly etched cpx spherules have Ni/Cr and Ni/Co ratios that generally lie along mixing curves between the average upper continental crust and chondrites. The best fit appears to be with an LL chondrite. The moderately to heavily etched cpx spherules have values that

  15. Cretaceous-tertiary boundary spherules and Cenozoic microtektites: Similarities and differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glass, B. P.; Bohor, Bruce F.; Betterton, William J.

    1993-01-01

    Bohor and Betterton pointed out that the K-T spherules can be divided into three groups. Their Type 1 spherules appear to be found in or adjacent to North America, particularly the Western Interior and in Haiti and Mexico. The Type 1 spherules occur in the lower part of the K-T boundary clay below an Ir anomaly. It is the Type 1 spherules which are most similar to microtektites. The discovery of K-T boundary spherules in Beloc, Haiti, and Mimbral, Mexico, with residual tektite-like glass cores supports the hypothesis that the Type 1 spherules are diagenetically altered microtektites. The similarities and differences of the Type 1 K-T boundary spherules to previously described Cenozoic microtektites are discussed.

  16. Solar Argon Recorded in Dated Lunar Impact Spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, J.; Renne, P. R.; Muller, R. A.

    2006-12-01

    The surface of the Moon is a uniquely accessible location for collecting samples of contemporary and fossil solar wind. Noble gases implanted by the solar wind have been particularly well studied, because the solar wind is the largest source of these elements in the lunar regolith. Elemental and isotopic abundances of noble gases in the present-day solar wind were first determined using foils exposed by the Apollo astronauts; improvements on these measurements are becoming possible only now, with the examination of Genesis mission samples. Lunar mineral grains and glasses collected during the Apollo missions are still unrivaled as records of the solar wind in the geological past. We have studied argon isotopes from 355 lunar impact spherules collected at the Apollo 12 and Apollo 14 landing sites. We used the 40Ar/39Ar isochron method to determine formation ages of individual specimens, and distinguished cosmogenic and solar contributions of ^{38}Ar and ^{36}Ar by correlating the releases of these isotopes with the laboratory-induced calcium proxy 37Ar. The results of our work are relevant for both solar science and lunar science. The isotopic composition and release patterns of solar argon from the spherules are most simply explained by the presence of two distinct implanted components, an isotopically light solar wind and a higher-energy, isotopically heavier component which we identify with so- called solar energetic particles. Though these two components have been discussed in the literature, their origins and the relationship between them remain enigmatic. Our measurements favor a solar wind ^{38}Ar/^{36}Ar ratio lighter than that of the terrestrial atmosphere. We find no evidence of a secular change in the isotopic composition of the solar energetic particle component, which dominates the record of implanted solar noble gases. In some models, the solar energetic particles come from the high-energy tail of the solar wind energy distribution, representing 3

  17. 10Be and 26Al in Individual Cosmic Spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishiizumi, K.; Arnold, J. R.; Chaffee, M. W.; Finkel, R. C.; Southon, J.; Brownlee, D. E.; Harvey, R. P.

    1992-07-01

    Cosmic spherules and fragments in the size range 0.1-1 mm, originally extracted magnetically from deep-sea deposits, have now been isolated from ice in Greenland and Antarctica (Maurette et al., 1986; Koeberl and Hagen, 1989; Harvey and Maurette, 1990). Studies of cosmogenic radionuclides in individual spherules made possible by accelerator mass spectrometry (Raisbeck et al., 1985; Nishiizumi et al., 1991, 1992), have verified the model calculations that suggested that the spherules are mainly fused micrometeoroids, rather than spall droplets from larger objects (Dohnanyi, 1978; Grun et al., 1985; Olinger et al., 1990). However, the exposure lifetimes observed are much longer than those deduced from models (10^5- 10^7 years as against a few times 10^4) (Dohnanyi, 1978; Grun et al., 1985). As new sources of spherules become available, it is important to verify their extraterrestrial origin, and to see whether they confirm or modify earlier findings. It is also interesting to continue to search for spall droplets. In this paper we report on a group of large spherules collected from glacial till near Lewis Cliff, Antarctica (84.3 degrees S, 161.6 degrees E) (Harvey and Maurette, 1990). The concentrations of cosmogenic ^10Be and ^26Al were measured in 10 such spherules (LC-7 to LC-16). Typically these spherules have a lower Fe content, and are more weakly magnetic, than those studied earlier. In addition to these spherules, we analyzed 8 individual deep sea spherules (90-250 micrograms) (Murrell et al., 1980). All particles were individually mounted in acrylic resin and a small surface was polished flat with aluminum oxide. The quantitative elemental analysis of these polished surfaces was performed using an electron microprobe. After electron microprobe analysis, each particle was dissolved and Be and Al were separated for AMS. The ^10Be and ^26Al concentrations were determined at LLNL. In this and a preceding group of LC and deep-sea particles, three (LC-6, reported

  18. New insights from old spherules: Os-W isotope and HSE evidence for Paleoarchean meteorite bombardment of the Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulz, T.; Luguet, A. A.; Koeberl, C.

    2014-12-01

    Introduction: Although still debated, spherule beds in the Barberton Mountain Land (~3.4 Ga) are suspected to represent remnants of impact-generated and ballistically emplaced silicate melt droplets [e.g. 1]. Such deposits provide the only window into the late stages of the heavy meteorite bombardment on Earth as their source craters have long since been obliterated. In order to identify a possible meteoritic component and, if successful, to discuss potential projectile materials, we are performing a detailed Os-W isotope as well as HSE abundance study on spherule layers from the recently drilled ICDP BARB5 core (grid location 25°30`50.76``S, 31°33`10.08``E). Samples and Methods: Samples were taken from a spherule-containing meta-sedimentary core section discovered between 510 and 512 m depth. About 100 mg of homogenized sample powders were spiked with a mixed 190Os, 185Re, 191Ir and 194Pt tracer and treated in a high pressure asher using inverse aqua regia, followed by conventional extraction schemes for Os and the other HSEs [4]. Chemical and Os isotope measurements (via N-TIMS) were performed in Vienna, whereas HSE measurements were undertaken via ICP MS in Bonn. Results and Discussion: Our preliminary Os isotope data reveal a trend between samples exhibiting high spherule to matrix ratios (187Os/188Os ~0.106 and Os ~0.4 ppm) and samples with lower ones (187Os/188Os up to ~0.304 and Os ~0.008 ppm). Notably, the most unradiogenic samples exhibit carbonaceous-chondrite-like initial 187Os/188Os and HSE ratios, whereas all other samples are clear non-chondritic. These findings support an extraterrestrial contribution in the spherules and can be interpreted compared to conclusions drawn from a Cr isotope study performed on similar samples [3], possibly representing a different impact event and favouring a chondritic projectile. However, further considerations based on precise Os/W ratio determinations and high-precision 182W isotope data, will be presented at the

  19. Meteoritic ablation and fusion spherules in Antarctic ice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thiel, K.; Peters, J.; Raisbeck, G. M.; Yiou, F.

    1986-01-01

    In the course of two Antarctic expeditions in 1980/1981 and 1982/1983 approximately 4 metric tons of documented ice samples were collected from the Atka Bay Ice Shelf, Antarctica, and subsequently shipped for cosmic dust studies. After filtration of the melt water, approximately 700 Antarctic spherules (AAS) in the size range of 5 to 500 microns were handpicked from the filter residue under optical microscopes. For the chemical investigation of single dust grains the following techniques were applied: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray analysis (EDAX), instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA), laser microprobe mass analysis (LAMMA), and accelerator mass spectroscopy (AMS). For more than 95% of the total mass the bulk and trace elements were determined in single grain analyses using EDAX, INAA, and LAMMA. The element pattern of the dust particles was compared with that of typical terrestrial material and meteoritic matter. The majority of the spherules exhibited elemental compositions compatible with meteoritic element patterns.

  20. Not All Refractory Spherules in CM2S are Chondrules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenwood, R. C.

    1992-07-01

    Refractory spherules in CM2 meteorites are small, <300 micrometers in diameter, inclusions composed predominantly of spinel, with accessory hibonite and perovskite (Macdougall 1981). On the basis of their chondrule-like morphology, and the inward-radiating habit of hibonite in some inclusions, it has been suggested that refractory spherules formed from liquid droplets (Macdougall 1981; MacPherson et al. 1983). Since many spherules are composed purely of spinel, Macdougall (1981) estimated that their 1-atm melting temperature might have been as high as 2135 degrees C. Melt temperatures in excess of 1550 degrees C were estimated by MacPherson et al. (1983) for the spinel-hibonite spherule BB1. Refractory spherules are a minor component of the Ca-Al rich inclusions (CAIs) found in CM2s. Of 345 CAIs located in the CM2 Cold Bokkeveld only 4 are refractory spherules (study in collaboration with M. Lee, University of Essex). Textural evidence from Cold Bokkeveld demonstrates that CAIs in CM2s are highly fragmented and must have been derived by disruption of larger objects (Greenwood et al. 1991). That this is also the case for refractory spherules is clearly demonstrated by MSP1, an anhedral, spinel-bearing inclusion (300 mmicrometer longest dimension) located in situ in Murchison (CM2). It comprises a rounded core (110 micrometers in diameter) of Fe-free spinel (V2O3 0.5wt%) surrounded by a rim of pyroxene (15-25 micrometers thick), in turn enclosed by a zone of olivine (Fo 99.7) and Mg-rich phyllosilicate. The spinel core contains 15% void space (estimated). The pyroxene rim is zoned outwards from fassaite to diopside. Blocky crystals of olivine <20 micrometers in diameter form a discontinuous rim to pyroxene and occur as isolated grains enclosed by Mg-phyllosilicate. The inclusion has an irregular outline and a sharp contact with surrounding matrix, indicating that it is a fragment of a larger, now disrupted CAI. In CV3 meteorites refractory spinel-rich spherules

  1. Tracing the oxygen isotope composition of the upper Earth's atmosphere using cosmic spherules

    PubMed Central

    Pack, Andreas; Höweling, Andres; Hezel, Dominik C.; Stefanak, Maren T.; Beck, Anne-Katrin; Peters, Stefan T. M.; Sengupta, Sukanya; Herwartz, Daniel; Folco, Luigi

    2017-01-01

    Molten I-type cosmic spherules formed by heating, oxidation and melting of extraterrestrial Fe,Ni metal alloys. The entire oxygen in these spherules sources from the atmosphere. Therefore, I-type cosmic spherules are suitable tracers for the isotopic composition of the upper atmosphere at altitudes between 80 and 115 km. Here we present data on I-type cosmic spherules collected in Antarctica. Their composition is compared with the composition of tropospheric O2. Our data suggest that the Earth's atmospheric O2 is isotopically homogenous up to the thermosphere. This makes fossil I-type micrometeorites ideal proxies for ancient atmospheric CO2 levels. PMID:28569769

  2. Tracing the oxygen isotope composition of the upper Earth's atmosphere using cosmic spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pack, Andreas; Höweling, Andres; Hezel, Dominik C.; Stefanak, Maren T.; Beck, Anne-Katrin; Peters, Stefan T. M.; Sengupta, Sukanya; Herwartz, Daniel; Folco, Luigi

    2017-06-01

    Molten I-type cosmic spherules formed by heating, oxidation and melting of extraterrestrial Fe,Ni metal alloys. The entire oxygen in these spherules sources from the atmosphere. Therefore, I-type cosmic spherules are suitable tracers for the isotopic composition of the upper atmosphere at altitudes between 80 and 115 km. Here we present data on I-type cosmic spherules collected in Antarctica. Their composition is compared with the composition of tropospheric O2. Our data suggest that the Earth's atmospheric O2 is isotopically homogenous up to the thermosphere. This makes fossil I-type micrometeorites ideal proxies for ancient atmospheric CO2 levels.

  3. The Archean Nickel Famine Revisited.

    PubMed

    Konhauser, Kurt O; Robbins, Leslie J; Pecoits, Ernesto; Peacock, Caroline; Kappler, Andreas; Lalonde, Stefan V

    2015-10-01

    Iron formations (IF) preserve a history of Precambrian oceanic elemental abundance that can be exploited to examine nutrient limitations on early biological productivity. However, in order for IF to be employed as paleomarine proxies, lumped-process distribution coefficients for the element of interest must be experimentally determined or assumed. This necessitates consideration of bulk ocean chemistry and which authigenic ferric iron minerals controlled the sorption reactions. It also requires an assessment of metal mobilization reactions that might have occurred in the water column during particle descent and during post-depositional burial. Here, we summarize recent developments pertaining to the interpretation and fidelity of the IF record in reconstructions of oceanic trace element evolution. Using an updated compilation, we reexamine and validate temporal trends previously reported for the nickel content in IF (see Konhauser et al., 2009 ). Finally, we reevaluate the consequences of methanogen Ni starvation in the context of evolving views of the Archean ocean-climate system and how the Ni famine may have ultimately facilitated the rise in atmospheric oxygen.

  4. Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex chert - New evidence of the antiquity of life

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1993-01-01

    Eleven taxa (including eight heretofore undescribed species) of cellularly preserved filamentous microbes, among the oldest fossils known, have been discovered in a bedded chert unit of the Early Archean Apex Basalt of northwestern Western Australia. This prokaryotic assemblage establishes that trichomic cyanobacteriumlike microorganisms were extant and morphologically diverse at least as early as about 3465 million years ago and suggests that oxygen-producing photoautotrophy may have already evolved by this early stage in biotic history.

  5. Microfossils of the Early Archean Apex Chert: New Evidence of the Antiquity of Life

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schopf, J. William

    1993-04-01

    Eleven taxa (including eight heretofore undescribed species) of cellularly preserved filamentous microbes, among the oldest fossils known, have been discovered in a bedded chert unit of the Early Archean Apex Basalt of northwestern Western Australia. This prokaryotic assemblage establishes that trichomic cyanobacterium-like microorganisms were extant and morphologically diverse at least as early as ~3465 million years ago and suggests that oxygen-producing photoautotrophy may have already evolved by this early stage in biotic history.

  6. Were kinetics of Archean calcium carbonate precipitation related to oxygen concentration?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Grotzinger, J. P.

    1996-01-01

    Archean carbonates commonly contain decimetre- to metre-thick beds consisting entirely of fibrous calcite and neomorphosed fibrous aragonite that precipitated in situ on the sea floor. The fact that such thick accumulations of precipitated carbonate are rare in younger marine carbonates suggests an important change in the modes of calcium carbonate precipitation through time. Kinetics of carbonate precipitation depend on the concentration of inhibitors to precipitation that reduce crystallization rates and crystal nuclei formation, leading to kinetic maintenance of supersaturated solutions. Inhibitors also affect carbonate textures by limiting micrite precipitation and promoting growth of older carbonate crystals on the sea floor. Fe2+, a strong calcite-precipitation inhibitor, is thought to have been present at relatively high concentrations in Archean seawater because oxygen concentrations were low. The rise in oxygen concentration at 2.2-1.9 Ga led to the removal of Fe2+ from seawater and resulted in a shift from Archean facies, which commonly include precipitated beds, to Proterozoic facies, which contain more micritic sediment and only rare precipitated beds.

  7. Archean sedimentary styles and early crustal evolution

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, D. R.

    1986-01-01

    The distinctions between and implications of early and late Archean sedimentary styles are presented. Early Archean greenstone belts, such as the Barberton of South Africa and those in the eastern Pilbar Block of Australia are characterized by fresh or slightly reworked pyroclastic debris, orthochemical sediments such as carbonates, evaporites, and silica, and biogenic deposits including cherts and stromatolitic units. Terrigenous deposits are rare, and it is suggested that early Archean sediments were deposited on shallow simatic platforms, with little or no components derived from sialic sources. In contrast, late Archean greenstone belts in the Canadian Shield and the Yilgarn Block of Australia contain coarse terrigenous clastic rocks including conglomerate, sandstone, and shale derived largely from sialic basement. Deposition appears to have taken place in deepwater, tectonically unstable environments. These observations are interpreted to indicate that the early Archean greenstone belts formed as anorogenic, shallow water, simatic platforms, with little or no underlying or adjacent continental crust, an environment similar to modern oceanic islands formed over hot spots.

  8. Method for preparing hydrous titanium oxide spherules and other gel forms thereof

    DOEpatents

    Collins, J.L.

    1998-10-13

    The present invention are methods for preparing hydrous titanium oxide spherules, hydrous titanium oxide gels such as gel slabs, films, capillary and electrophoresis gels, titanium monohydrogen phosphate spherules, hydrous titanium oxide spherules having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent, titanium monohydrogen phosphate spherules having suspendible particles of at least one different sorbent homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent having a desired crystallinity, titanium oxide spherules in the form of anatase, brookite or rutile, titanium oxide spherules having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, hydrous titanium oxide fiber materials, titanium oxide fiber materials, hydrous titanium oxide fiber materials having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, titanium oxide fiber materials having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite and spherules of barium titanate. These variations of hydrous titanium oxide spherules and gel forms prepared by the gel-sphere, internal gelation process offer more useful forms of inorganic ion exchangers, catalysts, getters and ceramics. 6 figs.

  9. Method for preparing hydrous titanium oxide spherules and other gel forms thereof

    DOEpatents

    Collins, Jack L.

    1998-01-01

    The present invention are methods for preparing hydrous titanium oxide spherules, hydrous titanium oxide gels such as gel slabs, films, capillary and electrophoresis gels, titanium monohydrogen phosphate spherules, hydrous titanium oxide spherules having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent, titanium monohydrogen phosphate spherules having suspendible particles of at least one different sorbent homogeneously embedded within to form a composite sorbent having a desired crystallinity, titanium oxide spherules in the form of anatase, brookite or rutile, titanium oxide spherules having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, hydrous titanium oxide fiber materials, titanium oxide fiber materials, hydrous titanium oxide fiber materials having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite, titanium oxide fiber materials having suspendible particles homogeneously embedded within to form a composite and spherules of barium titanate. These variations of hydrous titanium oxide spherules and gel forms prepared by the gel-sphere, internal gelation process offer more useful forms of inorganic ion exchangers, catalysts, getters and ceramics.

  10. Green spherules from Apollo 15 - Inferences about their origin from inert gas measurements.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lakatos, S.; Yaniv, A.; Heymann, D.

    1973-01-01

    Green spherules from the 'clod' 15426 and from fines 15421 contain about 100 times less trapped inert gases than normal bulk fines from Apollo 15. These spherules have apparently never been directly exposed to the solar wind. Spherules from other fines contain about 10 times more trapped gas than those from the 'clod.' The gas in the former is surface correlated. However, spherules from fines 15401 are exceptionally gas-poor. The trapped gases can be of solar-wind origin, but this origin requires a two-stage model for the spherules from the clods. Another possibility is that the gases were absorbed from an ambient gas phase. The trapped gases may also be assumed to represent primordial lunar gas. The composition of this gas is then similar to the 'solar' or 'unfractionated' component of gas-rich meteorites, but unlike that in most of the carbonaceous chondrites.

  11. Origin and diagenesis of K/T impact spherules - from Haiti to Wyoming and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bohor, B.F.; Glass, B.P.

    1995-01-01

    Impact spherules in Cretaceous/Tertiary (K/T) boundary clays and claystones consist of two types; each type is confined to its own separate layer of the boundary couplet in the Western Hemisphere. The form and composition of each of the spherule types result from its own unique mode of origin during the K/T event. Type 1 splash-form spherules occur only in the melt-ejecta (basal) layer of the K/T couplet. This layer was deposited from a ballistic ejecta curtain composed of melt-glass droplets transported mostly within the atmosphere. In contrast, Type 2 spherules are accreted, partially crystalline, spheroidal bodies that formed by condensation of vaporized bolide and target-rock materials in an expanding fireball cloud, from which they settled out of buoyant suspension to form the fireball layer. Dendritic and skeletal Ni-rich spinel crystals are unique to these Type 2 spherules in the fireball layer. -from Authors

  12. Green spherules from Apollo 15 - Inferences about their origin from inert gas measurements.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lakatos, S.; Yaniv, A.; Heymann, D.

    1973-01-01

    Green spherules from the 'clod' 15426 and from fines 15421 contain about 100 times less trapped inert gases than normal bulk fines from Apollo 15. These spherules have apparently never been directly exposed to the solar wind. Spherules from other fines contain about 10 times more trapped gas than those from the 'clod.' The gas in the former is surface correlated. However, spherules from fines 15401 are exceptionally gas-poor. The trapped gases can be of solar-wind origin, but this origin requires a two-stage model for the spherules from the clods. Another possibility is that the gases were absorbed from an ambient gas phase. The trapped gases may also be assumed to represent primordial lunar gas. The composition of this gas is then similar to the 'solar' or 'unfractionated' component of gas-rich meteorites, but unlike that in most of the carbonaceous chondrites.

  13. Accretion rate of cosmic spherules measured at the South Pole

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, Susan; Lever, James H.; Harvey, Ralph P.

    1998-04-01

    Micrometeorites are terrestrially collected, extraterrestrial particles smaller than about 1mm, which account for most of the mass being accreted to the Earth,. Compared with meteorites, micrometeorites more completely represent the Earth-crossing meteoroid complex, and should include fragments of asteroids, comets, Mars and our Moon, as well as pre-solar and interstellar grains,. Previous measurements of the flux of micrometeoroids that survive to the Earth's surface have large uncertainties owing to the destruction of particles by weathering, inefficiencies in magnetic collection or separation techniques, low particle counts,, poor age constraint,, or highly variable concentrating processes,. Here we describe an attempt to circumvent these problems through the collection of thousands of well preserved and dated micrometeorites from the bottom of the South Pole water well, which supplies drinking water for the Scott-Amundsen station. Using this collection, we have determined precise estimates of the flux and mass distribution for 50-700-µm cosmic spherules (melted micrometeorites). Allowing for the expected abundance of unmelted micrometeorites in the samples, our results indicate that about 90% of the incoming mass of submillimetre particles evaporates during atmospheric entry. Our data indicate the loss of glass-rich and small stony spherules from deep-sea deposits,, and they provide constraints for models describing the survival probability of micrometeoroids,.

  14. Photochemistry and climate on the Archean earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavlov, Alexander Anatolevich

    The purpose of my thesis was to explore the consequences of reduced levels of oxygen and reduced solar luminosity, both of which should have affected atmospheric composition and climate. Recent studies of Archean sediments discovered evidence of mass-independent sulfur isotope fractionation in sulfides and sulfates. This type of fractionation pattern cannot be produced by aqueous-phase chemical or biochemical reactions. Mass independent fractionation (MIF) is observed, however, in atmospheric photochemical reactions (photolysis of SO2, H2S). Using laboratory data on SO2 photolysis, I calculated how sulfur isotopic fractionation propagates to other sulfur-bearing species (HA S, SO, H 2SO4) by means of atmospheric chemical reactions. I have been able to estimate what types of isotopic separation must have occurred in order to produce the observed fractionation pattern in Archean sediments. Although mass-independent fractionation continued to occur in the post-Archean atmosphere, its signature was lost before being preserved in sediments because all sulfur-bearing species were re-homogenized as oceanic sulfate. To transfer the mass-independent fractionation pattern from the atmosphere into sediments, the Archean atmosphere must have contained virtually no free oxygen (<10 -5 PAL [times the Present Atmospheric Level]). High concentrations of greenhouse gases would have been required to offset low solar luminosity early in Earth's history. Enhanced CO2 levels are probably at least part of the solution, but CH4 (in an anoxic Archean atmosphere) may have played a significant role as well, particularly during the Late Archean era, 2.5--3.0 Ga, when methanogenic bacteria were almost certainly present. Moreover, biological CH4 production should have led to CO 2 drawdown by way of a negative feedback loop involving the carbonate-silicate geochemical cycle. I suggest here that the atmospheric CH4/CO 2 ratio approached the value of ˜1 needed to trigger the formation of Titan

  15. Ridge-trench collision in Archean and Post-Archean crustal growth: Evidence from southern Chile

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, E. P.; Forsythe, R. D.

    1988-01-01

    The growth of continental crust at convergent plate margins involves both continuous and episodic processes. Ridge-trench collision is one episodic process that can cause significant magmatic and tectonic effects on convergent plate margins. Because the sites of ridge collision (ridge-trench triple junctions) generally migrate along convergent plate boundaries, the effects of ridge collision will be highly diachronous in Andean-type orogenic belts and may not be adequately recognized in the geologic record. The Chile margin triple junction (CMTJ, 46 deg S), where the actively spreading Chile rise is colliding with the sediment-filled Peru-Chile trench, is geometrically and kinematically the simplest modern example of ridge collision. The south Chile margin illustrates the importance of the ridge-collision tectonic setting in crustal evolution at convergent margins. Similarities between ridge-collision features in southern Chile and features of Archean greenstone belts raise the question of the importance of ridge collision in Archean crustal growth. Archean plate tectonic processes were probably different than today; these differences may have affected the nature and importance of ridge collision during Archean crustal growth. In conclusion, it is suggested that smaller plates, greater ridge length, and/or faster spreading all point to the likelihood that ridge collision played a greater role in crustal growth and development of the greenstone-granite terranes during the Archean. However, the effects of modern ridge collision, and the processes involved, are not well enough known to develop specific models for the Archean ridge collison.

  16. Iron and nickel isotopic mass fractionation in deep-sea spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Andrew M.; Brownlee, Donald E.

    1993-01-01

    Magnetite-wuestite spherules collected from deep-sea sediments are thought to have originally been Fe-Ni metal particles at the top of the atmosphere that were oxidized and melted during entry into the earth's atmosphere. Some likely sources for the metal particles are Fe-Ni interplanetary dust particles (IDP's) and metal or sulfide from stony IDP's that separated after melting. Davis et al. reported that four of these spherules are enriched in the heavy isotopes of iron, with enrichments of 8-23%/amu. We have developed a technique for analysis of both iron and nickel isotopes on the same ion microprobe spot and have applied this technique to a number of deep-sea spherules in order to better understand the processes leading to isotopic mass fractionation. Eight spherules show iron and nickel isotopic mass fractionation, with iron and nickel enriched in the heavy isotopes by 10-19%/amu and 4-32%/amu, respectively. If the mass fractionations are due to Rayleigh fractionation during evaporation, these spherules lost 76-94% of their original mass. We have analyzed the four magnetite-wuestite spherules for which iron isotopic data were reported by Davis et al. as well as four new spherules.

  17. Iron and nickel isotopic mass fractionation in deep-sea spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Andrew M.; Brownlee, Donald E.

    1993-01-01

    Magnetite-wuestite spherules collected from deep-sea sediments are thought to have originally been Fe-Ni metal particles at the top of the atmosphere that were oxidized and melted during entry into the earth's atmosphere. Some likely sources for the metal particles are Fe-Ni interplanetary dust particles (IDP's) and metal or sulfide from stony IDP's that separated after melting. Davis et al. reported that four of these spherules are enriched in the heavy isotopes of iron, with enrichments of 8-23%/amu. We have developed a technique for analysis of both iron and nickel isotopes on the same ion microprobe spot and have applied this technique to a number of deep-sea spherules in order to better understand the processes leading to isotopic mass fractionation. Eight spherules show iron and nickel isotopic mass fractionation, with iron and nickel enriched in the heavy isotopes by 10-19%/amu and 4-32%/amu, respectively. If the mass fractionations are due to Rayleigh fractionation during evaporation, these spherules lost 76-94% of their original mass. We have analyzed the four magnetite-wuestite spherules for which iron isotopic data were reported by Davis et al. as well as four new spherules.

  18. Venus and the Archean Earth: Thermal considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, N. H.

    1989-01-01

    The Archean Era of the Earth is not a direct analog of the present tectonics of Venus. In this regard, it is useful to review the state of the Archean Earth. Most significantly, the temperature of the adiabatic interior of the Earth was 200 to 300 C hotter than the current temperature. Preservation biases limit what can be learned from the Archean record. Archean oceanic crust, most of the planetary surface at any one time, has been nearly all subducted. More speculatively, the core of the Earth has probably cooled more slowly than the mantle. Thus the temperature contrast above the core-mantle boundary and the vigor of mantle plumes has increased with time on the Earth. The most obvious difference between Venus and the present Earth is the high surface temperature and hence a low effective viscosity of the lithosphere. In addition, the temperature contrast between the adiabatic interior and the surface, which drives convection, is less on Venus than on the Earth. It appears that the hot lithosphere enhanced tectonics on the early Venus significantly enough that its interior cooled faster than the Earth's. The best evidence for a cool interior of Venus comes from long wavelength gravity anomalies. The low interior temperatures retard seafloor spreading on Venus. The high surface temperatures on Venus enhance crustal deformation. That is, the lower crust may become ductile enough to permit significant flow between the upper crust and the mantle. There is thus some analogy to modern and ancient areas of high heat flow on the Earth. Archean crustal blocks typically remained stable for long intervals and thus overall are not good analogies to the deformation style on Venus.

  19. Venus and the Archean Earth: Thermal considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sleep, N. H.

    1989-01-01

    The Archean Era of the Earth is not a direct analog of the present tectonics of Venus. In this regard, it is useful to review the state of the Archean Earth. Most significantly, the temperature of the adiabatic interior of the Earth was 200 to 300 C hotter than the current temperature. Preservation biases limit what can be learned from the Archean record. Archean oceanic crust, most of the planetary surface at any one time, has been nearly all subducted. More speculatively, the core of the Earth has probably cooled more slowly than the mantle. Thus the temperature contrast above the core-mantle boundary and the vigor of mantle plumes has increased with time on the Earth. The most obvious difference between Venus and the present Earth is the high surface temperature and hence a low effective viscosity of the lithosphere. In addition, the temperature contrast between the adiabatic interior and the surface, which drives convection, is less on Venus than on the Earth. It appears that the hot lithosphere enhanced tectonics on the early Venus significantly enough that its interior cooled faster than the Earth's. The best evidence for a cool interior of Venus comes from long wavelength gravity anomalies. The low interior temperatures retard seafloor spreading on Venus. The high surface temperatures on Venus enhance crustal deformation. That is, the lower crust may become ductile enough to permit significant flow between the upper crust and the mantle. There is thus some analogy to modern and ancient areas of high heat flow on the Earth. Archean crustal blocks typically remained stable for long intervals and thus overall are not good analogies to the deformation style on Venus.

  20. Major and trace element geochemistry of S-type cosmic spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudraswami, N. G.; Shyam Prasad, M.; Babu, E. V. S. S. K.; Vijaya Kumar, T.

    2016-04-01

    Micrometeorites that pass through the Earth's atmosphere undergo changes in their chemical compositions, thereby making it difficult to understand if they are sourced from the matrix, chondrules, or calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions (CAIs). These components have the potential to provide evidence toward the understanding of the early solar nebular evolution. The variations in the major element and trace element compositions of 155 different type (scoriaceous, relict bearing, porphyritic, barred, cryptocrystalline, and glass) of S-type cosmic spherules are investigated with the intent to decipher the parent sources using electron microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. The S-type cosmic spherules appear to show a systematic depletion in volatile element contents, but have preserved their refractory trace elements. The trends in their chemical compositions suggest that the S-type spherules comprise of components from similar parent bodies, that is, carbonaceous chondrites. Large fosteritic relict grains observed in this investigation appear to be related to the fragments of chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites. Furthermore, four spherules (two of these spherules enclose spinels and one comprised entirely of a Ca-Al-rich plagioclase) show enhanced trace element enrichment patterns that are drastically different from all the other 151 cosmic spherules. The information on the chemical composition and rare earth elements (REEs) on cosmic spherules suggest that the partially to fully melted ones can preserve evidences related to their parent bodies. The Ce, Eu, and Tm anomalies found in the cosmic spherules have similar behavior as that of chondrites. Distinct correlations observed between different REEs and types of cosmic spherules reflect the inherited properties of the precursors.

  1. Discovery of coesite and shocked quartz associated with the upper Eocene cpx spherule layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, S.; Kyte, T.; Glass, B. P.

    2002-01-01

    At least two major impact ejecta layers have been discovered in upper Eocene strata. The upper layer is the North American microtektite layer. lt consists tektite fragments, microtektites, and shocked mineral grains (e.g., quartz and feldspar with multiple sets of PDFs, coesite and reidite (a high-pressure polymorph of zircon)). The slightly older layer contains clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherules and microtektites associated with an Ir anomaly. The North American tektite layer may be derived from the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, and the cpx spherule layer may from the Popigai impact crater. A cpx spherule layer associated with a positive Ir anomaly was recently found at ODP Site 709, western Indian Ocean. A large sample (Hole 709C, core 31, section 4, 145-150 cm), originally used for a study of interstitial water by shipboard scientists, was acquired for the purpose of recovering a large number of spherules for various petrographic and geochemical studies. A split of the sample (50.35 g) was disaggregated and wet-sieved. More than 17,000 cpx spherules and several hundred microtektites (larger than 125 microns) were recovered from the sample. Rare white opaque grains were observed in the 125-250 micron size fraction after removal of the carbonate component using dilute HCI. Seven of the white opaque grains were X-rayed using a Gandolfi camera and six were found to be coesite (probably mixed with lechatelierite). Eighty translucent colorless grains from the 63-125 micron size fraction were studied with a petrographic microscope. Four of the grains exhibit one to two sets of planar deformation features (PDFs). The only other possible known occurrence of shocked minerals associated with the cpx spherule layer is at Massignano, Italy, where pancake-shaped clay spherules (thought to be diagenetically altered cpx spherules are associated with a positive Ir anomaly and Ni- rich spinel crystals. Shocked quartz grains with multiple sets of PDFs also occur at this site

  2. Siderophile element fractionation in meteor crater impact glasses and metallic spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mittlefehldt, David W.; See, T. H.; Scott, E. R. D.

    1993-01-01

    Meteor Crater, Arizona provides an opportunity to study, in detail, elemental fractionation processes occurring during impacts through the study of target rocks, meteorite projectile and several types of impact products. We have performed EMPA and INAA on target rocks, two types of impact glass and metallic spherules from Meteor Crater. Using literature data for the well studied Canyon Diablo iron we can show that different siderophite element fractionations affected the impact glasses than affected the metallic spherules. The impact glasses primarily lost Au, while the metallic spherules lost Fe relative to other siderophile elements.

  3. Discovery of coesite and shocked quartz associated with the upper Eocene cpx spherule layer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, S.; Kyte, T.; Glass, B. P.

    2002-01-01

    At least two major impact ejecta layers have been discovered in upper Eocene strata. The upper layer is the North American microtektite layer. lt consists tektite fragments, microtektites, and shocked mineral grains (e.g., quartz and feldspar with multiple sets of PDFs, coesite and reidite (a high-pressure polymorph of zircon)). The slightly older layer contains clinopyroxene-bearing (cpx) spherules and microtektites associated with an Ir anomaly. The North American tektite layer may be derived from the Chesapeake Bay impact structure, and the cpx spherule layer may from the Popigai impact crater. A cpx spherule layer associated with a positive Ir anomaly was recently found at ODP Site 709, western Indian Ocean. A large sample (Hole 709C, core 31, section 4, 145-150 cm), originally used for a study of interstitial water by shipboard scientists, was acquired for the purpose of recovering a large number of spherules for various petrographic and geochemical studies. A split of the sample (50.35 g) was disaggregated and wet-sieved. More than 17,000 cpx spherules and several hundred microtektites (larger than 125 microns) were recovered from the sample. Rare white opaque grains were observed in the 125-250 micron size fraction after removal of the carbonate component using dilute HCI. Seven of the white opaque grains were X-rayed using a Gandolfi camera and six were found to be coesite (probably mixed with lechatelierite). Eighty translucent colorless grains from the 63-125 micron size fraction were studied with a petrographic microscope. Four of the grains exhibit one to two sets of planar deformation features (PDFs). The only other possible known occurrence of shocked minerals associated with the cpx spherule layer is at Massignano, Italy, where pancake-shaped clay spherules (thought to be diagenetically altered cpx spherules are associated with a positive Ir anomaly and Ni- rich spinel crystals. Shocked quartz grains with multiple sets of PDFs also occur at this site

  4. Lunar glass spherules as probes of the meteoroid impact history of the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Jonathan

    2004-10-01

    Glass spherules are droplets of melted rock which quenched while in free flight. On the Moon, these are created in volcanic eruptions and, more commonly, in meteoroid impacts. Radioisotopically determined ages of impact spherules from a well-mixed soil sample are a probe of the meteoroid bombardment history of the Moon. The Earth and its natural satellite have experienced similar histories of bombardment, but evidence of ancient impacts is better preserved on the dry, airless, and tectonically inactive Moon. We collected 179 glass spherules from a soil sample returned to Earth by the Apollo 12 astronauts. Geochemical investigations with the scanning electron microscope showed that nearly all the spherules were of impact origin. The ages of 83 of these impact spherules, which we determined by the 40 Ar/ 39 Ar isochron technique, are consistent with models in which the lunar regolith is stratified, with younger soils generally overlying older layers, and with impacts locally inverting the pre-existing stratigraphy. The analysis of the argon isotopic data we acquired in this experiment forced us to reconsider assumptions and algorithms of 40 Ar/ 39 Ar dating, as applied to these lunar samples. We illustrate subtleties of the analysis with data from Apollo 14 spherules, studied by Culler et al. ( Science 287, 1785, 2000). In our analysis, the distribution of spherules from the Apollo 14 sample, like the set of Apollo 12 spherule ages, is consistent with an increase in the meteoroid bombardment flux in the inner solar system over the last few hundreds of millions of years. However, neither suite of spherules requires this interpretation, and we discuss alternative models. Lunar spherules are also potentially valuable specimens for the implanted solarwind and cosmogenic gases that they hold. We attempted to constrain the initial distribution of each argon isotope in the Apollo 14 spherules by inverting the measured argon releases. Notwithstanding the utility of spherules

  5. Accretionary Lapilli (Carbonate Spherules) at the Cretaceous-Paleogene ('KT') Boundary in Belize (Central America)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    King, D. T.; Petruny, L. W.

    2013-08-01

    The Chicxulub impact event produced accretionary lapilli (or carbonate spherules) that fell across a wide area. This paper compares Chicxulub ('KT') accretionary lapilli from two sites in Belize: Albion Island and Armenia.

  6. Monturaqui Crater (Atacama Desert, Chile) as a Mars Analog: Exploring the Impact Spherule Hypothesis for Meridiani

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piatek, J. L.; Ukstins Peate, I.; Cabrol, N. A.; Grin, E. A.; Chong, G.

    2010-03-01

    Monturaqui is a young terrestrial impact in the Atacama Desert. The impact affected volcanic rocks and created a vesicular impactite that contains iron oxide spherules, representing a potential analog for "blueberries" in Meridiani Planum, Mars.

  7. Composition of Meridiani Hematite-rich Spherules: A Mass-Balance Mixing-Model Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jolliff, B. L.; Athena Science Team

    2005-03-01

    A mass-balance model using APXS data and microscopic images indicates that the composition of spherules ("blueberries"), found at the Meridiani site by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity and thought to be concretions, contain ~45-60 wt% hematite.

  8. Petrography, PGE Contents and Os Isotope Systematics of Barberton CT3 Spherule Layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozdemir, S.; Schulz, T.; Koeberl, C.; Reimold, W. U.; Mohr-Westheide, T.

    2014-09-01

    We focus on some spherule layers from the northeastern part of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa and aim to determine their diagenetic-metamorphic history and to assess their possible impact origin by petrographic and geochemical analyses.

  9. Numbers, Types and Compositions of an Unbiased Collection of Cosmic Spherules

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-01-01

    flux has been calculated. Another rich source for micrometeorites is Antarctic surface sediment (AS) (Hagen, 1988; Koeberl and Hagen, 1989; Harvey...noted (Blanchard et al., 1980; Koeberl and Hagen, 1989; Schramm et a/., 1989; Brownlee et al., 1997), there is a correlation between Al and Ca in...169 glass spherules and 195 stony (all types) spherules. Micrographs and analyses presented by Koeberl &d Hagen (1989) show that their Antarctic

  10. Spherulitic Growth of Hematite Under Hydrothermal Conditions: Insights into the Growth Mechanism of Hematite Spherules at Meridiani Planum Mars.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Golden, D. C.; Morris, R. V.

    2010-01-01

    Hematite-rich spherules were discovered embedded in sulfate-rich outcrop rock and as lag deposits of whole and broken spherules by the Opportunity rover at Meridiani Planem [1-6]. The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES), which has a wider spectral range compared to the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES, provided an important constraint that hematite-rich spherules are dominated by emission along the crystallographic c-axis [7-10]. We have previously synthesized hematite spherules whose mineralogic, chemical, and crystallographic properties are strikingly similar to those for the hematite-rich spherules at Meridiani Planum [11]. The spherules were synthesized in the laboratory along with hydronium jarosite and minor hydronium alunite from Fe-Al-Mg-S-Cl acid sulfate solutions under hydrothermal conditions. The reaction sequence was (1) precipitation of hydronium jarosite, (2) jarosite dissolution and precipitation of hematite spherules, and (3) precipitation of hydronium alunite upon depletion of hydronium jarosite. The spherules exhibit a radial growth texture with the crystallographic c-axis aligned along the radial direction, so that thermal emission spectra have no hematite emissivity minimum at approx.390/cm similar to the emission spectra returned by MGS TES. The objective of this paper is to expand on our initial studies [11] to examine the morphological evolution during growth of spherules starting from sub-micrometer crystals to spherules many orders of magnitude in size.

  11. Building Archean cratons from Hadean mafic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Neil, Jonathan; Carlson, Richard W.

    2017-03-01

    Geologic processing of Earth’s surface has removed most of the evidence concerning the nature of Earth’s first crust. One region of ancient crust is the Hudson Bay terrane of northeastern Canada, which is mainly composed of Neoarchean felsic crust and forms the nucleus of the Northeastern Superior Province. New data show these ~2.7-billion-year-old rocks to be the youngest to yield variability in neodymium-142 (142Nd), the decay product of short-lived samarium-146 (146Sm). Combined 146-147Sm-142-143Nd data reveal that this large block of Archean crust formed by reworking of much older (>4.2 billion-year-old) mafic crust over a 1.5-billion-year interval of early Earth history. Thus, unlike on modern Earth, mafic crust apparently could survive for more than 1 billion years to form an important source rock for Archean crustal genesis.

  12. Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archean rocks

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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 (<37.9 pg per gram of rock) and total sterane (<32.9 pg per gram of rock) concentrations comparable to those measured in blanks and negative control samples. In contrast, hopanes and steranes measured in the exteriors of conventionally drilled and curated rocks of stratigraphic equivalence reach concentrations of 389.5 pg per gram of rock and 1,039 pg per gram of rock, respectively. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and diamondoids, which exceed blank concentrations, exhibit individual concentrations up to 80 ng per gram of rock in rock extracts and up to 1,000 ng per gram of rock in hydropyrolysates from the ultraclean cores. These results demonstrate that previously studied Archean samples host mixtures of biomarker contaminants and indigenous overmature hydrocarbons. Therefore, existing lipid biomarker evidence cannot be invoked to support the emergence of 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. PMID:25918387

  13. Tracing Archean sulfur across stitched lithospheric blocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LaFlamme, Crystal; Fiorentini, Marco; Lindsay, Mark; Wing, Boswell; Selvaraja, Vikraman; Occhipinti, Sandra; Johnson, Simon; Bui, Hao Thi

    2017-04-01

    Craton margins are loci for volatile exchange among lithospheric geochemical reservoirs during crust formation processes. Here, we seek to revolutionise the current understanding of the planetary flux and lithospheric transfer of volatiles during supercontinent formation by tracing sulfur from the atmosphere-hydrosphere through to the lithosphere during crust formation. To do so, we trace the transfer of sulfur by following mass independently fractionated sulfur at ancient tectonic boundaries has the potential to. Mass independent fractionation of sulfur (MIF-S) is a signature (quantified as Δ33S and Δ36S) that is unique to the Archean sedimentary rock record and imparted to sulfur reservoirs that interacted with the oxygen-poor atmosphere before the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) at ca. 2.4 Ga. Here we present multiple sulfur isotopes from across a Proterozoic post-GOE orogenic belt, formed when Archean cratons were stitched together during supercontinent amalgamation. For the first time, multiple sulfur isotope data are presented spatially to elucidate volatile pathways across lithospheric blocks. Across the orogenic belt, the Proterozoic granitoid and hydrothermal rock records proximal to Archean cratons preserve values of Δ33S up to +0.8\\permil and a Δ33S-Δ36S array of -1.2, whereas magmatic and hydrothermal systems located more distally from the margin do not display any evidence of MIF-S. This is the first study to identify MIF-S in a Proterozoic orogen indicates that tectonic processes controlling lithospheric evolution and crust formation at tectonic boundaries are able to transfer sulfur from Archean supracrustal rock reservoirs to newly formed Proterozoic granitoid crust. The observation of MIF-S in the Proterozoic granitoid rock record has the potential to revolutionise our understanding of secular changes in the evolution of crust formation mechanisms through time.

  14. Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archean rocks.

    PubMed

    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

    2015-05-12

    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 (<37.9 pg per gram of rock) and total sterane (<32.9 pg per gram of rock) concentrations comparable to those measured in blanks and negative control samples. In contrast, hopanes and steranes measured in the exteriors of conventionally drilled and curated rocks of stratigraphic equivalence reach concentrations of 389.5 pg per gram of rock and 1,039 pg per gram of rock, respectively. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and diamondoids, which exceed blank concentrations, exhibit individual concentrations up to 80 ng per gram of rock in rock extracts and up to 1,000 ng per gram of rock in hydropyrolysates from the ultraclean cores. These results demonstrate that previously studied Archean samples host mixtures of biomarker contaminants and indigenous overmature hydrocarbons. Therefore, existing lipid biomarker evidence cannot be invoked to support the emergence of 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.

  15. Reappraisal of hydrocarbon biomarkers in Archean rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 (<37.9 pg per gram of rock) and total sterane (<32.9 pg per gram of rock) concentrations comparable to those measured in blanks and negative control samples. In contrast, hopanes and steranes measured in the exteriors of conventionally drilled and curated rocks of stratigraphic equivalence reach concentrations of 389.5 pg per gram of rock and 1,039 pg per gram of rock, respectively. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and diamondoids, which exceed blank concentrations, exhibit individual concentrations up to 80 ng per gram of rock in rock extracts and up to 1,000 ng per gram of rock in hydropyrolysates from the ultraclean cores. These results demonstrate that previously studied Archean samples host mixtures of biomarker contaminants and indigenous overmature hydrocarbons. Therefore, existing lipid biomarker evidence cannot be invoked to support the emergence of 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.

  16. Neutron activation analysis of stoney spherules from a marine sediment sample

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millar, H. T., Jr.; Englert, P.

    1984-01-01

    The identification of extraterrestrial material in samples collected at the surface of the Earth is discussed. Criteria were established for black magnetic spherules which involve the presence of: Fe, Ni, and Co in iron meteoritic ratios, wustite, and Fe-Ni metal while reliable criteria for stoney spherules are not well established. Neutron activation analysis was performed on eight stony spherules separated from the same marine sediment used by Millard and Finkelman. The 22 elements were determined by Compton suppression and triple coincidence gamma counting. It is found that Fe, Mg, Al, Ni, Cr, Co, Ir, and Sc are the best discriminators between chondritic and terrestrial compositions. Three of the spherules have compositions very close to chondrites and of these, two contain 0.5 and 0.25 ppm Ir. The other five spherules contain much less than chondritic concentrations of Ni but this element may be segregated and lost during ablation of the parent meteorite. One of these five low Ni spherules contains 2.9 ppm Ir while the other four contain less than 0.05 ppm Ir.

  17. Possible mechanism for explaining the origin and size distribution of Martian hematite spherules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misra, Anupam K.; Acosta-Maeda, Tayro E.; Scott, Edward R. D.; Sharma, Shiv K.

    2014-03-01

    Mysterious hematite spherules, also known as “blueberries”, observed at Meridiani Planum on Mars have been widely accepted as concretions which are formed by precipitation of aqueous fluids. One of the biggest mysteries is that all observed Martian blueberries are limited in size with maximum diameter of 6.2 mm. In contrast, terrestrial concretions are not size limited. In this article, we discuss significant differences between Martian blueberries and Earth concretion analogs. Puzzling observations from Mars Exploration Rovers Opportunity and Spirit suggest that the spherules may not be concretions but are cosmic spherules formed by ablation of meteorites. The perfect spherical shape of spherules, their observed size limit, and all other physical properties are easily explained by a meteorite ablation model. Evidence that some of these spherules are only few years old strongly constrains concretion and other growth mechanisms related to aqueous processes that require the existence of water on Mars in its recent history. The large number of hematite spherules in Meridiani Planum may be due to a big rare iron meteorite impact event in this region sometime in the past.

  18. Oxygen isotopic composition of relict olivine grains in cosmic spherules: Links to chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudraswami, N. G.; Prasad, M. Shyam; Nagashima, K.; Jones, R. H.

    2015-09-01

    Most olivine relict grains in cosmic spherules selected for the present study are pristine and have not been disturbed during their atmospheric entry, thereby preserving their chemical, mineralogical and isotopic compositions. In order to understand the origin of the particles, oxygen isotope compositions of relict olivine grains in twelve cosmic spherules collected from deep sea sediments of the Indian Ocean were studied using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Most of the data lie close to the CCAM (Carbonaceous Chondrite Anhydrous Mineral) line, with Δ17O ranging from -5‰ to 0‰. The data overlap oxygen isotopic compositions of chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites such as CV, CK, CR and CM, which suggests that chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites are the source of relict grains in cosmic spherules. Chemical compositions of olivine in cosmic spherules are also very similar to chondrule olivine from carbonaceous chondrites. Several olivine relict grains in three cosmic spherules are 16O-rich (Δ17O -21.9‰ to -18.7‰), similar to oxygen isotopic compositions observed in calcium aluminum rich inclusions (CAIs), amoeboid olivine aggregates (AOAs), and some porphyritic chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites. These grains appear to have recorded the initial oxygen isotopic composition of the inner solar nebula. Three olivine grains from two cosmic spherules have δ18O values >+20‰, which could be interpreted as mixing with stratospheric oxygen during atmospheric entry.

  19. Was there a late Archean biospheric explosion?

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Identification of an Archean marine oxygen oasis

    SciTech Connect

    Riding, Dr Robert E; Fralick, Dr Philip; Liang, Liyuan

    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.

  1. Bulk Chemical Fractionation Between Basalt, Impact-Melts and Spherules of Lonar Impact Crater, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misra, S.; Prasad, M.; Saha, D.; Sengupta, D.; Khedekar, V. D.; Dube, A.; Newsom, H. E.

    2005-12-01

    The ~50,000 year old Lonar Crater, India, is one of the two known continental impact craters that were excavated on basalt. In-situ impact-melts from within ejecta from the SE crater rim are associated with splash form impact-spherules of two types: mm-size non-magnetic spherules, also found in other parts of the ejecta, and slightly smaller magnetic spherules with smoother surfaces. Both impact-melts and the two types of spherules have homogeneous compositions, though minor systematic variations exist in impact melts. Compared to unaltered target basalt, average impact-melt characteristically shows ~21-22% depletion in Na2O and ~44-61% enrichment in K2O, while impact-spherules show more depletion in Na2O (~41-42%) and less enrichment in K2O (~21-29%). Additionally average magnetic spherules are enriched in MgO (~22%) and depleted in CaO (~9%) and Fe2O3}T (~7%), while non-magnetic spherules are depleted in MgO (~11%) and enriched in CaO (~13%) and Fe2O3T (~2%) over target-basalt. #Mg for impact-melts and non-magnetic spherules have restricted and overlapping values between ~0.35 and 0.43, but for magnetic spherules it varies between 0.38 and 0.56. The small variation in mobile CaO (~3.4 wt%), Na2O (~2.4 wt%) and K2O (~0.8 wt%) of target-rock and impactites suggest limited weathering of the samples. Lonar impactites were formed by plagioclase- dominated partial melting of target-basalt, which caused enrichment of K2O in impactites and Rb, Cs, Ba, La, Ce, Nd and Th in impact-melts and non-magnetic spherules, while another important target- rock constituent, augite, was variably mixed with plagioclase-melt only in the highest stage of shock metamorphism. Depletion of Na2O in impactites occurred due to limited separation of xenocrystic augite (Na2O ~0.23 and 0.26 wt%) from these molten impactites. Mixing models suggest proportions of plagioclase melt and augite in average impact-melts and non-magnetic spherules is close to ~1:0.4, in magnetic spherules it varies

  2. Sulphur tales from the early Archean world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  3. Reconciling atmospheric temperatures in the early Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  4. Biomarker evidence for Archean oxygen fluxes (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  5. Iron isotopes in an Archean ocean analogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  6. Type I Cosmic Spherules: Key to a Major, But Poorly Sampled, Asteroid Population?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyquist, L. E.

    1999-01-01

    Herzog et al. have determined Fe, Ni, and Cr abundances in Type I cosmic spherules recovered from the deep sea, and also the isotopic fractionation of these elements during passage of the spherules through the terrestrial atmosphere. Isotopic fractionation for all three elements is typically large, approx. 16%/amu, corresponding to evaporative mass losses of approx. 80 - 85%, assuming Rayleigh distillation from an open system. The corrected, pre-atmospheric, Cr/Ni and Fe/Ni ratios, are compared to ratios in bulk chondrites and chondritic metal. Although the calculated pre-atmospheric Fe/Ni ratio for the spherules is relatively constant at 19 +/- 4 (sigma(sub mean)) the calculated pre-atmospheric Cr/Ni ratios vary by about two orders of magnitude. The Cr/Ni ratios are thus powerful discriminators for possible modes of origin of the spherules. For example, iron meteorites typically have low Cr contents and low Cr/Ni ratios, less or = 3 x 10(exp -4). Thus, Type I spherules do not appear to be ablation products of iron meteorites, in contrast to an earlier suggestion.

  7. Impact spherules as a record of an ancient heavy bombardment of Earth.

    PubMed

    Johnson, B C; Melosh, H J

    2012-05-03

    Impact craters are the most obvious indication of asteroid impacts, but craters on Earth are quickly obscured or destroyed by surface weathering and tectonic processes. Earth’s impact history is inferred therefore either from estimates of the present-day impactor flux as determined by observations of near-Earth asteroids, or from the Moon’s incomplete impact chronology. Asteroids hitting Earth typically vaporize a mass of target rock comparable to the projectile’s mass. As this vapour expands in a large plume or fireball, it cools and condenses into molten droplets called spherules. For asteroids larger than about ten kilometres in diameter, these spherules are deposited in a global layer. Spherule layers preserved in the geologic record accordingly provide information about an impact even when the source crater cannot be found. Here we report estimates of the sizes and impact velocities of the asteroids that created global spherule layers. The impact chronology from these spherule layers reveals that the impactor flux was significantly higher 3.5 billion years ago than it is now. This conclusion is consistent with a gradual decline of the impactor flux after the Late Heavy Bombardment.

  8. Isolation and Characterization of a Galactosamine Wall from Spores and Spherules of Physarum polycephalum

    PubMed Central

    McCormick, J. Justin; Blomquist, Judith C.; Rusch, Harold P.

    1970-01-01

    The myxomycete, Physarum polycephalum, can be induced under laboratory conditions to form two different hard-walled forms, spores and spherules. Characterization of both types of walls revealed only a single sugar, galactosamine. It was identified after acid hydrolysis of the isolated walls by chromatography in three solvent systems, by its positive reaction with ammoniacal silver nitrate, ninhydrin, Galactostat, and the Elson-Morgan test, and by ninhydrin degradation to lyxose. Galactosamine was present as a polymer with solubility characteristics the same as the β1-4–linked glucosamine polymer (chitosan). The walls were also found to contain about 2% protein. Spherule walls revealed a single glycoprotein on gel electrophoresis. Spore walls contained a similar protein component. The phosphate content of isolated spherule walls was 9.8%, and that of spore walls was 1.4%. Spore walls also contained about 15% melanin which was shown to be similar to fungal melanin. A novel method was used to measure the rate of mature spherule formation based on the loss of extractability of P. polycephalum natural pigment. The presence of a rare galactosamine polymer in P. polycephalum spore and spherule walls as the only carbohydrate suggests that the myxomycetes are not closely related to the fungi or the protozoa. PMID:16559084

  9. Impact spherules as a record of an ancient heavy bombardment of Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B. C.; Melosh, H. J.

    2012-05-01

    Impact craters are the most obvious indication of asteroid impacts, but craters on Earth are quickly obscured or destroyed by surface weathering and tectonic processes. Earth's impact history is inferred therefore either from estimates of the present-day impactor flux as determined by observations of near-Earth asteroids, or from the Moon's incomplete impact chronology. Asteroids hitting Earth typically vaporize a mass of target rock comparable to the projectile's mass. As this vapour expands in a large plume or fireball, it cools and condenses into molten droplets called spherules. For asteroids larger than about ten kilometres in diameter, these spherules are deposited in a global layer. Spherule layers preserved in the geologic record accordingly provide information about an impact even when the source crater cannot be found. Here we report estimates of the sizes and impact velocities of the asteroids that created global spherule layers. The impact chronology from these spherule layers reveals that the impactor flux was significantly higher 3.5 billion years ago than it is now. This conclusion is consistent with a gradual decline of the impactor flux after the Late Heavy Bombardment.

  10. Archean collisional tectonics in SW Montana

    SciTech Connect

    Mogk, D.; Rickmond, D.; Salt, K.; Clark, M.; Mueller, P.; Lafrenze, D.; Wooden, J.; Henry, D.

    1985-01-01

    The Archean continental crust of SW Montana evolved through alternating cycles of stable platform sedimentation followed by crustal thickening through collisional tectonics. The ancient sialic crust in the Beartooth Mountains served as the nucleus for accretion of younger terranes to the west. The oldest orogenic cycle recognized in the Beartooth Mountains involves a 3.4 Ga old supracrustal sequence which was metamorphosed in the granulite facies (T=700-800/sup 0/C, P=6Kb, 35/sup 0/C/Km); deep burial is interpreted as the result of collisional tectonic thickening. The second orogenic cycle is subduction related and has produced 2.8 Ga old andesites, 2.75 Ga old calc-alkaline intrusives, upper amphibolite grade metamorphism, transcurrent faulting (in the North Snowy Block and Yankee Jim canyon at 2.8 Ga) and nappe emplacement. In the central Beartooths post-orogenic granites intrude pelitic schists (T=600/sup 0/C, P=8Kb, 25/sup 0/C/Km). West of the Beartooths the basement consists of 2.75-2.70 Ga old, tectonically telescoped coarse clastics (Gallatin, Madison Ranges) and stable platform sequences (Gravelly, Tobacco Root, Ruby Ranges). Nappe formation and granulite-migmatite (700-750/sup 0/C) associations are common, suggesting deep burial through tectonic thickening. A later-kinematic mesozonal (8Kb) qtz diorite-granodiorite batholithic complex is present in the northern Madison Range. Quartzofeldspathic paragneisses in the westernmost Archean basement are derived from either a continental or island arc source.

  11. Biomarkers Indigenous to Late Archean Rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eigenbrode, J. L.; Freeman, K. H.; Summons, R. E.; Love, G. D.; Snape, C. E.

    2003-12-01

    Two new lines of evidence support the authenticity of molecular fossils in late Archean rocks of the Hamersley Province, Western Australia. Specifically, they support 1) a syngenetic relationship between the kerogen and extractable biomarkers, and 2) a indigenous relationship between extractable compounds and the host rocks. Carbon skeletons released from kerogen via high-pressure hydropyrolysis match those found in associated extracted bitumen. Biomarker ratios indicate less mature steranes and terpanes (i.e. hopanes and tricyclic terpanes) are embedded in the kerogen matrix as compared to the highly mature steranes and terpanes in the extracts, which is similar to findings in other hydropyrolysis experiments. Lithology-associated variations in biomarker distributions are noteworthy and suggest environmental settings are associated with differing biotic ecosystems. The evidence reported here confirms the 2.7 Ga antiquity of diverse biosynthetic pathways. Molecular data, together with isotopic data, indicate aerobic and anaerobic respiration pathways were fundamental to the complex microbial biogeochemistry of the late Archean. The biomarkers in these rocks support an early radiation of the three domains of life and radiation within the bacteria, such that clades of cyanobacteria, green sulfur bacteria, and proteobacteria had been established.

  12. Origin of Archean granitoids and continental evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rapp, R. P.

    The origin of a stable, permanent crust is inextricably linked to granitoid genesis. The oldest terranes on Earth contain abundant granitoids, presumably representing the low density material that buoyed the crust and prevented its recycling into the mantle. The question of the origin of these rocks is thus fundamental to understanding Earth history: What was their source material, and what processes caused it to melt? Analogies with modern felsic magma genesis are tempting but not necessarily applicable, first because there are obvious reasons to doubt that present conditions characterized the early Archean (modern geotherms, well-established subduction zones, massive stable continental crust, and others), and also because early granitoids differed in detail from most of their modern counterparts.In this article, R.P. Rapp, who has done extensive experiments on the moderate-to-high-pressure melting behavior of mafic rocks, presents a decidedly non-uniformitarian view of the origin of the tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite suite that characterizes the early Archean crust.—Calvin Miller, “Friends of Granite” editor, Vanderbilt University

  13. Building Archean cratons from Hadean mafic crust.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Jonathan; Carlson, Richard W

    2017-03-17

    Geologic processing of Earth's surface has removed most of the evidence concerning the nature of Earth's first crust. One region of ancient crust is the Hudson Bay terrane of northeastern Canada, which is mainly composed of Neoarchean felsic crust and forms the nucleus of the Northeastern Superior Province. New data show these ~2.7-billion-year-old rocks to be the youngest to yield variability in neodymium-142 ((142)Nd), the decay product of short-lived samarium-146 ((146)Sm). Combined (146-147)Sm-(142-143)Nd data reveal that this large block of Archean crust formed by reworking of much older (>4.2 billion-year-old) mafic crust over a 1.5-billion-year interval of early Earth history. Thus, unlike on modern Earth, mafic crust apparently could survive for more than 1 billion years to form an important source rock for Archean crustal genesis. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  14. Deep-sea spherules from Pacific clay: mass distribution and influx rate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murrell, M.T.; Davis, P.A.; Nishiizumi, K.; Millard, H.T.

    1980-01-01

    From 411 kg of Pacific clay, 22 mg of stony spherules and 50 mg of iron spherules larger than 150 ??m were concentrated. The extraterrestrial origin of these particles was evaluated with the aid of both optical and electron microscopy as well as atomic absorption elemental analysis. The integral number (N) of stony particles from this sediment in the mass (M) range 20-300 ??g is given by N( > M(g)) = 5.13 ?? 10-6 ?? M-1.65. The world-wide influx rate of stony particles in the mass range which survive atmospheric heating and ocean sediment storage is calculated to be 90 tons/yr. The relative contributions of ablation debris vs fused interplanetary dust to the influx of stony spherules is discussed, but as yet the question remains unanswered. ?? 1980.

  15. Temperature-dependent magnetic properties of individual glass spherules, Apollo 11, 12, and 14 lunar samples.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorpe, A. N.; Sullivan, S.; Alexander, C. C.; Senftle, F. E.; Dwornik, E. J.

    1972-01-01

    Magnetic susceptibility of 11 glass spherules from the Apollo 14 lunar fines have been measured from room temperature to 4 K. Data taken at room temperature, 77 K, and 4.2 K, show that the soft saturation magnetization was temperature independent. In the temperature range 300 to 77 K the temperature-dependent component of the magnetic susceptibility obeys the Curie law. Susceptibility measurements on these same specimens and in addition 14 similar spherules from the Apollo 11 and 12 mission show a Curie-Weiss relation at temperatures less than 77 K with a Weiss temperature of 3-7 degrees in contrast to 2-3 degrees found for tektites and synthetic glasses of tektite composition. A proposed model and a theoretical expression closely predict the variation of the susceptibility of the glass spherules with temperature.

  16. First discovery of the organic materials in deep-sea iron cosmic spherule

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanchang, Peng; Peicang, XU

    1993-01-01

    The dust impact mass analyzer (PUMA) carried by the spacecraft Vega 1, Vega 2 and Giotto has provided the first direct measurements of the physical and chemical properties of cometary dust. The results indicate that most of the cometary dust particles are rich in light elements such as H, C, N, and O, suggesting the validity of models that describe the cometary dust as including organic material. Up to now, there were none found with the organic material from the deep-sea cosmic spherules. We have determined this from the deep-sea iron cosmic spherules collected from the North Pacific. An iron cosmic spherule (382 microns in diameter) was determined by the Laser Raman Microprobe.

  17. Microtektite-like glass spherules in Late Devonian (367 MA) shales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Claeys, Philippe; Casier, Jean-Georges

    1993-01-01

    Glass spherules are found closely associated with the Frasnian-Famennain (FF) boundary in two sections, Senzeille and Hony, located in the Dinant basin in the South of Belgium. These spherules are interpreted, based on their chemistry and low water content, as impact produced microtektite-like glass. Craters of Late Devonian ages include the Siljan Ring (Sweden), Charlevoix (Quebec), and Taihu Lake (China). The occurrence of microtektite-like glass closely associated with the FF mass extinction is intriguing. The relationships between the impact and the extinction event deserve further study.

  18. Accretionary lapilli, tektites, or concretions: the ubiquitous spherules of Meridiani Planum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiGregorio, Barry E.

    2004-11-01

    One of the most enigmatic discoveries made by the NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity (MER-B) at the Meridiani Planum landing site are the ubiquitous spherules referred to as "blueberries" by the science team. They cover the entire landing area and can be seen in every direction within view of the rover cameras. Subsequent analysis of a small grouping of the spherules laying on top of a rock outcrop by Mossbauer spectroscopy showed an intense hematite signature not found on the rock or in the surrounding basaltic soils. Spherules were also found attached to and embedded within sedimentary sulfate rock outcrops found at the landing area that have been determined by the MER science team as having been formed in an acidic liquid water environment. The appearance of most of the Meridiani spherules is strikingly similar to the morphology and size of terrestrial accretionary lapilli and show similarities to terrestrial tektites. Accretionary lapilli are spherical balls and fragments with a concentric layered structure that are formed by a variety of mechanisms including hydrovolcanic eruptions, geysers and large meteorite impacts in water. Tektites are glassy impact spherules that form as a result of large meteorite impacts and also seem apparent in some of the rover images. Tektites can be perfectly spherical or have teardrop and dumbbell shapes. A lack of a visible volcanic source capable of producing high volumes of accretionary lapilli as seen in the MER-B images, in combination with the strong spectral signature of hematite, that some of the spherules display, led the MER science team to favor a concretion hypothesis thus far. All of these types of spherules involve interaction of with surface water or ice to form. Problems exist in explaining how the Martian "concretions", if that is indeed what they are, are of such uniform size and have such a wide distribution. Evidence from Martian orbit and on the surface indicate that the Meridiani Planum landing ellipse

  19. lnterferometric Examination of Small (Glassy Spherules and Related Objects in a 5-Graml Lunar Dust Sample.

    PubMed

    Tolansky, S

    1970-01-30

    Over two hundred spherules and cylinders were extracted from the lunar dust sample. Sizes ranged from 0.7 to 0.03 millimeters, and most were shiny glassy objects, which were studied by interferometry. This study reveals very high spcular feflection, frequentperfect sphericity, and clear evidence n some objects of micracking and microchipping. Many spheres were once projectiles. Some have inpacted in free flight with much smaller pices of rocky material, which embedded in the surface. It is conjectured that the glassy spherules originated as a gas-blown shower from a pool of molten glass.

  20. Partially Uncleaved Alphavirus Replicase Forms Spherule Structures in the Presence and Absence of RNA Template.

    PubMed

    Hellström, Kirsi; Kallio, Katri; Utt, Age; Quirin, Tania; Jokitalo, Eija; Merits, Andres; Ahola, Tero

    2017-09-15

    Alphaviruses are positive-strand RNA viruses expressing their replicase as a polyprotein, P1234, which is cleaved to four final products, nonstructural proteins nsP1 to nsP4. The replicase proteins together with viral RNA and host factors form membrane invaginations termed spherules, which act as the replication complexes producing progeny RNAs. We have previously shown that the wild-type alphavirus replicase requires a functional RNA template and active polymerase to generate spherule structures. However, we now find that specific partially processed forms of the replicase proteins alone can give rise to membrane invaginations in the absence of RNA or replication. The minimal requirement for spherule formation was the expression of properly cleaved nsP4, together with either uncleaved P123 or with the combination of nsP1 and uncleaved P23. These inactive spherules were morphologically less regular than replication-induced spherules. In the presence of template, nsP1 plus uncleaved P23 plus nsP4 could efficiently assemble active replication spherules producing both negative-sense and positive-sense RNA strands. P23 alone did not have membrane affinity, but could be recruited to membrane sites in the presence of nsP1 and nsP4. These results define the set of viral components required for alphavirus replication complex assembly and suggest the possibility that it could be reconstituted from separately expressed nonstructural proteins.IMPORTANCE All positive-strand RNA viruses extensively modify host cell membranes to serve as efficient platforms for viral RNA replication. Alphaviruses and several other groups induce protective membrane invaginations (spherules) as their genome factories. Most positive-strand viruses produce their replicase as a polyprotein precursor, which is further processed through precise and regulated cleavages. We show here that specific cleavage intermediates of the alphavirus replicase can give rise to spherule structures in the absence of

  1. Laparoscopic management of mature cystic teratoma of the ovary with multiple intracystic floating spherules.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Akihiro; Imoto, Sanae; Mori, Masahiko; Sakai, Kotaro; Nakamura, Hiromi

    2009-05-01

    A feature of multiple spherical structures floating free in a cystic mass is one of the very rare patterns of mature cystic teratoma. A 32-year-old unmarried nulligravida was referred. Image diagnosis showed a large cystic tumor with unusual intracystic multiple floating spherules. Serum tumor marker test showed elevated squamous cell carcinoma antigen. Laparoscopic-assisted left salpingo-oophorectomy was performed. The histopathological diagnosis was mature cystic teratoma of the ovary with marked desquamative keratin formations. After obtaining pathognomonic findings on diagnostic imaging, laparoscopic management of a rare form of mature cystic teratoma of the ovary with numerous intracystic floating spherules was successfully performed.

  2. Analysis of glassy spherules extracted from Carpathian Mesozoic lime stone by μPIXE method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzonyi, I.; Kiss, Á. Z.; Solt, P.; Dosztály, L.; Kákay Szabó, O.; Detre, Cs. H.

    1998-04-01

    Twenty-four glassy spherules collected from three Mesozoic sites of the Carpathian Basin have been analysed for major, minor and trace element composition using the scanning proton microprobe facility of the Institute of Nuclear Research (ATOMKI) in Debrecen. μPIXE analyses revealed surprisingly high Ca and Ba concentrations (CaO ˜40%, BaO ˜2.5%) which have never been reported before. Samples proved to be homogeneous for the major elements (Si, Ca). From geological considerations it may be inferred that these spherules are terrestrial impact products, though, the details of the impact events have not been fully cleared yet.

  3. Size distribution of interplanetary iron and stony particles related with deep-sea spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matsuzaki, H.; Yamakoshi, K.

    1993-01-01

    To study origin and evolution of the interplanetary dust, it is very important to investigate the size distribution. Here the changes of the size distributions of meteoroid particles due to the ablative effects during atmospheric entry were investigated by numerical computer simulation. Using the results, the pre-atmospheric size distributions of the interplanetary dust particles could be estimated from that of ablated spherules taken from deep-sea sediments. We are now analyzing deep-sea spherules from some aspects and examining if we could get any information about the interplanetary dust.

  4. Microtektite-like glass spherules in Late Devonian (367 MA) shales

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Claeys, Philippe; Casier, Jean-Georges

    1993-01-01

    Glass spherules are found closely associated with the Frasnian-Famennain (FF) boundary in two sections, Senzeille and Hony, located in the Dinant basin in the South of Belgium. These spherules are interpreted, based on their chemistry and low water content, as impact produced microtektite-like glass. Craters of Late Devonian ages include the Siljan Ring (Sweden), Charlevoix (Quebec), and Taihu Lake (China). The occurrence of microtektite-like glass closely associated with the FF mass extinction is intriguing. The relationships between the impact and the extinction event deserve further study.

  5. Contrasting Aerodynamic Morphology and Geochemistry of Impact Spherules from Lonar Crater, India: Some Insights into Their Cooling History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, D.; Misra, S.

    2014-11-01

    The ~50 or 570 ka old Lonar crater, India, was excavated in the Deccan Trap flood basalt of Cretaceous age by the impact of a chondritic asteroid. The impact-spherules known from within the ejecta around this crater are of three types namely aerodynamically shaped sub-mm and mm size spherules, and a sub-mm sized variety of spherule, described as mantled lapilli, having a core consisting of ash-sized grains, shocked basalt and solidified melts surrounded by a rim of ash-sized materials. Although, information is now available on the bulk composition of the sub-mm sized spherules (Misra et al. in Meteorit Planet Sci 7:1001-1018, 2009), almost no idea exists on the latter two varieties. Here, we presented the microprobe data on major oxides and a few trace elements (e.g. Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn) of mm-sized impact spherules in unravelling their petrogenetic evolution. The mm-sized spherules are characterised by homogeneous glassy interior with vesicular margin in contrast to an overall smooth and glassy-texture of the sub-mm sized spherules. Undigested micro-xenocrysts of mainly plagioclase, magnetite and rare clinopyroxene of the target basalt are present only at the marginal parts of the mm-sized spherules. The minor relative enrichment of SiO2 (~3.5 wt% in average) and absence of schlieren structure in these spherules suggest relatively high viscosity of the parent melt droplets of these spherules in comparison to their sub-mm sized counterpart. Chemically homogeneous mm-sized spherule and impact-melt bomb share similar bulk chemical and trace element compositions and show no enrichment in impactor components. The general depletion of Na2O within all the Lonar impactites was resulted due to impact-induced volatilisation effect, and it indicates the solidification temperature of the Lonar impactites close to 1,100 °C. The systematic geochemical variation within the mm-sized spherules (Mg# ~0.38-0.43) could be attributed to various level of mixing between plagioclase

  6. Measurement of Mn-53 in deep-sea iron and stony spherules. [for proof of extraterrestrial origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, K.

    1983-01-01

    Cosmic-ray-produced Mn-53 (half-life, 3.7 x 10 to the 6th yr) is measured in individual and groups of deep-sea iron and stony spherules by highly sensitive neutron activation analysis. The activities found are less than 20 dpm Mn-53/kg Fe (10 to the -5th-10 to the -6th dpm Mn-53/sample) in iron spherules, with the exception of one iron spherule, whose activity is 241 + or - 73 dpm Mn-53/kg Fe. It is believed that these low activities may indicate evaporative loss of Mn-53 caused by heating in the earth's atmosphere. On the other hand, all the stony spherules are found to contain 200-260 dpm Mn-53/kg Fe, which is similar to chondritic values. It is pointed out that these spherules may be ablation debris from large objects.

  7. Middle Archean continent formation by crustal delamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. Phosphate microaggregates in Archean sediments. [Abstract only

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mojzsis, S.; Fan, G. Y.; Arrhenius, G.

    1994-01-01

    Light microscopy conducted on samples of Archean sediments reveals phosphate microaggregates which are suggestive of a biotic origin (Arrhenius et al., 1993). These aggregates, typically 15 micrometers wide and 50 micrometers long, are thought to be the mineral remains of colonies of microorganisms that lived during the late Archean Eon (greater than or equal to 2.5 Ga). Confocal microscopy was used to study the structures of these microaggregates in three dimensions. Samples used in this study are from the lowermost section of drill core taken from the Dales Gorge Member of the Brockman Iron-Formation (Hamersley Basin) in Western Australia. These sediments are well-preserved and escaped extensive metamorphism typically experienced by older rocks of this type. Two types of samples were prepared for study under the microscope: thin sections (30 micrometers) for transmitted light microscopy to study the general rock texture and to locate the grains of interest, and thick sections (3mm) for confocal microscopy to determine the 3-D structure of the aggregates in situ. The samples have been carefully polished so that they may be directly placed on the oil-immersion lens without the use of a cover slip. No chemical treatments of the surfaces have been performed. The aggregates often form clusters, although isolated aggregates have also been found. The clusters tend to distribute along microbands in the rocks. Electron microprobe analyses show that the phosphate grains and their inclusions, besides calcium and phosphorus, contain no major elements heavier than sodium. The proportions of calcium to phosphorus, the absence of stoichiometric amounts of other cations such as magnesium and iron, as well as optical properties suggest apatite as the mineral form.

  9. Phosphate microaggregates in Archean sediments. [Abstract only

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mojzsis, S.; Fan, G. Y.; Arrhenius, G.

    1994-01-01

    Light microscopy conducted on samples of Archean sediments reveals phosphate microaggregates which are suggestive of a biotic origin (Arrhenius et al., 1993). These aggregates, typically 15 micrometers wide and 50 micrometers long, are thought to be the mineral remains of colonies of microorganisms that lived during the late Archean Eon (greater than or equal to 2.5 Ga). Confocal microscopy was used to study the structures of these microaggregates in three dimensions. Samples used in this study are from the lowermost section of drill core taken from the Dales Gorge Member of the Brockman Iron-Formation (Hamersley Basin) in Western Australia. These sediments are well-preserved and escaped extensive metamorphism typically experienced by older rocks of this type. Two types of samples were prepared for study under the microscope: thin sections (30 micrometers) for transmitted light microscopy to study the general rock texture and to locate the grains of interest, and thick sections (3mm) for confocal microscopy to determine the 3-D structure of the aggregates in situ. The samples have been carefully polished so that they may be directly placed on the oil-immersion lens without the use of a cover slip. No chemical treatments of the surfaces have been performed. The aggregates often form clusters, although isolated aggregates have also been found. The clusters tend to distribute along microbands in the rocks. Electron microprobe analyses show that the phosphate grains and their inclusions, besides calcium and phosphorus, contain no major elements heavier than sodium. The proportions of calcium to phosphorus, the absence of stoichiometric amounts of other cations such as magnesium and iron, as well as optical properties suggest apatite as the mineral form.

  10. Considering the formation of hematite spherules on Mars by freezing aqueous hematite nanoparticle suspensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sexton, M. R.; Elwood Madden, M. E.; Swindle, A. L.; Hamilton, V. E.; Bickmore, B. R.; Elwood Madden, A. S.

    2017-04-01

    The enigmatic and unexpected occurrence of coarse crystalline (gray) hematite spherules at Terra Meridiani on Mars in association with deposits of jarosite-rich sediments fueled a variety of hypotheses to explain their origin. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that freezing of aqueous hematite nanoparticle suspensions, possibly produced from low-temperature weathering of jarosite-bearing deposits, could produce coarse-grained hematite aggregate spherules. We synthesized four hematite nanoparticle suspensions with a range of sizes and morphologies and performed freezing experiments. All sizes of hematite nanoparticles rapidly aggregate during freezing. Regardless of the size or shape of the initial starting material, they rapidly collect into aggregates that are then too big to push in front of a stable advancing ice front, leading to incohesive masses of particles, rather than solid spherules. We also explored the effects of ;seed; silicates, a matrix of sand grains, various concentrations of NaCl and CaCl2, and varying the freezing temperature on hematite nanoparticle aggregation. However, none of these factors resulted in mm-scale spherical aggregates. By comparing our measured freezing rates with empirical and theoretical values from the literature, we conclude that the spherules on Mars could not have been produced through the freezing of aqueous hematite nanoparticle suspensions; ice crystallization front instability disrupts the aggregation process and prevents the formation of mm-scale continuous aggregates.

  11. Composition of Meridiani Hematite-rich Spherules: A Mass-Balance Mixing-Model Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    jOLLIFF, b. l.

    2005-01-01

    One of the great surprises of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission is the discovery at Meridiani Planum that the surface hematite signature observed from orbit is attributable largely to a surface enrichment of hematite-rich spherules, thought to be concretions, that have weathered out of rocks similar to the underlying sulfate-rich rock formation [1]. A strong hematite signature has been observed by the Mini-TES [2] and by in-situ measurements of spherule-rich targets by the Mossbauer spectrometer (MB) [3] and the alpha-particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) [4]. The Mini-TES derived spectrum of spherule-rich targets on the plains is consistent with nearly pure coarse-grained hematite, with perhaps as little as 5-10 areal % of other components [2]. The occurrence and abundance of the spherules as the bearer of the widespread hematite signature observed by MGS TES over much of Meridiani Planum is significant for global remote sensing, and their occurrence as concretions in the outcrop lithology is significant for the diagenetic history and role of water in the formation of the sedimentary rock formation [5].

  12. Beryllium-10 and Aluminum-26 in Individual Cosmic Spherules from Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishiizumi, K.; Arnold, J. R.; Brownlee, D. E.; Caffee, M. W.; Finkel, R. C.; Harvey, R. P.

    1995-01-01

    We present data for the cosmogenic nuclides Be-10 and A-26 in a suite of 24 extraterrestrial spherules, collected from Antarctic moraines and deep sea sediments. All of the 10 large spherules collected in glacial till at Lewis Cliff are extraterrestrial. As in earlier work, the great majority of particles show prominent solar cosmic-ray (SCR) production of Al-26, indicating bombardment ages on the order of 106 years or even longer. These long ages are in direct contradiction to model ages for small particles in the inner Solar System and may require reconsideration of models of small particle lifetimes. A small fraction of the particles so far measured (6/42) possess cosmogenic radionuclide patterns consistent with predictions for meteoroid spall droplets. We believe that most of the spherules were bombarded in space primarily as bodies not much larger than their present size. The content of in situ produced Be-10 and Al-26 in quartz pebbles in the same moraine suggests that these spherules may have on average a significant terrestrial age.

  13. The origins of I-type spherules and the atmospheric entry of iron micrometeoroids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genge, Matthew J.

    2016-06-01

    The Earth's extraterrestrial dust flux includes a wide variety of dust particles that include FeNi metallic grains. During their atmospheric entry iron micrometeoroids melt and oxidize to form cosmic spherules termed I-type spherules. These particles are chemically resistant and readily collected by magnetic separation and are thus the most likely micrometeorites to be recovered from modern and ancient sediments. Understanding their behavior during atmospheric entry is crucial in constraining their abundance relative to other particle types and the nature of the zodiacal dust population at 1 AU. This article presents numerical simulations of the atmospheric entry heating of iron meteoroids to investigate the abundance and nature of these materials. The results indicate that iron micrometeoroids experience peak temperatures 300-800 K higher than silicate particles explaining the rarity of unmelted iron particles which can only be present at sizes of <50 μm. The lower evaporation rates of liquid iron oxide leads to greater survival of iron particles compared with silicates, which enhances their abundance among micrometeorites by a factor of 2. The abundance of I-types is shown to be broadly consistent with the abundance and size of metal in ordinary chondrites and the current day flux of ordinary chondrite-derived MMs arriving at Earth. Furthermore, carbonaceous asteroids and cometary dust are suggested to make negligible contributions to the I-type spherule flux. Events involving such objects, therefore, cannot be recognized from I-type spherule abundances in the geological record.

  14. Hematite Spherules in Basaltic Tephra Altered Under Aqueous, Acid-Sulfate Conditions on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii: Possible Clues for the Occurrence of Hematite-Rich Spherules in the Burns Formation at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Graff, T. G.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Squyres, S. W.; Mertzman, S. A.; Gruener, J. E.; Golden, D. C.; Robinson, G. A.

    2005-01-01

    Iron-rich spherules (>90% Fe2O3 from electron microprobe analyses) approx.10-100 microns in diameter are found within sulfate-rich rocks formed by aqueous, acid-sulfate alteration of basaltic tephra on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii. Although some spherules are nearly pure Fe, most have two concentric compositional zones, with the core having a higher Fe/Al ratio than the rim. Oxide totals less than 100% (93-99%) suggest structural H2O and/or /OH. The transmission Moessbauer spectrum of a spherule-rich separate is dominated by a hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) sextet whose peaks are skewed toward zero velocity. Skewing is consistent with Al(3+) for Fe(3+) substitution and structural H2O and/or /OH. The grey color of the spherules implies specular hematite. Whole-rock powder X-ray diffraction spectra are dominated by peaks from smectite and the hydroxy sulfate mineral natroalunite as alteration products and plagioclase feldspar that was present in the precursor basaltic tephra. Whether spherule formation proceeded directly from basaltic material in one event (dissolution of basaltic material and precipitation of hematite spherules) or whether spherule formation required more than one event (formation of Fe-bearing sulfate rock and subsequent hydrolysis to hematite) is not currently constrained. By analogy, a formation pathway for the hematite spherules in sulfate-rich outcrops at Meridiani Planum on Mars (the Burns formation) is aqueous alteration of basaltic precursor material under acid-sulfate conditions. Although hydrothermal conditions are present on Mauna Kea, such conditions may not be required for spherule formation on Mars if the time interval for hydrolysis at lower temperatures is sufficiently long.

  15. Hematite Spherules in Basaltic Tephra Altered Under Aqueous, Acid-Sulfate Conditions on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii: Possible Clues for the Occurrence of Hematite-Rich Spherules in the Burns Formation at Meridiani Planum, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, R. V.; Ming, D. W.; Graff, T. G.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Squyres, S. W.; Mertzman, S. A.; Gruener, J. E.; Golden, D. C.; Robinson, G. A.

    2005-01-01

    Iron-rich spherules (>90% Fe2O3 from electron microprobe analyses) approx.10-100 microns in diameter are found within sulfate-rich rocks formed by aqueous, acid-sulfate alteration of basaltic tephra on Mauna Kea volcano, Hawaii. Although some spherules are nearly pure Fe, most have two concentric compositional zones, with the core having a higher Fe/Al ratio than the rim. Oxide totals less than 100% (93-99%) suggest structural H2O and/or /OH. The transmission Moessbauer spectrum of a spherule-rich separate is dominated by a hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) sextet whose peaks are skewed toward zero velocity. Skewing is consistent with Al(3+) for Fe(3+) substitution and structural H2O and/or /OH. The grey color of the spherules implies specular hematite. Whole-rock powder X-ray diffraction spectra are dominated by peaks from smectite and the hydroxy sulfate mineral natroalunite as alteration products and plagioclase feldspar that was present in the precursor basaltic tephra. Whether spherule formation proceeded directly from basaltic material in one event (dissolution of basaltic material and precipitation of hematite spherules) or whether spherule formation required more than one event (formation of Fe-bearing sulfate rock and subsequent hydrolysis to hematite) is not currently constrained. By analogy, a formation pathway for the hematite spherules in sulfate-rich outcrops at Meridiani Planum on Mars (the Burns formation) is aqueous alteration of basaltic precursor material under acid-sulfate conditions. Although hydrothermal conditions are present on Mauna Kea, such conditions may not be required for spherule formation on Mars if the time interval for hydrolysis at lower temperatures is sufficiently long.

  16. Large Quantities of Melt-Quenched Impact Spherules in Late Pleistocene Alaskan and Yukon "Muck" Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hagstrum, J. T.; Firestone, R. B.; West, A.; Weaver, J. C.; Bunch, T. E.; Kimbel, D. R.

    2012-12-01

    The so-called "muck" deposits of Alaska and the upper Yukon are wind-transported, silt-dominated, organic-rich sediments, including paleosols, erosional unconformities, and buried forests with in situ stumps, that have accumulated in creek valleys over at least the last 2 million years. Underlying the frozen muck are gold-bearing gravels, and removal of Late Pleistocene muck layers in mining operations has uncovered a remarkable collection of usually broken and disarticulated megafaunal bones and carcasses. Previously, Fe-rich particles have been found embedded in a number of mammoth tusks and a bison skull, and those particles have high-Ni and low-Ti compositions indicative of an extraterrestrial origin. These fossils range in age from ~21 to 37 ka B.P. Additional fossil skulls (bison, rangifer, mammoth) and a mammoth tusk from Alaska and the Yukon Territory have been found in museum and government collections with embedded Fe-rich particles as well, and nine skulls also contain significant quantities of original host sediment within them. This associated sediment was removed and examined for the presence of spherules and other cosmic impact proxies. The additional megafaunal bones are estimated to date from between 13 to 40 ka, and radiocarbon dating of samples from these specimens is currently underway. Magnetic grains were extracted from aliquots of bulk sediment from each of the fossil skulls. The magnetic fractions ranged from ~5 to 44 g/kg, averaging 23.6 g/kg. We then examined each sample fraction for magnetic spherules. Two samples contained rounded detrital magnetite and no spherules, while the other seven samples contained numerous melt-quenched magnetic spherules ranging in abundance from ~1000 to 18,000/kg, averaging ~8000/kg. We performed SEM-EDS analyses on 49 selected spherules and identified two distinct compositional populations. One group from a mammoth skull is predominately aluminosilicate (Al2O3 = 30.7 wt.%, SiO2 = 34.4 wt.%, FeO = 23.4 wt

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  18. Geology and geochronology of granitoid and metamorphic rocks of late Archean age in northwestern Wisconsin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sims, P.K.; Peterman, Z.E.; Zartman, R.E.; Benedict, F.C.

    1985-01-01

    Granitoid rocks of the Puritan Quartz Monzonite and associated biotite gneiss and amphibolite in northwestern Wisconsin compose the southwestern part of the Puritan batholith of Late Archean age. They differ from rocks in the Michigan segment of the batholith in having been deformed by brittle-ductile deformation and partly recrystallized during shearing accompanying development of the midcontinent rift system of Keweenawan (Middle Proterozoic) age. Granitoid rocks ranging in composition from granite to tonalite are dominant in the Wisconsin part of the batholith. To the north of the Mineral Lake fault zone, they are massive to weakly foliated and dominantly of granite composition, whereas south of the fault zone they are more strongly foliated and mainly of tonalite composition. Massive granite, leucogranite, and granite pegmatite cut the dominant granitoid rocks. Intercalated with the granitoid rocks in small to large conformable bodies are biotite gneiss, amphibolite, and local tonalite gneiss. Metagabbro dikes of probable Early Proterozoic age as much as 15 m thick cut the Archean rocks. Rubidium-strontium whole-rock data indicate a Late Archean age for the granitoids and gneisses, but data points are scattered and do not define a single isochron. Zircon from two samples of tonalitic gneiss for uranium-thorium-Iead dating define a single chord on a concordia diagram, establishing an age of 2,735?16 m.y. The lower intercept age of 1,052?70 m.y. is in close agreement with rubidium-strontium and potassium-argon biotite ages from the gneisses. Two episodes of deformation and metamorphism are recorded in the Archean rocks. Deformation during the Late Archean produced a steep west-northwest-oriented foliation and gently plunging fold axes and was accompanied by low amphibolite-facies metamorphism of the bedded rocks. A younger deformation resulting from largely brittle fracture was accompanied by retrogressive metamorphism; this deformation is most evident adjacent

  19. Modelling of dispersal and deposition of impact glass spherules from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary deposit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espindola, J. M.; Carey, S.; Sigurdsson, H.

    1993-01-01

    The dispersal of glass spherules or tektites from a bolide impact with the Earth is modelled as ballistic trajectories in standard atmosphere. Ballistic dispersal of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact glass spherules found in Haiti and Mimbral, Mexico requires a fireball radius in excess of 50 km but less than 100 km to account for the observed distribution. Glass spherules from 1 and up to 8 mm in diameter have been found at the KT boundary at Beloc in Haiti, at Mimbral, Mexico, and at DSDP Sites 536 and 540 in the Gulf of Mexico corresponding to paleodistances of 600 to 1000 km from the Chicxulub crater. In Haiti the basal and major glass-bearing unit at the KT boundary is attributed to fallout on basis of sedimentologic features. When compared with theoretical and observed dispersal of volcanic ejecta, the grain size versus distance relationship of the KT boundary tektite fallout is extreme, and rules out a volcanic fallout origin. At a comparable distance from source, the KT impact glass spherules are more than an order of mangitude coarser than ejecta of the largest known volcanic events. We model the dispersal of KT boundary impact glass spherules as ballistic ejecta from a fireball generated by the impact of a 10 km diameter bolide. Mass of ejecta in the fireball is taken as twice the bolide mass. Melt droplets are accelerated by gas flow in the fireball cloud, and leave the fireball on ballistic trajectories within the atmosphere, subject to drag, depending on angle of ejection and altitude. The model for ballistic dispersal is based on equations of motion, drag and ablation for silicate spheres in standard atmosphere.

  20. Modelling of dispersal and deposition of impact glass spherules from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary deposit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espindola, J. M.; Carey, S.; Sigurdsson, H.

    1993-01-01

    The dispersal of glass spherules or tektites from a bolide impact with the Earth is modelled as ballistic trajectories in standard atmosphere. Ballistic dispersal of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary impact glass spherules found in Haiti and Mimbral, Mexico requires a fireball radius in excess of 50 km but less than 100 km to account for the observed distribution. Glass spherules from 1 and up to 8 mm in diameter have been found at the KT boundary at Beloc in Haiti, at Mimbral, Mexico, and at DSDP Sites 536 and 540 in the Gulf of Mexico corresponding to paleodistances of 600 to 1000 km from the Chicxulub crater. In Haiti the basal and major glass-bearing unit at the KT boundary is attributed to fallout on basis of sedimentologic features. When compared with theoretical and observed dispersal of volcanic ejecta, the grain size versus distance relationship of the KT boundary tektite fallout is extreme, and rules out a volcanic fallout origin. At a comparable distance from source, the KT impact glass spherules are more than an order of mangitude coarser than ejecta of the largest known volcanic events. We model the dispersal of KT boundary impact glass spherules as ballistic ejecta from a fireball generated by the impact of a 10 km diameter bolide. Mass of ejecta in the fireball is taken as twice the bolide mass. Melt droplets are accelerated by gas flow in the fireball cloud, and leave the fireball on ballistic trajectories within the atmosphere, subject to drag, depending on angle of ejection and altitude. The model for ballistic dispersal is based on equations of motion, drag and ablation for silicate spheres in standard atmosphere.

  1. On the photosynthetic potential in the very Early Archean oceans.

    PubMed

    Avila, Daile; Cardenas, Rolando; Martin, Osmel

    2013-02-01

    In this work we apply a mathematical model of photosynthesis to quantify the potential for photosynthetic life in the very Early Archean oceans. We assume the presence of oceanic blockers of ultraviolet radiation, specifically ferrous ions. For this scenario, our results suggest a potential for photosynthetic life greater than or similar to that in later eras/eons, such as the Late Archean and the current Phanerozoic eon.

  2. An archean suture zone in the Tobacco Root Mountains? (1984) Evolution of Archean Continental Crust, SW Montana (1985)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mogk, D. W.; Kain, L.

    1985-01-01

    The Lake Plateau area of the Beartooth Mountains, Montana were mapped and geochemically sampled. The allochthonous nature of the Stillwater Complex was interpreted as a Cordilleran-style continental margin. The metamorphic and tectonic history of the Beartooth Mountains was addressed. The Archean geology of the Spanish Peaks area, northern Madison Range was addressed. A voluminous granulite terrain of supracrustal origin was identified, as well as a heretofore unknown Archean batholithic complex. Mapping, petrologic, and geochemical investigations of the Blacktail Mountains, on the western margin of the Wyoming Province, are completed. Mapping at a scale of 1:24000 in the Archean rocks of the Gravelly Range is near completion. This sequence is dominantly of stable-platform origin. Samples were collected for geothermometric/barometric analysis and for U-Pb zircon age dating. The analyses provide the basis for additional geochemical and geochronologic studies. A model for the tectonic and geochemical evolution of the Archean basement of SW Montana is presented.

  3. Geochemistry of precambrian carbonates. II. Archean greenstone belts and Archean sea water

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-04-01

    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 {plus minus} 0.2 and {approximately}3.5 {plus minus} 0.1 Ga ago. The samples for the younger group are from the Abitibi, Yellowknife, Wabigoon, 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 {plus minus} 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 ({sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr){sub o} of 0.7025 {plus minus} 0.0015 and 0.7031 {plus minus} 0.0008 for younger and older greenstones, respectively. The mineralogical and chemical attributes of Archean carbonates 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 the oceanic crust and the coeval ubiquitous volcanosedimentary piles derived from mantle sources.

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  6. Tectonic implications of Archean anorthosite occurrences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

    The occurrences of megacrystic anorthosite and basalt in a variety of geologic settings were reviewed and it was found that these rock types occur in a variety of tectonic settings. Anorthosites and megacrystic basalts are petrogenetically related and are found in oceanic volcanic crust, cratons, and shelf environments. Although megacrystic basalts are most common in Archean terranes, similar occurrences are observed in rocks of early Proterozoic age, and even in young terranes such as the Galapagos hotspot. Based on inferences from experimental petrology, all of the occurrences are apparently associated with similar parental melts that are relatively Fe-rich tholeiites. The megacrystic rocks exhibit a two- (or more)-stage development of plagioclase, with the megacrysts having relatively uniform composition produced under nearly isothermal and isochemical conditions over substantial periods of time. The anorthosites appear to have intruded various crustal levels from very deep to very shallow. The petrogenetic indicators, however, suggest that conditions of formation of the Precambrian examples were different from Phanerozoic occurrences.

  7. Plume-induced cratonization in Archean Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerya, T.; Sizova, E.; Bogdanova, S. V.; Tackley, P.

    2016-12-01

    Cratons are the oldest stabilized parts of Earth's continents that have multi-stage history and are characterized by thick heterogeneous (on the scale of tens to hundreds km) mantle roots with variable degree of depletion and metasomatic reworking. Several distinct proto-cratonic units of hundreds km size differing in crustal and mantle structure could be often found within large cratons. Geodynamic mechanisms of cratons formation remain debatable and combine both plate-tectonics-related and plume-related processes. Based on recent numerical experiments, we propose a new concept of Archean cratonization intrinsically related to the operation of plume-lid tectonics by which proto-continental and proto-oceanic lithospheric domains spontaneously formed before the onset of global plate tectonics. In contrast to present day, hot felsic proto-continental domains had thinner, more deformable and less depleted mantle lithosphere compared to their cold mafic proto-oceanic counterparts formed by ultraslow spreading atop hot mantle upwellings. Numerical models show feasibility of short-lived deep subduction of the depleted proto-oceanic lithosphere to core-mantle boundary driven by eclogitization of the thick mafic crust. Subsequent heating and buoyancy-driven separation of the eclogite and harzburgite triggered formation of strongly depleted harzburgite plumes. Rising and accretion of these chemically buoyant refractory plumes to the bottom of proto-continental domains created relatively small (hundreds km) proto-cratons. After onset of global plate tectonics, assembling of smaller proto-cratonic terrains formed actual large cratons.

  8. Evidence for a complex archean deformational history; southwestern Michipicoten Greenstone Belt, Ontario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgill, George E.; Shrady, Catherine H.

    1986-01-01

    The Michipicoten Greenstone Belt extends for about 150 km ENE from the northeastern angle of Lake Superior. In common with many other Archean greenstone belts, it is characterized by generally steep bedding dips and a distribution of major lithologic types suggesting a crudely synclinal structure for the belt as a whole. Detailed mapping and determination of structural sequence demonstrates that the structure is much more complex. The Archean history of the belt includes formation of at least three regionally significant cleavages, kilometer-scale overturning, extensive shearing, and diabase intrusion. Most well defined, mappable 'packages' of sedimentary rocks appear to be bounded by faults. These faults were active relatively early in the structural history of the belt, when extensive overturning also occurred. Steepening of dips, NW-SE shortening, development of steep NE cleavage, and pervasive shearing all postdate the early faulting and the regional overturning, obscuring much of the detail needed to define the geometry of the earlier structures. The results obtained so far suggest, however, that the Michipicoten Greenstone Belt underwent an early stage of thrusting and associated isoclinal folding, probably in a convergent tectonic environment.

  9. Tomographic location of potential melt-bearing phenocrysts in lunar glass spherules

    SciTech Connect

    Ebel, D.S.; Fogel, R.A.; Rivers, M.L.

    2005-02-04

    Apollo 17 orange glass spherules contain olivine phenocrysts with melt inclusions from depth. Tomography (<2micron/pxl) of >200 spherules located 1 phenocryst. We will try to find melt inclusions and obtain original magma volatiles and compositions. In 1971, Apollo 17 astronauts collected a 10 cm soil sample (74220) comprised almost entirely of orange glass spherules. Below this, a double drive-tube core sampled a 68 cm thick horizon comprised of orange glass and black beads (crystallized equivalents of orange glass). Primitive lunar glass spherules (e.g.-A17 orange glasses) are thought to represent ejecta from lunar mare fire fountains. The fire-fountains were apparently driven by a combination of C-O gas exsolution from orange glass melt and the oxidation of graphite. Upon eruption, magmas lost their volatiles (e.g., S, CO, CO{sub 2}) to space. Evidence for volatile escape remains as volatile-rich coatings on the exteriors of many spherules. Moreover, it showed that Type I and II Fe-Ni-rich metal particles found within orange glass olivine phenocrysts, or free-floating in the glass itself, are powerful evidence for the volatile driving force for lunar fire fountains. More direct evidence for the volatile mechanism has yet to be uncovered. Issues remaining include: the exact composition of magmatic volatiles; the hypothesized existence of graphite in the magma; the oxygen fugacity of the magma and of the lunar interior. In 1996 reported a single {approx}450 micron, equant olivine phenocryst, containing four glassy melt inclusions (or inclusion cores), the largest {approx}30micron in size, in a thin section of the 74001/2 drill core. The melt is assumed to sample the parent magma of the lunar basalts at depth, evidenced by the S content of the inclusion (600 ppm) which is 400 ppm greater than that of the orange glass host. Such melts potentially contain a full complement of the volatile components of the parent magma, which can be analyzed by infrared spectroscopy

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  11. Evidence for deposition of 10 million tonnes of impact spherules across four continents 12,800 y ago.

    PubMed

    Wittke, James H; Weaver, James C; Bunch, Ted E; Kennett, James P; Kennett, Douglas J; Moore, Andrew M T; Hillman, Gordon C; Tankersley, Kenneth B; Goodyear, Albert C; Moore, Christopher R; Daniel, I Randolph; Ray, Jack H; Lopinot, Neal H; Ferraro, David; Israde-Alcántara, Isabel; Bischoff, James L; DeCarli, Paul S; Hermes, Robert E; Kloosterman, Johan B; Revay, Zsolt; Howard, George A; Kimbel, David R; Kletetschka, Gunther; Nabelek, Ladislav; Lipo, Carl P; Sakai, Sachiko; West, Allen; Firestone, Richard B

    2013-06-04

    Airbursts/impacts by a fragmented comet or asteroid have been proposed at the Younger Dryas onset (12.80 ± 0.15 ka) based on identification of an assemblage of impact-related proxies, including microspherules, nanodiamonds, and iridium. Distributed across four continents at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB), spherule peaks have been independently confirmed in eight studies, but unconfirmed in two others, resulting in continued dispute about their occurrence, distribution, and origin. To further address this dispute and better identify YDB spherules, we present results from one of the largest spherule investigations ever undertaken regarding spherule geochemistry, morphologies, origins, and processes of formation. We investigated 18 sites across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, performing nearly 700 analyses on spherules using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy for geochemical analyses and scanning electron microscopy for surface microstructural characterization. Twelve locations rank among the world's premier end-Pleistocene archaeological sites, where the YDB marks a hiatus in human occupation or major changes in site use. Our results are consistent with melting of sediments to temperatures >2,200 °C by the thermal radiation and air shocks produced by passage of an extraterrestrial object through the atmosphere; they are inconsistent with volcanic, cosmic, anthropogenic, lightning, or authigenic sources. We also produced spherules from wood in the laboratory at >1,730 °C, indicating that impact-related incineration of biomass may have contributed to spherule production. At 12.8 ka, an estimated 10 million tonnes of spherules were distributed across ∼50 million square kilometers, similar to well-known impact strewnfields and consistent with a major cosmic impact event.

  12. Evidence for deposition of 10 million tonnes of impact spherules across four continents 12,800 y ago

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wittke, James H.; Weaver, James C.; Bunch, Ted E.; Kennett, James P.; Kennett, Douglas J.; Moore, Andrew M.T.; Hillman, Gordon C.; Tankersly, Kenneth B.; Goodyear, Albert C.; Moore, Christopher R.; Daniel, I. Randolph; Ray, Jack H.; Lopinot, Neal H.; Ferraro, David; Israde-Alcántara, Isabel; Bischoff, James L.; DeCarli, Paul S.; Hermes, Robert E.; Kloosterman, Johan B.; Revay, Zsolt; Howard, George A.; Kimbel, David R.; Kletetschka, Gunther; Nabelek, Ladislav; Lipo, Carl P.; Sakai, Sachiko; West, Allen; Firestone, Richard B.

    2013-01-01

    Airbursts/impacts by a fragmented comet or asteroid have been proposed at the Younger Dryas onset (12.80 ± 0.15 ka) based on identification of an assemblage of impact-related proxies, including microspherules, nanodiamonds, and iridium. Distributed across four continents at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB), spherule peaks have been independently confirmed in eight studies, but unconfirmed in two others, resulting in continued dispute about their occurrence, distribution, and origin. To further address this dispute and better identify YDB spherules, we present results from one of the largest spherule investigations ever undertaken regarding spherule geochemistry, morphologies, origins, and processes of formation. We investigated 18 sites across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, performing nearly 700 analyses on spherules using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy for geochemical analyses and scanning electron microscopy for surface microstructural characterization. Twelve locations rank among the world’s premier end-Pleistocene archaeological sites, where the YDB marks a hiatus in human occupation or major changes in site use. Our results are consistent with melting of sediments to temperatures >2,200 °C by the thermal radiation and air shocks produced by passage of an extraterrestrial object through the atmosphere; they are inconsistent with volcanic, cosmic, anthropogenic, lightning, or authigenic sources. We also produced spherules from wood in the laboratory at >1,730 °C, indicating that impact-related incineration of biomass may have contributed to spherule production. At 12.8 ka, an estimated 10 million tonnes of spherules were distributed across ∼50 million square kilometers, similar to well-known impact strewnfields and consistent with a major cosmic impact event.

  13. Evidence for deposition of 10 million tonnes of impact spherules across four continents 12,800 y ago

    PubMed Central

    Wittke, James H.; Weaver, James C.; Bunch, Ted E.; Kennett, James P.; Kennett, Douglas J.; Moore, Andrew M. T.; Hillman, Gordon C.; Tankersley, Kenneth B.; Goodyear, Albert C.; Moore, Christopher R.; Daniel, I. Randolph; Ray, Jack H.; Lopinot, Neal H.; Ferraro, David; Israde-Alcántara, Isabel; Bischoff, James L.; DeCarli, Paul S.; Hermes, Robert E.; Kloosterman, Johan B.; Revay, Zsolt; Howard, George A.; Kimbel, David R.; Kletetschka, Gunther; Nabelek, Ladislav; Lipo, Carl P.; Sakai, Sachiko; West, Allen; Firestone, Richard B.

    2013-01-01

    Airbursts/impacts by a fragmented comet or asteroid have been proposed at the Younger Dryas onset (12.80 ± 0.15 ka) based on identification of an assemblage of impact-related proxies, including microspherules, nanodiamonds, and iridium. Distributed across four continents at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB), spherule peaks have been independently confirmed in eight studies, but unconfirmed in two others, resulting in continued dispute about their occurrence, distribution, and origin. To further address this dispute and better identify YDB spherules, we present results from one of the largest spherule investigations ever undertaken regarding spherule geochemistry, morphologies, origins, and processes of formation. We investigated 18 sites across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, performing nearly 700 analyses on spherules using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy for geochemical analyses and scanning electron microscopy for surface microstructural characterization. Twelve locations rank among the world’s premier end-Pleistocene archaeological sites, where the YDB marks a hiatus in human occupation or major changes in site use. Our results are consistent with melting of sediments to temperatures >2,200 °C by the thermal radiation and air shocks produced by passage of an extraterrestrial object through the atmosphere; they are inconsistent with volcanic, cosmic, anthropogenic, lightning, or authigenic sources. We also produced spherules from wood in the laboratory at >1,730 °C, indicating that impact-related incineration of biomass may have contributed to spherule production. At 12.8 ka, an estimated 10 million tonnes of spherules were distributed across ∼50 million square kilometers, similar to well-known impact strewnfields and consistent with a major cosmic impact event. PMID:23690611

  14. In situ oxygen isotope compositions in olivines of different types of cosmic spherules: An assessment of relationships to chondritic particles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudraswami, N. G.; Shyam Prasad, M.; Jones, R. H.; Nagashima, K.

    2016-12-01

    Cosmic spherules collected from deep sea sediments of the Indian Ocean having different textures such as scoriaceous (4), relict-bearing (16), porphyritic (35) and barred olivine (2) were investigated for petrography, as well as high precision oxygen isotopic studies on olivine grains using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The oxide FeO/MgO ratios of large olivines (>20 μm) in cosmic spherules have low values similar to those seen in the olivines of carbonaceous chondrite chondrules, rather than matching the compositions of matrix. The oxygen isotope compositions of olivines in cosmic spherules have a wide range of δ18O, δ17O and Δ17O values as follows: -9 to 40‰, -13 to 22‰ and -11 to 6‰. Our results suggest that the oxygen isotope compositions of the scoriaceous, relict-bearing, porphyritic and barred spherules show provenance related to the carbonaceous (CM, CV, CO and CR) chondrites. The different types of spherules that has experienced varied atmospheric heating during entry has not significantly altered the Δ17O values. However, one of the relict-bearing spherules with a large relict grain has Δ17O = 5.7‰, suggesting that it is derived from 16O-poor material that is not recognized in the meteorite record. A majority of the spherules have Δ17O ranging from -4 to -2‰, similar to values in chondrules from carbonaceous chondrites, signifying that chondrules of carbonaceous chondrites are the major contributors to the flux of micrometeorites, with an insignificant fraction derived from ordinary chondrites. Furthermore, barred spherule data shows that during atmospheric entry an increase in ∼10‰ of δ18O value surges Δ17O value by ∼1‰.

  15. Evidence for deposition of 10 million tonnes of impact spherules across four continents 12,800 y ago

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittke, James H.; Weaver, James C.; Bunch, Ted E.; Kennett, James P.; Kennett, Douglas J.; Moore, Andrew M. T.; Hillman, Gordon C.; Tankersley, Kenneth B.; Goodyear, Albert C.; Moore, Christopher R.; Daniel, I. Randolph, Jr.; Ray, Jack H.; Lopinot, Neal H.; Ferraro, David; Israde-Alcántara, Isabel; Bischoff, James L.; DeCarli, Paul S.; Hermes, Robert E.; Kloosterman, Johan B.; Revay, Zsolt; Howard, George A.; Kimbel, David R.; Kletetschka, Gunther; Nabelek, Ladislav; Lipo, Carl P.; Sakai, Sachiko; West, Allen; Firestone, Richard B.

    2013-06-01

    Airbursts/impacts by a fragmented comet or asteroid have been proposed at the Younger Dryas onset (12.80 ± 0.15 ka) based on identification of an assemblage of impact-related proxies, including microspherules, nanodiamonds, and iridium. Distributed across four continents at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB), spherule peaks have been independently confirmed in eight studies, but unconfirmed in two others, resulting in continued dispute about their occurrence, distribution, and origin. To further address this dispute and better identify YDB spherules, we present results from one of the largest spherule investigations ever undertaken regarding spherule geochemistry, morphologies, origins, and processes of formation. We investigated 18 sites across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, performing nearly 700 analyses on spherules using energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy for geochemical analyses and scanning electron microscopy for surface microstructural characterization. Twelve locations rank among the world's premier end-Pleistocene archaeological sites, where the YDB marks a hiatus in human occupation or major changes in site use. Our results are consistent with melting of sediments to temperatures >2,200 °C by the thermal radiation and air shocks produced by passage of an extraterrestrial object through the atmosphere; they are inconsistent with volcanic, cosmic, anthropogenic, lightning, or authigenic sources. We also produced spherules from wood in the laboratory at >1,730 °C, indicating that impact-related incineration of biomass may have contributed to spherule production. At 12.8 ka, an estimated 10 million tonnes of spherules were distributed across ∼50 million square kilometers, similar to well-known impact strewnfields and consistent with a major cosmic impact event.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  17. Compositional Models of Hematite-Rich Spherules (Blueberries) at Meridiani Planum, Mars and Constraints on Their Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, A.; Mittlefehldt, D.

    2006-10-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity discovered hematite-rich spherules (``blueberries'') believed to be diagenetic concretions formed in the bedrock in stagnant or slow-moving groundwater. These spherules likely precipitated from solution, but their origins are poorly understood. Three formation mechanisms are possible: inclusive, replacive and displacive. The first would result in a distinct spherule composition compared to the other two. We propose that chemical clues may help to constrain the nature of blueberry formation. We used Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer data for undisturbed soils that were blueberry-free and with visible blueberries at the surface in Microscopic Imager images. We made plots of the elements versus iron for the spherule-rich soils and compared them to a mixing line representative of a pure hematite end member spherule (called ``the zero model''). This modeled the replacive formation mechanism, in which pure hematite would replace all of the original material. If the spherules grew inclusively, chemical data should reflect a compositional component of the rock grains included during formation. Four models were developed to test for possible compositions of a rock component. These models could not easily explain the APXS data and thus demonstrate that the most plausible rock compositions are not components of blueberries.

  18. Magnetic Properties through the Archean/Paleoproterozoic Transition from the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia: Bio-environmental Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isambert, A.; Carlut, J. H.; Bouquerel, H.; Pecoits, E.; Philippot, P.; Vennin, E.; Ader, M.; Thomazo, C.; Buoncristiani, J. F.; Baton, F.; Le Huen, A. L.; Muller, E.; Deldicque, D.; Sforna, M. C.

    2015-12-01

    The origin of iron oxides in Archean and Paleoproterozoic Banded Iron Formations is still a matter of debate. We report here low and high temperature magnetic properties, susceptibility and saturation magnetization results coupled with scanning microscope, transmission electron microscopy, Raman observations and microprobe analyses along a 60 meters section, which encompasses the uppermost Archean Boolgeeda Iron Formation and its transition into the lower Paleoproterozoic Kungarra Formation in the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. With the exception of two volcanoclastic intervals characterized by low susceptibility and magnetization, nearly pure magnetite is identified as the main magnetic carrier in all iron-rich layers including hematite-bearing jasper beds. The relative magnetic contribution of magnetite and hematite throughout the section is evidenced by IRM acquisition curves. We observed a sharp decrease in magnetization at the Archean-Proterozoic transition and a general trend in the Verwey temperature. Two populations of magnetically distinct magnetites are reported from a 2 meter-thick interval lying within the late Archean section of the core. Each population shows a specific Verwey transition temperature: one around 120-124K and the other in the range of 105-110K. The two Verwey transitions are interpreted to reflect two distinct stoichiometry and likely two stages of magnetite crystallization. The 120-124K transition is attributed to nearly pure stoichiometric magnetite, whereas SEM, TEM and microprobe observations suggest that the lower temperature transition is related to chemically impure silician magnetite. Microbial-induced partial substitution of iron by silicon is suggested here. This is supported by an increase in Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in the same interval and Raman spectroscopy data showing a close association of organic carbon with magnetite.

  19. Origin and provenance of spherules and magnetic grains at the Younger Dryas boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Yingzhe; Sharma, Mukul; LeCompte, Malcolm A.; Demitroff, Mark N.; Landis, Joshua D.

    2013-09-01

    One or more bolide impacts are hypothesized to have triggered the Younger Dryas cooling at ∼12.9 ka. In support of this hypothesis, varying peak abundances of magnetic grains with iridium and magnetic microspherules have been reported at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB). We show that bulk sediment and/or magnetic grains/microspherules collected from the YDB sites in Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Ohio have 187Os/188Os ratios ≥1.0, similar to average upper continental crust (= 1.3), indicating a terrestrial origin of osmium (Os) in these samples. In contrast, bulk sediments from YDB sites in Belgium and Pennsylvania exhibit 187Os/188Os ratios <<1.0 and at face value suggest mixing with extraterrestrial Os with 187Os/188Os of ∼0.13. However, the Os concentration in bulk sample and magnetic grains from Belgium is 2.8 pg/g and 15 pg/g, respectively, much lower than that in average upper continental crust (=31 pg/g), indicating no meteoritic contribution. The YDB site in Pennsylvania is remarkable in yielding 2- to 5-mm diameter spherules containing minerals such as suessite (Fe-Ni silicide) that form at temperatures in excess of 2000 °C. Gross texture, mineralogy, and age of the spherules appear consistent with their formation as ejecta from an impact 12.9 ka ago. The 187Os/188Os ratios of the spherules and their leachates are often low, but Os in these objects is likely terrestrially derived. The rare earth element patterns and Sr and Nd isotopes of the spherules indicate that their source lies in 1.5-Ga Quebecia terrain in the Grenville Province of northeastern North America.

  20. Origin and provenance of spherules and magnetic grains at the Younger Dryas boundary.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yingzhe; Sharma, Mukul; LeCompte, Malcolm A; Demitroff, Mark N; Landis, Joshua D

    2013-09-17

    One or more bolide impacts are hypothesized to have triggered the Younger Dryas cooling at ∼12.9 ka. In support of this hypothesis, varying peak abundances of magnetic grains with iridium and magnetic microspherules have been reported at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB). We show that bulk sediment and/or magnetic grains/microspherules collected from the YDB sites in Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Ohio have (187)Os/(188)Os ratios ≥1.0, similar to average upper continental crust (= 1.3), indicating a terrestrial origin of osmium (Os) in these samples. In contrast, bulk sediments from YDB sites in Belgium and Pennsylvania exhibit (187)Os/(188)Os ratios <1.0 and at face value suggest mixing with extraterrestrial Os with (187)Os/(188)Os of ∼0.13. However, the Os concentration in bulk sample and magnetic grains from Belgium is 2.8 pg/g and 15 pg/g, respectively, much lower than that in average upper continental crust (=31 pg/g), indicating no meteoritic contribution. The YDB site in Pennsylvania is remarkable in yielding 2- to 5-mm diameter spherules containing minerals such as suessite (Fe-Ni silicide) that form at temperatures in excess of 2000 °C. Gross texture, mineralogy, and age of the spherules appear consistent with their formation as ejecta from an impact 12.9 ka ago. The (187)Os/(188)Os ratios of the spherules and their leachates are often low, but Os in these objects is likely terrestrially derived. The rare earth element patterns and Sr and Nd isotopes of the spherules indicate that their source lies in 1.5-Ga Quebecia terrain in the Grenville Province of northeastern North America.

  1. Origin and provenance of spherules and magnetic grains at the Younger Dryas boundary

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yingzhe; Sharma, Mukul; LeCompte, Malcolm A.; Demitroff, Mark N.; Landis, Joshua D.

    2013-01-01

    One or more bolide impacts are hypothesized to have triggered the Younger Dryas cooling at ∼12.9 ka. In support of this hypothesis, varying peak abundances of magnetic grains with iridium and magnetic microspherules have been reported at the Younger Dryas boundary (YDB). We show that bulk sediment and/or magnetic grains/microspherules collected from the YDB sites in Arizona, Michigan, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Ohio have 187Os/188Os ratios ≥1.0, similar to average upper continental crust (= 1.3), indicating a terrestrial origin of osmium (Os) in these samples. In contrast, bulk sediments from YDB sites in Belgium and Pennsylvania exhibit 187Os/188Os ratios <<1.0 and at face value suggest mixing with extraterrestrial Os with 187Os/188Os of ∼0.13. However, the Os concentration in bulk sample and magnetic grains from Belgium is 2.8 pg/g and 15 pg/g, respectively, much lower than that in average upper continental crust (=31 pg/g), indicating no meteoritic contribution. The YDB site in Pennsylvania is remarkable in yielding 2- to 5-mm diameter spherules containing minerals such as suessite (Fe-Ni silicide) that form at temperatures in excess of 2000 °C. Gross texture, mineralogy, and age of the spherules appear consistent with their formation as ejecta from an impact 12.9 ka ago. The 187Os/188Os ratios of the spherules and their leachates are often low, but Os in these objects is likely terrestrially derived. The rare earth element patterns and Sr and Nd isotopes of the spherules indicate that their source lies in 1.5-Ga Quebecia terrain in the Grenville Province of northeastern North America. PMID:24009337

  2. Interaction of Komatiitic Liquids With Archean Arcs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kerrich, R.

    2006-12-01

    New, and compilations of, high precision data for 3.0 to 2.7 Ga komatiites of the Superior province show positive normalized anomalies of Nb relative to Th-La, and Nb/Th>8. These features are present in Al- undepleted (AUK) and Al-depleted komatiites(ADK) screened for minimal alteration and absence of crustal contamination. AUK possess positive Zr(Hf)/Sm anomalies, whereas ADK counterparts have negative anomalies. For AUK, positive (Nb,Zr)/REE anomalies are interpreted as oceanic lithosphere processed through a dehydration-dominated subduction zone and recycled into the mantle source of plumes. For ADK, HFSE/REE anomalies may reflect recycled oceanic lithosphere processed through a melt(TTG)-dominated subduction zone, melting of a plume with residual majorite garnet at >400 km, or some combination. Both AUK and ADK are associated with anhydrous intraplate plume-related magmas, based on field associations and Ti/V. A new compositional type of Neoarchean intraoceanic low-K (Ce) tholeiitic arc basalt has been identified. These are characterized by a spectrum of negative to positive (Nb,Ta,Zr,Hf)/REE anomalies, but systematic negative Ti/REE anomalies, where Nb antivaries with Zr/Nb, and Ni>300ppm. This type differs from low-K arc tholeiites of Archean and Phanerozoic age variably associated with andesites, dacites, rhyolites, and characterized by systematic negative anomalies of (Nb,Ta,P,Ti)/REE, with Ni<250ppm. The new type tholeiites are consistent with a model of earlier komatiitic liquids that stalled in, and fertilized, upper mantle. As an arc migrated through composite upper mantle, hydrous melting generated a basalt compositional spectrum from subdued AUK-like to classic arc-like HFSE/REE anomalies. Alternatively, contemporaneous AUK liquids leaked through a slab into the sub-arc mantle wedge, hybridizing with wedge peridotite melts.

  3. Paleomagnetic measurements of Archean and Hadean zircons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cottrell, R. D.; Tarduno, J. A.; Bono, R. K.

    2014-12-01

    The long-term history of the geodynamo can provide important constraints on core and mantle evolution. The oldest paleointensity records on extant rocks suggest a relatively strong magnetic field at 3.45 Ga (Tarduno et al., 2010). Examining an even older magnetic field, however, must rely on igneous components (e.g. zircons hosting magnetic inclusions) now found in younger sedimentary rocks. Here we focus on methods developed to address the challenges posed by the paleointensity measurement of crystals having weak natural remanent magnetizations (NRMs). We use a small bore (6.3 mm) 2G SQUID magnetometer that currently has the highest 3-component moment resolution for measurements, and CO2 laser heating for demagnetization. Use of this 3-component system allows for the direct measurement of full vector natural remanent magnetizations and avoids the non-uniqueness inherent in scanning magnetometer approaches. To reduce sample blank size, we use 0.5 mm fused quartz sample holders. We find that some Archean to Hadean zircons of the Jack Hills (Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia) have NRMs of ca. 1-3 x 10-9 emu, within the resolution of the ultra-high moment resolution SQUID magnetometer. Thermal demagnetization data indicate most the magnetization unblocks between 550 and 580 °C, consistent with a magnetite carrier. Magnetic force microscopy suggests the presence of sub-micron single domain-like magnetic inclusions in the zircon. Thellier-Coe paleointensity data suggest the presence of a magnetic field at 3.55 Ga. We will discuss measurements and criteria to evaluate the presence/absence of an even older Paleoarchean and Hadean magnetic field, and opportunities provided by further increases in moment resolution provided by a new spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer.

  4. Bed Bugs

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Prevent, identify, and treat bed bug infestations using EPA’s step-by-step guides, based on IPM principles. Find pesticides approved for bed bug control, check out the information clearinghouse, and dispel bed bug myths.

  5. Tomographic Location of Potential Melt-Bearing Phenocrysts in Lunar Glass Spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ebel, D. S.; Fogel, R. A.; Rivers, M. L.

    2005-01-01

    In 1971, Apollo 17 astronauts collected a 10 cm soil sample (74220) comprised almost entirely of orange glass spherules. Below this, a double drive-tube core sampled a 68 cm thick horizon comprised of orange glass and black beads (crystallized equivalents of orange glass). Primitive lunar glass spherules (e.g.-A17 orange glasses) are thought to represent ejecta from lunar mare fire fountains [1, 2]. The fire-fountains were apparently driven by a combination of C-O gas ex-solution from orange glass melt and the oxidation of graphite [3, 4]. Upon eruption, magmas lost their volatiles (e.g., S, CO, CO2) to space. Evidence for volatile escape remains as volatile-rich coatings on the exteriors of many spherules [e.g., 5,6]. Moreover, [7] showed that Type I and II Fe-Ni-rich metal particles found within orange glass olivine phenocrysts, or free-floating in the glass itself, are powerful evidence for the volatile driving force for lunar fire fountains.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Geology and tectonics of the Archean Superior Province, Canadian Shield

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Card, K. D.

    1986-01-01

    Superior Province consists mainly of Late Archean rocks with Middle Archean gneisses in the south, and possibly in the north. The Late Archean supracrustal sequences are of island arc and interarc affinity and are cut by abundant plutonic rocks, including early arc-related intrusions, late synorogenic intrusions, and post-orogenic plutons that are possibly the product of crustal melting caused by thermal blanketing of newly-thickened continental crust combined with high mantle heat flux. The contemporaneity of magmatic and deformational events along the lengths of the belts is consistent with a subduction-dominated tectonic regime for assembly of the Kenoran Orogen. Successive addition of volcanic arcs accompanied and followed by voluminous plutonism resulted in crustal thickening and stabilization of the Superior craton prior to uplift of Kapuskasing granulites, emplacement of the Matachewan diabase dykes, and Early Proterozoic marginal rifting.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. Nitrogen isotopic composition and density of the Archean atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Marty, Bernard; Zimmermann, Laurent; Pujol, Magali; Burgess, Ray; Philippot, Pascal

    2013-10-04

    Understanding the atmosphere's composition during the Archean eon is fundamental to unraveling ancient environmental conditions. We show from the analysis of nitrogen and argon isotopes in fluid inclusions trapped in 3.0- to 3.5-billion-year-old hydrothermal quartz that the partial pressure of N2 of the Archean atmosphere was lower than 1.1 bar, possibly as low as 0.5 bar, and had a nitrogen isotopic composition comparable to the present-day one. These results imply that dinitrogen did not play a significant role in the thermal budget of the ancient Earth and that the Archean partial pressure of CO2 was probably lower than 0.7 bar.

  10. The early Earth -- A perspective on the Archean

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, W.B. )

    1993-04-01

    Dominant models of Archean tectonics and magmatism involve plate-tectonic mechanisms. Common tenets of geochemistry (e.g., model ages) and petrology visualize a cold-accreted Earth in which primitive mantle gradually fractionated to produce crust during and since Archean time. These popular assumptions appear to be incompatible with cosmologic and planetologic evidence and with Archean geology. All current quantitative and semiquantitative theories agree that the Earth was largely or entirely melted (likely superheated) by giant impacts, including the Mars-size impact which splashed out the Moon, and by separation of the core. The Earth at [approximately]4.5 Ga was a violently convecting anhydrous molten ball. Both this history and solar-system position indicate the bulk Earth to be more refractory than chondrite. The outer part of whatever sold shell developed was repeatedly recycled by impacts before 3.9 Ga. Water and CO[sub 2] were added by impactors after the Moon-forming event; the mantle is not a source of primordial volatiles, but rather is a sink that has depleted the hydrosphere. Voluminous liquidus ultramafic lava (komatiite) indicates that much Archean upper mantle was above its solidus. Only komatiitic and basaltic magma entered Archean crust from the mantle. Variably hydrous contamination, secondary melting, and fractionation in the crust produced intermediate and felsic melts. Magmatism was concurrent over vast tracts. Within at least the small sample of Archean crust that has not been recycled into the mantle, heat loss was primarily by voluminous, dispersed magmatism, not, as in the modern Earth, primarily through spreading windows through the crust. Only in Proterozoic time did plate-tectonic mechanisms become prevalent.

  11. Archean crustal evolution of the northern North China Craton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Qian, Xianglin; Chen, Yaping; Liu, Jinzhong

    1988-01-01

    The Archean granultie facies rocks of the North China (Sino-Korean) Craton mostly occur inside the northern boundary forming a unique and spectacular granulite belt trending roughly E-W from eastern Hebei, North China in the east to Mt. Daqinchan, western Inner Mongolia in the west, ranging about 1,000 km long. Over the years in the middle portion of this Archean high-grade metamorphic belt a stratigraphic unconformity between the khondalite rock assemblage and the medium in composition granulite assemblage in Datong-Xinghe area is determined. The geological structural properties of the North China Craton are discussed.

  12. Archean crustal evolution of the northern North China Craton

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Qian, Xianglin; Chen, Yaping; Liu, Jinzhong

    1988-01-01

    The Archean granultie facies rocks of the North China (Sino-Korean) Craton mostly occur inside the northern boundary forming a unique and spectacular granulite belt trending roughly E-W from eastern Hebei, North China in the east to Mt. Daqinchan, western Inner Mongolia in the west, ranging about 1,000 km long. Over the years in the middle portion of this Archean high-grade metamorphic belt a stratigraphic unconformity between the khondalite rock assemblage and the medium in composition granulite assemblage in Datong-Xinghe area is determined. The geological structural properties of the North China Craton are discussed.

  13. Mineral artefacts mimicking microfossils in Archean rocks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepot, K.; Philippot, P.; Benzerara, K.

    2009-04-01

    Because prokaryotes populating the early Earth were structurally and morphologically very simple, it is difficult to obtain taxonomic information from microfossils, and even more problematic, to distinguish true fossils from abiotic objects. For example, many self-assembly processes associated with the precipitation of nanoscale minerals in the presence of organic compounds generate cell-like structures. Based on high resolution microscopy observations on natural samples, we describe three types of features common to Archean rocks and suggest that they represent microfossil-like artefacts. Using Scanning Electron Microscopy we have observed carbon-free silica inclusions in carbonate sediments that are very similar in size and shape (rods and spheres) to microorganisms. The common distribution of organic carbon at grain boundaries in those rocks indicate that such cell-like minerals, when coated by secondarily-migrated carbonaceous mater, could easily be mistaken for microfossils. The organisation and the micro- to nano-structure of bacteriomorphs might be even more confusing. We have observed chains of spheres that match in size and arrangement with some coccoid bacteria such as streptococci. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) observation of Focused Ion Beam (FIB) sections cut through these spheres shows that they are composed of TiO2nanocrystallites partly rimmed or linked by nanoscale chlorite films. This assemblage creates smooth cell-like structures at the micron-scale. However, the absence of organic carbon in those structures as well as the observation of many similar TiO2 chains of spheres dispersed in volcanic glass shards argue against a biologic origin. Ambient inclusions trails also generate filamentous structures that can be mistaken for microfossils. (Knoll and Barghoorn, 1974) suggested that such pseudofossils could have formed by the displacement of a crystal (e.g. pyrite) in its mineral matrix owing to pressure solution processes linked to gas

  14. Origin of iron oxide spherules in the banded iron formation of the Bababudan Group, Dharwar Craton, Southern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orberger, Beate; Wagner, Christiane; Wirth, Richard; Quirico, Eric; Gallien, Jean Paul; Derré, Colette; Montagnac, Gilles; Noret, Aurélie; Jayananda, Mudlappa; Massault, Marc; Rouchon, Virgile

    2012-06-01

    The banded iron formation of the Bababudan Group (Western Dharwar Craton, India) is composed of millimetric to centimetric alternating quartz and grey to red Fe-oxide bands. Major phases are quartz and martite (hematized magnetite) with minor Fe-sulfides and Ca-Mg-Fe-carbonates. Micrometric Fe-oxide spherules fill cavities in discontinuous micrometric layers of Fe-oxides that occur in the massive quartz layers and at the interface of massive Fe-oxide and quartz layers. The spherules are composed of micrometric radial plates of hematite intergrown with nanometric magnetite. These spherules contain carbonaceous matter (CM) with nanometric Fe-particles and have low N contents (˜900 ppm; CM1). The spherule formation is attributed to a low temperature hydrothermal process (150-200 °C) at around 2.52 Ga, possibly favored by the presence of CM. These hydrothermal fluids dissolved diagenetic interstitial sulfides or carbonates creating cavities which, provided space for the spherule precipitation. Carbonaceous matter of semi-anthracite maturity is encapsulated in quartz grains adjacent to the Fe-oxide spherules (CM2) and it is thus concluded that CM1 and CM2 are most likely contemporaneous and of the same origin, either incorporated at the time of BIF formation or during the hydrothermal event at 2.52 Ga from the underlying phyllitised black shales. Carbonaceous matter (CM3) was also found around the Fe-oxide spherules and the martite grains. CM3 has much higher N contents (>5000 ppm), is of a lower maturity than CM1 and CM2, and is related to weathering, which is also indicated by the presence of goethite and kaolinite. The δ13C of all CMs varies from -19.4 to -24.7‰, similar to values measured in the underlying phyllitised black shales and likely reflect denitrifying microbial activity.

  15. The parent body controls on cosmic spherule texture: Evidence from the oxygen isotopic compositions of large micrometeorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Ginneken, M.; Gattacceca, J.; Rochette, P.; Sonzogni, C.; Alexandre, A.; Vidal, V.; Genge, M. J.

    2017-09-01

    High-precision oxygen isotopic compositions of eighteen large cosmic spherules (>500 μm diameter) from the Atacama Desert, Chile, were determined using IR-laser fluorination - Isotope Ratio Mass spectrometry. The four discrete isotopic groups defined in a previous study on cosmic spherules from the Transantarctic Mountains (Suavet et al., 2010) were identified, confirming their global distribution. Approximately 50% of the studied cosmic spherules are related to carbonaceous chondrites, 38% to ordinary chondrites and 12% to unknown parent bodies. Approximately 90% of barred olivine (BO) cosmic spherules show oxygen isotopic compositions suggesting they are related to carbonaceous chondrites. Similarly, ∼90% porphyritic olivine (Po) cosmic spherules are related to ordinary chondrites and none can be unambiguously related to carbonaceous chondrites. Other textures are related to all potential parent bodies. The data suggests that the textures of cosmic spherules are mainly controlled by the nature of the precursor rather than by the atmospheric entry parameters. We propose that the Po texture may essentially be formed from a coarse-grained precursor having an ordinary chondritic mineralogy and chemistry. Coarse-grained precursors related to carbonaceous chondrites (i.e. chondrules) are likely to either survive atmospheric entry heating or form V-type cosmic spherules. Due to the limited number of submicron nucleation sites after total melting, ordinary chondrite-related coarse-grained precursors that suffer higher peak temperatures will preferentially form cryptocrystalline (Cc) textures instead of BO textures. Conversely, the BO textures would be mostly related to the fine-grained matrices of carbonaceous chondrites due to the wide range of melting temperatures of their constituent mineral phases, allowing the preservation of submicron nucleation sites. Independently of the nature of the precursors, increasing peak temperatures form glassy textures.

  16. Chemistry and petrology of Fe-Ni beads from different types of cosmic spherules: Implication for precursors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rudraswami, N. G.; Prasad, M. Shyam; Babu, E. V. S. S. K.; Kumar, T. Vijaya

    2014-11-01

    Fe-Ni beads are observed to occur in all three (Stony, Glass, Iron) types of cosmic spherules collected from deep sea sediments of the Indian Ocean. Fe-Ni beads in cosmic spherules can provide insights for understanding metal segregation mechanisms and their refractory metal element (RME: Re, Os, W, Ir, Ru, Mo, Pt, Rh including Pd) compositions can help ascertain their precursor meteorites. We measured RME compositions of 55 Fe-Ni beads using LA-ICP-MS in all three basic types of cosmic spherules selected after examining ∼2000 cosmic spherules. The RMEs of Fe-Ni beads provide unique information on formation and differentiation during atmospheric entry. The variability in the concentration of the RMEs depends on the initial mass of the cosmic spherules, volatility, temperature attained and efficiency in metal segregation during entry. The CI chondrite and Os normalized RME compositions of the beads display a pattern that is close to CI chondritic composition. The presence of Pd, a non-refractory metal having condensation temperature similar to Fe, in Fe-Ni beads of all types of cosmic spherules indicates that the heating undergone was below its vaporization temperature. Not all parent bodies lead to the formation of beads, the precursor needs to exceed a certain minimum size and temperature to facilitate the metal to get segregated into beads. The minimum size of a parent particle that could enclose a Fe-Ni bead is estimated to have a size ∼1 mm. This places constraints on the sizes of materials that are ablated during entry, and the accompanying mass loss during entry. Our study further points out that all the three basic types of cosmic spherules have a chondritic origin based on their RME distribution patterns. Only metal-rich carbonaceous chondrites contain the required quantities of metal for the formation of Fe-Ni beads during atmospheric entry and during this process the RMEs are also efficiently segregated into these beads.

  17. Bed bugs.

    PubMed

    Foulke, Galen T; Anderson, Bryan E

    2014-09-01

    The term bed bug is applied to 2 species of genus Cimex: lectularius describes the common or temperate bed bug, and hemipterus its tropical cousin. Cimex lectularius is aptly named; its genus and species derive from the Latin words for bug and bed, respectively. Though the tiny pest is receiving increased public attention and scrutiny, the bed bug is hardly a new problem.

  18. A revised, hazy methane greenhouse for the Archean Earth.

    PubMed

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob D; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D; Kasting, Patrick J; Kasting, James F

    2008-12-01

    Geological and biological evidence suggests that Earth was warm during most of its early history, despite the fainter young Sun. Upper bounds on the atmospheric CO2 concentration in the Late Archean/Paleoproterozoic (2.8-2.2 Ga) from paleosol data suggest that additional greenhouse gases must have been present. Methanogenic bacteria, which were arguably extant at that time, may have contributed to a high concentration of atmospheric CH4, and previous calculations had indicated that a CH4-CO2-H2O greenhouse could have produced warm Late Archean surface temperatures while still satisfying the paleosol constraints on pCO2. Here, we revisit this conclusion. Correction of an error in the CH4 absorption coefficients, combined with the predicted early onset of climatically cooling organic haze, suggest that the amount of greenhouse warming by CH4 was more limited and that pCO2 must therefore have been 0.03 bar, at or above the upper bound of the value obtained from paleosols. Enough warming from CH4 remained in the Archean, however, to explain why Earth's climate cooled and became glacial when atmospheric O2 levels rose in the Paleoproterozoic. Our new model also shows that greenhouse warming by higher hydrocarbon gases, especially ethane (C2H6), may have helped to keep the Late Archean Earth warm.

  19. Petrogenesis of calcic plagioclase megacrysts in Archean rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Anorthositic complexes with large equidimensional plagioclase grains of highly calcic composition occur in nearly all Archean cratons. Similar plagioclase occur as megacrysts in many Archean sills, dikes, and volcanic flows. In the Canadian Shield these units occur throughout the Archean portions of the entire shield and are particularly common as dikes over an area of a few 100,000 sq km in Ontario and Manitoba during a period of at least 100 m.y. in many different rock types and metamorphic grades. The plagioclase generally occurs in three modes: as inclusions in mafic intrusions at various stages of fractionation, as crystal segregations in anorthosite complexes, or as megacrysts in fractionated sills, dikes, and flows. Most occurrences suggest that the plagioclase was formed elsewhere before being transported to its present location. The evidence seems to be quite clear that occurrences of these types of calcic plagioclase require: (1) ponding of a relatively undifferentiated Archean tholeiitic melt at some depth; (2) isothermal crystallization of large, equidimensional homogeneous plagioclase crystals; (3) separation of the plagioclase crystals from any other crystalline phases; (4) further fractionation of melt; (5)transport of various combinations of individual plagioclase crystals and clusters of crystals by variously fractionated melts; and (6) emplacement as various types of igneous intrusions or flows.

  20. Archean metamorphic sequence and surfaces, Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord, East Greenland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kays, M. A.

    1986-01-01

    The characteristics of Archean metamorphic surfaces and fabrics of a mapped sequence of rocks older than about 3000 Ma provide information basic to an understanding of the structural evolution and metamorphic history in Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord, east Greenland. This information and the additional results of petrologic and geochemical studies have culminated in an extended chronology of Archean plutonic, metamorphic, and tectonic events. The basis for the chronology is considered, especially the nature of the metamorphic fabrics and surfaces in the Archean sequence. The surfaces, which are planar mineral parageneses, may prove to be mappable outside Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord, and if so, will be helpful in extending the events that they represent to other Archean sequences in east Greenland. The surfaces will become especially important reference planes if the absolute ages of their metamorphic assemblages can be determined in at least one location where strain was low subsequent to their recrystallization. Once an isochron is obtained, the dynamothermal age of the regionally identifiable metamorphic surface is determined everywhere it can be mapped.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Dating Carbonaceous Matter in Archean Cherts by Electron Paramagnetic Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Bourbin, M.; Derenne, S.; Binet, L.; Le Du, Y.; Westall, F.; Kremer, B.; Gautret, P.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Ancient geological materials are likely to be contaminated through geological times. Thus, establishing the syngeneity of the organic matter embedded in a mineral matrix is a crucial step in the study of very ancient rocks. This is particularly the case for Archean siliceous sedimentary rocks (cherts), which record the earliest traces of life. We used electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) for assessing the syngeneity of organic matter in cherts that have a metamorphic grade no higher than greenschist. A correlation between the age of Precambrian samples and the shape of their EPR signal was established and statistically tested. As thermal treatments impact organic matter maturity, the effect of temperature on this syngeneity proxy was studied; cyanobacteria were submitted to cumulative short thermal treatment at high temperatures followed by an analysis of their EPR parameters. The resulting carbonaceous matter showed an evolution similar to that of a thermally treated young chert. Furthermore, the possible effect of metamorphism, which is a longer thermal event at lower temperatures, was ruled out for cherts older than 2 Gyr, based on the study of Silurian cherts of the same age and same precursors but various metamorphic grades. We determined that even the most metamorphosed sample did not exhibit the lineshape of an Archean sample. In the hope of detecting organic contamination in Archean cherts, a “contamination-like” mixture was prepared and studied by EPR. It resulted that the lineshape analysis alone does not allow contamination detection and that it must be performed along with cumulative thermal treatments. Such treatments were applied to three Archean chert samples, making dating of their carbonaceous matter possible. We concluded that EPR is a powerful tool to study primitive organic matter and could be used in further exobiology studies on low-metamorphic grade samples (from Mars for example). Key Words: Kerogen—Sedimentary rocks—Contamination—Spectroscopy—Archean

  3. Composition and Origin of Archean Migmatites from Iisalmi, Central Finland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brueckner, S. M.; Foley, S. F.; Nehring, F.; Hölttä, P.; von der Handt, A.

    2008-12-01

    Besides greenstone belts, the most known prominent rock type of the Archean is tonalite-trondhjemite- granodiorite (TTG) representing continental crust. Changes in the geochemical behavior of TTG during the Archean are explained by increasingly deep melting of the subducted slab towards the end of the Archean, resulting in increasing interaction of slab melts with the overlying mantle wedge [1]. We present major and trace element data for migmatized, late-Archean TTGs and associated amphibolites from three different locations in Central Finland. We investigated in particular the content of the transition trace elements Cr, Ni, Co and Zn within mesosome and neosome (leucosome + melanosome) of metatexitic TTGs to ascertain whether they developed by metamorphic segregation and partial melting or by another process. Our data show that some melanosomes have elevated Cr (> 70 ppm) and Ni (> 40 ppm) contents, and cannot be produced by simple partial melting of unmodified TTG with subsequent metamorphic segregation and fractional crystallization of the neosome. Rather, these 'melanosomes' represent basaltic melts, now amphibolites, which intruded syn- to early post-tectonically into the TTGs, and were subsequently deformed, giving the appearance of strongly banded metatexitic migmatites. In contrast to these 'contaminated' TTGs, most of the investigated samples show typical TTG characteristics, but no particular geochemical evidence for an increasing interaction with an overlying mantle wedge. Contamination by basaltic dyking may be an alternative explanation for the increase in MgO and decrease in SiO2 of migmatitic TTG with time during the Archean. [1] Martin, H. and Moyen, J.-F., 2002: Geology 30: 319-322.

  4. Venus and the Earth's Archean: Geological mapping and process comparisons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, J. W.; Hurwitz, D. M.; Ivanov, M. A.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Senthil Kumar, P.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction. The geological features, structures, thermal conditions, interpreted processes, and outstanding questions related to both the Earth's Archean and Venus share many similarities [1-3] and we are using a problem-oriented approach to Venus mapping, guided by insight from the Archean record of the Earth, to gain new perspectives on the evolution of Venus and Earth's Archean. The Earth's preserved and well-documented Archean record [4] provides important insight into high heat-flux tectonic and magmatic environments and structures [5] and the surface of Venus reveals the current configuration and recent geological record of analogous high-temperature environments unmodified by subsequent several billion years of segmentation and overprinting, as on Earth. Here we address the nature of the Earth's Archean, the similarities to and differences from Venus, and the specific Venus and Earth-Archean problems on which progress might be made through comparison. The Earth's Archean and its Relation to Venus. The Archean period of Earth's history extends from accretion/initial crust formation (sometimes called the Hadean) to 2.5 Ga and is thought of by most workers as being a transitional period between the earliest Earth and later periods largely dominated by plate tectonics (Proterozoic and Phanerozoic) [2, 4]. Thus the Archean is viewed as recording a critical period in Earth's history in which a transition took place from the types of primary and early secondary crusts seen on the Moon, Mars and Mercury [6] (and largely missing in the record of the Earth), to the style of crustal accretion and plate tectonics characterizing later Earth history. The Archean is also characterized by enhanced crustal and mantle temperatures leading to differences in deformation style and volcanism (e.g., komatiites) [2]. The preserved Archean crust is exposed in ~36 different cratons [4], forming the cores of most continental regions, and is composed of gneisses, plutons and

  5. Elemental depletions in Antarctic micrometeorites and Arctic cosmic spherules: Comparison and relationships

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Presper, T.; Kurat, G.; Koeberl, C.; Palme, H.; Maurette, Michel

    1993-01-01

    Antarctic micrometeorites (MM's) and Arctic cosmic spherules (CS's) have bulk compositions comparable to those of chondritic meteorites. However, abundance of Na, Ca, Mn, Ni, Co, and S are commonly lower in MM's and CS's as compared to chondrites. Our SEM, EMP, and INAA studies suggest that these elemental depletions in unmelted MM's are likely to be due to leaching of soluble components from the MM's in the upper atmosphere and the melt ice water. Depletions in CS's appear to be mainly due to volatilization during melting in the atmosphere or to sampling bias during aggregate formation or parent rock break-up.

  6. Possible impact spherules from near the base of the Middle Ordovician in northern Illinois

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Read, W. F.

    1986-01-01

    Angular fragments of a greyish-white chertlike rock containing numerous sand-size spherules believed to be of impact origin have been found in northern Illinois. These fragments, many as large as a man's fist, are recognizable in the field by the presence in them of conspicuous rounded cavities which were probably bubbles. Most have been picked up as float in the bottoms of ravines, but it is clear that they come from near the base of the St. Peter sandstone and that they were already fragments when incorporated in this formation.

  7. Elemental depletions in Antarctic micrometeorites and Arctic cosmic spherules: Comparison and relationships

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Presper, T.; Kurat, G.; Koeberl, C.; Palme, H.; Maurette, Michel

    1993-01-01

    Antarctic micrometeorites (MM's) and Arctic cosmic spherules (CS's) have bulk compositions comparable to those of chondritic meteorites. However, abundance of Na, Ca, Mn, Ni, Co, and S are commonly lower in MM's and CS's as compared to chondrites. Our SEM, EMP, and INAA studies suggest that these elemental depletions in unmelted MM's are likely to be due to leaching of soluble components from the MM's in the upper atmosphere and the melt ice water. Depletions in CS's appear to be mainly due to volatilization during melting in the atmosphere or to sampling bias during aggregate formation or parent rock break-up.

  8. Hydrothermal hexahydrite spherules erupted during the 2008-2010 summit eruption of Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai`i'

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hon, Ken; Orr, Tim R.

    2011-01-01

    Small (1-3 mm), hollow spherules of hexahydrite have been collected falling out of the magmatic gas plume downwind of Kīlauea’s summit vent. The spherules were observed on eight separate occasions during 2009-2010 when a lake of actively spattering lava was present ~150-200 m below the rim of the vent. The shells of the spherules have a fine bubbly foam structure less than 0.1 mm thick, composed almost entirely of hexahydrite [MgSO4·6H2O] Small microspherules of lava (4-saturated meteoric water in the walls of the conduit above the surface of the lava lake. Solfataric sulfates may thus be recycled and reinjected into the plume, creating particulates of sulfate minerals that can be distributed far from their original source.

  9. Deep-sea spherules from Pacific clay - Mass distribution and influx rate. [extraterrestrial origins from optical and electron microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murrell, M. T.; Davis, P. A., Jr.; Nishiizumi, K.; Millard, H. T., Jr.

    1980-01-01

    From 411 kg of Pacific clay, 22 mg of stony spherules and 50 mg of iron spherules larger than 150 microns were concentrated. The extraterrestrial origin of these particles was evaluated with the aid of optical and electron microscopy and atomic absorption elemental analysis. An expression for the integral number of stony particles from this sediment in the mass range 20-300 micrograms was derived. The world-wide influx rate of stony particles in the mass range which survive atmospheric heating and ocean sediment storage is calculated to be 90 tons/yr. The relative contributions of ablation debris vs fused interplanetary dust to the influx of stony spherules is discussed, but no conclusions could be made.

  10. Identification of hydroxyapatite spherules provides new insight into subretinal pigment epithelial deposit formation in the aging eye

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Richard B.; Reffatto, Valentina; Bundy, Jacob G.; Kortvely, Elod; Flinn, Jane M.; Lanzirotti, Antonio; Jones, Emrys A.; McPhail, David S.; Fearn, Sarah; Boldt, Karsten; Ueffing, Marius; Ratu, Savanjeet Guy Singh; Pauleikhoff, Laurenz; Bird, Alan C.; Lengyel, Imre

    2015-01-01

    Accumulation of protein- and lipid-containing deposits external to the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is common in the aging eye, and has long been viewed as the hallmark of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The cause for the accumulation and retention of molecules in the sub-RPE space, however, remains an enigma. Here, we present fluorescence microscopy and X-ray diffraction evidence for the formation of small (0.5–20 μm in diameter), hollow, hydroxyapatite (HAP) spherules in Bruch’s membrane in human eyes. These spherules are distinct in form, placement, and staining from the well-known calcification of the elastin layer of the aging Bruch’s membrane. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) imaging confirmed the presence of calcium phosphate in the spherules and identified cholesterol enrichment in their core. Using HAP-selective fluorescent dyes, we show that all types of sub-RPE deposits in the macula, as well as in the periphery, contain numerous HAP spherules. Immunohistochemical labeling for proteins characteristic of sub-RPE deposits, such as complement factor H, vitronectin, and amyloid beta, revealed that HAP spherules were coated with these proteins. HAP spherules were also found outside the sub-RPE deposits, ready to bind proteins at the RPE/choroid interface. Based on these results, we propose a novel mechanism for the growth, and possibly even the formation, of sub-RPE deposits, namely, that the deposit growth and formation begin with the deposition of insoluble HAP shells around naturally occurring, cholesterol-containing extracellular lipid droplets at the RPE/choroid interface; proteins and lipids then attach to these shells, initiating or supporting the growth of sub-RPE deposits. PMID:25605911

  11. Mechanism of formation of concentrically laminated spherules: Implication to Randall’s plaque and stone formation

    PubMed Central

    Amos, Fairland F.; Dai, Lijun; Kumar, Rajendra; Khan, Saeed R.; Gower, Laurie B.

    2013-01-01

    We report on the formation of calcium phosphate multi-laminated spherules via a polymer-induced liquid-like precursor (PILP) process. In this non-classical crystallization route, the precipitation of liquid-like amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP) particles is promoted using anionic polypeptide additives, and these droplets coalesce to form globules that later crystallize into spherulites. During crystallization of the amorphous globules, the polymer additive, as well as the waters of hydration, is excluded ahead of the crystallization front, but some polymer becomes entrapped within diffusion-limited zones. This results in the formation of concentric laminations with layers of variable density from organic-rich inclusions. The striking resemblance of these spherules with the crystals of the Randall’s plaque and other laminated stones suggests that such biological structures may form via an amorphous precursor process as well. Given the organic-rich environment present in the urinary tract, one might expect a large amount of organic materials to become entrapped within the stratified zones of a forming stone during this type of solidification and transformation process. PMID:19066874

  12. Spherules from the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary clay at Gubbio, Italy: the problem of outcrop contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Montanari, A.

    1986-12-01

    Surficial outcrop contamination has occurred in some well-known stratigraphic sections of carbonate rocks in the northern Apennines. A critical case involves several contaminated clay partings, including the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary clay in the classic Bottaccione section near Gubbio, Italy. These clay layers contain shiny spherules which, in several recent studies, have been said to consist of volcanic glass and have been used to support the hypothesis that the terminal Cretaceous mass extinction was caused by widespread volcanism. Laboratory tests, however, indicate that these shiny spherules are made of HF-insoluble and combustible material and are therefore of recent biological origin. These objects were introduced into the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary clay and other clay layers from the surrounding soil along with abundant detrital contaminants derived from erosion of the middle Miocene flysch exposed at the head of the Bottaccione Gorge. They are completely different from the altered and flattened microtektitelike spheroids that are found only in the iridium-rich Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary clay and that provide strong evidence for a large impact.

  13. Spherulization as a process for the exudation of chemical cues by the encrusting sponge C. crambe

    PubMed Central

    Ternon, Eva; Zarate, Lina; Chenesseau, Sandrine; Croué, Julie; Dumollard, Rémi; Suzuki, Marcelino T.; Thomas, Olivier P.

    2016-01-01

    Ecological interactions in the marine environment are now recognized to be partly held by chemical cues produced by marine organisms. In particular, sponges are sessile animals thought to rely on the bioactive substances they synthesize to ensure their development and defense. However, the mechanisms leading the sponges to use their specialized metabolites as chemical cues remain unknown. Here we report the constant release of bioactive polycyclic guanidinic alkaloids by the Mediterranean sponge Crambe crambe into the dissolved and the particulate phases using a targeted metabolomics study. These compounds were proven to be stored into already described specialized (spherulous) sponge cells and dispersed into the water column after release through the sponge exhaling channels (oscula), leading to a chemical shield surrounding the sponge. Low concentrations of these compounds were demonstrated to have teratogenic effects on embryos of a common sea squirt (ascidian). This mechanism of action called spherulization may therefore contribute to the ecological success of encrusting sponges that need to extend their substrate cover to expand. PMID:27381941

  14. Development of Archean crust in the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frost, C. D.; Koesterer, M. E.; Koesterer, M. E.; Koesterer, M. E.; Koesterer, M. E.

    1986-01-01

    The Wind River Mountains are a NW-SE trending range composed almost entirely of high-grade Archean gneiss and granites which were thrust to the west over Phanerozoic sediments during the Laramide orogeny. Late Archean granites make up over 50% of the exposed crust and dominates the southern half of the range, while older orthogneisses and magnatites form most of the northen half of the range. Locally these gneisses contain enclaves of supracrustal rocks, which appear to be the oldest preserved rocks in the range. Detailed work in the Medina Mountain area of the central Wind River Mountains and reconnaissance work throughout much of the northern part of the range has allowed definition of the sequence of events which marked crustal development in this area. The sequence of events are described.

  15. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean

    PubMed Central

    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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. Archean microfossils: a reappraisal of early life on Earth.

    PubMed

    Altermann, Wladyslaw; Kazmierczak, Józef

    2003-11-01

    The oldest fossils found thus far on Earth are c. 3.49- and 3.46-billion-year-old filamentous and coccoidal microbial remains in rocks of the Pilbara craton, Western Australia, and c. 3.4-billion-year-old rocks from the Barberton region, South Africa. Their biogenicity was recently questioned and they were reinterpreted as contaminants, mineral artefacts or inorganic carbon aggregates. Morphological, geochemical and isotopic data imply, however, that life was relatively widespread and advanced in the Archean, between 3.5 and 2.5 billion years ago, with metabolic pathways analogous to those of recent prokaryotic organisms, including cyanobacteria, and probably even eukaryotes at the terminal Archean.

  18. Origin of microbial biomineralization and magnetotaxis during the Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  19. The production of Barberton komatiites in an Archean Subduction Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parman, S. W.; Grove, T. L.; Dann, J. C.

    Based upon their geochemical similarity, we propose that the 3.5 Ga Barberton basaltic komatiites (BK) are the Archean equivalents of modern boninites, and were produced by the same melting processes (i.e. hydrous melting in a subduction zone). The Barberton komatiites also share some geochemical characteristics with boninites, including petrologic evidence for high magmatic H2O contents. Experimental data indicates that the Archean sub-arc mantle need only be 1500-1600°C to produce hydrous komatiitic melts. This is considerably cooler than estimates of mantle temperatures assuming an anhydrous, plume origin for komatiites (up to 1900°C). The depleted mantle residue that generates the Barberton komatiites and BK will be cooled and metasomatised as it resides beneath the fore-arc, and may represent part of the material that formed the Kaapvaal cratonic keel.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Dating carbonaceous matter in archean cherts by electron paramagnetic resonance.

    PubMed

    Bourbin, M; Gourier, D; Derenne, S; Binet, L; Le Du, Y; Westall, F; Kremer, B; Gautret, P

    2013-02-01

    Ancient geological materials are likely to be contaminated through geological times. Thus, establishing the syngeneity of the organic matter embedded in a mineral matrix is a crucial step in the study of very ancient rocks. This is particularly the case for Archean siliceous sedimentary rocks (cherts), which record the earliest traces of life. We used electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) for assessing the syngeneity of organic matter in cherts that have a metamorphic grade no higher than greenschist. A correlation between the age of Precambrian samples and the shape of their EPR signal was established and statistically tested. As thermal treatments impact organic matter maturity, the effect of temperature on this syngeneity proxy was studied; cyanobacteria were submitted to cumulative short thermal treatment at high temperatures followed by an analysis of their EPR parameters. The resulting carbonaceous matter showed an evolution similar to that of a thermally treated young chert. Furthermore, the possible effect of metamorphism, which is a longer thermal event at lower temperatures, was ruled out for cherts older than 2 Gyr, based on the study of Silurian cherts of the same age and same precursors but various metamorphic grades. We determined that even the most metamorphosed sample did not exhibit the lineshape of an Archean sample. In the hope of detecting organic contamination in Archean cherts, a "contamination-like" mixture was prepared and studied by EPR. It resulted that the lineshape analysis alone does not allow contamination detection and that it must be performed along with cumulative thermal treatments. Such treatments were applied to three Archean chert samples, making dating of their carbonaceous matter possible. We concluded that EPR is a powerful tool to study primitive organic matter and could be used in further exobiology studies on low-metamorphic grade samples (from Mars for example).

  2. Workshop on a Cross Section of Archean Crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ashwal, L. D. (Editor); Card, K. D. (Editor)

    1983-01-01

    Various topics relevant to crustal genesis, especially the relationship between Archean low - and high-grade terrains, were discussed. The central Superior Province of the Canadian Shield was studied. Here a 120 km-wide transition from subgreenschist facies rocks of the Michipicoten greenstone belt to granulite facies rocks of the Kapuskasing structural zone represents an oblique cross section through some 20 km of crust, uplifted along a northwest-dipping thrust fault.

  3. Bridging Two Worlds: From the Archean to the Proterozoic

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schopf, J. William

    2000-01-01

    As now known, the Archean and Proterozoic appear to have been different worlds: the geology (tectonic style, basinal distribution, dominant rock types), atmospheric composition (O2, CO21, CH4), and surface environment (day-length, solar luminosity, ambient temperature) all appear to have changed over time. And virtually all paleobiologic indicators can be interpreted as suggesting there were significant biotic differences as well: (1) Stromatolites older than 2.5 Ga are rare relative to those of the Proterozoic; their biotic components are largely unknown; and the biogenicity of those older than approx. 3.2 Ga has been questioned. (2) Bona fide microfossils older than approx. 2.4 Ga are rare, poorly preserved, and of uncertain biological relations. Gaps of hundreds of millions of years in the known record make it impossible to show that Archean microorganisms are definitely part of the 2.4 Ga-to-present evolutionary continuum. and (3) In rocks older than approx. 2.2 Ga, the sulfur isotopic record is subject to controversy; phylogenetically distinctive bio-markers are unknown; and nearly a score of geologic units contain organic carbon anomalously light isotopically (relative to that of the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic) that may reflect the presence of Archaeans ("Archaebacteria of earlier classifications) but may not (since cellularly preserved Archean-age Archaeans have never been identified).

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24958873

  5. Chemical constraints on the evolution of Archean continental crust

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, B. L.; Tarney, J.

    1985-01-01

    One of the challenges of Archean geochronology is to find isotopic systems that preserve an indication of a rock's primary age in spite of the effects of later metamorphism. Zircon dating has been used widely with considerable success but not without difficulty, especially in polymetamorphic terrains. Zircons in such cases commonly are found to have lost radiogenic Pb, and despite fractionizing the zircons or abrading them to remove disturbed portions; it often is not possible to define a pattern of Pb loss from which the original age can confidently be inferred. The refinement of techniques to enable extremely small samples, or even single crystals, to be analyzed has contributed greatly to solving the problem but even those techniques cannot resolve the micron scale isotopic heterogeneities within single zircons in which much of their history is recorded. That can only be done by ion microprobe. Progress reports on studies of four Archean rocks, each of which illustrates the power and potential of ion microprobe analysis in solving problems of Archean geochronology are discussed.

  6. Nitrogen isotope evidence for alkaline lakes on late Archean continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stüeken, E. E.; Buick, R.; Schauer, A. J.

    2015-02-01

    Nitrogen isotope ratios in ancient sedimentary rocks are generally interpreted as a proxy for metabolic nitrogen pathways and the redox state of the water column. Fractionation processes occurring under anoxic, alkaline conditions during the dissociation of NH4+ to H+ and volatile NH3 are frequently overlooked, although this mechanism imparts large isotopic fractionations. Here we propose that NH3 volatilization is largely responsible for δ15N values of up to + 50 ‰ at high C/N ratios in the late Archean Tumbiana Formation. This sequence of sedimentary rocks represents a system of lakes that formed on subaerial flood basalts and were partly filled by basaltic volcanic ash. Aqueous alteration of volcanic glass followed by evaporative concentration of ions should have led to the development of high alkalinity with a pH of 9 or higher, as in modern analogues. In this sedimentologically unusual setting, nitrogen isotope ratios thus provide indirect evidence for the oldest alkaline lake system in the rock record. These very heavy lacustrine δ15N values contrast markedly with those of Archean marine sedimentary rocks, making a Precambrian "soda ocean" unlikely. Today, alkaline lakes are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Some nutrients, in particular molybdenum, are more soluble at high pH, and certain prebiotic reactions would likely have been favored under alkaline conditions in similar settings earlier in Earth's history. Hence alkaline lakes in the Archean could have been significant for the origin and early evolution of life.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  8. Large S-33 Anomalies in Late Archean Carbonacous Shales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, S.; Rumble, D.; Pavlov, A.; Kharecha, P.; Kasting, J. F.

    2002-12-01

    Multi-sulfur isotope ratios (34S/33S/32S) were determined on sulfides extracted from two late Archean carbonaceous shale units, the Mt. McRae shale (~2.5 Ga) and the Jeerinah formation (~2.7 Ga), from the Hamersley Basin, Western Australia by using the CO2-laser fluorination line at the Geophisical Laboratory. We have measured the largest Δ33S anomaly yet reported for a terrestrial sample on sulfides from 22 m core section of the Mt McRae shale. The large positive Δ33S, up to +6.9 ‰ , is found in the lower part of the core section; the Δ33S shifts to negative upward in the section to as low as -1.9 ‰ . The age of the Mt. McRae shale is bracketed by 2470 and 2561 Ma. Therefore, the observed isotopic shift represents the maximum duration of 91 million years, but most likely less than 30 million years by assuming a constant sedimentation rate for the Mt. McRae shale that has average thickness of 60 m in the area. Sulfide sulfur from the Jeerinah formation also yield large Δ33S anomalies ranging from -0.1 to +4.4 ‰ . Our model fundamentally follows the one proposing a strong atmospheric influence in the Archean sulfur cycle by Farquhar et al. (2000). Our new data show the large and systematic variation between Δ33S and δ34S. This allows us to further speculate the isotopic compositions of Archean sulfur reservoirs and the manner in which the atmospheric signature was transferred to sediments. Our data are consistent with the late Archean seawater sulfate reservoir that has a negative Δ33S of ~ -2 ‰ . Thus, pyrite formed via microbial sulfate reduction shows variable δ34S and negative Δ33S. The large positive Δ33S of + 6.9 ‰ is likely to be a signature of deposition of sulfur aerosol, probably elemental sulfur. Our sulfur isotope data is best explained by mixing of those two components. Atmospheric deposition of elemental sulfur requires an anoxic atmosphere, and subsequent burial and preservation of the signature into pelagic sediments would have

  9. Hazy Archean Earth as an Analog for Hazy Earthlike Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arney, Giada; Meadows, Victoria; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Claire, Mark; Schwieterman, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Hazy exoplanets may be common (Bean et al. 2010, Sing et al. 2011, Kreidberg et al 2014), and in our solar system, Venus and Titan have photochemically-produced hazes. There is evidence that Earth itself had a hydrocarbon haze in the Archean (Zerkle et al. 2012, Domagal-Goldman et al. 2008) with important climatic effects (Pavlov et al. 2001, Trainer et al. 2006, Haqq-Misra et al. 2008, Wolf and Toon 2012). We use a 1D coupled photochemical-climate model and a line-by-line radiative transfer model to investigate the climactic and spectral impacts of a fractal hydrocarbon haze on Archean Earth. The haze absorbs significantly at shorter wavelengths and can strongly suppress the Rayleigh scattering tail, a broadband effect that would be remotely detectable at low spectral resolution at wavelengths less than 0.5 μm. Hazes may have a more significant impact on transit transmission spectra. Using the transit transmission radiative transfer model developed by Misra et al. (2014) to generate hazy Archean spectra, we find that even a thin hydrocarbon haze masks the lower atmosphere from the visible into the near infrared where the haze optical depth exceeds unity. The transit transmission spectra we generate for hazy Archean Earth are steeply sloped like the Titan solar occultation spectrum observed by Robinson et al. (2014). Thick hazes can also cool the planet significantly: for example, the thick fractal haze generated around Archean Earth with 0.3% CH4, 1% CO2 and 1 ppm C2H6 cools the planet from roughly 290 K without the haze to below freezing with the haze. Finally, we investigate the impact of host star spectral type on haze formation, comparing the hazes generated around a solar-type star to those generated at an Earth analog planet around the M dwarf AD Leo. Our results indicate hazes around M dwarfs for the same initial atmospheric composition may be thinner due to decreased UV photolysis of methane and other hydrocarbons needed for haze formation. Earthlike

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  11. Constraining Archean Earth's Atmosphere with the Geological Record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horan, A. M.; Domagal-Goldman, S. D.; Claire, M.

    2014-12-01

    A warm, water-bearing Archean Earth, when the Sun was young and faint, remains a paradox to the scientific world. Abundant geological data suggests that Archean Earth had standing water at the surface, despite the fainter Sun. An explanation of this paradox is vital to the understanding of Earth's history and coevolution with life. If the surface of the planet was not being kept warm by the Sun, which was 25% less luminous than now, it must have been kept warm a different way—by an atmospheric composition high in greenhouse gases. Constraints on these gases come from the geological record, which have provided proxies for the redox state of the atmosphere (limiting H2 and O2), the total atmospheric pressure, and the partial pressure of certain gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Previous attempts at solutions to the paradox are consistent with some, but not all, of the geological proxies. The constraints are used as inputs for a 1-D photochemical code, which calculates atmospheric composition and predicts the abundances of atmospheric gases that affect climate, particularly methane (CH4) and gaseous hydrogen (H2). A coupled 1-D radiative-convective climate code is then used to calculate the corresponding surface temperature. Critically, the improved photochemical code maintains strict redox boundary conditions, and is being further updated to ensure that the redox fluxes from volcanoes and mid-ocean ridge vents are consistent with both each other and the redox state of the mantle. These code improvements will lead to changes in both the inputs to the atmosphere from volcanoes and the sink for oxidants at mid-ocean ridges, in turn affecting the abundance of redox-sensitive greenhouse gases such as CH4 and H2. The main purpose of this project is to extend simulations of the Archean surface environment down into the mantle, and to search for a solution to the faint young sun paradox that is consistent with the geological proxies. Beyond having

  12. Low Temperature Magnetic Properties of the Late Archean Boolgeeda Iron Formation (Hamersley Group, Western Australia): Environmental Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlut, Julie; Isambert, Aude; Bouquerel, Hélène; Pecoits, Ernesto; Philippot, Pascal; Vennin, Emmanuelle; Ader, Magali; Thomazo, Christophe; Buoncristiani, Jean-François; Baton, Franck; Muller, Elodie; Deldicque, Damien

    2015-05-01

    The origin of the iron oxides in Archean and Paleoproterozoic Banded Iron Formations is still a debated question. We report low and high temperature magnetic properties, susceptibility and saturation magnetization results joined with scanning microscope observations within a 35 meters section of the Late Archean Boolgeeda Iron Formation of the Hamersley Group, Western Australia. With the exception of two volcanoclastic intervals characterized by low susceptibility and magnetization, nearly pure magnetite is identified as the main magnetic carrier in all iron-rich layers including hematite-rich jasper beds. Two populations of magnetically distinct magnetites are reported from a 2 meter-thick interval within the section. Each population shows a specific Verwey transition temperature: one around 120-124 K and the other in the range of 105-110 K. This temperature difference is interpreted to reflect two distinct stoichiometry and likely two episodes of crystallization. The 120-124K transition is attributed to nearly pure stoichiometric magnetite, SEM and microprobe observations suggest that the lower temperature transition is related to chemically impure silician magnetite. Microbial-induced partial substitution of iron by silicon is suggested here. This is supported by an increase in Total Organic Carbon (TOC) in the same interval.

  13. Petrographic, mineralogic, and x-ray fluorescence analysis of lunar igneous-type rocks and spherules.

    PubMed

    Brown, G M; Emeleus, C H; Holland, J G; Phillips, R

    1970-01-30

    Three lunar rocks show almost identical mineralogy but grain sizes that vary from basaltic to gabbroic. Clinopyroxene is zoned from augite to subcalcic ferroaugite compositions and is accompanied by decrease in Cr, Al, and Ti. Plagioclase is zoned from 93 to 78 percent anorthite. Olivine (68 percent forsterite) is present in one rock and apatite is rare. Cristobalite, ilmenite with Ti-rich lamellae, ulvöspinel (often Cr-rich), troilite, and kamacite are low in trace elements. Glassy spherules are of basaltic or feldspathic (92 percent anorthite) composition but contain abundant iron spheres of taenite composition (13 percent Ni). Four rock analyses by x-ray fluorescence show affinity with terrestrial basalts but with anomalous amounts of Ti, Na, Cr, Zr, Y, Rb, Nb, Ni, Cu, and Zn.

  14. Silicate spherules from deep-sea sediments - Confirmation of extraterrestrial origin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ganapathy, R.; Brownlee, D. E.; Hodge, P. W.

    1978-01-01

    Silicate spherules larger than 100 microns were extracted from 100 kg of box core samples of Pacific red clay taken in the mid-Pacific at a depth of 5 km, and the concentration of nonvolatile trace elements was determined for three spheres. One of the spheres shows excellent resemblance to C1 chondrite nonvolatile trace-element abundance patterns, and the relative abundances of the other two spheres are also very similar to those of C1 chondrites. One of these two spheres is depleted in Ir and Ru, while the other is depleted for Ni and Cr; possible explanations for the depletions are considered. Since the elemental abundances of the third sphere match the abundances of C1 chondrites, it is suggested that this sphere must be of extraterrestrial origin.

  15. Triple sulfur isotope composition of Late Archean seawater sulfate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  16. Diamondiferous eclogites from Siberia: Remnants of Archean oceanic crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacob, D.; Jagoutz, E.; Lowry, D.; Mattey, D.; Kudrjavtseva, G.

    1994-12-01

    We have investigated eight diamond-bearing bimineralic eclogite xenoliths from the Udachnaya Mine, Yakutia, Siberia, in terms of major elements, 87Sr /86Sr- , 143Nd /144Nd and oxygen isotopic ratios. The β18O-values, measured with the new laser-fluorination technique, are different from mantle values and range between 5.19 and 7.38%. with an average error of 0.08%.. Strontium and neodymium initial isotopic ratios for cpx are between 0.70226 and 0.70699 and 0.51170 and 0.51257, respectively. Chemically and petrographically, the Siberian eclogites are very similar to the South African eclogite suite from Roberts Victor or Bellsbank, the most important similarities being the late Archean age (2.76 Ga) and the δ18O values that deviate from mantle values. However, differences exist in detail, as no samples with δ18O values lower than mantle values have yet been reported from Siberia and the cesium concentrations of the Siberian eclogites are generally lower than those of the Roberts Victor eclogite suite. The data obtained from the studied sample suite are best explained by a model proposing an origin from Archean oceanic crust that was intensely altered prior to subduction to mantle depths. Using oxygen isotopic values, the effects of seawater alteration can be shown and the composition of the unaltered protolith qualitatively estimated. We propose that mantle eclogites from kimberlites were generated by a globally operating subduction process during the late Archean and that differences between samples from different cratons are small compared to their similarities.

  17. Relationship between high- and low-grade Archean terranes: Implications for early Earth paleogeography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eriksson, K. A.

    1986-01-01

    The Western Gneiss Terrain (WGT) of the Yilgarn Block, Western Australia was studied. The WGT forms an arcuate belt of Archean gneisses that flank the western margin of the Yilgarn Block. In general the WGT is composed of high-grade orthogneisses and paragneisses which contain supracrustal belts composed largely of siliciclastic metasediments and subordinate iron formation. The platformal nature of the metasedimentary belts and lack of obvious metavolcanic lithologies contrasts with the composition of typical Yilgarn greenstones to the east. Radiometric data from WGT rocks indicates that these rocks are significantly older than Yilgarn rocks to the east (less than 3.3 Ga) and this has led to the suggestion that the WGT represents sialic basement to Yilgarn granite-greenstone belts. The Mount Narryer region exposes the northernmost occurrence of high-grade metasediments within the WGT and consists of quartz-rich clastic metasediments at upper amphibolite to granulite grade. Most occurrences of supracrustal rocks in this region comprise isolated lenses within the gneissic basement. However, at Mount Narryer a unique sequence of metaclastics with preserved bedding provide an unusual window into the parentage of similar supracrustal bodies in this region.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  19. Geological Mapping of Fortuna Tessera (V-2): Venus and Earth's Archean Process Comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, James W.; Hurwitz,D. M.; Ivanov, M. A.; Basilevsky, A. T.; Kumar, P. Senthil

    2008-01-01

    The geological features, structures, thermal conditions, interpreted processes, and outstanding questions related to both the Earth's Archean and Venus share many similarities and we are using a problem-oriented approach to Venus mapping, guided by insight from the Archean record of the Earth, to gain new insight into the evolution of Venus and Earth's Archean. The Earth's preserved and well-documented Archean record provides important insight into high heat-flux tectonic and magmatic environments and structures and the surface of Venus reveals the current configuration and recent geological record of analogous high-temperature environments unmodified by subsequent several billion years of segmentation and overprinting, as on Earth. Elsewhere we have addressed the nature of the Earth's Archean, the similarities to and differences from Venus, and the specific Venus and Earth-Archean problems on which progress might be made through comparison. Here we present the major goals of the Venus-Archean comparison and show how preliminary mapping of the geology of the V-2 Fortuna Tessera quadrangle is providing insight on these problems. We have identified five key themes and questions common to both the Archean and Venus, the assessment of which could provide important new insights into the history and processes of both planets.

  20. Carbonaceous cherts in the Barberton greenstone belt and their significance for the study of early life in the Archean record.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Axel; Bolhar, Robert

    2007-04-01

    The 3.5-3.2 Ga old volcano-sedimentary succession of the Barberton greenstone belt (South Africa) is characterized by lithological units that are repeated in a regular manner. Komatiitic, basaltic, and dacitic volcanic and volcaniclastic sequences are capped by zones of silica enrichment, followed by bedded carbonaceous cherts. Stratiform and crosscutting carbonaceous chert veins are common in silica alteration zones and bedded cherts. A detailed field study of several chert horizons and chert veins that range in age from 3.47 to 3.30 Ga revealed the importance of syndepositional hydrothermal activity for their origin. Bedded cherts consist of silicified detrital and tuffaceous sediments that were deposited on the seafloor. Silicification took place at the sediment-water interface as a result of diffuse upflow of low-temperature hydrothermal fluids, which gave rise to the formation of impermeable chert caps. Fluid overpressure resulted in the breaching of the cap rocks at times. Chert veins contain angular host rock fragments, replace wall rocks, and show evidence of multiple vein fillings and in situ brecciation of earlier generations of vein fillings. They represent hydraulic fractures that were initiated by overpressuring of the hydrothermal system. The vein networks were infilled, partly by hydrothermal chert precipitates, and partly by still unconsolidated (not yet silicified) sedimentary material derived from overlying sedimentary horizons. Field, petrographic, isotopic, and trace element evidence indicate that most carbonaceous matter represents sedimentary material that originated by biogenic processes in the Archean oceans and not by hydrothermal processes in the subsurface.

  1. Significance of an in vitro phenomenon in which murine erythrocytes are lysed by autologous spleen cells and spherules of Coccidioides immitis.

    PubMed Central

    Danley, D L; Hilger, A E; Boonlayangoor, P; Millhouse, E W

    1979-01-01

    Spleen cells from mice immunized with a variety of antigens and incubated in vitro with killed spherules of Coccidioides immitis lyse six to eight times more autologous murine erythrocytes than normal spleen cells and spherules. Cellular and biochemical events in this phenomenon were investigated to ascertain its significance. Kinetic studies suggested that hemolysis results from the activation of some immune cells by spherules. The capacity of spherules to activate these cells is rather unusual because, of the inert particles tested, only zymosan A and crude chitin demonstrated comparable activity. Furthermore, although the hemolytic phenomenon occurred in serum-free medium, more lysis was effected by immune cells and opsonized spherules or zymosan A than by immune cells and untreated fungal particles. Sheep, chicken, and human erythrocytes were not lysed in the hemolytic phenomenon; however, hemoglobin in chicken and sheep erythrocytes was oxidized. Both the murine erythrocyte lysis and oxidation of ovine hemoglobin correlated with the reduction of Nitro Blue Tetrazolium by immune cells adherent to spherules, and both phenomena appeared to be mediated by H2O2 released into the medium by activated cells. Spleen cells reactive with spherules could not be depleted by treatment with iron carbonyl, antiimmunoglobulin plus complement, or anti-brain-associated theta plus complement, but they were partially or completely depleted after rosette formation with erythrocytes coated with antibody or murine complement. Using light and electron microscopy, we noted that immune spleens contained more neutrophils than normal spleens, that these neutrophils reduced Nitro Blue Tetrazolium after stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate, and that they were the most prevalent cell type adherent to spherules after incubation in vitro. Images Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:370005

  2. Nondestructive spectroscopic and petrochemical investigations of Paleoarchean spherule layers from the ICDP drill core BARB5, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritz, Jörg; Tagle, Roald; Ashworth, Luisa; Schmitt, Ralf Thomas; Hofmann, Axel; Luais, Béatrice; Harris, Phillip D.; Hoehnel, Desirée; Özdemir, Seda; Mohr-Westheide, Tanja; Koeberl, Christian

    2016-12-01

    A Paleoarchean impact spherule-bearing interval of the 763 m long International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) drill core BARB5 from the lower Mapepe Formation of the Fig Tree Group, Barberton Mountain Land (South Africa) was investigated using nondestructive analytical techniques. The results of visual observation, infrared (IR) spectroscopic imaging, and micro-X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) of drill cores are presented. Petrographic and sedimentary features, as well as major and trace element compositions of lithologies from the micrometer to kilometer-scale, assisted in the localization and characterization of eight spherule-bearing intervals between 512.6 and 510.5 m depth. The spherule layers occur in a strongly deformed section between 517 and 503 m, and the rocks in the core above and below are clearly less disturbed. The μXRF element maps show that spherule layers have similar petrographic and geochemical characteristics but differences in (1) sorting of two types of spherules and (2) occurrence of primary minerals (Ni-Cr spinel and zircon). We favor a single impact scenario followed by postimpact reworking, and subsequent alteration. The spherule layers are Al2O3-rich and can be distinguished from the Al2O3-poor marine sediments by distinct Al-OH absorption features in the short wave infrared (SWIR) region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Infrared images can cover tens to hundreds of square meters of lithologies and, thus, may be used to search for Al-OH-rich spherule layers in Al2O3-poor sediments, such as Eoarchean metasediments, where the textural characteristics of the spherule layers are obscured by metamorphism.

  3. THE COSMIC-RAY INTENSITY NEAR THE ARCHEAN EARTH

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, O.; Drake, J. J.; Kota, J.

    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.

  4. Mineralogy and composition of Archean Crust, Greenland: A pilot study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goetz, Alexander F. H.; Curtiss, Brian

    1989-01-01

    The Portable Instant Display and Analysis Spectrometer (PIDAS) was taken to southwestern Greenland to investigate in situ the potential application of AVIRIS to estimate the mineralogy and composition of rocks exposed in Archean terranes. The goal was to determine the feasibility of using a high spectral resolution scanner to find and study pristine rocks, those that have not been altered by subsequent deformation and metamorphism. The application of AVIRIS data to the problems in Greenland is logical. However, before a costly deployment of the U-2 aircraft to Greenland is proposed, this study was undertaken to acquire the spectral data necessary to verify that mineralogical mapping in the environmental conditions found there is possible. Although field conditions were far from favorable, all of the major objectives of the study were addressed. One of the major concerns was that lichens would obscure the rock surfaces. It was found that the spectral signature of the lichens was distinct from the underlying rocks. Thus, a spectrum of a rock outcrop, with its partial cover of lichens, can be un-mixed into rock and lichen components. The data acquired during the course of this study supports the conclusion that areas of pristine Archean crust can be differentiated from that which has experienced low grade alteration associated with Proterizoic faulting.

  5. Manganese carbonates as possible biogenic relics in Archean settings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Dismembered Archean ophiolite in the SE. Wind River Mountains, Wyoming

    SciTech Connect

    Harper, G.D.

    1985-01-01

    Ophiolitic rocks occur as wall rocks of the 2.7 Ga Louis Lake batholith near Atlantic City, Wyoming. All of the Archean rocks are strongly deformed and metamorphosed to a greenschist and amphibolite facies, but relict structures and textures are commonly preserved. These include the following, from west to east: (1) metadiabase with rare coarse-grained metagabbro; (2) ultramafic rocks and metagabbro; (3) amphibolite, locally pillowed, overlain(.) by pelitic schist, banded iron formation, and quartzite; and (4) pillow lavas, massive sills or flows, and minor metasedimentary rocks. Slice 1 locally contains parallel dike margins and rare metagabbro screens; these features suggest that it may represent a sheeted dike complex. Slice 2 locally contains ultramafic rocks having relict cumulus textures and igneous layering, corresponding to the cumulus portion of an ophiolite. The pillow lavas of slice 4 and possibly slice 3 are interpreted as comprising the extrusive portion of the ophiolite. The immobile trace element chemistry (Ti, V, Zr, Y, Cr, Ni) of slice 1 and 4 is very similar and supports a cogenetic origin, whereas pillow lavas of slice 3 are somewhat distinct. The metadiabases and lavas of slices 1 and 4 are similar to modern mid-ocean ridge basalt, whereas lavas of slice 3 are more similar to island-arc tholeiites. Rare high-Ti basaltic komatiites occur in slices 1 and 4, but have very distinct trace element chemistry and probably represent later off-axis dikes. The ophiolitic rocks are interpreted to represent the remains of Archean oceanic crust.

  7. Stored mafic/ultramafic crust and early Archean mantle depletion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, Clement G.; Patchett, P. J.

    1990-01-01

    Both early and late Archean rocks from greenstone belts and felsic gneiss complexes exhibit positive epsilon(Nd) values of +1 to +5 by 3.5 Ga, demonstrating that a depleted mantle reservoir existed very early. The amount of preserved pre-3.0 Ga continental crust cannot explain such high epsilon values in the depleted residue unless the volume of residual mantle was very small: a layer less than 70 km thick by 3.0 Ga. Repeated and exclusive sampling of such a thin layer, especially in forming the felsic gneiss complexes, is implausible. Extraction of enough continental crust to deplete the early mantle and its destructive recycling before 3.0 Ga ago requires another implausibility, that the sites of crustal generation of recycling were substantially distinct. In contrast, formation of mafic or ultramafic crust analogous to present-day oceanic crust was continuous from very early times. Recycled subducted oceanic lithosphere is a likely contributor to present-day hotspot magmas, and forms a reservoir at least comparable in volume to continental crust. Subduction of an early mafic/ultramafic oceanic crust and temporary storage rather than immediate mixing back into undifferentiated mantle may be responsible for the depletion and high epsilon(Nd) values of the Archean upper mantle.

  8. Early Archean tonalite gneiss in the upper peninsula of Michigan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterman, Z. E.; Zartman, R. E.; Sims, P. K.

    1986-01-01

    Geochronological results on tonalite gneiss of northern Michigan that is 3.56 Ga or slightly older is presented. Tonalitic augen gneiss and structurally overlying biotite gneiss and schist are exposed in a dome near Watersmeet. They are part of an extensive gneiss terrane of southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan that includes rocks of early to late Archean ages and lies south of the Wawa volcanic subprovince. Two samples of the augen gneiss and one of the biotite gneiss show zircon grains of similar shape, zoning, color, and development of crystal faces. These zircons give Pb/U isotopic ratios that plot on a chord of 3,560 + or - 40 m.y. upper intersect and of 1,250 + or m.y. lower intersect. The 3,560 m.y. number is believed to be a minimum age because analysis of one of the least discordant zircon fractions by ion microprobe that gave a nearly concordant age of 3,650 m.y. The 1,250 m.y. lower intersect is without geological significance: it is interpreted to be a result of multiple lead loss at 2.7, 1.8, and 0.5 Ga by U/Pb in zircon. Archean rocks 10 to 25 km northwest of the Watersmeet dome give a 2.75 Ga age on zircons. Quartz monzonite here is dated at 2.65 Ga.

  9. Early Archean tonalite gneiss in the upper peninsula of Michigan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterman, Z. E.; Zartman, R. E.; Sims, P. K.

    Geochronological results on tonalite gneiss of northern Michigan that is 3.56 Ga or slightly older is presented. Tonalitic augen gneiss and structurally overlying biotite gneiss and schist are exposed in a dome near Watersmeet. They are part of an extensive gneiss terrane of southern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan that includes rocks of early to late Archean ages and lies south of the Wawa volcanic subprovince. Two samples of the augen gneiss and one of the biotite gneiss show zircon grains of similar shape, zoning, color, and development of crystal faces. These zircons give Pb/U isotopic ratios that plot on a chord of 3,560 + or - 40 m.y. upper intersect and of 1,250 + or m.y. lower intersect. The 3,560 m.y. number is believed to be a minimum age because analysis of one of the least discordant zircon fractions by ion microprobe that gave a nearly concordant age of 3,650 m.y. The 1,250 m.y. lower intersect is without geological significance: it is interpreted to be a result of multiple lead loss at 2.7, 1.8, and 0.5 Ga by U/Pb in zircon. Archean rocks 10 to 25 km northwest of the Watersmeet dome give a 2.75 Ga age on zircons. Quartz monzonite here is dated at 2.65 Ga.

  10. Post-orogenic thermal evolution of newborn Archean continents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, C.; Mareschal, J.-C.

    2015-12-01

    The post-orogenic thermal evolution of newborn cratons in the Archean is marked by high-temperature metamorphism and plutonic activity that lag accretion by several tens of million years. The source of the heat that is required remains controversial. Here, we show that such late activity is consistent with the thermal evolution of new continental crust that adjusts to heat released by radioactive decay. Quantitative results depend on the total amount of radioactive elements in the newborn crust. Using heat flow and heat production data from the Archean Superior Province of the Canadian Shield, we show that temperatures ≈800-900 °C were reached in the lower crust a few tens of million years after the final accretion event. The timing of post-orogenic metamorphism is sensitive to the thermal structure acquired at the end of accretion. For the Superior Province, the relatively short time-lag between the end of accretion and metamorphism suggests that the lithosphere was thin or had been heated up by sustained magma percolation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  12. Archean Pb Isotope Evolution: Implications for the Early Earth.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vervoort, J. D.; Thorpe, R.; Albarede, F.; Blichert-Toft, J.

    2008-12-01

    The U-Pb isotope system provides us with a powerful tool for understanding the chemical evolution of the Earth. Pb isotopes in Archean rocks, however, have not been widely utilized because U mobility makes initial Pb isotope ratios from old silicate rocks difficult, if not impossible, to determine. Galenas in syngenetic volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits, however, provide snapshots of initial Pb ratios because their Pb isotopic composition is time invariant at their formation (U/Pb=0). The Pb isotopic record from galenas from rocks of all age have been utilized for over 70 years to answer a wide range of scientific problems beginning with Al Nier's pioneering work analyzing Pb isotopes in the 1930's but are no longer widely used by the isotopic community because they have been produced by older TIMS techniques. We have begun a re-examination of Archean Pb by an extensive analysis of over 100 galena samples from Archean VMS deposits throughout the Superior and Slave Provinces in Canada as well as from other VMS deposits in Finland, South Africa and Western Australia. The goal of this work is to provide modern, high precision measurements and update an old, but venerable, Pb isotopic data set. We feel these data provide important constraints on not only the Pb isotopic evolution of the Earth, but planetary differentiation and recycling processes operating in the first 2 b.y. of Earth's history. Our analytical techniques include dissolving the Pb sulfide minerals, purifying them with ion chromatography, and analyzing them using MC-ICPMS at both Washington State University (Neptune) and Ecole Normale Superieure in Lyon, France (Nu). All Pb solutions are doped with Tl in order to correct for mass fractionation. In this abstract we report preliminary galena Pb isotope data from 6 VMS deposits in the Abitibi greenstone belt: Chibougamu, Matagami, Noranda, Normetal, Timmins, and Val d"Or. These deposits are all approximately 2.7 Ga in age but in detail vary from 2

  13. Altered spherules of impact melt and associated relic glass from the K/T boundary sediments in Haiti

    SciTech Connect

    Kring, D.A.; Boynton, W.V. )

    1991-06-01

    Partially to wholly altered glass spherules produced by impact-induced shock melting have been found in the K/T boundary sediments of Haiti which also contain grains of shocked quartz. The relic glass has an approximately dacitic composition, and although grossly similar in composition to most previously described tektite glasses, it is slightly enriched in Ca and slightly depleted in Si, suggesting the Haitian glass was produced either from a target with a greater fraction of carbonate and anhydrite lithologies and fewer silicate units than the targets from which most other tektites were produced, and/or from one with a significant mafic component. The composition of the glass can best be reconciled with a continental margin terrane, consistent with studies of shocked mineral phases reported elsewhere. The thickness of the deposit in which the impact spherules occur indicates the source of the ejecta was in the proto-Caribbean region.

  14. Use of a CO2 laser to prepare chondrule-like spherules from supercooled molten oxide and silicate droplets.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nelson, L. S.; Blander, M.; Keil, K.; Skaggs, S. R.

    1972-01-01

    Chondrule-like spherules were formed from individual freely falling subcooled droplets of alumina, enstatite, forsterite, enstatite-albite and forsterite-albite mixtures that had been melted with a focused continuous CO2 laser beam. Their textures (rimmed, excentro-radial, barred, glassy) are strikingly similar to those of many meteoritic chondrules. It is suggested that the phenomena associated with rapid crystallization from the supercooled melt are responsible for the various textures observed in the artificial spherules as well as in similar meteoritic chondrules. It is suggested that the textures observed would also result from rapid crystallization of relatively slowly cooling molten droplets that may have been produced in larger scale events, including condensation from a nebula of solar composition and solidification in an ambient medium of high temperature.

  15. Middle Archean island arc volcano-hydrothermal sequence: 3.2-Ga Dixon Island Formation, coastal Pilbara terrane, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiyokawa, S.; Katagami, A.; Ito, T.; Ikehara, M.; Kitajima, F.

    2005-12-01

    The 3.2-Ga Dixon Island Formation in the Cleaverville Group of the coastal Pilbara terrane, Australia, is one of the most complete and best-preserved examples of middle Archean oceanic stratigraphy. Field observations and geochemical evidence suggest that this formation contains a low-temperature hydrothermal-vent system with a biogenic microbial colony from the Archean ocean. The Dixon Island Formation is approximately 350 m thick and consists of the Rhyolite Tuff, Black Chert and Varicolored Chert members, in ascending order. The Rhyolite Tuff Member contains many vein swarms, such as fine quartz vein and two black-chert veins with in highly altered rhyolite tuff layers. This vein rich and highly altered vein zones are identified as an underground bypass zone for circulating hydrothermal fluid. The Black Chert Member, which is 10 - 15 m thick, is composed of massive black chert, laminated black chert, dark greenish siliceous shale, stromatolite-like biomat bed and tuffaceous laminated chert. The absence of detrital sediment of continental origin and the many vein injections imply that this sedimentary facies represents a pelagic hydrothermal environment at about 500 - 2000 m in paleodepth, and may have been on the slope of an immature island arc. More then 500 samples of detail chemical anarysis from black chert veins and black chert bed suggest that the total organic carbon (TOC) value of massive black chert in the lower part of the Black Chert Member is higher (TOC=0.15-0.45%) than that of the overlying laminated chert section (TOC=0.02-0.15%) and the black chert vein (TOC=0.1-0.13). The carbon isotope (delta13C) values of this lithology (-33 - -27 per mil) are also lighter than for the black-chert veins (-29--26 per mill) and the laminated black chert in the upper part of the Black Chert Member and the Vari-colored Chert Member (-27 - -13 per mil). Especially, -40 per mill carbon isotope identified near the biomat beds. These evidences suggest that the

  16. Hematite Spherules of Meridiani Planum: Implications for Aqueous History at the Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calvin, W. M.

    2004-12-01

    The thermal infrared spectral signature of bulk, grey hematite was the chemical "beacon" that focused the selection of Meridiani Planum as the landing site for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, and aqueous processes were favored for its formation. Orbital data suggesting more bound water in accessory minerals at this location also supported this interpretation. After landing January 24, 2004, the Mini-TES instrument rapidly confirmed the thermal spectral signature of bulk hematite in soils on the plains surrounding Eagle crater and unevenly distributed within the crater. Observations within Eagle crater soon uncovered unusual spherical grains in abundance surrounding the outcrop and Microscopic Imager (MI) showed these grains eroding from within these rocks. They were dubbed "blueberries" by the team due to their spherical nature and their grey or blue appearance compared to their surroundings in various color composites of Pancam images. Extensive observations with the Mössbauer, Alpha-Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) and Mini-TES instruments, especially of the "Berry Bowl" (i.e. with berries and adjacent berry-free rock), confirmed that these spherules are dominantly composed of hematite. Pancam spectra of individual spheres also match laboratory spectra of hematite. These spheres are found within and around outcrop rocks, across the plains of Meridiani, and rolling into the interior of Endurance crater. They are ubiquitous and remarkably even in size and tone. Grains are spherical to subspherical typically 2 to 6 mm in diameter. Opportunity has performed numerous operations with the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT), and has sliced through individual spherules. The appearance after ratting shows limited or no interior structure and they remain uniformly grey in color. They can preserve scratches from the grinding wheel or become dislodged by ratting, indicating they are harder than the host rock. Several lines of evidence suggest the spheres are post

  17. Introduction to Bed Bugs

    MedlinePlus

    ... preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices. The good news ... Bed Bugs — Do-it-yourself Bed Bug Control — Pesticides to Control Bed Bugs Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse ...

  18. The Raman-Derived Carbonization Continuum: A Tool to Select the Best Preserved Molecular Structures in Archean Kerogens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delarue, Frédéric; Rouzaud, Jean-Noël; Derenne, Sylvie; Bourbin, Mathilde; Westall, Frances; Kremer, Barbara; Sugitani, Kenichiro; Deldicque, Damien; Robert, François

    2016-06-01

    The search for indisputable traces of life in Archean cherts is of prime importance. However, their great age and metamorphic history pose constraints on the study of molecular biomarkers. We propose a quantitative criterion to document the thermal maturity of organic matter in rocks in general, and Archean rocks in particular. This is definitively required to select the best candidates for seeking non-altered sample remnants of life. Analysis of chemical (Raman spectroscopy, 13C NMR, elemental analysis) and structural (HRTEM) features of Archean and non-Archean carbonaceous matter (CM) that was submitted to metamorphic grades lower than, or equal to, that of greenschist facies showed that these features had all undergone carbonization but not graphitization. Raman-derived quantitative parameters from the present study and from literature spectra, namely, R1 ratio and FWHM-D1, were used to draw a carbonization continuum diagram showing two carbonization stages. While non-Archean samples can be seen to dominate the first stage, the second stage mostly consists of the Archean samples. In this diagram, some Archean samples fall at the boundary with non-Archean samples, which thus demonstrates a low degree of carbonization when compared to most Archean CM. As a result, these samples constitute candidates that may contain preserved molecular signatures of Archean CM. Therefore, with regard to the search for the oldest molecular traces of life on Earth, we propose the use of this carbonization continuum diagram to select the Archean CM samples.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  20. Early Archean Osmium in Chromitites from the Beartooth Range, Montana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minarik, W. G.; Henry, D.

    2004-05-01

    Metamorphosed chromitites from the Hellroaring Plateau (Beartooth Mountains, Montana, USA) were analyzed for osmium isotopes and Re and Os contents. The chromitites are exposed at the surface in pit mines above Quad Creek. Euhedral spinels (Mg# 43-44, Cr# 74-76) are set in a matrix of phlogopite and talc. Chromites are free of ferrichromite rims and have only minor exsolution lamellae. Samples were dissolved in carius tubes using aqua regia and analyzed using MC-NTIMS (Os) and MC-ICPMS (Re). Zircons from the Hellroaring Plateau give average Lu-Hf ages of 3.5 Ga (Stevenson and Patchett, 1990). Quartzites (3.1-2.7 Ga depositional age) from this area contain detrital zircons with U-Pb ages up to 4.0 Ga. The main zircon population dates a major crust-forming event at 3.2-3.4 Ga (Mueller et al. 1998). The Main Beartooth Massif area has seen several generations of amphibolite- to granulite-facies metamorphism before the area was uplift during the Laramide orogeny. Sample QC81-19 contains 43 ppb Os with a 187Os/188Os of 0.1048 (±0.0001, 2σ ). Low Re/Os makes correction for 187Os production since the Archean minimal. Assuming an igneous age of 3.2 Ga, the sample formed with an initial 187Os/188Os of 0.1046, close to the chondritic Re/Os evolution line. A sample aggressively acid leached with still contained considerable osmium of nearly the same 187Os/188Os as the unleached sample. This suggests that the Os is not hosted by grain boundary sulfides, and that fluid influx and recrystallization was not accompanied by either Re or Os mobility. The present-day 187Os/188Os of this sample (0.1048) is one of the least radiogenic bulk sample Os ratios reported to date, slightly more radiogenic than the ratios reported (0.1026) for the 3.8 Ga peridotites of SW Greenland (Bennett et al., 2002). Both suggest the upper mantle source had a chondritic Re/Os in the early Archean. Mantle xenoliths from the Highwood mountains on the northern margin of the Wyoming Craton give minimum model

  1. First Archean Zircons Found in Oceanic Crustal Rocks of Mauritius

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ashwal, L. D.; Wiedenbeck, M.; Torsvik, T. H.

    2016-12-01

    A fragment of continental crust has been postulated to underlie the young plume-related lavas of the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, on both the basis of inversion of gravity anomaly data (crustal thickness) and the recovery of Proterozoic zircons (660-1971 Ma) from basaltic beach sands (Torsvik et al., Nature Geosci. 6, 227, 2013). We recovered 13 zircon grains from a trachyte associated with the Older Series basalts (9.0-4.7 Ma) of Mauritius, the second youngest member of a hot-spot track extending from the active plume site of Réunion. Extreme care was taken to avoid contamination during sample processing. Ten of the 13 grains are featureless, with no internal structures, and SIMS analyses (Cameca 1280-HR instrument) yield 49 spots with Miocene U-Pb systematics and a mean age of 5.7 ± 0.2 Ma (1 sd), constraining the magmatic crystallization age of the trachyte. Three grains with partially resorbed magmatic zoning, partial metamictization and mineral inclusions (quartz, K-feldspar, monazite) show uniquely mid- to late-Archean systematics: 20 spot analyses give concordant to near-concordant ages of 3030 ± 5 Ma to 2766 ± 13 Ma. This suggests that during ascent, the trachytic magmas incorporated silicic continental crustal material that preserves a record of several hundred m.y. of Archean evolution. This is consistent with Sr-Nd isotope systematics of the Mauritian trachytes, which can be modelled as having been contaminated with 0.4-3.5% of ancient granitoid crustal components. Our new age results, combined with the Proterozoic ages of zircons recovered from Mauritian beach sands, are best correlated with continental crust of east-central Madagascar, presently 700 km west of Mauritius, where Archean gneisses and Neoproterozoic intrusive rocks are juxtaposed such that a 2000 km2 area could correspond to a fragment of continent presently underlying Mauritius. This, and other continental fragments formed during Gondwana break-up, may be scattered across the

  2. Methane Greenhouses and Anti-Greenhouses During the Archean Era

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Pavlov, A. A.

    2002-12-01

    Climate and life are coupled today through the biogeochemical carbon cycle, but they may have been even more tightly coupled in the distant past when atmospheric O2 levels were lower. The finding of mass-independently fractionated S isotopes in Archean rocks confirms that pO2 was very low, probably <10-13 times the present level, prior to 2.3 Ga (1). The Sun was also some 20 percent less luminous at this time (2). High CO2 levels were initially proposed to solve this `faint young Sun problem' (3); however, these levels are in conflict in data from paleosols (4). CH4 is an alternative greenhouse gas which could have kept the Archean climate warm if present at concentrations of 0.01-0.1 percent by volume (5). The primary source of methane is biological. CH4 is produced by methanogenic bacteria that today live in anaerobic environments such as the intestines of ruminants and the water-logged soils underlying rice paddies. During the Archean, however, methanogens should have been widespread, and the methane they produced would have had a long photochemical lifetimes, around 10,000 years (6). Most methanogens are thermophiles or hyperthermophiles, and those which are more thermophilic have shorter doubling times than those that prefer cooler temperatures. This suggests that a positive feedback loop may have existed, whereby methanogens warmed the climate by releasing CH4, which in turn promoted the proliferation of faster-growing methanogens. This positive feedback would have been halted, however, once the ratio of CH4 to CO2 in the atmosphere exceeded unity. At this point, polymerization of CH4 by solar UV radiation would have caused the formation of an organic haze layer similar to that observed today on Titan. Such a haze layer would have cooled the climate by creating an `anti-greenhouse effect.' This creates an overall negative feedback loop that may have been responsible for maintaining a stable Archean climate. The rise of O2 at 2.3 Ga disrupted this equilibrium

  3. Oxidative Weathering and Euxinia in the Late Archean (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reinhard, C.; Raiswell, R.; Scott, C.; Anbar, A. D.; Lyons, T. W.

    2009-12-01

    A large body of evidence points to a sharp rise in the concentration of atmospheric oxygen during the Paleoproterozoic between 2.45 and 2.32 billion years ago (Ga), but the history of deep ocean oxygenation is less well known. The deposition of banded iron formation (BIF) during the Archean and early Proterozoic (~3.8 - 1.8 Ga) has been taken to imply that deep ocean water masses were anoxic and rich in dissolved ferrous iron (Fe2+) derived from high temperature weathering of seafloor basalt under low oceanic sulfate (SO42-) concentrations. Reducing and iron-rich (ferruginous) deep ocean conditions are thought to have persisted for most of Earth’s early history, although a notable lack of BIF between 2.4 - 2.0 Ga has rendered deep ocean chemistry during this period obscure. In any case, the cessation of BIF deposition at ~1.8 Ga is generally linked to the oxygenation of the atmosphere through the eventual removal of Fe2+ from the ocean either as ferric (hydr)oxides or as pyrite in euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) basins. A corollary of the latter model is that oxidative delivery of sulfate to the ocean was not sufficient to remove reactive iron, via microbial sulfide production, before ~1.8 Ga. However, recent studies of the late Archean Mt. McRae Formation suggest that oxidative sulfur cycling may have preceded the Paleoproterozoic rise in atmospheric oxygen and that conditions sufficient to authigenically enrich molybdenum (Mo) in marine sediments existed at ~2.5 Ga. On the modern Earth, significant enrichment of Mo into sediments occurs following the conversion of soluble molybdate (MoO42-) to particle-reactive thiomolybdates (MoO4-xSx2-) in stable sulfidic environments, indicating that the Mo enrichments seen in the Mt. McRae shale may have resulted from the accumulation of free sulfide in the water column. Here, we present iron speciation data for the late Archean Mt. McRae Shale that provide evidence for a euxinic water column at ~2.5 Ga. Sulfur isotope data

  4. Late Archean mafic volcanism in the Rainy Lake area, Minnesota

    SciTech Connect

    Day, W.C.

    1985-01-01

    The Late Archean greenstone-granite terrane of the Rainy Lake area of Minnesota contains a bimodal suite of mafic and felsic volcanic and coeval intrusive rocks. New geochemical data show that the mafic rocks occur in three distinct suites: (1) low-Ti olivine- and quartz-tholeiite, (2) high-Ti quartz-tholeiite and basaltic andesite, and (3) calc-alkaline lamprophyric monzodiorite and quartz diorite. The low-Ti tholeiites have only slightly evolved Mg-numbers from 53-63, Ni=125-300 ppm, and MORB-like REE. In contrast, the high-Ti tholeiites are more evolved, with Mg*=26-48, Ni=43-135 ppm, and higher total REE. Compared to the tholeiitic suites, the monzodiorite suite has more primitive Mg-numbers, with Mg*=70-78, Ni<410 ppm, and anomalously high LREE. The two tholeiitic suites cannot be genetically related by simple fractionation from a single parent magma; however, lower degrees of partial melting (<8 percent) of a mantle source (spinel periodotite) with REE=2-4 times chondrites could have produced the high-Ti tholeiites, and higher degrees of melting (20-30 percent) of a similar source could have generated the low-Ti tholeiites. In contrast, the monzodiorite suite must have been generated from either a LREE-rich or (and) a garnet-bearing source (garnet periodotite). The authors conclude that shallow melting (<40-50 km) within the Archean mantle in the Rainy Lake area produced the tholeiitic rocks, and that deep melting (>40-50 km) generated the lamprophyric monzodiorites.

  5. Tracing fluid pathways in Archean hydrothermal systems with imaging spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Ruitenbeek, F. J. A.; Cudahy, T.; Hale, M.; van der Werff, H. M. A.; van der Meer, F. D.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Fossil submarine hydrothermal systems in Archean greenstone belts and other geologic terranes are important because of their relationship with volcanic massive sulfide (VMS) mineral deposits and their association with environments that are favorable for early forms of life. Interpretation and reconstruction of these systems is difficult because of their geologic complexity. Airborne imaging spectroscopy provides information about the presence, abundance, and composition of near-infrared active minerals at continuous spatial coverage and high spatial resolution, and can therefore be used to obtain new geologic insights into of the Archean hydrothermal systems. It was applied to the Panorama VMS-district in the Soanesville greenstone belt, Western Australia. Results from the analyses of 189 hand specimen showed that the wavelength position of the main absorption feature of white micas, a proxy for their Al content, varied between 2195 nm and 2225 nm. These wavelength variations and the relative abundance of white micas were used to reconstruct fossil fluid pathways from low-temperature recharge to hightemperature discharge zones. Results also showed that the absorption-wavelength variations of white micas could be mapped from airborne imaging spectroscopy using a stochastic method where the presence of white mica minerals and their absorption wavelengths in field measurements were predicted from hyperspectral band ratios. Analysis of the spatial patterns in segmented images, covering 52 km2, of white mica probability and their absorption wavelengths and their comparison with field data resulted in the identification of regional scale hydrothermal fluid pathways, a regional-scale K alteration event, and differences in hydrothermal regime between the northern and southern parts of the test area.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Viability of Archean Subduction Initiation from Gravitational Spreading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, A.; Thielmann, M.; Golabek, G.

    2016-12-01

    The development of plate tectonics and Earth's early tectonic environment are currently not well understood. Modern plate tectonics are characterized by the sinking of dense lithosphere at subduction zones; however this process may not have been feasible if Earth's interior was hotter in the Archean, resulting in thicker and more buoyant oceanic lithosphere than observed at present (van Hunen and van den Berg, 2008). Previous studies have proposed gravitational spreading of early continents at passive margins as a mechanism to trigger early episodes of plate subduction (Rey et al., 2014). This study utilizes 2D thermo-mechanical numerical experiments using the finite element code MVEP2 (Kaus, 2010; Thielmann et al., 2014) to investigate the viability of this mechanism for subduction initiation with Archean mantle conditions. The model is comprised of a 55-km-thick continent above 170 km of strongly depleted lithospheric mantle and surrounded by a 15-km-thick oceanic lid. A range of possible densities and viscosities were investigated for the different layers, and results show that lithospheric stresses may vary between 250-750 MPa. Because lithospheric stresses are crucial to subduction initiation, the model includes elasticity in order to better accommodate this large stress range. This model also includes free-surface boundary conditions to allow the development of isostatic topography, which is a factor not considered previously. Preliminary results indicate that the magnitude and location of lithospheric stresses varies for cases with and without isostatic uplift being taken into account. Subduction initiation was previously shown to occur due to large intra-lithospheric gravitational stresses from a spreading continent, but these intra-lithospheric stresses may be insufficient in cases with lithospheric elasticity and continental uplift. Critical factors are expected to be the magnitude of continental buoyancy and the degree of decompression melting from the

  8. Dating Archean zircon by ion microprobe: New light on an old problem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, I. S.; Kinny, P. D.; Black, L. P.; Compston, W.; Froude, D. O.; Ireland, T. R.

    1985-01-01

    Ion microprobe analysis of zircons from three sites (Watersmeet Dome in northern Michigan, Mount Sones in eastern Antarctica, and Mount Narryer in western Australia) is discussed. Implications of the results to Archean geochronology and early Earth crust composition are addressed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  11. Rare earth element patterns in Archean high-grade metasediments and their tectonic significance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, Stuart Ross; Rudnick, Roberta L.; Mclennan, Scott M.; Eriksson, Kenneth A.

    1986-01-01

    REE data on metasedimentary rocks from two different types of high-grade Archean terrains are presented and analyzed. The value of REEs as indicators of crustal evolution is explained; the three geologic settings (in North America, Southern Africa, and Australia) from which the samples were obtained are described; and the data are presented in extensive tables and graphs and discussed in terms of metamorphic effects, the role of accessory phases, provenance, and tectonic implications (recycling, the previous extent of high-grade terrains, and a model of Archean crustal growth). The diversity of REE patterns in shallow-shelf metasediments is attributed to local provenance, while the Eu-depleted post-Archean patterns are associated with K-rich plutons from small, stable early Archean terrains.

  12. Microtektite spherules from proximal K-Pg sections: alteration patterns and clues to precursor melt lithologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belza, J.; Goderis, S.; Smit, J.; Vanhaecke, F. F.; Baert, K.; Terryn, H.; Claeys, P. F.

    2013-05-01

    In the proximal K-Pg ejecta deposits all around the Gulf of Mexico, impact melt from the Chicxulub crater occurs predominantly in the form of glassy spherules or 'microtektites', which are considered droplets of melt that travelled ballistically from the point of impact and quenched rapidly during flight. In most localities, spherules are severely altered. Pristine, unaltered glass is very scarce and is rarely found in the center of a smectite/chlorite shell. Although the micro-tektite glass has been shown to be heterogeneous even on the μm-scale, geochemical data have solely been reported from bulk samples. Simple binary mixing between the sedimentary carbonate and the currently described underlying crystalline basement does not fully account for the variety of tektite impact melt products, which severely complicates their interpretation. Using LA-ICP-MS, we have conducted spatially resolved analysis of trace elements in fresh, unaltered microtektite glasses and their surrounding alteration phase. This approach is unique amongst previous studies, in that it offers the opportunity to study in situ and with high spatial resolution the mixing of different target lithologies and the variation of the trace element budget during alteration. We present data from three groups of microtektite glasses at the Mimbral (NE Mexico) and Beloc (Haiti) locality: high-SiO2 green and red glasses, high-Ca yellow glass, and black glasses. All green and red glasses exhibit low oxides totals (85-90 wt%) as determined by Electron Microprobe analyses, suggesting the presence of H2O or hydrous alteration products. Raman spectroscopy clearly shows the spectrum of a hydrated glass, not an alteration phase. Their relatively high Raman index of polymerization (compared to black glass) is consistent with a normalized (water-free basis) major element composition high in SiO2 and low in network modifiers (Mg, Ca and Fe). Black and yellow glasses are not hydrated but are surrounded by a double

  13. Coccidioides Endospores and Spherules Draw Strong Chemotactic, Adhesive, and Phagocytic Responses by Individual Human Neutrophils

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Cheng-Yuk; Thompson III, George R.; Hastey, Christine J.; Hodge, Gregory C.; Lunetta, Jennine M.; Pappagianis, Demosthenes; Heinrich, Volkmar

    2015-01-01

    Coccidioides spp. are dimorphic pathogenic fungi whose parasitic forms cause coccidioidomycosis (Valley fever) in mammalian hosts. We use an innovative interdisciplinary approach to analyze one-on-one encounters between human neutrophils and two forms of Coccidioides posadasii. To examine the mechanisms by which the innate immune system coordinates different stages of the host response to fungal pathogens, we dissect the immune-cell response into chemotaxis, adhesion, and phagocytosis. Our single-cell technique reveals a surprisingly strong response by initially quiescent neutrophils to close encounters with C. posadasii, both from a distance (by complement-mediated chemotaxis) as well as upon contact (by serum-dependent adhesion and phagocytosis). This response closely resembles neutrophil interactions with Candida albicans and zymosan particles, and is significantly stronger than the neutrophil responses to Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Rhizopus oryzae under identical conditions. The vigorous in vitro neutrophil response suggests that C. posadasii evades in vivo recognition by neutrophils through suppression of long-range mobilization and recruitment of the immune cells. This observation elucidates an important paradigm of the recognition of microbes, i.e., that intact immunotaxis comprises an intricate spatiotemporal hierarchy of distinct chemotactic processes. Moreover, in contrast to earlier reports, human neutrophils exhibit vigorous chemotaxis toward, and frustrated phagocytosis of, the large spherules of C. posadasii under physiological-like conditions. Finally, neutrophils from healthy donors and patients with chronic coccidioidomycosis display subtle differences in their responses to antibody-coated beads, even though the patient cells appear to interact normally with C. posadasii endospores. PMID:26070210

  14. Nature of the Coast Batholith, Southeastern Alaska: Are there Archean analogs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, Fred; Arth, J. G.

    1988-01-01

    The comparison of Phanerozoic Andean margins and their possible Archean analogs was made. Geochemical and isotopic data was presented for the episodic intrusion of the elongate, continental margin Coast batholith of southeastern Alaska and British Columbia. The batholith was characterized as having been formed in direct response to subduction in accreted terranes of oceanic or slope origin. It was concluded that there were good analogs of the Coast batholith in Archean plutonic suites.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 < 12% of emerged land, compared to ~ 28% at present. If in addition the hot Archean lithosphere could not sustain high relief, as little as 2-3% of Earth's surface would have been emerged in the Archean. Using a geochemical box model for the strontium 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Dating brittle deformation in the Archean Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thebaud, N.; Zwingmann, H.

    2012-12-01

    Major deformation throughout the Archean Yilgarn Craton has mostly been interpreted to be Neoarchean (Blewett and Czarnota, 2007). The timing of the deformation events of the brittle/ductile deformation generally relies on dating of cross-cutting intrusions or unconformities. Proterozoic overprinting and reactivation of Archean structures in the north-western part of the Yilgarn Craton has previously been dated from direct dating of the structures and fabrics from the Narryer Terrane(Spaggiari et al., 2008). However, the brittle deformation that postdates Neoarchean brittle-ductile structures in the Yilgarn Craton have received little attention to date. In the centre of the Yilgarn Craton, the Eastern Goldfields present a well developed network of E-W trending of normal brittle faults and fractures. Typically these structures are interpreted to have developed in result of a late Neoarchean tectonic relaxation following the main Yilgarn wide E-W contraction (Blewett and Czarnota, 2007). Poorly preserved and weathered faulted rocks in the subsurface environment preclude direct dating of fault gouge. However, exposure from the underground Agnew mine, in the Agnew Wiluna greenstone belt, recently provided access to fresh fault gouge material suitable for analysis. The clay gouge was characterized by SEM, TEM and XRD methods prior to age dating indicating an authigenic origin (Zwingmann et al., 2010). K-Ar illite age data of a whole rock sample split yielded an age of 1148 ± 23 Ma, which is within error close to the <2 micron clay fraction yielding an age of 1094 ± 22 Ma (Mesoproterozoic-Stenian). Our result is the first documentation of the age of the brittle deformation that affects the Yilgarn Craton. This age is within error of the Gilles event which is an extension event that affected the whole Australian continent and is responsible for the emplacement of the Warakurna Large Igneous Province and related dolerite dykes in the Yilgarn Craton (Evins et al., 2010

  18. Comparative chronology of Archean HT/UHT crustal metamorphism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caddick, Mark; Dragovic, Besim; Guevara, Victor

    2017-04-01

    Attainment of high crustal heat fluxes and consequent partial melting is critical to the stabilization of continental roots. Understanding the processes and timescales behind partial melting of continental crust in the Archean is thus paramount for understanding Archean tectonic modes and how stable cratons formed. High-temperature (HT) to ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) metamorphic rocks can record evidence for dynamic processes that result in advective heat fluxes and a substantial deviation from normal crustal geothermal gradients. Examination of the pressure-temperature conditions and timescales of HT/UHT metamorphism is thus essential to understanding the tectonic processes behind extreme crust heat fluxes and the formation of stable cratonic crust. Here, utilizing both traditional and nontraditional petrologic and geochronologic techniques, we compare the pressure-temperature-time paths of two Neoarchean terranes: the eastern Beartooth Mountains of the Wyoming Craton and the Pikwitonei Granulite Domain of the Superior Province. The Beartooth Mountains of Montana, USA, expose Archean rocks of the Wyoming Craton that are dominated by an ˜2.8 Ga calc-alkaline granitoid batholith known as the Long Lake Magmatic Complex (LLMC). The LLMC contains widespread, up to km-scale metasedimentary roof pendants, with ID-TIMS Sm-Nd garnet geochronology and laser ablation split stream (LASS) monazite geochronology suggesting that metamorphism occurred almost 100 Ma after entrainment by the LLMC [1]. Phase equilibria modeling and Zr-in-rutile thermometry constrain peak pressures and temperatures of ˜6-7 kbar and ˜780-800˚ C. Major element diffusion modeling of garnet suggest that granulite-facies temperatures were only maintained for a short duration, < 2 Ma. In contrast, the Pikwitonei Granulite Domain consists of >150,000 km2 of high-grade metamorphic rocks situated in the NW Superior Province. Phase equilibria modeling and trace element thermometry constrain peak

  19. A Glass Spherule of Questionable Impact Origin from the Apollo 15 Landing Site: Unique Target Mare Basalt

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryder, Graham; Delano, John W.; Warren, Paul H.; Kallemeyn, Gregory W.; Dalrymple, G. Brent

    1996-01-01

    A 6 mm-diameter dark spherule, 15434,28, from the regolith on the Apennine Front at the Apollo 15 landing site has a homogeneous glass interior with a 200 microns-thick rind of devitrified or crystallized melt. The rind contains abundant small fragments of Apollo 15 olivine-normative mare basalt and rare volcanic Apollo 15 green glass. The glass interior of the spherule has the chemical composition, including a high FeO content and high CaO/Al2O3, of a mare basalt. Whereas the major element and Sc, Ni, and Co abundances are similar to those of low-Ti mare basalts, the incompatible elements and Sr abundances are similar to those of high-Ti mare basaits. The relative abundance patterns of the incompatible trace elements are distinct from any other lunar mare basalts or KREEP; among these distinctions are a much steeper slope of the heavy rare earth elements. The 15434,28 glass has abundances of the volatile element Zn consistent with both impact glasses and crystalline mare basalts, but much lower than in glasses of mare volcanic origin. The glass contains siderophile elements such as Ir in abundances only slightly higher than accepted lunar indigenous levels, and some, such as Au, are just below such upper limits. The age of the glass, determined by the Ar-40/Ar-39 laser incremental heating technique, is 1647 +/- 11 Ma (2 sigma); it is expressed as an age spectrum of seventeen steps over 96% of the Ar-38 released, unusual for an impact glass. Trapped argon is negligible. The undamaged nature of the sphere demonstrates that it must have spent most of its life buried in regolith; Ar-38 cosmic ray exposure data suggest that it was buried at less than 2m but more than a few centimeters if a single depth is appropriate. That the spherule solidified to a glass is surprising; for such a mare composition, cooling at about 50 C/s is required to avoid crystallization, and barely attainable in such a large spherule. The low volatile abundances, slightly high siderophile

  20. Magnetic Fe, Si, Al-Rich Impact Spherules from the P-T Boundary Layer at Graphite Peak, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petaev, M. I.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Basu, A. R.; Becker, L.

    2004-01-01

    The geological boundary between Triassic and Permian strata coincides with the greatest life extinction in the Earth's history. Although the cause of the extinction is still the subject of intense debates, recent discoveries in the P-T boundary layer of shocked quartz grains, fullerenes with the extraterrestrial noble gases, Fe metal nuggets, and chondritic meteorite fragments all point to a powerful collision of Earth with a celestial body in the late Permian. Here we report the discovery of magnetic Fe, Si, Al-rich impact spherules which accompany the chondritic meteorite fragments in some samples from the P-T boundary layer at Graphite Peak, Antarctica.

  1. Magnetic Fe, Si, Al-Rich Impact Spherules from the P-T Boundary Layer at Graphite Peak, Antarctica

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petaev, M. I.; Jacobsen, S. B.; Basu, A. R.; Becker, L.

    2004-01-01

    The geological boundary between Triassic and Permian strata coincides with the greatest life extinction in the Earth's history. Although the cause of the extinction is still the subject of intense debates, recent discoveries in the P-T boundary layer of shocked quartz grains, fullerenes with the extraterrestrial noble gases, Fe metal nuggets, and chondritic meteorite fragments all point to a powerful collision of Earth with a celestial body in the late Permian. Here we report the discovery of magnetic Fe, Si, Al-rich impact spherules which accompany the chondritic meteorite fragments in some samples from the P-T boundary layer at Graphite Peak, Antarctica.

  2. Geochemical evolution of magmatism in Archean granite-greenstone terrains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samsonov, A. V.; Larionova, Yu. O.

    2006-05-01

    Evolution of Archean magmatism is one of the key problems concerning the early formation stages of the Earth crust and biosphere, because that evolution exactly controlled variable concentrations of chemical elements in the World Ocean, which are important for metabolism. Geochemical evolution of magmatism between 3.5 and 2.7 Ga is considered based on database characterizing volcanic and intrusive rock complexes of granite-greenstone terrains (GGT) studied most comprehensively in the Karelian (2.9-2.7 Ga) and Kaapvaal (3.5-2.9 Ga) cratons and in the Pilbara block (3.5-2.9 Ga). Trends of magmatic geochemical evolution in the mentioned GGTs were similar in general. At the early stage of their development, tholeiitic magmas were considerably enriched in chalcophile and siderophile elements Fe2O3, MgO, Cr, Ni, Co, V, Cu, and Zn. At the next stage, calc-alkaline volcanics of greenstone belts and syntectonic TTG granitoids were enriched in lithophile elements Rb, Cs, Ba, Th, U, Pb, Nb, La, Sr, Be and others. Elevated concentrations of both the “crustal” and “mantle-derived” elements represented a distinctive feature of predominantly intrusive rocks of granitoid composition, which were characteristic of the terminal stage of continental crust formation in the GGTs, because older silicic rocks and lithospheric mantle were jointly involved into processes of magma generation. On the other hand, the GGTs different in age reveal specific trends in geochemical evolution of rock associations close in composition and geological position. First, the geochemical cycle of GGT evolution was of a longer duration in the Paleoarchean than in the Meso-and Neoarchean. Second, the Paleoarche an tholeiitic associations had higher concentrations of LREE and HFSE (Zr, Ti, Th, Nb, Ta, Hf) than their Meso-and Neoarchean counterparts. Third, the Y and Yb concentrations in Paleoarchean calc-alkaline rock associations are systematically higher than in Neoarchean rocks of the same type

  3. Heterogeneously hydrated mantle beneath the late Archean Yilgarn Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ivanic, T. J.; Nebel, O.; Jourdan, F.; Faure, K.; Kirkland, C. L.; Belousova, E. A.

    2015-12-01

    Archean mafic-ultramafic melts, crystallized as layered intrusions in the upper crust and extruded as komatiitic flows, are primary probes of upper mantle chemistry. However, the message from their primary chemical composition can be compromised by different modes of contamination. Contaminants are typically cryptic in terms of their geochemical and isotopic signals but may be related to metasomatised mantle sources, ambient crustal assimilation or subduction-related inputs. In this work we present critical evidence for both dry and wet Archean mantle sources for two juxtaposed layered intrusions in the Australian Yilgarn Craton. The ca. 2813 Ma Windimurra and ca. 2800 Ma Narndee Igneous Complexes in Western Australia are two adjacent layered intrusions and would be expected to derive via similar mantle sections. A key difference in their chemistry is the presence of crystal-bound water in the Narndee Igneous Complex, represented primarily by abundant hornblende. Such a primary hydrous phase is notably absent in the Windimurra Igneous Complex. New 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages for fresh Narndee hornblende (weighted mean: 2805 ± 14 Ma, MSWD = 1.8, probability = 0.18) agrees with the published U-Pb age of 2800 ± 6 Ma for the complex and is consistent with a magmatic origin for this phase. Zircon Hf and whole-rock Hf and Nd isotopes for the Narndee Igneous Complex indicate only minor crustal contamination, in agreement with H and O isotope values in amphibole and O isotope values in rare zircon crystals, plagioclase and pyroxene within both complexes. These findings illustrate a fast temporal transition, in proximal bodies, from anhydrous to hydrous mantle sources with very minor crustal contamination. These large layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions are igneous bodies with a primitive chemical bulk composition that requires large degrees of mantle melting. This has been attributed by many workers to mantle plume activity, yet not without dispute, as subduction-related flux

  4. Building early Archean cratons from recycled Hadean crust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Neil, J.; Carlson, R. W.; Boyet, M.

    2013-12-01

    The formation of Earth's early crust and the geological processes leading to creation and preservation of stable Archean cratons are still poorly understood. Archean terrains are dominated by felsic Tonalite-Trondhjemite-Granodiorite (TTG) rocks. These felsic rocks however, cannot be directly produced from melting of the mantle but must instead be derived from the melting of an older mafic precursor. Despite growing evidence for a basaltic >4.3 Ga primordial crust on Earth, there are only a few occurrences of zircons older than 4.0 Ga; in the Jack Hills conglomerates and in the Acasta gneisses. Only after ~3.8 Ga does the zircon record become more prominent. The zircon age distribution in itself suggests a long quiescence period of over half a billion years before the mafic primitive crust was extensively recycled to produce a significant amount of felsic magma. The Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt (NGB) provides a glimpse at the nature of the mafic primitive crust. The mafic rocks from the Nuvvuagittuq greenstone belt (NGB), called the Ujaraaluk unit, have 146Sm-142Nd systematics consistent with them being formed in the Hadean, between 4.3 and 4.4 Ga. The NGB also comprises multiple generations of TTG ranging from 3.75 Ga to 3.35 Ga. Despite the fact that the mafic and felsic lithologies of the NGB show strong evidence of disturbance in the 147Sm-143Nd and 176Lu-177Hf long-lived isotopic systems, the NGB TTGs yield 142Nd and 182W anomalies that can be only generated in the Hadean. Moreover, zircons from the 3.35 to 3.65 TTGs have strongly subchondritic initial ɛHf values and display an ɛHf vs. age array consistent with their derivation from a Hadean mafic precursor. The NGB TTGs appear to have been formed primarily from melting of a source compositionally similar to the 4.4 Ga Ujaraaluk unit. The crustal history recorded in the NGB seems to be similar to the early crustal evolution recorded in the Jack Hills Hadean zircons where reworking of a >4.3 Ga enriched

  5. Archean regional transpression and paleomagnetism in northwestern Ontario, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borradaile, G. J.; Werner, T.; Dehls, J. F.; Spark, R. N.

    1993-04-01

    The Archean metamorphic rocks of the Superior province of the Canadian Shield occur in lithologically defined belts or subprovinces. The tectonically more stable interiors of belts possess consistent primary components of magnetic remanence. In the case of the Quetico belt, these stable directions are tightly grouped about 005°/55° with some minor dispersion and most were acquired during the cooling that followed syntectonic recrystallisation. This study examines the directions of primary remanence components for rocks along the margins of the Quetico belt, within 4 km of the strongly deformed vertical, ENE-trending boundaries. The boundaries are known to have experienced dextral transpression involving penetrative single-phase deformation which out-lasted metamorphism. Within a few kilometres of the belt boundaries, the primary remanence components are re-distributed along a vertical ENE-trending, great-circle girdle which is nearly parallel to the plane of transpressive shear and regional schistosity. It is suggested that the effects of transpression have mechanically deflected the components of primary remanence toward this plane.

  6. Archean foreland basin tectonics in the Witwatersrand, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K.; Kidd, W. S. F.; Kusky, T. M.

    1986-01-01

    The Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa is the best-known of Archean sedimentary basins and contains some of the largest gold reserves in the world. Sediments in the basin include a lower flysch-type sequence and an upper molassic facies, both of which contain abundant silicic volcanic detritus. The strata are thicker and more proximal on the northwestern side of the basin which is, at least locally, bound by thrust faults. These features indicate that the Witwatersrand strata may have been deposited in a foreland basin and a regional geologic synthesis suggests that this basin developed initially on the cratonward side of an Andean-type arc. Remarkably similar Phanerozoic basins may be found in the southern Andes above zones of shallow subduction. It is suggested that the continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons at about 2.7 Ga caused further subsidence and deposition in the Witwatersrand Basin. Regional uplift during this later phase of development placed the basin on the cratonward edge of a collision-related plateau, now represented by the Limpopo Province. Similarities are seen between this phase of Witwatersrand Basin evolution and that of active basins north of the Tibetan Plateau. The geologic evidence does not agree with earlier suggestions that the Witwatersrand strata were deposited in a rift or half-graben.

  7. Analysis of lipid biomarkers in rocks of Archean crystalline basement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shekhovtsova, Nina V.; Osipov, George A.; Verkhovtseva, Nadejda V.; Pevzner, Lev A.

    2003-01-01

    The Earst-European platform Archean crystalline basement rocks opened by Vorotilov Deep Well (VDW) were studied within depths 2575 - 2805 m. VDW was drilled through Puchezh-Katunki impact structure and opened some rocks characterized by high magnetic saturation. Micro-dispersed structure of magnetite indicated on a possibility of its biogenic origin. Really some pure cultures of magnet-ordered compound producing bacilli were isolated. Thus, the identification of fatty acids and other lipid components of microbial cells inside rocks was made to establish the iron reduction role in common biochemical activity in deep subsurface. 34 microbial lipid markers were detected by gas chromatography -- mass-spectrometry and 22 species were identidied by private database. Bacteria of g. Bacillus reached 6.8% in subsurface communities. However, representatives of gg. Clostridium (37.1 - 33.2%) and Rhodococcus (27.6 - 33.7%) were absolute dominants within studied depth interval. Geochemical conditions in situ as well as physiological features of these micro-organisms allow to constitute a following trophic chain: subsurface fluid hyudrocarbons --> it oxidizing rhodococci --> free aminoacids and biomass proteins (products of rhodococci metabolism) --> it fermenting clostridia. This syntrophic association may be a new basement for subsurface ecosystem and can support the magnet-ordered compounds production.

  8. The formation of magnetite in the early Archean oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yi-Liang; Konhauser, Kurt O.; Zhai, Mingguo

    2017-05-01

    Banded iron formations (BIFs) are iron- and silica-rich chemical sedimentary rocks that were deposited throughout much of the Precambrian. The biological oxidation of dissolved Fe(II) led to the precipitation of a ferric oxyhydroxide phase, such as ferrihydrite, in the marine photic zone. Upon burial, ferrihydrite was either transformed into hematite through dehydration or it was reduced to magnetite via biological or abiological Fe(III) reduction coupled to the oxidation of buried microbial biomass. However, it has always been intriguing as to why the oldest BIFs are characteristically magnetite-rich, while BIFs formed after the Neoarchean are dominated by hematite. Here, we propose that some magnetite in early Archean BIF could have precipitated directly from seawater through the reaction of settling ferrihydrite and hot, Fe(II)-rich hydrothermal fluids that existed in the deeper waters. We conducted experiments that showed the reaction of Fe(II) with biogenic ferric iron mats under strict anoxic conditions lead to the formation of a metastable green rust phase that within hours transformed into magnetite. Our model further posits that with the progressive cooling and oxidation of the Earth's oceans, the above reaction shuts off, and magnetite was subsequently restricted to reactions associated with diagenesis and metamorphism.

  9. Dating of Archean basement in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterman, Z.E.

    1981-01-01

    Rb-Sr whole-rock and U-Pb zircon ages of granite and gneiss cores from three deep drill holes extend known occurrences of Archean rocks in the subsurface of NE Wyoming and S Montanta. Rb-Sr and K- Ar mineral ages are discordant and reflect early or middle Proterozoic disturbance. Highly altered rocks occur in a thin zone immediately below the sub-Cambrian unconformity. Samples from a few metres deeper in the basement are much fresher but show the effects of this alteration in filled fractures and thin adjacent alteration haloes. Whole-rock Rb-Sr systems have retaioned a fair degree of integrity in spite of increased susceptibility to modification because of the disturbed mineral systems. Interaction of the rocks with water a few metres below the sub-Cambrian unconformity probably occurred for only a relatively short time. Fractures filled rapidly with secondary minerals such as chlorite, anhydrite, and carbonate to maintain a relatively impermeable crystalline basement in which the silicates and their contained isotopic systems were preserved.- Author

  10. Lithopsheric anisotropy in the Archean Slave craton, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, D. B.; Bostock, M.; Lockhart, G. D.

    2003-12-01

    Shear wave anisotropy and discontinuity studies of teleseismic earthquakes recorded at single seismic stations help to define vertical mantle stratigraphic columns. Beneath the Archean outcrops of the central Slave craton seismic discontinuities at 38, 115, 140, and 190 km appear to bound two distinct anisotropic layers. The discontinuity at 38 km is the Moho; discontinuities at 110-120 and 140-150 km depths observed at multiple nearby stations indicate that a layer of low velocity or distinct anisotropy exists between these depths. The coherent pulses at about 13 seconds on the radial component indicates a strong decrease in velocity at 110 km depth north and west of the Ekati diamond mine, but not to the south. The response on the transverse component indicates a rotation of anisotropic fabric at 117 km depth, a reversal at 140 km, and another rotation at 190 km. A flip in polarity at a back azimuth of about 280° occurs in the 117 km discontinuity and apparently marks an axis of symmetry of anisotropy, here probably the dip direction of steep layering or planar fabric. SKS anisotropy studies at this station indicate that the upper of two anisotopic layers has a fast-axis direction of 010° . Geochemical studies of xenolith samples from nearby kimberlites suggest that the boundaries at 115 and 140 bound a layer of ultra-depleted harzburgite, almost pure olivine, that formed as oceanic crust.

  11. A Coupled General Circulation Model of the Archean Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, E. T.; Toon, O. B.

    2011-12-01

    We present results from a new coupled general circulation model suitable for deep paleoclimate studies. Particular interest is given to the faint young Sun paradox. The model is based on the Community Earth System Model maintained by the National Center for Atmospheric Research [1]. Prognostic atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and hydrological cycle models are coupled. A new correlated-k radiative transfer model has been implemented allowing accurate flux calculations for anoxic atmospheres containing high concentrations of CO2 and CH4 [2, 3]. This model represents a significant improvement upon one-dimensional radiative-convective climate models used previously to study ancient climate [4]. Cloud and ice albedo feedbacks will be accurately quantified and new constraints on Archean surface temperatures will be revealed. References [1] Collins W.D. et al. "Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)." NCAR Technical Note, 2004. [2] Toon O.B., McKay, C.P., Ackerman, T.P. "Rapid Calculation of Radiative Heating Rates and Photodissociation Rates in Inhomogeneous Multiple Scattering Atmospheres." J. Geo. Res., 94(D13), 16287 - 16301, 1989. [3] Mlawer, E.J., et al. "Radiative transfer for inhomogeneous atmospheres: RRTM, a validated correlated-k model for the longwave." J. Geo. Res., 102(D14), 16663 - 16682, 1997. [4] Kasting J.F., Pollack, J.B., Crisp, D. "Effects of High CO2 Levels on Surface Temperature and Atmospheric Oxidation State of the Early Earth." J. Atm. Chem., 1, 403-428, 1984.

  12. Archean foreland basin tectonics from the Witwatersrand, South Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, K.; Kidd, W.S.F.; Kusky, T.M.

    1985-01-01

    The Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa is the best-known of Archean sedimentary basins and contains some of the largest gold reserves in the world. Sediments in the basin include a lower flysch-type sequence and an upper molassic facies, both of which contain abundant silicic volcanic detritus. The strata are thicker and more proximal on the northwestern side of the basin which is, at least locally, bound by thrust faults. These and other features indicate that the Witwatersrand strata were deposited in a foreland basin. A regional geologic synthesis suggests that his basin developed initially on the cratonward side of an Andean-type arc. Remarkably similar Phanerozoic basins may be found in the southern Andes above zones of shallow subduction. We suggest that the continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons at about 2.7 Ga caused further subsidence and deposition in the Witwatersrand Basin. Regional uplift during this later phase of development placed the basin on the cratonward edge of a collision-related plateau, now represented by the Limpopo Province. Striking similarities are seen between this phase of Witwatersrand Basin evolution and active basins located north of the Tibetan Plateau. The geologic evidence is not so compatible with earlier suggestions that the Witwatersrand strata were deposited in a rift or half-graben.

  13. Archean foreland basin tectonics in the Witwatersrand, South Africa

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, K.; Kidd, W. S. F.; Kusky, T. M.

    1986-01-01

    The Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa is the best-known of Archean sedimentary basins and contains some of the largest gold reserves in the world. Sediments in the basin include a lower flysch-type sequence and an upper molassic facies, both of which contain abundant silicic volcanic detritus. The strata are thicker and more proximal on the northwestern side of the basin which is, at least locally, bound by thrust faults. These features indicate that the Witwatersrand strata may have been deposited in a foreland basin and a regional geologic synthesis suggests that this basin developed initially on the cratonward side of an Andean-type arc. Remarkably similar Phanerozoic basins may be found in the southern Andes above zones of shallow subduction. It is suggested that the continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons at about 2.7 Ga caused further subsidence and deposition in the Witwatersrand Basin. Regional uplift during this later phase of development placed the basin on the cratonward edge of a collision-related plateau, now represented by the Limpopo Province. Similarities are seen between this Phase of Witywatersrand Basin evolution and that of active basins north of the Tibetan Plateau. The geologic evidence does not agree with earlier suggestions that the Witwatersrand strata were deposited in a rift or half-graben.

  14. Archean foreland basin tectonics in the Witwatersrand, South Africa

    SciTech Connect

    Burke, K.; Kidd, W.S.F.; Kusky, T.M.

    1986-06-01

    The Witwatersrand Basin of South Africa is the best-known of Archean sedimentary basins and contains some of the largest gold reserves in the world. Sediments in the basin include a lower flysch-type sequence and an upper molassic facies, both of which contain abundant silicic volcanic detritus. The strata are thicker and more proximal on the northwestern side of the basin which is, at least locally, bound by thrust faults. These features indicate that the Witwatersrand strata may have been deposited in a foreland basin and a regional geologic synthesis suggests that this basin developed initially on the cratonward side of an Andean-type arc. Remarkably similar Phanerozoic basins may be found in the southern Andes above zones of shallow subduction. It is suggested that the continental collision between the Kaapvaal and Zimbabwe Cratons at about 2.7 Ga caused further subsidence and deposition in the Witwatersrand Basin. Regional uplift during this later phase of development placed the basin on the cratonward edge of a collision-related plateau, now represented by the Limpopo Province. Similarities are seen between this Phase of Witywatersrand Basin evolution and that of active basins north of the Tibetan Plateau. The geologic evidence does not agree with earlier suggestions that the Witwatersrand strata were deposited in a rift or half-graben. 64 references.

  15. Formation Conditions of Presolar TIC Core-Graphite Mantle Spherules in the Murchison Meteorite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chigai, Takeshi; Yamamoto, Tetsuo; Kozasa, Takashi

    1999-01-01

    Formation of TiC and graphite grains in the gas outflows from carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars is investigated to reveal the formation conditions of presolar TiC core-graphite mantle spherules extracted from the Murchison meteorite. We employ the nonequilibrium condensation theory involving chemical reactions in nucleation and grain growth to derive the formation conditions not only from the condensation sequence for realizing the core-mantle structure but also from the sizes of observed TiC cores and graphite mantles. The results of calculations show that the sizes of TiC cores constrain the mass-loss rate Ṁ and the gas outflow velocity v at the formation sites to satisfy the relation 2.5×10-3

  16. The Archean crust in the Wawa-Chapleau-Timmins region. A field guidebook prepared for the 1983 Archean Geochemistry-Early Crustal Genesis Field Conference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Percival, J. A.; Card, K. D.; Sage, R. P.; Jensen, L. S.; Luhta, L. E.

    1983-01-01

    This guidebook describes the characteristics and interrelationships of Archean greenstone-granite and high-grade gneiss terrains of the Superior Province. A 300-km long west to east transect between Wawa and Timmins, Ontario will be used to illustrate regional-scale relationships. The major geological features of the Superior Province are described.

  17. Experimental evidence for the global acidification of surface ocean at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary: the biogenic calcite-poor spherule layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Premović, Pavle I.

    2009-07-01

    The massive amount of impact-generated atmospheric CO2 at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary (KPB) would have accumulated globally in the surface ocean, leading to acidification and CaCO3 undersaturation. These chemical changes would have caused a crisis of biocalcification of calcareous plankton and enhanced dissolution of their shells; these factors together may have played a crucial role in forming the biogenic calcite-poor KPB spherule layers observed at numerous oceanic sites and marine (now on land) sites in Europe and Africa. Experimental data and observations indicate that the deposition spherule layer probably lasted only a few decades at most.

  18. Geological framework of the Archean and Paleoproterozoic Tanami Region, Northern Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crispe, A. J.; Vandenberg, L. C.; Scrimgeour, I. R.

    2007-01-01

    The Tanami Region, a poorly exposed, mostly Paleoproterozoic province within the North Australian Craton, hosts a number of significant gold deposits in diverse settings. Rare exposures of 2,520-2,500 Ma amphibolite facies Archean gneiss and metasedimentary rocks form basement to the thick overlying metasedimentary succession of the 1,880-1,830 Ma Tanami Group. The basal unit of the Tanami Group is the Dead Bullock Formation, a fining-upward deep-water succession dominated by siltstone, carbonaceous siltstone, iron-rich siltstone and mafic sills. Carbonaceous- and iron-rich lithologies in the upper Dead Bullock Formation represent important hosts for gold mineralization. The conformably overlying Killi Killi Formation represents turbiditic sedimentary rocks that are correlated with the widespread Lander Rock beds of the Arunta Region. Sedimentation of the Tanami Group was terminated by regional deformation and greenschist to amphibolite facies metamorphism during the Tanami Event (D1/M1), at around 1,830 Ma. The Tanami Group is unconformably overlain by rhyolite, siliciclastic sedimentary rocks, and felsic ignimbrite of the Ware Group that were deposited at about 1,825-1,810 Ma. Subsequent ESE-WNW to SE-NW directed shortening (D2), followed by NE-SW to E-W directed shortening (D3), has resulted in open NE F2- and NW F3-trending folds in both the Tanami and Ware Groups. Voluminous granitoids, dominated by I-type, biotite granodiorite, and monzogranite were intruded in the interval 1,825-1,790 Ma and have been subdivided using geochemical criteria into the Birthday, Frederick, and Grimwade Suites. Basalt and immature sedimentary rocks of the Mount Charles Formation are restricted in extent to the Tanami mine corridor, and are interpreted to reflect a continental rift succession that was deposited around 1,800 Ma, with an early Archean sedimentary provenance. Steep S to SE dipping F4-fold structures of Tanami and Ware Group metasedimentary rocks, many spatially

  19. Mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in Archean sediments: strong evidence for an anoxic Archean atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Pavlov, A A; Kasting, J F

    2002-01-01

    Mass-independent fractionation (MIF) of sulfur isotopes has been reported in sediments of Archean and Early Proterozoic Age (> 2.3 Ga) but not in younger rocks. The only fractionation mechanism that is consistent with the data on all four sulfur isotopes involves atmospheric photochemical reactions such as SO2 photolysis. We have used a one-dimensional photochemical model to investigate how the isotopic fractionation produced during SO2 photolysis would have been transferred to other gaseous and particulate sulfur-bearing species in both low-O2 and high-O2 atmospheres. We show that in atmospheres with O2 concentrations < 10(-5) times the present atmospheric level (PAL), sulfur would have been removed from the atmosphere in a variety of different oxidation states, each of which would have had its own distinct isotopic signature. By contrast, in atmospheres with O2 concentrations > or = 10(-5) PAL, all sulfur-bearing species would have passed through the oceanic sulfate reservoir before being incorporated into sediments, so any signature of MIF would have been lost. We conclude that the atmospheric O2 concentration must have been < 10(-5) PAL prior to 2.3 Ga.

  20. Generation of felsic crust in the Archean: a geodynamic modeling perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sizova, Elena; Gerya, Taras; Stüwe, Kurt; Brown, Michael

    2015-04-01

    The relevance of contemporary tectonics to the formation of the Archean terrains is a matter of vigorous debate. Higher mantle temperatures and higher radiogenic heat production in the past would have impacted on the thickness and composition of the oceanic and continental crust. As a consequence of secular cooling, there is generally no modern analog to assist in understanding the tectonic style that may have operated in the Archean. For this reason, well-constrained numerical modeling, based on the fragmentary evidence preserved in the geological record, is the most appropriate tool to evaluate hypotheses of Archean crust formation. The main lithology of Archean terrains is the sodic tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) suite. Melting of hydrated basalt at garnet-amphibolite to eclogite facies conditions is considered to be the dominant process for the generation of the Archean TTG crust. Taking into account geochemical signatures of possible mantle contributions to some TTGs, models proposed for the formation of Archean crust include subduction, melting at the bottom of thickened continental crust and fractional crystallization of mantle-derived melts under water-saturated conditions. We evaluated these hypotheses using a 2D coupled petrological-thermomechanical numerical model with initial conditions appropriate to the Eoarchean-Mesoarchean. As a result, we identified three tectonic settings in which intermediate to felsic melts are generated by melting of hydrated primitive basaltic crust: 1) delamination and dripping of the lower primitive basaltic crust into the mantle; 2) local thickening of the primitive basaltic crust; and, 3) small-scale crustal overturns. In addition, we consider remelting of the fractionated products derived from underplated dry basalts as an alternative mechanism for the formation of some Archean granitoids. In the context of a stagnant lid tectonic regime which is intermittently terminated by short-lived subduction, we identified

  1. Archean orthogneiss lithologies of Northern Yellowstone National Park and their geochemical contribution to the younger rhyolites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarbert, K.; Larson, P. B.

    2010-12-01

    The Archean rocks within the northern section of Yellowstone National Park have yet to be thoroughly analyzed so that their role in the genesis of the young rhyolite magmas that erupted from calderas in the Park can be evaluated. Major and trace element concentrations and stable and radiogenic isotope ratios have been measured for three separate orthogneiss units that are representative of the Park's dominant Archean units. Preliminary major element analyses indicate that partial melting of more primitive Archean lithologies may have produced the more evolved Archean igneous units. This is illustrated by a large gap in the silica compositions (between 54 and 64 wt. percent) of exposed plutonic rocks. REE data indicate enrichment of the HREE to variable degrees and both positive and negative Eu anomalies. Aside from one unit that displays a negative Eu anomaly, these lithologies are not readily distinguishable by REE compositions alone. The young Lava Creek and Canyon Flow Tuff rhyolites have similar HREE patterns and slightly enriched LREE when compared to the orthogneiss samples. Partial melting or assimilation of the Archean granites can produce the observed increase in the young rhyolites LREE. Primary feldspar O isotope ratios range from 6.8 to 8.9 per mil, which are significantly higher than the low O ratios found in some of the young rhyolites. Epsilon Nd values for the Archean rocks are very low and range from -35.8 to -41.5. The young rhyolites have low epsilon Nd values but not as low as the range of the Archean rocks. We can now begin to assess the role that these units have as components in the younger rhyolitic magmas. Preliminary models show that partial melting or assimilation of the Archean rocks can reasonably contribute a significant part to the young rhyolites. In addition to identifying a major contributor to the Yellowstone rhyolites, these data provide insight to the main facies that constitute the basement rocks buried beneath the younger

  2. Magnetotelluric survey to locate the Archean/Proterozoic suture zone north of Wells, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, Jackie M.; Rodriguez, Brian D.

    2006-01-01

    It is important to know whether major mining districts in the Northern Nevada Gold Province are underlain by rocks of the Archean Wyoming craton, which are known to contain orogenic gold deposits, or by accreted rocks of the Paleoproterozoic Mojave province. It is also important to know the location and orientation of the Archean/Proterozoic suture zone between these provinces as well as major basement structures within these terranes because they may influence subsequent patterns of sedimentation, deformation, magmatism, and hydrothermal activity. The Archean was the main gold-mineralization period, and Archean lode-gold deposits were formed at mid-crustal depths along major shear zones. The nature of the crystalline basement below the Northern Nevada Gold Province and the location of major faults within it are relevant to Rodinian reconstructions, crustal development, and ore deposit models (e.g., Hofstra and Cline, 2000; Grauch and others, 2003). According to Whitmeyer and Karlstrom (2004), the Archean cratons of the northwestern United States and Canada had stabilized as continental lithosphere by 2.5 Ga, and were rifted and assembled into a large continental mass by 1.8 Ga, to which the 1.73-1.68 Ga Mohave province was accreted by 1.65 Ga. The Archean/Proterozoic suture zone has a west-southwest strike where it is exposed (Reed, 1993) at the eastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming border (Cheyenne Belt) where it is characterized by an up to 7-km-thick mylonite zone (Smithson and Boyd, 1998). In the Great Basin, the strike of the Archean/Proterozoic suture zone is poorly constrained because it is largely concealed below a Neoproterozoic-Paleozoic miogeocline and basin fill. East-west and southwest-northeast strikes for the Archean/Proterozoic suture zone have been inferred based on Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic compositions of granitoid intrusions (Tosdal and others, 2000). To better constrain the location and strike of the Archean/Proterozoic suture zone below cover

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  4. The Raman-Derived Carbonization Continuum: A Tool to Select the Best Preserved Molecular Structures in Archean Kerogens

    PubMed Central

    Rouzaud, Jean-Noël; Derenne, Sylvie; Bourbin, Mathilde; Westall, Frances; Kremer, Barbara; Sugitani, Kenichiro; Deldicque, Damien; Robert, François

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The search for indisputable traces of life in Archean cherts is of prime importance. However, their great age and metamorphic history pose constraints on the study of molecular biomarkers. We propose a quantitative criterion to document the thermal maturity of organic matter in rocks in general, and Archean rocks in particular. This is definitively required to select the best candidates for seeking non-altered sample remnants of life. Analysis of chemical (Raman spectroscopy, 13C NMR, elemental analysis) and structural (HRTEM) features of Archean and non-Archean carbonaceous matter (CM) that was submitted to metamorphic grades lower than, or equal to, that of greenschist facies showed that these features had all undergone carbonization but not graphitization. Raman-derived quantitative parameters from the present study and from literature spectra, namely, R1 ratio and FWHM-D1, were used to draw a carbonization continuum diagram showing two carbonization stages. While non-Archean samples can be seen to dominate the first stage, the second stage mostly consists of the Archean samples. In this diagram, some Archean samples fall at the boundary with non-Archean samples, which thus demonstrates a low degree of carbonization when compared to most Archean CM. As a result, these samples constitute candidates that may contain preserved molecular signatures of Archean CM. Therefore, with regard to the search for the oldest molecular traces of life on Earth, we propose the use of this carbonization continuum diagram to select the Archean CM samples. Key Words: Archean—Early life—Kerogen—Raman spectroscopy—Carbonization. Astrobiology 16, 407–417. PMID:27186810

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Archean recycled oceanic crust sampled in Azores lavas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beguelin, P.; Bizimis, M.; Beier, C.; Turner, S.

    2016-12-01

    Azores lava compositions extend below the mantle array in ɛNd-ɛHf space and define the steepest slope of all plume provinces [1], but this pattern is largely controlled by low ɛHf lavas from Eastern São Miguel island (SM). Here we present new Hf isotope data on well-characterized on-land and submarine Azores lavas from several islands, the Terceira Rift and João do Castro seamount (JdC), in order to further constrain this trend. While Azores lavas fall along the mantle array with relatively steep slopes (e.g. São Jorge slope = 2.1), both SM and JdC fall below the mantle array as two distinct steep arrays with slopes of 2.0 and 2.6 respectively, extending to ɛHf = 0 at ɛNd = 2 (SM) and 4 (JdC). This is a unique feature in OIBs. The new Hf-Nd data overlaps the HIMU-type Mangaia and St Helena compositions. However, SM and JdC have distinctly less radiogenic and more variable Pb isotopes (e.g. 206Pb/204Pb = 18.8 to 20.2) than HIMU. Hf-Nd isotope decoupling below the mantle array is therefore not an exclusive HIMU signature. The coupled Hf-Nd-Pb-Sr isotope compositions of the enriched SM and JdC end-members can be modeled by recycled 2.5-3.0 Ga N-MORB, with some E-MORB affinity for SM. Unlike HIMU however, no Pb-loss during subduction is required for recycled MORB to explain their Pb isotopes. The relatively high κ (232Th/238U 4.3) required by the Azores data is also consistent with a high Th/U Archean mantle [2]. Aged, metasomatised mantle lithosphere based on a global peridotite and pyroxenite compilation is too variable and only fortuitously could explain the Azores compositions. Both enriched JdC and SM endmembers can therefore be explained by a recycled Archean oceanic crust that is locally heterogeneous, as presently observed in some MOR segments where N-and E-MORB exist closely [3, 4]. The lack of mixing between SM and JdC end-members some 100 km apart further implies that this recycled crust has retained its distinct signature through mantle convection

  7. Petrography and geochemistry of distal spherules from the K-Pg boundary in the Umbria-Marche region (Italy) and their origin as fractional condensates and melts in the Chicxulub impact plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belza, J.; Goderis, S.; Montanari, A.; Vanhaecke, F.; Claeys, P.

    2017-04-01

    The impact spherules from the distal K-Pg boundary sections are considered to represent silicate droplets condensed and solidified from a laterally expanding, cooling vapor plume formed upon hypervelocity impact. In the present-day Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary (K-Pg) spherule population of the Umbria-Marche region in Italy, three texturally and compositionally distinct types of impact spherules can be identified that are dominantly composed of (1) goethite, (2) K-feldspar or (3) glauconite. Although these phases represent the products of diagenetic alteration, the remnant textural characteristics of the spherules and the type of alteration product are indicative of the spherules' original compositions, which are important to constrain the physicochemical conditions prevalent throughout the impact vapor plume. The presence of relict ghost crystals and the identification of 'iddingsite' indicate that goethite likely represents pseudomorphic replacement after olivine. Goethite spherules contain numerous dendritic, euhedral and skeletal spinel crystals variably dispersed in the groundmass. In terms of textures, five types of goethite spherules can be distinguished, showing striking similarities to chondrules: (I) skeletal, (II) barred, (III) radial/barred, (IV) porphyritic and (V) relict/granular. The morphology of both spinel and olivine (pseudomorphs) is consistent with established formation conditions (peak temperature Tmax, degree of supercooling ΔT, cooling rate, presence of nucleation sites) for different chondrule textural types. As goethite spherules are anomalously enriched in moderately to highly refractory lithophile (Sc, V, Y, Zr, Nb, REE, Hf, Ta, Th) and siderophile (Cr, Co, Ni, W, Ir, Pt) elements, they are interpreted to represent (diagenetically altered) refractory (high-T) condensation products from a well-homogenized plume consisting of both vaporized target and projectile matter. Different from goethite spherules, K-feldspar spherules exhibit

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  9. The Building of the Archean Superior Craton: Thermal Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaupart, C. P.; Mareschal, J. C.

    2014-12-01

    The building of a craton involves the extraction of continental crust from the Earth's mantle and the lateral accretion of juvenile volcanic terranes. Ascertaining which conditions allow a newborn continental assemblage to survive requires information on its mechanical strength, which depends on the amount and vertical distribution of radioactive elements in the crust. There is thus a connection between crust formation mechanisms and a successful amalgamation process. To address outstanding questions concerning Archean cratons, the Superior province in Canada is the perfect region because it contains a well preserved geological record of accretion that provides compelling evidence for plate tectonic processes at 2.7 Ga. At almost the same time, the rate of continental growth decreased significantly, which may result from either slower crust formation or enhanced destruction through erosion and subduction. These issues are linked to the strength of the newborn continent. The extensive heat flow data set now available in the Superior Province reveals a clear demarcation between a chemically depleted and differentiated craton core and weakly differentiated enriched juvenile accreted terranes. The Superior craton was thus made of a strong core surrounded by weak terranes. This dichotomy implies that the accretion process could not involve complex imbrication of the accreted belts into the craton core. Subsequently, the craton may have been protected from convective disruption or delamination by its weak margins. Differences between the craton core and accreted terranes may be due to different crustal extraction processes, such as melting in a mantle plume or magmatism in a subduction zone. If subduction started at about 3 Ga, as advocated by several authors, the assembly and survival of large cratons may well be a consequence of this key shift in mantle activity. Alternatively, the chemical depletion of the craton core may be due to a prolonged history of internal

  10. Viability of Archean Subduction Initiation from Gravitational Spreading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adams, Andrea; Thielmann, Marcel; Golabek, Gregor

    2017-04-01

    The development of plate tectonics and Earth's early tectonic environment are currently not well understood. Modern plate tectonics is characterized by the sinking of dense lithosphere at subduction zones; however this process may not have been feasible if Earth's interior was hotter in the Archean, resulting in thicker and more buoyant oceanic lithosphere than observed at present (van Hunen and van den Berg, 2008). Previous studies have proposed gravitational spreading of early continents at passive margins as a mechanism to trigger early episodes of plate subduction (Rey et al., 2014). The numerical models used in this study employed a viscoplastic rheology and a free-slip upper boundary condition. In our study, we investigate the impact of a free surface upper boundary condition and elasticity on the viability of subduction initiation due to gravitational spreading using the finite element code MVEP2 (Kaus, 2010; Thielmann et al., 2014). Subduction initiation by gravitational spreading was found to occur only for models with free-slip boundary conditions and lithospheric yield stresses less than 200 MPa. Because lithospheric stresses are a critical factor for subduction initiation, we investigated the effects of continental buoyancy and the resistance of the oceanic lithosphere to lateral forces from a spreading continent on the initial stress field. Results show that different density-viscosity combinations produce maximum lithospheric stresses which may vary over 1000 MPa and average stresses which range between 100-200 MPa in both the continent and the oceanic lithosphere. The use of a free-surface boundary condition allows the development of isostatic topography, which was not considered previously. Results indicate that the magnitude and location of lithospheric stresses vary for cases with and without isostatic uplift, and that subduction initiation is less likely to occur in cases with lithospheric elasticity and continental uplift due to intra

  11. A comparison of the chemistry of pseudotachylyte breccias in the Archean Levack Gneisses of the Sudbury structure, Ontario

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, Lucy M.; Spray, John G.

    1992-01-01

    The Archean Levack Gneisses of the North Range host millimeter-thick veins and centimeter-thick lenses of pseudotachylyte, as well as substantially larger meter-wide, dykelike bodies of pseudotachylytic 'breccia'. The 'breccia' occurs up to several tens of kilometers away from the Sudbury Igneous Complex and is commonly sited within or near joints and other natural weaknesses such as bedding, dyke contacts, and lithological boundaries. The larger 'breccia' dykes comprise a generally dark matrix containing rounded to subrounded and occasionally angular rock fragments derived predominantly from Levack Gneiss. Selected samples of bulk Sudbury Breccia and Sudbury Breccia matrices were chemically analyzed and compared to existing data on the Levack Gneisses and Sudbury Breccia. The matrices are apparently enriched in Fe and, to a lesser extent, Mg, Ti, and Ca compared to the wallrocks and the majority of clasts. This enrichment can be partly explained by the preferential cataclasis and/or frictional melting of hydrous ferromagnesian wallrock minerals, but also appear to require contamination by more basic exotic lithologies. This suggests that certain components of pseudotachylitic Sudbury Breccia have undergone significant transport during their formation.

  12. Ferrous Silicate Spherules with Euhedral Fe,Ni-Metal Grains in CH Carbonaceous Chondrites: Evidence for Condensation Under Highly Oxidizing Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krot, A. N.; Meibom, A.; Petaev, M. I.; Keil, K.; Zolensky, M. E.; Saito, A.; Mukai, M.; Ohsumi, K.

    2000-01-01

    A population of ferrous silicate spherules composed of cryptocrystalline ol-px-normative material, +/-SiO2-rich glass and rounded-to-euhedral Fe,Ni-metal grains preserved a condensation signature of the precursors formed under oxidizing conditions.

  13. Germanium Elemental and Isotopic Tracing of ca 3.2 Ga Impact Spherule Layers from the Barberton Greenstone Belt (South Africa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luais, B.; Fritz, J.; Hofmann, A.; Mohr-Westheide, T.; Reimold, W. U.; Koeberl, C.

    2016-08-01

    The 3.23 Ga spherule layers in BARB5 drill core from the Barberton Greenstone Belt (ICDP 2012-2013, South Africa) have high Ge contents and light Ge isotopic signature that agree with an evaporation-condensation mechanism following the impact.

  14. Ferrous Silicate Spherules with Euhedral Fe,Ni-Metal Grains in CH Carbonaceous Chondrites: Evidence for Condensation Under Highly Oxidizing Conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krot, A. N.; Meibom, A.; Petaev, M. I.; Keil, K.; Zolensky, M. E.; Saito, A.; Mukai, M.; Ohsumi, K.

    2000-01-01

    A population of ferrous silicate spherules composed of cryptocrystalline ol-px-normative material, +/-SiO2-rich glass and rounded-to-euhedral Fe,Ni-metal grains preserved a condensation signature of the precursors formed under oxidizing conditions.

  15. An Arc Origin for Archean High MgO "Eclogite" Xenoliths?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horodyskyj, U. N.; Lee, C. A.

    2005-12-01

    The origin and evolution of Archean continental crust is an important topic in the Earth sciences. By understanding how Archean crust forms, we are better able to track how chemical differentiation and geodynamic processes have evolved on the Earth over billion-year timescales. Suggested mechanisms responsible for Archean crust formation include melting of subducted slabs, melting of orogenically thickened basaltic crust, and generation of large oceanic plateaus (proto-continents). In all these scenarios, high temperatures are required. Since it is reasonable to assume that the mantle in the Archean was probably hotter, these mechanisms may have been dominant at that time. The likely colder temperatures in the Phanerozoic, however, would prevent these mechanisms from operating extensively today. Instead, most continental crust formation in the Phanerozoic tends to be associated with arc magmas formed not by slab melting but by hydrous melting of the peridotitic mantle wedge. The question we wish to address is the extent to which Phanerozoic-like arc processes might also have operated in the mid- to late-Archean. Answering this question may help us better understand Earth's secular thermal evolution. Towards these ends, we have been focusing on understanding the origins of high MgO "eclogite" xenoliths found in Archean cratons. While the origin of low MgO "eclogites" is understood to be partially melted subducted oceanic crust, the origin of the high MgO "eclogites" is still debated. Here we show that high MgO Archean "eclogite" xenoliths have major element systematics remarkably similar to high MgO garnet pyroxenite ("eclogite") xenoliths originating from the lithospheric root underlying the Phanerozoic Sierra Nevada batholith in California, the remnant of a Mesozoic continental arc. Both groups have similarly high MgO contents, high Mg/(Mg+Fe) ratios, and relatively high SiO2 contents. Such compositions are not represented by typical frozen melts. In the case of

  16. Geochemical and isotopic study of impact melts and spherules from the Lonar impact crater, India, indicate melting of the Precambrian basement beneath the 'target' Deccan basalts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarti, R.; Goderis, S.; Banerjee, A.; Gupta, R. D.; Claeys, P.; Vanhaecke, F. F.

    2016-12-01

    The 1.88 km diameter Lonar impact Crater, with age estimates ranging from 52 -570 ka, is located in the Buldana district of Maharashtra, India. It is an almost circular depression hosted entirely in the 65Ma old basalt flows of the Deccan Traps and is the best-known terrestrial analogue for impact craters in the Inner Solar System. Isotopic studies indicate that the basalts around Lonar correlate with the Poladpur suite, one of the mid-section volcano-stratigraphic units of the Deccan traps. Recently collected samples of the host basalt and impact melts, were analyzed for major and trace element concentrations using ICPMS, as well as for Nd and Sr isotope ratios using TIMS. Relatively more radiogenic Sr and less radiogenic Nd isotopic composition of the melt rocks compared to earlier measurements of similar rocks from Lonar are consistent with melting of the Precambrian basement beneath the Deccan basalt. Spherules ranging in size from 100 mm to 1 mm, were hand-picked under a binocular microscope from unconsolidated soil samples, collected from the south-eastern rim of the crater. Thirty-five spherule samples, screened for surface alteration using SEM were analyzed for major and trace element concentrations including PGEs using LA-ICPMS. The spherules were further classified into two groups using the Chemical Index of Alteration(CIA). Iridium and Cr concentrations of the spherules are consistent with mixing of a chondritic impactor (with 2-8% contribution) with the target rock(s). On a Nb (fluid immobile) -normalized binary plot of Th versus Cr, the composition of the spherules can be explained by mixing between the host basalt and a chondritic impactor with a definite, but minor contribution of the basement beneath Lonar, the composition of which is approximated using the average composition of the upper continental crust (UCC). Variability in the light-REE fractionation of the spherules (La/Sm(N)) can also be explained by a similar three component mixing. Overall

  17. Hf Isotope Systematics of Archean Anorthosites: Manfred Complex, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Souders, K.; Sylvester, P.

    2016-12-01

    Archean anorthosite complexes represent a minor, yet distinct rock type found within many Archean terranes. These mantle-derived melts are commonly found in layers withassociated leucogabbro, gabbro, and ultramafic units of similar origin. Most Archean anorthosites are intensely deformed and metamorphosed yet preserved igneous minerals have been identified within several complexes. It has become obvious that Archean anorthosites contain zircon crystals, which can be used to establish robust crystallization ages for anorthosite complexes. These minerals are also ideal targets for in situ Lu-Hf isotopic analysis to further characterize the source of Archean anorthosites and provide insight into the formation and evolution of the continental crust during the Archean. The ca. 3.7 Ga Manfred Complex is exposed northeast of Mount Narryer within the Narryer Gneiss Terrane, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia. The layered anorthosite gabbro-ultramafic intrusion outcrops in pods and lenses, engulfed by granitic gneisses [1, 2, 3]. We have sampled anorthosites, leucogabbros and gabbros from the Manfred Complex and determined their age by LA-ICPMS U-Pb zircon geochronology. Zircons separated from these rocks give ages of 3.63 Ga to 3.73 Ga. LA-MC-ICPMS Lu-Hf isotope analyses were performed by focusing the laser spot directly on top of the U-Pb analysis location for each zircon grain. Initial Hf isotope compositions of zircon grains from the Manfred complex range from ca. ɛHf +2 to -3. This range suggests contributions from both depleted mantle and more ancient crustal sources to the parent magma of the Manfred Complex. [1] Kinny et al. (1988) Prec. Res. 38, 325-341. [2] Myers (1988) Prec. Res. 38, 309-323. [3] Williams & Myers (1987) WA Geol. Surv. Rpt. 22, 32 pp.

  18. Apparent polar wander paths and the close of late Archean crustal transpression, northern Ontario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borradaile, G. J.; Lemmetty, T. J.; Werner, T.

    2003-08-01

    Lamprophyre dikes of the southern Superior Province of the Canadian Shield crosscut Archean structures, including a late Archean unconformity and its overlying younger Archean Timiskaming sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The dikes also cut the single schistosity that formed in these rocks. Nevertheless, the lamprophyre dikes show a weak internal tectonic fabric that is approximately parallel to the schistosity in the bedrock and oblique to dike walls. The consistent orientation of this internal tectonic fabric has been recognized in every lamprophyre dike using anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS). Thus the lamprophyre dikes provide a useful chronological marker, trapping the last pulse of Archean tectonism. Unfortunately, our previous attempts to compare the lamprophyre paleopoles with those of the age-calibrated apparent polar wander path (APWP) failed because it was not possible to isolate separate young and old components of magnetization. That failure occurred due to the overlap of blocking temperatures or coercivities for the different characteristic vector components [, 1994a]. Using new cores from the same specimens, here we distinguish successfully between consistently oriented vector components by using low-temperature demagnetization (LTD) before thermal demagnetization. Although the paleopoles appear well defined, comparisons with published APWPs for the Superior Province from late Archean [, 1979; , 1983; , 1994] to early Proterozoic [, 2000] are difficult. Moreover, the earlier parts of the paths are progressively less precise and complete. Nevertheless, A component remanences for the dikes give a paleopole near the path at ˜2650 Ma. For a Timiskaming volcanic breccia with a U-Pb age of 2696 Ma the A component paleopole may lie between 2600 and 2650 Ma. B component remanences yield paleopoles in the NW Pacific region, incompatible with any proposed Archean path but perhaps representing some much younger Proterozoic remagnetization event (e

  19. The nature of Archean terrane boundaries: an example from the northern Wyoming Province

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mogk, D.W.; Mueller, P.A.; Wooden, J.L.

    1992-01-01

    The Archean northern Wyoming Province can be subdivided into two geologically distinct terranes, the Beartooth-Bighorn magmatic terrane (BBMT) and the Montana metasedimentary terrane (MMT). The BBMT is characterized by voluminous Late Archean (2.90-2.74 Ga) magmatic rocks (primarily tonalite, trondhjemite, and granite); metasedimentary rocks are preserved only as small, rare enclaves in this magmatic terrane. The magmatic rocks typically have geochemical and isotopic signatures that suggest petrogenesis in a continental magmatic arc environment. The MMT, as exposed in the northern Gallatin and Madison Ranges, is dominated by Middle Archean trondhjemitic gneisses (3.2-3.0 Ga); metasedimentary rocks, however, are significantly more abundant than in the BBMT. Each terrane has experienced a separate and distinct geologic history since at least 3.6 Ga ago based on differences in metamorphic and structural styles, composition of magmatic and metasupracrustal rocks, and isotopic ages; consequently, these may be described as discrete terranes in the Cordilleran sense. Nonetheless, highly radiogenic and distinctive Pb-Pb isotopic signatures in rocks of all ages in both terranes indicate that the two terranes share a significant aspect of their history. This suggests that these two Early to Middle Archean crustal blocks, that initially evolved as part of a larger crustal province, experienced different geologic histories from at least 3.6 Ga until their juxtaposition in the Late Archean (between 2.75 to 2.55 Ga ago). Consequently, the boundary between the BBMT and MMT appears to separate terranes that are not likely to be exotic in the sense of their Phanerozoic counterparts. Other Archean provinces do appear to contain crustal blocks with different isotopic signatures (e.g. West Greenland, India, South Africa). The use of the term exotic, therefore, must be cautious in situations where geographic indicators such as paleontologic and/or paleomagnetic data are not available

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  1. Packed Bed Reactor Experiment

    NASA Image and Video Library

    The purpose of the Packed Bed Reactor Experiment in low gravity is to determine how a mixture of gas and liquid flows through a packed bed in reduced gravity. A packed bed consists of a metal pipe ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  3. A glass spherule of questionable impact origin from the Apollo 15 landing site: Unique target mare basalt

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryder, G.; Delano, J.W.; Warren, P.H.; Kallemeyn, G.W.; Dalrymple, G.B.

    1996-01-01

    A 6 mm-diameter dark spherule, 15434,28, from the regolith on the Apennine Front at the Apollo 15 landing site has a homogeneous glass interior with a 200 ??m-thick rind of devitrified or crystallized melt. The rind contains abundant small fragments of Apollo 15 olivine-normative mare basalt and rare volcanic Apollo 15 green glass. The glass interior of the spherule has the chemical composition, including a high FeO content and high CaO/Al2O3, of a mare basalt. Whereas the major element and Sc, Ni, and Co abundances are similar to those of low-Ti mare basalts, the incompatible elements and Sr abundances are similar to those of high-Ti mare basalts. The relative abundance patterns of the incompatible trace elements are distinct from any other lunar mare basalts or KREEP; among these distinctions are a much steeper slope of the heavy rare earth elements. The 15434,28 glass has abundances of the volatile element Zn consistent with both impact glasses and crystalline mare basalts, but much lower than in glasses of mare volcanic origin. The glass contains siderophile elements such as Ir in abundances only slightly higher than accepted lunar indigenous levels, and some, such as Au, are just below such upper limits. The age of the glass, determined by the 40Ar/39Ar laser incremental heating technique, is 1647 ?? 11 Ma (2 ??); it is expressed as an age spectrum of seventeen steps over 96% of the 39Ar released, unusual for an impact glass. Trapped argon is negligible. The undamaged nature of the sphere demonstrates that it must have spent most of its life buried in regolith; 38Ar cosmic ray exposure data suggest that it was buried at less than 2m but more than a few centimeters if a single depth is appropriate. That the spherule solidified to a glass is surprising; for such a mare composition, cooling at about 50??C s-1 is required to avoid crystallization, and barely attainable in such a large spherule. The low volatile abundances, slightly high siderophile abundances, and

  4. LA-ICP-MS analysis of trace elements in glass spherules of the El'gygytgyn impact structure, Siberia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adolph, Leonie; Deutsch, Alex

    2010-05-01

    The 3.58±0.04 Ma old El'gygytgyn impact structure (Central Chukotka, NE Siberia) with a diameter of 18 km (Gurov and Gurova 1979, Layer 2000) is one of only two terrestrial craters with a volcanic target; therefore, analysis of its target and impact lithologies is of basic interest for comparative planetology. Lake El'gygytgyn is a very valuable climate archive in the Arctic as it was neither covered by glaciers (Melles et al. 2007) nor has the lake ever fallen dry. Climate and impact research were the rationale for the ICDP drilling project that finished successfully in spring 2009. Impactites like melt rocks and breccias are rarely found in outcrops yet are present in the 80 m terrace of Lake El'gygytgyn (Gurov and Gurova 1979). Numerous investigations on petrography, shock metamorphism, and geochemistry of impactites from El'gygytgyn have been published so far (e.g. Gurov et al. 2007). We report the first trace element data for seven 30- to 760-μm-sized impact glass spherules that have been collected about10 km off the crater center from a terrace deposit of the Enmyvaam River outside the crater rim. The spherules are translucent with colors ranging from amber, dark brown to nearly black; they contain a few circular bubbles, schlieren, and very rarely mineral clasts and breccia fragments. Major elements were measured with the JEOL JXA 8600 MX Superprobe, 31 trace elements were analyzed with the Finnigan Element2 LA-ICP-MS with 5 Hz, 8-9 J/cm2 at with Si as internal, and NIST612 as external standard (Institut f. Mineralogie, WWU Münster). The spot size was 60 μm. All spherules show a very homogeneous major and trace element distribution yet clear differences exist between the samples in the SiO2 content (in weight percent) 53-68: four of the glasses are dacitic, two andesitic, and one basaltic-andesitic in composition. In addition, MgO (2.1-9.2), K2O (0.6-3.3), and (in ppm) Ni (317-1096), Co (25-79), Zr (100-169), Rb (18-107), and Ba (459-1092) display wide

  5. A glass spherule of questionable impact origin from the Apollo 15 landing site: Unique target mare basalt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryder, Graham; Delano, John W.; Warren, Paul H.; Kallemeyn, Gregory W.; Brent Dalrymple, G.

    1996-02-01

    A 6 mm-diameter dark spherule, 15434,28, from the regolith on the Apennine Front at the Apollo 15 landing site has a homogeneous glass interior with a 200 μm-thick rind of devitrified or crystallized melt. The rind contains abundant small fragments of Apollo 15 olivine-normative mare basalt and rare volcanic Apollo 15 green glass. The glass interior of the spherule has the chemical composition, including a high FeO content and high CaO/Al 2O 3, of a mare basalt. Whereas the major element and Sc, Ni, and Co abundances are similar to those of low-Ti mare basalts, the incompatible elements and Sr abundances are similar to those of high-Ti mare basalts. The relative abundance patterns of the incompatible trace elements are distinct from any other lunar mare basalts or KREEP; among these distinctions are a much steeper slope of the heavy rare earth elements. The 15434,28 glass has abundances of the volatile element Zn consistent with both impact glasses and crystalline mare basalts, but much lower than in glasses of mare volcanic origin. The glass contains siderophile elements such as Ir in abundances only slightly higher than accepted lunar indigenous levels, and some, such as Au, are just below such upper limits. The age of the glass, determined by the 40Ar/ 39Ar laser incremental heating technique, is 1647 ±11 Ma (2 δ); it is expressed as an age spectrum of seventeen steps over 96% of the 39Ar released, unusual for an impact glass. Trapped argon is negligible. The undamaged nature of the sphere demonstrates that it must have spent most of its life buried in regolith; 38Ar cosmic ray exposure data suggest that it was buried at less than 2m but more than a few centimeters if a single depth is appropriate. That the spherule solidified to a glass is surprising; for such a mare composition, cooling at about 50 °C s -1 is required to avoid crystallization, and barely attainable in such a large spherule. The low volatile abundances, slightly high siderophile abundances

  6. Sink or Swim? the Role of Intracrustal Differentiation in the Generation of Compositional Diversity and Crustal Delamination in the Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VanTongeren, J. A.; Herzberg, C. T.; Kaus, B.; Johnson, T. E.; Brown, M.

    2014-12-01

    Significant debate exists regarding the processes of crustal formation and stabilization in the Archean, with some researchers advocating for continuous subduction-like processes throughout earth history, and others advocating crustal recycling by lithospheric delamination or 'drip tectonics'. Much of the debate hinges on whether Archean mantle potential temperatures (Tp) were significantly hotter than the present day. The rock record of non-arc Archean primary magma compositions (Herzberg et al., 2010) has been used to infer higher ambient Tp (Tp = 1500-1650C) during the Archean, causing high melt fractions during decompression melting, and leading to extreme primary (oceanic) crustal thicknesses of 30-40 km (Herzberg and Rudnick, 2012). Such crustal thicknesses might inhibit subduction, in which case an alternative mechanism of crustal recycling would be required. In their recent paper, Johnson et al. (2014) showed that at Tp > 1500C, the lower portions of a thick homogenous Archean primary crust generated would be density unstable with respect to the ambient mantle. Additionally, they showed that given realistic rheological constraints, large-scale lower crustal delamination is a very efficient crustal recycling mechanism at Tp >1600C. The Archean crust, however, is likely to be internally differentiated. Here we present pMELTS and Perple_X modeling results on the intracrustal differentiation of Archean primary crust, resulting in the formation of TTG-like granitoids in the upper crust and a lower crust dominated by clinopyroxenite. Using the composition and density profiles generated by intracrustal differentiation, our geodynamic modeling extends the Tp over which efficient crustal delamination will occur to lower values, consistent with those likely throughout the Archean. Efficient crustal differentiation and delamination of dense mafic residues throughout the Archean may explain the apparent paucity of mafic lithologies relative to TTGs that characterize

  7. An Archean Terrestrial Fractionation Line for Oxygen Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  8. Texture-specific Si isotope variations in Barberton Greenstone Belt cherts record low temperature fractionations in early Archean seawater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefurak, Elizabeth J. T.; Fischer, Woodward W.; Lowe, Donald R.

    2015-02-01

    Sedimentary cherts are unusually abundant in early Archean (pre-3.0 Ga) sequences, suggesting a silica cycle that was profoundly different than the modern system. Previously applied for the purpose of paleothermometry, Si isotopes in ancient cherts can offer broader insight into mass fluxes and mechanisms associated with silica concentration, precipitation, diagenesis, and metamorphism. Early Archean cherts contain a rich suite of sedimentological and petrographic textures that document a history of silica deposition, cementation, silicification, and recrystallization. To add a new layer of insight into the chemistry of early cherts, we have used wavelength-dispersive spectroscopy and then secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) to produce elemental and Si and O isotope ratio data from banded black-and-white cherts from the Onverwacht Group of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa. This geochemical data is then interpreted in the framework of depositional and diagenetic timing of silica precipitation provided by geological observations. SIMS allows the comparison of Si and O isotope ratios of distinct silica phases, including black carbonaceous chert beds and bands (many including well-defined sedimentary grains), white relatively pure chert bands including primary silica granules, early cavity-filling cements, and later quartz-filled veins. Including all chert types and textures analyzed, the δ30Si dataset spans a range from -4.78‰ to +3.74‰, with overall mean 0.20‰, median 0.51‰, and standard deviation 1.30‰ (n = 1087). Most samples have broadly similar δ30Si distributions, but systematic texture-specific δ30Si differences are observed between white chert bands (mean +0.60‰, n = 750), which contain textures that represent primary and earliest diagenetic silica phases, and later cavity-filling cements (mean -1.41‰, n = 198). We observed variations at a ∼100 μm scale indicating a lack of Si isotope homogenization at this scale during

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. Molecular evidence of Late Archean archaea and the presence of a subsurface hydrothermal biosphere

    PubMed Central

    Ventura, Gregory T.; Kenig, Fabien; Reddy, Christopher M.; Schieber, Juergen; Frysinger, Glenn S.; Nelson, Robert K.; Dinel, Etienne; Gaines, Richard B.; Schaeffer, Philippe

    2007-01-01

    Highly cracked and isomerized archaeal lipids and bacterial lipids, structurally changed by thermal stress, are present in solvent extracts of 2,707- to 2,685-million-year-old (Ma) metasedimentary rocks from Timmins, ON, Canada. These lipids appear in conventional gas chromatograms as unresolved complex mixtures and include cyclic and acyclic biphytanes, C36–C39 derivatives of the biphytanes, and C31–C35 extended hopanes. Biphytane and extended hopanes are also found in high-pressure catalytic hydrogenation products released from solvent-extracted sediments, indicating that archaea and bacteria were present in Late Archean sedimentary environments. Postdepositional, hydrothermal gold mineralization and graphite precipitation occurred before metamorphism (≈2,665 Ma). Late Archean metamorphism significantly reduced the kerogen's adsorptive capacity and severely restricted sediment porosity, limiting the potential for post-Archean additions of organic matter to the samples. Argillites exposed to hydrothermal gold mineralization have disproportionately high concentrations of extractable archaeal and bacterial lipids relative to what is releasable from their respective high-pressure catalytic hydrogenation product and what is observed for argillites deposited away from these hydrothermal settings. The addition of these lipids to the sediments likely results from a Late Archean subsurface hydrothermal biosphere of archaea and bacteria. PMID:17726114

  12. Molecular evidence of Late Archean archaea and the presence of a subsurface hydrothermal biosphere.

    PubMed

    Ventura, Gregory T; Kenig, Fabien; Reddy, Christopher M; Schieber, Juergen; Frysinger, Glenn S; Nelson, Robert K; Dinel, Etienne; Gaines, Richard B; Schaeffer, Philippe

    2007-09-04

    Highly cracked and isomerized archaeal lipids and bacterial lipids, structurally changed by thermal stress, are present in solvent extracts of 2,707- to 2,685-million-year-old (Ma) metasedimentary rocks from Timmins, ON, Canada. These lipids appear in conventional gas chromatograms as unresolved complex mixtures and include cyclic and acyclic biphytanes, C36-C39 derivatives of the biphytanes, and C31-C35 extended hopanes. Biphytane and extended hopanes are also found in high-pressure catalytic hydrogenation products released from solvent-extracted sediments, indicating that archaea and bacteria were present in Late Archean sedimentary environments. Postdepositional, hydrothermal gold mineralization and graphite precipitation occurred before metamorphism (approximately 2,665 Ma). Late Archean metamorphism significantly reduced the kerogen's adsorptive capacity and severely restricted sediment porosity, limiting the potential for post-Archean additions of organic matter to the samples. Argillites exposed to hydrothermal gold mineralization have disproportionately high concentrations of extractable archaeal and bacterial lipids relative to what is releasable from their respective high-pressure catalytic hydrogenation product and what is observed for argillites deposited away from these hydrothermal settings. The addition of these lipids to the sediments likely results from a Late Archean subsurface hydrothermal biosphere of archaea and bacteria.

  13. Deformation coupling between the Archean Pukaskwa intrusive complex and the Hemlo shear zone, Superior Province, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liodas, Nathaniel T.; Gébelin, Aude; Ferré, Eric C.; Misgna, Girmay M.

    2013-11-01

    Archean greenstone belts typically form narrow sheared basins separating bulbous tonalo-trondjhemo-granodioritic (TTG) intrusive complexes. The role played by gravity in the development of such dome-and-keel structures constitutes a key question in Archean tectonics. The Pukaskwa intrusive complex (PIC)-Hemlo greenstone belt system stands as a remarkable example of the dome-and-keel architecture that commonly occurs in Archean terrains. Abundant strain markers in the greenstone belt and in the Hemlo shear zone (HSZ) attest of late sinistral strike-slip kinematics (D2) whereas, in general, the quartzofeldspathic coarse-grained rocks of the Pukaskwa intrusive complex bear little macroscopically visible kinematic indicators, most likely due to pervasive recrystallization. The PIC consists dominantly of a heterogeneous assemblage of TTG plutonic rocks and gneisses, which overall are less dense than the greenstone rocks. The study of anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS), based on 120 stations and 1947 specimens from the PIC, reveals east-west trending prolate and plano-linear fabrics across the northern margin of the complex, i.e., along the HSZ. Since geotherms were higher in the Archean than in the present, the effective viscosity of the TTG units would have been sufficiently low to allow their diapiric ascent through denser greenstone rocks. Here we propose an alternative model where thrust tectonics is responsible for the early structuration of the PIC. Later transpressive tectonics causes strain localization along internal strike-slip shear zones and along lithological boundaries.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  15. The Archean geology of the Godthabsfjord Region, southern west Greenland (includes excursion guide)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgregor, V. R.; Nutman, A. P.; Friend, C. R. L.

    1986-01-01

    The part of the West Greenland Archean gneiss complex centered around Godthabsfjord and extending from Isukasia in the north to south Faeringehavn is studied. Extensive outcrops of 3800 to 3400 Ma rocks can provide some direct evidence of conditions and processes that operated on the Earth in the early Archean. However, the ways in which primary characteristics have been modified by later deformation, metamorphism, and chemical changes are first taken into account. The rocks exposed are the products of two major phases of accretion of continental crust, at 3800 to 3700 Ma and 3100 to 29 Ma. The main features of these two accretion phases are similar, but careful study of the least modified rocks may reveal differences related to changes in the Earth in the intervening period. The combination of excellent exposure over an extensive area, relatively detailed geological mapping of much of the region, and a considerable volume of isotopic and other geochemical data gives special insights into processes that operated at moderately deep levels of the crust in the Archean. Of particular interest is the effect of late Archean granulite facies metamorphism on early Archean rocks, especially the extent to which isotope systems were disturbed. Similar processes may well have partly or wholly destroyed evidence of more ancient components of other high grade terrains. This account does not attempt to be an exhaustive review of all work carried out on the geology of the region. Rather, it attempts to summarize aspects of the geology and some interest in the context of early crustal genesis.

  16. Exploring Archean seawater sulfate via triple S isotopes in carbonate associated sulfate.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

    Multiple sulfur isotope ratios in Archean sedimentary rocks provide 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]. The Archean sulfur isotope record is marked by pronounced mass-independent fractionation (Δ33S≠0)—signatures widely interpreted as the result of SO2 photolysis from "short-wavelength" UV light resulting in a reduced phase carrying positive Δ33S values (ultimately recorded in pyrite) and an oxidized phase carrying negative Δ33S values carried by sulfate [2]. Support for this hypothesis rests on early laboratory experiments and observations of negative Δ33S from barite occurrences in mixed volcanic sedimentary strata in Mesoarchean greenstone terrains. Despite forming the framework for understanding Archean sulfur cycle processes, this hypothesis is still largely untested, notably due to the lack of sulfate minerals in Archean strata. Using a new MC-ICP-MS approach combined with petrography and X-ray spectroscopy we have generated a growing S isotope dataset from CAS extracted from Archean carbonates from a range of sedimentary successions, including: the 2.6 to 2.521 Ga Campbellrand-Malmani carbonate platform (Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa), 2.7 Ga Cheshire Formation (Zimbabwe), and 2.9 Ga Steep Rock Formation (Canada). Importantly, we observe positive δ34S and Δ33S values across a range of different lithologies and depositional environments. These results demonstrate that dissolved sulfate in seawater was characterized by positive Δ33S values—a result that receives additional support from recent laboratory and theoretical experiments [e.g. 4, 5]. [1] Farquhar et al., 2000, Science [2] Farquhar et al., 2001, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets [3] Paris et al., 2014, Science. [4] Whitehill et al., 2013, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [5] Claire et al., 2014 Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

  17. Diversity in the Archean biosphere: new insights from NanoSIMS.

    PubMed

    Oehler, Dorothy Z; Robert, François; Walter, Malcolm R; Sugitani, Kenichiro; Meibom, Anders; Mostefaoui, Smail; Gibson, Everett K

    2010-05-01

    The origin of organic microstructures in the approximately 3 Ga Farrel Quartzite is controversial due to their relatively poor state of preservation, the Archean age of the cherts in which they occur, and the unusual spindle-like morphology of some of the forms. To provide more insight into the significance of these microstructures, nano-scale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) maps of carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, silicon, and oxygen were obtained for spheroidal and spindle-shaped constituents of the Farrel Quartzite assemblage. Results suggest that the structures are all bona fide approximately 3 Ga microfossils. The spindles demonstrate an architecture that is remarkable for 3 Ga organisms. They are relatively large, robust, and morphologically complex. The NanoSIMS element maps corroborate their complexity by demonstrating an intricate, internal network of organic material that fills many of the spindles and extends continuously from the body of these structures into their spearlike appendages. Results from this study combine with previous morphological and chemical analyses to argue that the microstructures in the Farrel Quartzite comprise a diverse assemblage of Archean microfossils. This conclusion adds to a growing body of geochemical, stromatolitic, and morphological evidence that indicates the Archean biosphere was varied and well established by at least approximately 3 Ga. Together, the data paint a picture of Archean evolution that is one of early development of morphological and chemical complexity. The evidence for Archean evolutionary innovation may augur well for the possibility that primitive life on other planets could adapt to adverse conditions by ready development of diversity in form and biochemistry.

  18. The formation and deposition of primary silica granules - A new model of early Archean silica deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefurak, E. J.; Lowe, D. R.; Zentner, D.; Fischer, W. W.

    2013-12-01

    In the modern silica cycle, biologically-mediated silica precipitation provides the dominant sink for dissolved silica in seawater, with additional smaller sinks in the form of authigenic phyllosilicates and silica cements. Fundamental questions remain about the mechanics of the processes responsible for removing silica from seawater prior to the evolution of silica biomineralization in late Proterozoic time, with important implications for the chemistry of seawater on the early Earth, including alkalinity budgets and the efficiency of the silicate weathering feedback. The degree to which dissolved silica leaves seawater as authigenic phyllosilicates instead of amorphous silica is important because these 'reverse weathering' reactions do not consume CO2. The abundant presence of siliceous sedimentary rocks in Archean sequences, mainly in the form of chert, reinforces the inference that abiotic silica precipitation played a more significant role during Archean time. Previous authors hypothesized that these cherts formed as primary marine precipitates, but were unable to identify a specific mode of sedimentation. Here we present sedimentologic, petrographic, and geochemical evidence that some and perhaps many Archean cherts were deposited exclusively or in large part as primary, sub-spherical, structureless, sand-sized silica grains, here termed silica granules, which precipitated within marine waters. This mode of silica deposition appears to be unique to Archean time and provides evidence that primary abiotic silica precipitation indeed occurred in Archean oceans. Furthermore, the apparent early cementation of some granules indicates that the rate of silica precipitation was rapid under certain environmental conditions, which could provide insight into microfossil preservation via early silicification.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    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.

  20. 7 CFR 2902.15 - Bedding, bed linens, and towels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Bedding, bed linens, and towels. 2902.15 Section 2902... PROCUREMENT Designated Items § 2902.15 Bedding, bed linens, and towels. (a) Definition. (1) Bedding is that..., bedspreads, comforters, and quilts. (2) Bed linens are woven cloth sheets and pillowcases used in bedding....

  1. 7 CFR 3201.15 - Bedding, bed linens, and towels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Bedding, bed linens, and towels. 3201.15 Section 3201... PROCUREMENT Designated Items § 3201.15 Bedding, bed linens, and towels. (a) Definition. (1) Bedding is that..., bedspreads, comforters, and quilts. (2) Bed linens are woven cloth sheets and pillowcases used in bedding....

  2. 7 CFR 3201.15 - Bedding, bed linens, and towels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Bedding, bed linens, and towels. 3201.15 Section 3201... PROCUREMENT Designated Items § 3201.15 Bedding, bed linens, and towels. (a) Definition. (1) Bedding is that..., bedspreads, comforters, and quilts. (2) Bed linens are woven cloth sheets and pillowcases used in bedding....

  3. 7 CFR 2902.15 - Bedding, bed linens, and towels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Bedding, bed linens, and towels. 2902.15 Section 2902... PROCUREMENT Designated Items § 2902.15 Bedding, bed linens, and towels. (a) Definition. (1) Bedding is that..., bedspreads, comforters, and quilts. (2) Bed linens are woven cloth sheets and pillowcases used in bedding....

  4. 7 CFR 3201.15 - Bedding, bed linens, and towels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 15 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Bedding, bed linens, and towels. 3201.15 Section 3201... PROCUREMENT Designated Items § 3201.15 Bedding, bed linens, and towels. (a) Definition. (1) Bedding is that..., bedspreads, comforters, and quilts. (2) Bed linens are woven cloth sheets and pillowcases used in bedding....

  5. Large impacts and climatic catastrophes on the early Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melosh, H. J.

    1991-01-01

    Radiometric data of cratered lunar surfaces suggest that the cratering rate on the ancient Moon was substantially larger than the present rate before about 3.2 Gyr. Since the cratering rate was higher than present on the Moon, it seems likely that is was similarly higher on the Earth. Recently the occurrence of beds of spherules up to 2m thick was reported in 3.2 to 3.5 Gyr old Archean rocks. These spherule beds closely resemble the 3 mm thick spherule beds associated with the K/T boundary (including elevated iridium abundances), widely believed to have been deposited in association of a 10 km diameter comet or asteroid.

  6. Speculations on the Archean mantle: Missing link between komatiite and depleted garnet peridotite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Eiichi

    1990-09-01

    Like in the modern Earth, thermal and tectonic regime of the planet in the Archean (>=2.5 Ga) may have been dominated by those activities on the ocean floor. Because of the continuous operation of plate tectonics, however, the geologic record of the Archean ocean floor has been eliminated a long time ago. Using high-pressure melting experiment data on a mantle peridotite and some key observations on Archean rocks (DGPs and PKs), a model for mid-oceanic ridge in the Archean (AMOR) is constructed. High magnesian peridotitic komatiites (PKs, MgO>=33 wt%) which are limited only on the oldest cratons (>=3.3 Ga) are considered to have been produced by partial melting of mantle peridotite at >=7 GPa and >=1800°C. Less magnesian PKs (MgO>=25 wt%) which are characteristic of the latest Archean (>=2.5 Ga) may have been produced at >=4 GPa and >=1650°C. Potential mantle temperatures (PMTs) of the Earth were estimated from the above two constraints on PKs and that for the genesis of mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs) in the modern Earth; PMT=1750°C at 3.5 Ga, 1600°C at 2.5 Ga, and 1280°C at present. If estimated cooling rate of the Earth's mantle (1.3°C/ 107 years) is valid for another 5×108 years or so, PMT will become lower than mantle solidus, and then plate tectonics would cease. Very depleted garnet peridotites (DGPs) found as xenoliths in south African kimberlites show distinct chemical trends compared with spinel and garnet peridotites found in young orogenic terrains and oceanic regions. Re-Os isotopic analyses on bulk xenoliths and Sm-Nd model ages of garnets in diamonds in them indicate that DGPs have undergone extensive partial melting and melt extraction in the early Archean. The bulk chemical trends of DGPs can be explained by extraction of PK magma from primitive mantle peridotite. A 40-60 wt% extraction of PK magma ranging from 25 to 35 wt% MgO would suffice to yield entire spectrum of DGPs. A hypothesis for their origin by global melting (magma ocean) of

  7. Hybrid fluidized bed combuster

    DOEpatents

    Kantesaria, Prabhudas P.; Matthews, Francis T.

    1982-01-01

    A first atmospheric bubbling fluidized bed furnace is combined with a second turbulent, circulating fluidized bed furnace to produce heat efficiently from crushed solid fuel. The bed of the second furnace receives the smaller sizes of crushed solid fuel, unreacted limestone from the first bed, and elutriated solids extracted from the flu gases of the first bed. The two-stage combustion of crushed solid fuel provides a system with an efficiency greater than available with use of a single furnace of a fluidized bed.

  8. Chemistry of sands from the modern Indus River and the Archean Witwatersrand basin: Implications for the composition of the Archean atmosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Maynard, J.B.; Ritger, S.D. ); Sutton, S.J. )

    1991-03-01

    Both the Indus River and the Witwatersrand basin contain sand with grains of detrital uraninite. Because this mineral is easily oxidized, its presence in Archean strata as a detrital particle has been used as evidence for a low-oxygen atmosphere before 2.5 Ga. However, its presence in modern sand from the Indus River system has been used to argue that detrital uraninite does not provide information about the oxygen concentration of Earth's early atmosphere. Petrographic and chemical study of sand from these two sources reveals differences that suggest the modern Indus sand cannot be used as an analog for the Archean Witwatersrand occurrences. The Witwatersrand quartzites are depleted in Ca, Mg, and Na, indicating that the original sand from which they formed had been subjected to intense weathering. The chemical index of alteration (CIA), a commonly used indicator of degree of weathering, yields an average value of about 0.80 for Witwatersrand quartzites, comparable to modern tropical streams such as the Orinoco that drain deeply weathered terrains under tropical conditions (CIA=0.75). In contrast, the CIA for Indus sand is 0.45, indicating virtually no chemical weathering. The significance of Archean quartz-pebble conglomerates is not just that they contain unstable detrital phases like uraninite and pyrite, but that these particles are associated with rocks whose compositions suggest intense weathering. These conglomerates must have been subjected to intense weathering under tropical conditions, either in their source area or at the site of deposition, and the preservation of minerals like uraninite such conditions is indeed strong evidence for a low-oxygen atmosphere.

  9. Late-Archean continental emergence: consequences for the rise of atmospheric oxygen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    The balance between the secular cooling of the Earth's mantle and the growth of the continental crust implies changes in the isostatic equilibrium between continents and oceans, in the oceanic bathymetry, and in the area of emerged continental crust. The evolution of the latter is of fundamental importance to the geochemical coupling between the continental crust, the atmosphere and the oceans. The area of emerged land can be estimated from models that depend on mantle temperature, continental area and continental hypsometry. In the Archean, the mantle was probably 150-200°C hotter than present and the continental area could have increased from 20% of present at ~~3.5Ga to 80% of present by ~~2.5Ga. Using these values, and comparing different thermal evolution models for the Earth, we calculate that the area of emerged continental crust would be reduced to 1-12% of the Earth's area during the Archean (compared to 27.5% for present-day Earth). As for the continental hypsometry, a greater radiogenic crustal heat production and a greater mantle heat flow would have reduced the strength of the continental lithosphere in the Archean, thus limiting the crustal thickening due to mountain building processes and the maximum elevation in the Earth's topography [Rey and Coltice, Geology 36, 635-638 (2008)]. Taking this into account, we show that the continents were mostly flooded until the end of the Archean and that less than 3% of the Earth's area (which is roughly the superficy of South America) consisted of emerged continental crust by ~~2.5~Ga. These results are consistent with widespread Archean submarine continental flood basalts, and with the emergence of a sialic geochemical reservoir recorded from ~~2.5~Ga in (a) the composition of shales, (b) the isotopic ratio 87Sr/86Sr of marine carbonates and (c) the δ18O signature of igneous zircons. The progressive emergence of the continents as shown by our models from the late-Archean

  10. Bed material agglomeration during fluidized bed combustion

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, R.C.; Dawson, M.R.; Noble, S.

    1993-02-01

    The purpose of this project is to determine the physical and chemical reactions which led to the undesired agglomeration of bed material during fluidized bed combustion and to relate these reactions to specific causes. Survey of industrial-scale fluidized bed combustors is being conducted to determine the occurrence of bed agglomeration and the circumstances under which agglomeration took place. This task should be finished by the end of February. Samples of bed material, agglomerate material, and boiler deposits are being requested from boiler operators as part of the survey. Once received, these sample will be analyzed to determine chemical and mineralogic composition. The bulk chemical determination will be performed using x-ray fluorescence and inductively coupled plasma-optical emission (ICP). Mineralogy will be detected by x-ray diffraction (XRD). Chemical and mineral reactions will be determined by scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and electron microprobe.

  11. FE-SEM, FIB and TEM Study of Surface Deposits of Apollo 15 Green Glass Volcanic Spherules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, Daniel K.; Thomas-Keprta, K. L.; Rahman, Z.; Wentworth, S. J.; McKay, D. S.

    2011-01-01

    Surface deposits on lunar pyroclastic green (Apollo 15) and orange (Apollo 17) glass spherules have been attributed to condensation from the gas clouds that accompanied fire-fountain eruptions. The fire fountains cast molten lava high above the lunar surface and the silicate melt droplets quenched before landing producing the glass beads. Early investigations showed that these deposits are rich in sulfur and zinc. The deposits are extremely fine-grained and thin, so that it was never possible to determine their chemical compositions cleanly by SEM/EDX or electron probe x-ray analysis because most of the excited volume was in the under-lying silicate glass. We are investigating the surface deposits by TEM, using focused ion beam (FIB) microscopy to extract and thin the surface deposits. Here we report on chemical mapping of a FIB section of surface deposits of an Apollo green glass bead 15401using the ultra-high resolution JEOL 2500 STEM located at NASA Johnson Space Center.

  12. Bed Bugs and Schools

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Bed bugs have long been a pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human hosts. They are successful hitchhikers, and can move from an infested site to furniture, bedding, baggage, boxes, and clothing.

  13. Fiskenaesset Anorthosite Complex: Stable isotope evidence for shallow emplacement into Archean ocean crust

    SciTech Connect

    Peck, W.H.; Valley, J.W.

    1996-06-01

    Oxygen and hydrogen isotope ratios indicate that unusual rocks at the upper contact of the Archean Fiskenaesset Anorthosite Complex at Fiskenaesset Harbor (southwest Greenland) are the products of hydrothermal alteration by seawater at the time of anorthosite intrusion. Subsequent granulite-facies metamorphism of these Ca-poor and Al- and Mg-rich rocks produced sapphirine- and kornerupine-bearing assemblages. Because large amounts of surface waters cannot penetrate to depths of 30 km during granulite-facies metamorphism, the isotopic signature of the contact rocks must have been obtained prior to regional metamorphism. The stable isotope and geochemical characteristics of the contact rocks support a model of shallow emplacement into Archean ocean crust for the Fiskenaesset Anorthosite Complex. 45 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  14. The rock components and structures of Archean greenstone belts: An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    Knowledge of the character and evolution of the Earth's early crust is derived from the studies of the rocks and structures in Archean greenstone belts. Ability to resolve the petrologic, sedimentological and structural histories of greenstone belts, however, hinges first on an ability to apply the concepts and procedures of classical stratigraphy. Unfortunately, early Precambrian greenstone terrains present particular problems to stratigraphic analysis. Many current controversies of greenstone belt petrogenesis, sedimentology, tectonics and evolution arise more from an inability to develop a clear stratigraphic picture of the belts than from ambiguities in interpretation. Four particular stratigraphic problems that afflict studies of Archean greenstone belts are considered: determination of facing directions, correlation of lithologic units, identification of primary lithologies and discrimination of stratigraphic versus structural contacts.

  15. Clues from Fe isotope variations on the origin of early Archean BIFs from Greenland.

    PubMed

    Dauphas, Nicolas; van Zuilen, Mark; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Davis, Andrew M; Marty, Bernard; Janney, Philip E

    2004-12-17

    Archean rocks may provide a record of early Earth environments. However, such rocks have often been metamorphosed by high pressure and temperature, which can overprint the signatures of their original formation. Here, we show that the early Archean banded rocks from Isua, Akilia, and Innersuartuut, Greenland, are enriched in heavy iron isotopes by 0.1 to 0.5 per mil per atomic mass unit relative to igneous rocks worldwide. The observed enrichments are compatible with the transport, oxidation, and subsequent precipitation of ferrous iron emanating from hydrothermal vents and thus suggest that the original rocks were banded iron formations (BIFs). These variations therefore support a sedimentary origin for the Akilia banded rocks, which represent one of the oldest known occurrences of water-laid deposits on Earth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Explaining the structure of the Archean mass-independent sulfur isotope record.

    PubMed

    Halevy, Itay; Johnston, David T; Schrag, Daniel P

    2010-07-09

    Sulfur isotopes in ancient sediments provide a record of past environmental conditions. The long-time-scale variability and apparent asymmetry in the magnitude of minor sulfur isotope fractionation in Archean sediments remain unexplained. Using an integrated biogeochemical model of the Archean sulfur cycle, we find that the preservation of mass-independent sulfur is influenced by a variety of extra-atmospheric mechanisms, including biological activity and continental crust formation. Preservation of atmospherically produced mass-independent sulfur implies limited metabolic sulfur cycling before approximately 2500 million years ago; the asymmetry in the record indicates that bacterial sulfate reduction was geochemically unimportant at this time. Our results suggest that the large-scale structure of the record reflects variability in the oxidation state of volcanic sulfur volatiles.

  18. Making a Bed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wexler, Anthony; Stein, Sherman

    2005-01-01

    The origins of this paper lay in making beds by putting pieces of plywood on a frame: If beds need to be 4 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 3 inches, and plywood comes in 4-foot by 8-foot sheets, how should one cut the plywood to minimize waste (and have stable beds)? The problem is of course generalized.

  19. Making a Bed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wexler, Anthony; Stein, Sherman

    2005-01-01

    The origins of this paper lay in making beds by putting pieces of plywood on a frame: If beds need to be 4 feet 6 inches by 6 feet 3 inches, and plywood comes in 4-foot by 8-foot sheets, how should one cut the plywood to minimize waste (and have stable beds)? The problem is of course generalized.

  20. Modeling the signature of sulfur mass-independent fractionation produced in the Archean atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Claire, Mark W.; Kasting, James F.; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn D.; Stüeken, Eva E.; Buick, Roger; Meadows, Victoria S.

    2014-09-01

    Minor sulfur isotope anomalies indicate the absence of O2 from the Archean atmosphere. A rich dataset showing large variations in magnitude and sign of Δ33S and Δ36S, preserved in both sulfates and sulfides, suggests that further constraints on Archean atmospheric chemistry are possible. We review previous quantitative constraints on atmospheric Δ33S production, and suggest that a new approach is needed. We added sulfur species containing 33S and 34S to a 1-D photochemical model and describe the numerical methodology needed to ensure accurate prediction of the magnitude and sign of Δ33S produced by and deposited from the Archean atmosphere. This methodology can test multiple MIF-S formation mechanisms subject to a variety of proposed atmospheric compositions, yielding Δ33S predictions that can be compared to the rock record. We systematically test SO2 isotopologue absorption effects in SO2 photolysis (Danielache et al., 2008), one of the primary proposed mechanisms for Δ33S formation. We find that differential absorption through the Danielache et al. (2008) cross sections is capable of altering predicted Δ33S as a function of multiple atmospheric variables, including trace O2 concentration, total sulfur flux, CO2 content, and the presence of hydrocarbons, but find a limited role for OCS and H2S. Under all realistic conditions, the Danielache et al. (2008) cross sections yield Δ33S predictions at odds with the geologic record, implying that additional pathways for sulfur MIF formation exist and/or the cross sections have significant errors. The methodology presented here will allow for quantitative constraints on the Archean atmosphere beyond the absence of O2, as soon as additional experimental measurements of MIF-S producing processes become available.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Abstract 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

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

    PubMed

    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. The transition from an Archean granite-greenstone terrain into a charnockite terrain in southern India

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Condie, K. C.; Allen, P.

    1983-01-01

    In southern India, it is possible to study the transition from an Archean granite-greenstone terrain (the Karnataka province) into high grade charnockites. The transition occurs over an outcrop width of 20-35 km and appears to represent burial depths ranging from 15 to 20 km. Field and geochemical studies indicate that the charnockites developed at the expense of tonalites, granites, and greenstones. South of the transition zone, geobarometer studies indicate burial depths of 7-9 kb.

  4. The hottest lavas of the Phanerozoic and the survival of deep Archean reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gazel, Esteban; Trela, Jarek; More, Lowell; Alex, Sobolev; Bizimis, Michael; Jicha, Brian

    2017-04-01

    The mantle plume hypothesis is widely accepted for the formation of large igneous provinces and many modern day hotspot volcanoes. Petrologic models suggest that plume-derived melts originate at high mantle temperatures (>1500 °C) relative to those generated at ambient mid-ocean ridge conditions ( 1350 °C). Earth's mantle has also cooled during its history due to heat loss and decrease in radioactive heat production, thus the temperatures of modern day basalts are substantially lower than those produced during the Archean (>2.5 Ga), as recorded by komatiites (>1700 °C). We discovered that the 90 Ma Galapagos-related Tortugal Suite accreted in Costa Rica not only record mantle potential temperatures as high as ancient Archean komatiites ( 1800 °C), but we also collected the highest olivine-spinel crystallization temperatures ever reported in the literature (1600 °C). Therefore, to the best of our knowledge, this suite represents the record of the hottest lavas of the Phanerozoic. These type of magmas occurred more frequently during the Archean due to overall higher ambient mantle temperatures, yet our data suggest that anomalously hot, isolated domains still exist in the deep portions of the planet that have survived billions of years of mantle convection and cooling. This finding is in line with the recent results that showed that early-formed 182W/184W mantle heterogeneities, produced during the first 50 million years of planetary accretion, survived to present time and has been sampled by mantle plumes. Our finding supports the existence of primitive Archean reservoirs, although in most plumes cooler ambient mantle entrainment probably dilutes its temperature signature.

  5. The sensitivity of the EMAC model to spectrally resolved irradiances during the Archean.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunze, Markus; Godolt, Mareike; Hamann-Reinus, Anke; Langematz, Ulrike; Rauer, Heike; Jöckel, Patrick

    The contradiction of a reduced solar luminosity by 15-25% during the Archean and the geo-logic evidence for relative high surface temperatures that allowed the presence of liquid water is known as the faint young sun problem. It is supposed that the cooling induced by a fainter sun was offset by higher levels of greenhouse gases during the Archean. We present a study in which we investigate this problem using the Chemistry Climate model EMAC (ECHAM/MESSy At-mospheric Chemistry) with a constructed, spectrally resolved irradiance dataset valid for the Archean. As proxy for the irradiance of our young sun we use the G0V-dwarf star β com. We test differently scaled spectrally resolved irradiances in an offline version of the FUBrad radiation scheme, to analyse the sensitivity of the input data on the heating rates in the middle atmo-sphere. We then use the EMAC model to analyse the sensitivity of the model dynamics to the spectrally resolved irradiances and other parameters valid for the late Archean Earth, such as the composition of the atmosphere and the land sea mask. Our experimental setup includes a control run, which has a zero land fraction, a slab ocean, the present day atmospheric composition, and the present day solar luminosity. Three sensitivity experiments are performed for: (1) 20% reduced solar irradiance, (2) 15% reduced solar irra-diance, and (3) increased CO2 concentration. We concentrate on the thermal and dynamical state of the atmosphere with emphasis on the middle atmosphere.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 Pitcairn´s 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. PMID:27791057

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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. Earth's early atmosphere as seen from carbon and nitrogen isotopic analysis of Archean sediments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gibson, E. K., Jr.; Carr, L. P.; Gilmour, I.; Pillinger, C. T.

    1986-01-01

    The origin and evolution of the Earth's early atmosphere has long been a topic of great interest but determination of actual compositions over geologic time is a difficult problem. However, recent systematic studies of stromatolite deposits (Precambrian Paleobiology Research Group) has extended our knowledge of Archean ecosystems. It has been shown that many stromatolite deposits have undergone negligible alteration since their time of formation. The discovery of primary fluid inclusions within unaltered 3.5 b.y. old Archiean sediments and the observation that the 3.3 b.y. old Barberton cherts have remained closed to argon loss and have not been subjected to thermal metamorphism suggests that an opportunity exists for the direct measurement of the volatile constituents present at their time of formation. Of primary interest to this study was the possibility that the stromatolites and other Archean sediments might retain a vestige of the atmosphere and thus afford an indication of the variations in carbon dioxide and nitrogen isotopic compositions with time. A suite of essentially unaltered Archean stromatolites and the cherts of different ages and geologic sites have been analyzed for their trapped carbon dioxide and nitrogen compositions by the stepped combustion extraction tech nique utilizing static mass spectrometers for the isotope measurements.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. Evaluation of early Archean volcaniclastic and volcanic flow rocks as possible sites for carbonaceous fossil microbes.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Maud M

    2004-01-01

    Sedimentary rocks have traditionally been the focus of the search for Archean microfossils; the Earth's oldest fossil bacteria are associated with carbonaceous matter in sedimentary cherts in greenstone belts in the eastern Pilbara block of Western Australia and Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa. Reports of possible fossils in a martian meteorite composed of igneous rock and the discovery of modern bacteria associated with basalts have stimulated a new look at Archean volcanic rocks as possible sites for fossil microbes. This study examines silicified volcaniclastic rocks, near-surface altered volcanic flow rocks, and associated stromatolite- like structures from the Archean Barberton greenstone belt to evaluate their potential for the preservation of carbonaceous fossils. Detrital carbonaceous particles are widely admixed with current-deposited debris. Carbonaceous matter is also present in altered volcanic flow rocks as sparse particles in silica veins that appear to be fed by overlying carbonaceous chert layers. Neither microfossils nor mat-like material was identified in the altered volcanic rocks or adjacent stromatolite-like structures. Ancient volcanic flow and volcaniclastic rocks are not promising sites for carbonaceous fossil preservation.

  13. Mantle redox evolution and the oxidation state of the Archean atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kasting, J. F.; Eggler, D. H.; Raeburn, S. P.

    1993-01-01

    Current models predict that the early atmosphere consisted mostly of CO2, N2, and H2O, along with traces of H2 and CO. Such models are based on the assumption that the redox state of the upper mantle has not changed, so that volcanic gas composition has remained approximately constant with time. We argue here that this assumption is probably incorrect: the upper mantle was originally more reduced than today, although not as reduced as the metal arrest level, and has become progressively more oxidized as a consequence of the release of reduced volcanic gases and the subduction of hydrated, oxidized seafloor. Data on the redox state of sulfide and chromite inclusions in diamonds imply that the process of mantle oxidation was slow, so that reduced conditions could have prevailed for as much as half of the earth's history. To be sure, other oxybarometers of ancient rocks give different results, so the question of when the mantle redox state has changed remains unresolved. Mantle redox evolution is intimately linked to the oxidation state of the primitive atmosphere: A reduced Archean atmosphere would have had a high hydrogen escape rate and should correspond to a changing mantle redox state; an oxidized Archean atmosphere should be associated with a constant mantle redox state. The converses of these statements are also true. Finally, our theory of mantle redox evolution may explain why the Archean atmosphere remained oxygen-deficient until approximately 2.0 billion years ago (Ga) despite a probable early origin for photosynthesis.

  14. Geochemistry of Precambrian carbonates: 3-shelf seas and non-marine environments of the Archean

    SciTech Connect

    Veizer, J. Ruhr Universitaet, Bochum ); Clayton, R.N. ); Hinton, R.W. Grant Institute of Geology, Edinburgh ); von Brunn, V. ); Mason, T.R. ); Buck, S.G. ); Hoefs, J. )

    1990-10-01

    A comprehensive whole-rock study of mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic attributes of Archean carbonates suggests that their lithologies and facies have been controlled by tectonic setting. In the first two papers of this series they have shown that the dominant lithology of sedimentary carbonates in greenstone belt settings is limestone. In this paper the authors suggest that the Archean shelf sequences are mostly dolostone, and the contemporaneous lacustrine playa lakes are characterized by limestone facies. The present study is of the shelf environments of the Archean, represented by the Pongola Supergroup of South Africa and the Hamersley Group of Australia. The lacustrine playa examples have been sampled from the Ventersdorp Supergroup of South Africa and the Fortescue Group of Australia. Geological, trace element, and oxygen isotope considerations of the shelf carbonates suggest that their original mineralogy may have been aragonite and that the Pongola dolostones probably represent a direct dolomitization product of this precursor. In contrast, the stabilization of the Hamersley carbonates may have involved an additional step of transformation of a metastable precursor into limestone prior to dolomitization.

  15. Collaborative Strategy on Bed Bugs

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Collaborative Strategy on Bed Bugs was developed by the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup to clarify the federal role in bed bug control and highlight ways that government, community, academia and private industry can work together on bed bug issues.

  16. Morphology, distribution, and estimated eruption volumes for intracaldera tuffs associated with volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposits in the Archean Sturgeon Lake Caldera Complex, Northwestern Ontario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudak, George J.; Morton, Ronald L.; Franklin, James M.; Peterson, Dean M.

    The Archean Sturgeon Lake Caldera Complex (SLCC) comprises a well-preserved, north-facing homoclinal sequence of greenschist facies metamorphosed intrusive, volcanic, and sedimentary strata. This piecemeal caldera complex is at least 25 km in strike length and contains nearly 3000 meters of dominantly subaqueously deposited intracaldera fill. Episodes of subaerial and subaqueous explosive felsic volcanism produced rhyodacitic to rhyolitic tuffs and lapilli tuffs. Progressing stratigraphically upward, the most voluminous are: a) the High Level Lake Tuff (˜16km3 b) the Mattabi Tuff (˜27km3) and c) the Middle L Tuff (˜7km3). The subaerially erupted, subaerially and locally subaqueously deposited High Level Lake Tuff comprises an 80-300 meter-thick unit composed of basal, poorly sorted, massive to normal graded, quartz-phyric, locally spherulitic tuffs and lapilli tuffs (30—150m thick) that are overlain by thin-bedded tuffs (<1-5m thick). The subaqueously erupted and deposited Mattabi Tuff contains up to thirteen individual flow units, each comprising two distinct depositional facies: a) lower, quartz-phyric, poorly sorted, ungraded, massive tuffs and lapilli tuffs (20-250 meters thick; and b) upper, laminated to medium bedded, typically normal graded tuffs (1-13 meters thick). The subaqueously erupted and deposited Middle L Tuff is also characterized by two distinct lithofacies: a) lower graded, quartz- and, rarely, potassium feldspar-phyric tuffs and lapilli tuffs (5-120m thick); and b) overlying, well-sorted, laminated to thickly bedded, normal graded tuffs (

  17. 2.9-1.9 Ga paleoalterations of Archean granitic basement of the Franceville basin (Gabon)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  18. ARC-2012-ACD12-0043

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-03-19

    The millimeter-scale circles and irregular gray particles in this sample are formerly molten droplets ejected into space when a asteroid hit the Earth 2.63 billion years ago late in the Archean period. Credit: Bruce Simonson, Oberlin College and Conservatory. The sample was cut and polished in Bruce's lab in Ohio, where the photo was taken, but the sample itself came from a spherule bed in Australia. Copyright released with permission for public distribution.

  19. Fluidized bed combustor modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horio, M.; Rengarajan, P.; Krishnan, R.; Wen, C. Y.

    1977-01-01

    A general mathematical model for the prediction of performance of a fluidized bed coal combustor (FBC) is developed. The basic elements of the model consist of: (1) hydrodynamics of gas and solids in the combustor; (2) description of gas and solids contacting pattern; (3) kinetics of combustion; and (4) absorption of SO2 by limestone in the bed. The model is capable of calculating the combustion efficiency, axial bed temperature profile, carbon hold-up in the bed, oxygen and SO2 concentrations in the bubble and emulsion phases, sulfur retention efficiency and particulate carry over by elutriation. The effects of bed geometry, excess air, location of heat transfer coils in the bed, calcium to sulfur ratio in the feeds, etc. are examined. The calculated results are compared with experimental data. Agreement between the calculated results and the observed data are satisfactory in most cases. Recommendations to enhance the accuracy of prediction of the model are suggested.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  2. Late Archean mineralised cyanobacterial mats and their modern analogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

    Abstract Reported are findings of Neoarchean benthic colonial coccoid cyanobacteria preserved as abundant remnants of mineralized capsules and sheaths visible in SEM images as characteristic patterns after etching highly polished carbonate rock platelets. The samples described herein were collected from the Nauga Formation at Prieska (Kaapvaal craton, South Africa). The stratigraphic position of the sampling horizon (Fig. 1) is bracketed by single zircon ages from intercalated tuffs, of 2588±6 Ma and 2549±7Ma [1]. The cyanobacteria-bearing samples are located within sedimentary sequence which begins with Peritidal Member displaying increasingly transgressive character, passing upward into the Chert Member and followed by the Proto-BIF Member and by the Naute Shale Member of the Nauga Formation successively. All three latter members were deposited below the fair weather wave base. As in our previous report [2], the samples are taken from lenses of massive micritic flat pebble conglomerate occurring in otherwise finely laminated siliceous shales intercalating with thin bedded platy limestone. This part of the Nauga Formation is about 30 m thick. The calcareous, cyanobacteria-bearing flat pebble conglomerate and thin intercalations of fine-grained detrital limestones embedded in the clayey sapropel-rich deposits are interpreted as carbonate sediments winnowed during stormy weather from the nearby located peritidal carbonate platform. The mass occurrence and exceptional preservation of mineralised cyanobacterial remains in the micritic carbonate (Mg-calcite) of the redeposited flat pebbles can be explained by their sudden burial in deeper, probably anoxic clay- and sapropel-rich sediments. When examined with standard petrographic optical microscopic technique, the micritic carbonates show rather obscure structure (Fig. 2a), whereas under the SEM, polished and slightly etched platelets of the same samples reveal surprisingly well preserved patterns (Fig. 2b

  3. River bed transport measurements show bed dilation and contraction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2012-04-01

    A new study of bed load transport—the movement of the gravel or other grains on a stream bed—has turned up a previously undetected effect. Marquis and Roy used several different methods to monitor bed load activity in a gravel bed river, Beard Creek in Quebec, Canada. They examined streamfow, bed load, and bed morphology before, during, and after 20 food events. The researchers found that two of the methods—measuring changes in bed topography between successive foods and surveying bed activity—gave inconsistent results. Changes in elevation of the bed did not always correspond to movement of bed load.

  4. The world turns over: Hadean-Archean crust-mantle evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Griffin, W. L.; Belousova, E. A.; O'Neill, C.; O'Reilly, Suzanne Y.; Malkovets, V.; Pearson, N. J.; Spetsius, S.; Wilde, S. A.

    2014-02-01

    We integrate an updated worldwide compilation of U/Pb, Hf-isotope and trace-element data on zircon, and Re-Os model ages on sulfides and alloys in mantle-derived rocks and xenocrysts, to examine patterns of crustal evolution and crust-mantle interaction from 4.5 Ga to 2.4 Ga ago. The data suggest that during the period from 4.5 Ga to ca 3.4 Ga, Earth's crust was essentially stagnant and dominantly mafic in composition. Zircon crystallized mainly from intermediate melts, probably generated both by magmatic differentiation and by impact melting. This quiescent state was broken by pulses of juvenile magmatic activity at ca 4.2 Ga, 3.8 Ga and 3.3-3.4 Ga, which may represent mantle overturns or plume episodes. Between these pulses, there is evidence of reworking and resetting of U-Pb ages (by impact?) but no further generation of new juvenile crust. There is no evidence of plate-tectonic activity, as described for the Phanerozoic Earth, before ca 3.4 Ga, and previous modelling studies indicate that the early Earth may have been characterised by an episodic-overturn, or even stagnant-lid, regime. New thermodynamic modelling confirms that an initially hot Earth could have a stagnant lid for ca 300 Ma, and then would experience a series of massive overturns at intervals on the order of 150 Ma until the end of the EoArchean. The subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) sampled on Earth today did not exist before ca 3.5 Ga. A lull in crustal production around 3.0 Ga coincides with the rapid buildup of a highly depleted, buoyant SCLM, which peaked around 2.7-2.8 Ga; this pattern is consistent with one or more major mantle overturns. The generation of continental crust peaked later in two main pulses at ca 2.75 Ga and 2.5 Ga; the latter episode was larger and had a greater juvenile component. The age/Hf-isotope patterns of the crust generated from 3.0 to 2.4 Ga are similar to those in the internal orogens of the Gondwana supercontinent, and imply the existence of plate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  6. Mass independently fractionated sulfur isotopes reveal recycling of Archean lithosphere in modern oceanic hotspot lavas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Matthew; Cabral, Rita; Rose-Koga, Estelle; Koga, Ken; Whitehouse, Martin; Antonelli, Michael; Farquhar, James; Day, James; Hauri, Erik

    2013-04-01

    Oceanic crust and sediments are introduced to the mantle at subduction zones, but the fate of this subducted material within the mantle, as well as the antiquity of this process, is unknown. The mantle is compositionally and isotopically heterogeneous, and it is thought that much of this heterogeneity derives from incorporation of diverse subducted components—both crustal and oceanic lithosphere—over geologic time. Basaltic lavas erupted at some oceanic hotspot volcanoes have long been considered to be melts of ancient subducted lithosphere. However, compelling evidence for the return of subducted materials in mantle plumes is lacking. We report mass independently fractionated (MIF) S-isotope signatures in olivine-hosted sulfides from 20-million-year-old ocean island basalts (OIBs) from Mangaia, Cook Islands (Polynesia). Terrestrial MIF S-isotope signatures were generated exclusively through atmospheric photochemical reactions until ~2.45 billion years ago. Therefore, the discovery of MIF-S in young OIBs indicates that sulfur—likely derived from hydrothermally-altered oceanic crust—was subducted into the mantle before 2.45 Ga and recycled into the mantle source of Mangaia lavas. These new data provide evidence for ancient materials, with MIF 33S depletions, in the mantle source for Mangaia lavas. An Archean age for recycled oceanic crust provides key constraints on the length of time that subducted crustal material can survive in the mantle and on the timescales of mantle convection from subduction to melting and eruption at plume-fed hotspots. The new S-isotope measurements confirm inferences about the cycling of sulfur between the major reservoirs from the Archean to the Phanerozoic, extending from the atmosphere and oceans to the crust and mantle, and ultimately through a return cycle to the surface that, here, is completed in Mangaia lavas. It remains to be seen whether hotspots lavas sampling different compositional mantle endmembers (e.g., EM1, EM2

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. SQUID–SIMS is a useful approach to uncover primary signals in the Archean sulfur cycle

    PubMed Central

    Fischer, Woodward W.; Fike, David A.; Johnson, Jena E.; Raub, Timothy D.; Guan, Yunbin; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Eiler, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Many aspects of Earth’s early sulfur cycle, from the origin of mass-anomalous fractionations to the degree of biological participation, remain poorly understood—in part due to complications from postdepositional diagenetic and metamorphic processes. Using a combination of scanning high-resolution magnetic superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) of sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, and 34S), we examined drill core samples from slope and basinal environments adjacent to a major Late Archean (∼2.6–2.5 Ga) marine carbonate platform from South Africa. Coupled with petrography, these techniques can untangle the complex history of mineralization in samples containing diverse sulfur-bearing phases. We focused on pyrite nodules, precipitated in shallow sediments. These textures record systematic spatial differences in both mass-dependent and mass-anomalous sulfur-isotopic composition over length scales of even a few hundred microns. Petrography and magnetic imaging demonstrate that mass-anomalous fractionations were acquired before burial and compaction, but also show evidence of postdepositional alteration 500 million y after deposition. Using magnetic imaging to screen for primary phases, we observed large spatial gradients in Δ33S (>4‰) in nodules, pointing to substantial environmental heterogeneity and dynamic mixing of sulfur pools on geologically rapid timescales. In other nodules, large systematic radial δ34S gradients (>20‰) were observed, from low values near their centers increasing to high values near their rims. These fractionations support hypotheses that microbial sulfate reduction was an important metabolism in organic-rich Archean environments—even in an Archean ocean basin dominated by iron chemistry. PMID:24706767

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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) with small Vp/Vs ratios ( 1.70) in the Glenburgh terrane, compared with the thickened (>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.

  11. SQUID-SIMS is a useful approach to uncover primary signals in the Archean sulfur cycle.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Woodward W; Fike, David A; Johnson, Jena E; Raub, Timothy D; Guan, Yunbin; Kirschvink, Joseph L; Eiler, John M

    2014-04-15

    Many aspects of Earth's early sulfur cycle, from the origin of mass-anomalous fractionations to the degree of biological participation, remain poorly understood--in part due to complications from postdepositional diagenetic and metamorphic processes. Using a combination of scanning high-resolution magnetic superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) of sulfur isotopes ((32)S, (33)S, and (34)S), we examined drill core samples from slope and basinal environments adjacent to a major Late Archean (∼2.6-2.5 Ga) marine carbonate platform from South Africa. Coupled with petrography, these techniques can untangle the complex history of mineralization in samples containing diverse sulfur-bearing phases. We focused on pyrite nodules, precipitated in shallow sediments. These textures record systematic spatial differences in both mass-dependent and mass-anomalous sulfur-isotopic composition over length scales of even a few hundred microns. Petrography and magnetic imaging demonstrate that mass-anomalous fractionations were acquired before burial and compaction, but also show evidence of postdepositional alteration 500 million y after deposition. Using magnetic imaging to screen for primary phases, we observed large spatial gradients in Δ(33)S (>4‰) in nodules, pointing to substantial environmental heterogeneity and dynamic mixing of sulfur pools on geologically rapid timescales. In other nodules, large systematic radial δ(34)S gradients (>20‰) were observed, from low values near their centers increasing to high values near their rims. These fractionations support hypotheses that microbial sulfate reduction was an important metabolism in organic-rich Archean environments--even in an Archean ocean basin dominated by iron chemistry.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  13. SQUID-SIMS is a useful approach to uncover primary signals in the Archean sulfur cycle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Woodward W.; Fike, David A.; Johnson, Jena E.; Raub, Timothy D.; Guan, Yunbin; Kirschvink, Joseph L.; Eiler, John M.

    2014-04-01

    Many aspects of Earth's early sulfur cycle, from the origin of mass-anomalous fractionations to the degree of biological participation, remain poorly understood-in part due to complications from postdepositional diagenetic and metamorphic processes. Using a combination of scanning high-resolution magnetic superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) of sulfur isotopes (32S, 33S, and 34S), we examined drill core samples from slope and basinal environments adjacent to a major Late Archean (∼2.6-2.5 Ga) marine carbonate platform from South Africa. Coupled with petrography, these techniques can untangle the complex history of mineralization in samples containing diverse sulfur-bearing phases. We focused on pyrite nodules, precipitated in shallow sediments. These textures record systematic spatial differences in both mass-dependent and mass-anomalous sulfur-isotopic composition over length scales of even a few hundred microns. Petrography and magnetic imaging demonstrate that mass-anomalous fractionations were acquired before burial and compaction, but also show evidence of postdepositional alteration 500 million y after deposition. Using magnetic imaging to screen for primary phases, we observed large spatial gradients in Δ33S (>4‰) in nodules, pointing to substantial environmental heterogeneity and dynamic mixing of sulfur pools on geologically rapid timescales. In other nodules, large systematic radial δ34S gradients (>20‰) were observed, from low values near their centers increasing to high values near their rims. These fractionations support hypotheses that microbial sulfate reduction was an important metabolism in organic-rich Archean environments-even in an Archean ocean basin dominated by iron chemistry.

  14. Vanadium in peridotites, mantle redox and tectonic environments: Archean to present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canil, Dante

    2002-01-01

    New measurements of partition of vanadium (V) between spinel, garnet and a pigeonite-like high pressure ( P) pyroxene and magnesian liquids on the mantle solidus as a function of oxygen fugacity (fO 2) are presented. The spinel-liquid experiments show an effect of Cr/Al in spinel on partitioning, and further suggest that V exists as V 3+, V 4+ and V 5+ in melts at terrestrial fO 2. Vanadium is mildly incompatible in both 'pigeonitic' pyroxene and garnet between 4.5 and 6.5 GPa on the mantle solidus. Analysis of the fO 2-sensitive partitioning for V between mantle minerals and melts are combined with compositional data from peridotite melting experiments to model the covariation of V and Al in peridotite residues produced by non-modal, fractional melting under different fO 2 from 1.0 to 7.0 GPa. The partial melting models at 1.0 to 3.0 GPa fit the covariation of V and Al in abyssal peridotites quite well at fO 2s similar to those of mid-ocean ridge basalt. Many orogenic massifs and spinel lherzolite xenoliths represent mantle that formed at fO 2 higher than that produced at mid-ocean ridges in a range of tectonic environments. A large proportion of spinel-facies Archean cratonic lithosphere formed at fO 2s significantly higher than those of abyssal peridotites possibly linking its formation to a convergent margin (arc) tectonic setting. The case for garnet-facies cratonic mantle is equivocal; it may have formed at significantly higher pressures (7.0 GPa), or within the spinel-facies at lower pressures but at significantly higher fO 2 than is observed for abyssal peridotites. The imbrication of both oceanic garnet-facies mantle with spinel-facies arc mantle may explain the datasets for some Archean cratons. Overall, the data for Archean mantle melts and residues make clear that models cannot look to reduced, mantle-derived volcanic gases containing H 2 and CO to engender early life synthesis, or to promote hydrogen escape and gradual oxygenation of the Archean earth

  15. Multiple sulfur isotope geochemistry of Dharwar Supergroup, Southern India: Late Archean record of changing atmospheric chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishima, Kaoru; Yamazaki, Rie; Satish-Kumar, Madhusoodhan; Ueno, Yuichiro; Hokada, Tomokazu; Toyoshima, Tsuyoshi

    2017-04-01

    Earth's tectonic and climatic systems may have changed fundamentally before the Great Oxidation Event (GOE) at about 2.3 Ga. Sulfur Mass Independent Fractionation (S-MIF) has demonstrated that Earth's atmosphere was virtually oxygen-free before the GOE. During 3.0 to 2.4 Ga, the change in Δ33S and Δ36S signals may reflect the perturbation of atmospheric chemistry, though the mechanisms of the change are uncertain. Here, we reported multiple sulfur isotopic studies of Archean volcano-sedimentary sequences of the Dharwar Supergroup, distributed in the Chitradurga Schist Belt (CSB), Southern India. New field mapping and zircon U-Pb dating allows us to reconstruct detailed lithostratigraphy of the Dharwar Supergroup. The lower unit consists of post-3.0 Ga conglomerate, stromatolitic carbonate, siliciclastics with diamictite, chert/BIF and pillowed basalt in ascending order, all of which are older than the 2676 Ma dacite dyke that had intruded into the lower unit. The upper unit unconformably overlies the pillow basalts at the top of the lower unit, and consists of conglomerate/sandstone with ∼2600 Ma detrital zircons, komatiitic basalt, BIF and siliciclastic sequence with mafic volcanics. Sulfur isotope analysis of extracted sulfides shows MIF signals (Δ33S > + 1 ‰) with clear Δ33S- Δ36S correlations. The lower group of the Dharwar Supergroup shows a Δ36S / Δ33S slope of -1.48, the middle group shows -1.16 and -1.07, and the upper group shows -0.94. Reassessment of all the Archean S-MIF records from sedimentary rocks indicates that the Δ36S / Δ33S slope systematically changed during the Archean period. The observed trend in the Indian section is similar to those of its Pilbara-Kaapvaal equivalents, thus it could reflect a global atmospheric signature. Moreover, the isotopic trend seems to correlate with mid-Archean glaciation. Thus, the Δ36S / Δ33S slope could be a useful tracer for atmospheric chemistry and its link with climate change before the GOE.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  17. Fragments of the Archean Mantle in Ultramafic Dykes From Wawa, Ontario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morissette, C. L.; Francis, D.

    2004-05-01

    The Wawa area of the Superior Province possesses numerous ultramafic dykes of Archean age that contain ultramafic nodules potentially representing samples of Archean mantle. Three different types of dykes can be distinguished, each of which hosts its own suite of xenoliths. The Sandor and BandOre dykes, located north of Wawa, exhibit overall compositional similarities with Phanerozoic shoshonite / minette suites. They are characterised by high Al2O3 and K2O contents, and are rich in biotite and chlorite. These two dykes contain rounded nodules, ranging in size from about 5 to 60 cm, composed mostly of actinolite and tremolite, which are interpreted to have been pyroxenites. They are ultrabasic to basic in composition, ranging in SiO2 from 43 to 55 wt%, have orthopyroxene / clinopyroxene ratios of approximately 1:1, and MgOs ranging from 80 to 88. Some xenoliths, however, have significantly high Al content (>11 wt%), and could very well represent recrystallized fragments of the host minette, or other gabbroic protolith. The second type of Archean dykes, located east of Wawa near Dalton, is more similar in composition to Group-II kimberlites. They are characterised by low Al2O3, but high SiO2 contents, and are composed of chlorite, serpentine and feldspar as the dominant mineral phases. This matrix hosts olivine pyroxenite xenoliths with orthopyroxene / clinopyroxene proportions of 2:1. The presence of a poikilitic texture and the vestiges of zoning in pseudomorphs after clinopyroxene indicates they were cumulates. Another nearby dyke is also similar in composition to type II kimberlites, but richer in SiO2. This dyke has feldspar, amphibole and serpentine as its dominant minerals and hosts ultramafic xenoliths that have almost completely been altered to serpentine, though some fresh olivine relicts remain. These xenoliths have the normative mineralogy of highly depleted harzburgite (<1.5 wt.% Al2O3) with MgOs between 88 and 93. A small variation in Ni compared to

  18. Isotopic Constraints on Processes of Mantle Recycling (Subduction?) in the Hadean and Archean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirey, S. B.; Basu, A. R.; Kamber, B.; Mueller, P. A.; Whitehouse, M.

    2006-12-01

    The earliest evidence for subduction and its effects on the Hadean and Archean Earth can be found in the isotopic signatures of recycling in Archean igneous and metasedimentary rocks. The separation of an early terrestrial reservoir from the upper mantle shown by ^{142}Nd isotope data (Boyet & Carlson, Science, 2005) obviates the need for massive extraction and recycling of early continental crust (Armstrong, Phil Trans A, 1981) to explain the depleted mantle. Without extensive continents, an intra-oceanic-arc type of recycling process dominated the evolution of the early mantle. When continental crustal recycling did occur, it appears limited to the margins of emergent and juvenile continental nuclei. Intra-oceanic arc recycling has long been supported by geochemical studies of present mantle heterogeneity that show it represents ancient (>3 Ga) recycled components and geodynamic studies of mantle convection that show the mantle can remain poorly mixed at these time scales. Such studies cannot readily distinguish Hadean to Eoarchean foundering from true plate subduction. However, ^{142}Nd excesses (Caro et al, GCA 2006) and Pb isotopic variability in Eoarchean rocks (Kamber et al, CMP 2003), Hf isotopic variability in Hadean zircon (Harrison et al, Science 2005) and a solar component in mantle rare gases (Tolsthikin and Hofmann, PEPI 2005) require long term isolation of a mafic Hadean crust incompatible with a dynamic process of plate destruction accompanied by efficient return. In contrast to this oldest record, minerals and rocks from <3.6 Ga no longer show extreme heterogeneity in Hf and Pb isotopes and the ^{142}Nd excess in highly depleted mantle had apparently disappeared. Subduction can be strongly inferred from surficial isotopic signatures in crustal and mantle rocks and minerals preserved in the Paleo- to Meso-Archean portions of various continents and their lithospheric mantle keels: 3.5 Ga old diamonds from the Slave craton mantle lithosphere that

  19. Climatic impact of spectrally resolved irradiances during the late Archean as modeled with EMAC-FUB

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunze, M.; Langematz, U.; Godolt, M.; Hamann-Reinus, A.; Rauer, H.; Joeckel, P.

    2011-12-01

    During the Archean eon the surface temperatures of the Earth are assumed to have been high enough to support liquid water, despite a lower luminosity of the young Sun. This fact, known as the faint young Sun paradox, can be explained by assuming higher concentrations of greenhouse gases during the early stages of the Earth. But there is still an ongoing debate about the possible range of greenhouse gas concentrations that are consistent with the geologic evidence. We present a study in which we investigate this problem using the Chemistry Climate model EMAC (ECHAM/MESSy Atmospheric Chemistry) in a resolution of T42/L39 with the high-resolution shortwave radiation scheme FUBRad (EMAC-FUB). We are using a constructed, spectrally resolved irradiance dataset valid for the Archean Sun, and analyze the climatic impact of the reduced solar luminosity, an anoxic environment, an increased CO2 concentration, and the different land mass. In total six simulations have been performed, where two simulations only differ by the O2 and O3 content and otherwise have present day conditions. Four simulations use a global ocean, as the distribution and fraction of the continents are highly uncertain during the Archean, and anoxic conditions. Three simulations use a reduced solar luminosity, where two CO2 scenarios are tested (3 ± PAL and 10 ± PAL). As proxy for the early Sun during the late Archean at 2.5 Ga (109 years ago) we take the dwarf star β Com. The spectrally resolved irradiances are compiled from measurements and modeled data, and scaled to a total solar irradiance (TSI) of 82 % the present TSI (i.e. 1121 W m-2). We show that in an anoxic environment with reduced solar luminosity at 2.5 Ga, a global ocean, and present day greenhouse gases, it is still possible to have liquid water in tropical latitudes, even though the global, annual mean surface temperature is below the freezing point of water. When the CO2 concentration is increased, the region of open water widens. The

  20. The western Wabigoon Subprovince, Superior Province, Canada: Archean greenstone succession in rifted basement complex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, G. R.; Davis, D. W.

    1986-01-01

    The Wabigoon Subprovince, interposed between the predominantly metasedimentary-plutonic and gneissic English River and Quetico Subprovinces to the north and south respectively, exposed Archean greenstone and granitoid rocks for a strike length of greater than 700 km. Based on predominating rock types, the western part of the subprovince is divided into two terrains: the northern Wabigoon volcano-sedimentary and pluonic terrain (NWW) and the Wabigoon Diapiric Axis terrain (WDA). Both the NWW and WDA are described according to volcanic sequence, geological faults, chemical composition and evolutionary history.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 <10-5 present atmospheric O2).2 As a result, it is difficult to quantify O2 concentrations implied by observed trace metal variations. As a first step toward providing more quantitative constraints on late Archean pO2, we conducted laboratory studies of pyrite and molybdenite oxidation kinetics at the nanomolar O2 concentrations that are relevant to late Archean environments. These measurements were made using recently developed, highly sensitive optical O2 sensors to monitor the rates at which the powdered minerals 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 <1 nM O2 (4 x 10-6 present atmospheric O2). This implies that oxidative weathering of sulfides could occur under conditions which preserve MIF S fractionation. Furthermore, our results indicate that the rate law and reaction order of pyrite oxidation kinetics change significantly at nanomolar concentrations of O2 when compared to previous compilations.2 Our

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  3. Reconciling "Whiffs" of O2 with the Archean MIF S Record: Insights from Sulfide Oxidation Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

    The Archean-Proterozoic transition is marked by the first appreciable accumulation of O2 in Earth's oceans and atmosphere at 2.4 billion years ago (Ga). However, this Great Oxidation Event (GOE) is not the first evidence for O2 in Earth's surface environment. Paleoredox proxies preserved in ancient marine shales (Mo, Cr, Re, U) suggest transient episodes of oxidative weathering before the GOE, perhaps as early as 3.0 Ga. One marine shale in particular, the 2.5 Ga Mount McRae Shale of Western Australia, contains a euxinic interval with Mo enrichments up to 50 ppm. This enrichment is classically interpreted as the result of oxidative weathering of sulfides on the continental surface. However, prior weathering models based on experiments suggested that sulfides require large amounts of O2 [>10-4 present atmospheric level (PAL) pO2] to produce this weathering signature, in conflict with estimates of Archean pO2 from non-mass-dependent (NMD) sulfur isotope anomalies (<10-5 PAL pO2). To reconcile these datasets, we conducted aqueous oxidation experiments of pyrite and molybdenite from 3 - 700 nM O2 (equivalent at equilibrium to 10-5 - 10-3 PAL) to measure oxidation kinetics as a function of the concentration of dissolved O2. We measured rates by injecting oxygenated water at a steady flow rate and monitoring dissolved O2 concentrations with LUMOS sensors. Our data extend the O2 range explored in pyrite oxidation experiments by three orders of magnitude and provide the first rates for molybdenite oxidation at O2 concentrations potentially analogous to those characteristic of the Archean atmosphere. Our results show that pyrite and molybdenite oxidize significantly more rapidly at lower O2 levels than previously thought. As a result, our revised weathering model demonstrates that the Mo enrichments observed in late Archean marine shales are potentially attainable at extremely low atmospheric pO2 values (e.g., <10-5 PAL), reconciling large sedimentary Mo enrichments with co

  4. Pale Orange Dots: Hazy Archean Earth as an Analog for Hazy Earthlike Exoplanets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arney, Giada; Domagal-Goldman, Shawn; Meadows, Victoria S.; Claire, Mark; Schwieterman, Edward

    2014-11-01

    Of the four terrestrial worlds with significant atmospheres in our solar system - Venus, Earth, Mars, and Titan - two of these worlds are presently enshrouded by hazes, and observations suggest that hazy exoplanets are also common (Bean et al. 2010, Sing et al. 2011, Kreidberg et al 2014, Knutson et al. 2014). The early (Archean) Earth may have had a photochemical hydrocarbon haze similar to Titan's (Zerkle et al. 2012), with important climactic effects (Pavlov et al. 2001, Trainer et al. 2006, Haqq-Misra et al. 2008, Domagal-Goldman et al. 2008, Wolf and Toon 2012). Here, we considered Archean Earth as an analog for hazy Earthlike exoplanets and used a modified version of the 1-D photochemical code developed originally by Kasting et al. (1979) to generate model Archean atmospheres with fractal hydrocarbon haze particles. A 1-D line-by-line fully multiple scattering radiative transfer model (Meadows and Crisp 1996) was then used to generate synthetic spectra of early Earth with haze. We have used the resulting synthetic spectra to examine the effect of haze on the detectability of putative biosignatures and the Rayleigh scattering slope, which has been suggested as a means for constraining atmospheric pressure (Benneke and Seager 2012). We also examined haze's impact on the spectral energy distribution reaching the planetary surface. Because the atmospheric pressure and haze particle composition of the Archean Earth are poorly constrained, and because exoplanets will occupy a range of parameter space, we tested the influence of atmospheric pressure and particle density on haze formation, and explored how various particle size distributions affect the spectrum. We find that haze strongly affects the spectral region of the Rayleigh slope, a change detectable at low spectral resolution that impacts the ability to constrain pressure with Rayleigh scattering. The spectral energy distribution at the surface is modulated by haze thickness and the assumed particle size

  5. The Preservation of Meso- Archean Refractory Lithospheric Mantle Underneath the Eastern Margin of the Tanzania Craton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shu, Q.; Liu, J.; Pearson, G. D.; Gibson, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    Numerous studies on the petrology and geochemistry of peridotite xenoliths from the Tanzanian Craton and its rifted margins have investigated the origin, chemical change and thermal state of the cratonic roots from its core area (Nzega and Mwadui), its Northern (Marsabit) and Eastern margin Labait and Lashaine area (e.g. Dawson, 1964; Henjes-Kunst and Altherr, 1991; Lee & Rudnick, 1999; Chesley et al., 1999; Gibson et al., 2013). These studies suggest that the Tanzanian cratonic mantle formed via high degrees of melt extraction in the Archean (oldest Re-depletion age TRD = 3.4 Ga, Burton et al., 2000) and sev­eral episodes of refertilization. In order to gain further temporal and chemical understanding on the effects of tectonic processes on cratonic roots, we carried out a Re-Os isotopic study on peridotites (n = 11) from Lashaine, which will be followed by Lu-Hf, Sm-Nd and Sr isotope investigations of the constituent minerals of the same samples. The preliminary whole-rock Os isotope data from Lashaine peridotites show a large range of 187Os/188Os (0.1061 - 0.1261), with TRD ages from Meso-Archean to very young (3.1 Ga to 0.3 Ga). There is a negative correlation between TRD and bulk alumina contents. One sample with the lowest Al2O3 yields the oldest age of 3.1 Ga. Five samples range from 2.5 to 2.8 Ga, three give ages close to 2 Ga, and one sample with a high Al2O3 has a TRD at 0.3 Ga. The positive Al2O3-187Os/188Os correlation trend passes above the PM composition may reflect ancient metasomatism by high Re/Os melts or recent metasomatism by very radiogenic Os plume-derived melts. These processes could be related to the evolution of the peripheral Proterozoic mobile belts, or Cenozoic rifting on the Eastern margin. Collectively, our new Os isotope data demonstrate that Meso-Archean (at least 3.1 Ga old) mantle portions are still retained underneath the rifted Eastern margin of the Craton. This is in line with previous results indicating that Archean cratonic

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  7. Recombination reactions as a possible mechanism of mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in the Archean atmosphere of Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babikov, Dmitri

    2017-03-01

    A hierarchy of isotopically substituted recombination reactions is formulated for production of sulfur allotropes in the anoxic atmosphere of Archean Earth. The corresponding system of kinetics equations is solved analytically to obtain concise expressions for isotopic enrichments, with focus on mass-independent isotope effects due to symmetry, ignoring smaller mass-dependent effects. Proper inclusion of atom-exchange processes is shown to be important. This model predicts significant and equal depletions driven by reaction stoichiometry for all rare isotopes: 33S, 34S, and 36S. Interestingly, the ratio of capital ΔΔ values obtained within this model for 33S and 36S is -1.16, very close to the mass-independent fractionation line of the Archean rock record. This model may finally offer a mechanistic explanation for the striking mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes that took place in the Archean atmosphere of Earth.

  8. Recombination reactions as a possible mechanism of mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in the Archean atmosphere of Earth

    PubMed Central

    Babikov, Dmitri

    2017-01-01

    A hierarchy of isotopically substituted recombination reactions is formulated for production of sulfur allotropes in the anoxic atmosphere of Archean Earth. The corresponding system of kinetics equations is solved analytically to obtain concise expressions for isotopic enrichments, with focus on mass-independent isotope effects due to symmetry, ignoring smaller mass-dependent effects. Proper inclusion of atom-exchange processes is shown to be important. This model predicts significant and equal depletions driven by reaction stoichiometry for all rare isotopes: 33S, 34S, and 36S. Interestingly, the ratio of capital Δ values obtained within this model for 33S and 36S is −1.16, very close to the mass-independent fractionation line of the Archean rock record. This model may finally offer a mechanistic explanation for the striking mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes that took place in the Archean atmosphere of Earth. PMID:28258172

  9. Recombination reactions as a possible mechanism of mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in the Archean atmosphere of Earth.

    PubMed

    Babikov, Dmitri

    2017-03-21

    A hierarchy of isotopically substituted recombination reactions is formulated for production of sulfur allotropes in the anoxic atmosphere of Archean Earth. The corresponding system of kinetics equations is solved analytically to obtain concise expressions for isotopic enrichments, with focus on mass-independent isotope effects due to symmetry, ignoring smaller mass-dependent effects. Proper inclusion of atom-exchange processes is shown to be important. This model predicts significant and equal depletions driven by reaction stoichiometry for all rare isotopes: (33)S, (34)S, and (36)S. Interestingly, the ratio of capital [Formula: see text] values obtained within this model for (33)S and (36)S is -1.16, very close to the mass-independent fractionation line of the Archean rock record. This model may finally offer a mechanistic explanation for the striking mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes that took place in the Archean atmosphere of Earth.

  10. Did the character of subduction change at the end of the Archean? Constraints from convergent-margin granitoids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Condie, Kent C.

    2008-08-01

    Large ion lithophile and high field strength element distributionsin juvenile upper continental crust are controlled chiefly bythe abundance of tonalite-trondhjemite-granodiorite (TTG) inthe Archean shifting to a combination of TTG, calc-alkalinegranitoid, and graywacke control thereafter. Geochemical differencesbetween TTG and high-silica adakites do not require productionof most TTG magmas in descending slabs. Changes in the ratioof TTG to calc-alkaline granitoids after 2.5 Ga indicate thatArchean subduction zones must have differed from younger subductionzones in two very important ways: (1) a deep mafic crust servedas a TTG magma source (either as thickened crust or in descendingslabs), and (2) they did not give rise to significant volumesof calc-alkaline magma. Thickened mafic crust in the Late Archeanmay have resulted from plate jams in subduction zones causedby thicker oceanic crust and oceanic plateaus produced duringLate Archean mantle thermal events.

  11. Niobium-enriched basalts from the Wabigoon subprovince, Canada: evidence for adakitic metasomatism above an Archean subduction zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyman, D. A.; Ayer, J. A.; Devaney, J. R.

    2000-06-01

    Late Archean niobium-enriched basalts from the Central Sturgeon Lake assemblage and Neepawa group of the western Wabigoon subprovince have mantle-normalized Nb/La between 0.8 and 1.3 and Zr/Y between 4 and 7. They are compositionally similar to basalts attributed to adakite metasomatism of mantle wedge regions in Cenozoic subduction zones [Sajona et al., J. Petrol. 37 (1996) 693-726]. In detail, their Sc-REE systematics suggest the Archean basalts were generated above the garnet stability field. An association with adakite-like volcanic rocks, an absence of komatiites and the arc-like attributes of their host sequences suggest a subduction-related origin for the basalts. If current models of adakite and Niobium-enriched basalt genesis are valid, then additional examples of these rocks should be relatively common in other Archean greenstone belts.

  12. New Constraints on the Extent of Paleoproterozoic and Archean Basement in the Northwest U.S. Cordillera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brewer, R. A.; Vervoort, J.; Lewis, R. S.; Gaschnig, R. M.; Hart, G.

    2008-12-01

    The Laurentian basement west of the Wyoming craton in southwest Montana and northern Idaho has been interpreted as a collage of Archean and Proterozoic terranes which accreted to the North American craton and incorporated into Laurentia at ~ 1.86 Ga [1]. This basement and the geometry of the Archean and Proterozoic crust are poorly understood due to coverage by metasediments of the Belt-Purcell Supergroup and are further obscured by Mesozoic magmatism (Idaho Batholith, sensu lato). Exposures of the basement are rare but have been documented in a few regions including the Priest River Complex in northern Idaho and the Sevier fold and thrust belt just northwest of the Wyoming craton in the Great Falls tectonic zone (Foster et al. 2006). New ages and isotopic data from orthogneisses in north-central Idaho provide evidence for previously undocumented exposures of both Paleoproterozoic and Archean basement that may place important constraints on the reconstruction of Laurentia and its tectonic setting. The orthogneisses analyzed in this study (all previously mapped as deformed Cretaceous plutons) fall into two distinct age groups of 1.86 Ga and 2.67 Ga. The zircons from both the Archean and Proterozoic rocks have simple systematics. The zircons from three Archean samples have ɛHf(i) values of 2.4 ± 2.1, 3.8 ± 1.8, and 5.2 ± 3.5 (average values based on 6 individual zircon Hf analyses per sample). Zircons from the Paleoproterozoic gneisses have different but internally consistent ɛHf(i) values of -8.0 ± 0.9 and -0.6 ± 1.4. In contrast, both Hf and Nd whole rock data are highly scattered in these samples especially in the Archean samples in which ɛHf(i) varies from -25 to +21 and ɛNd(i) varies from -8 to +11. These extreme values are implausible for initial compositions and indicate open system behavior in both Lu-Hf and Sm-Nd in the whole rocks. The zircons, in contrast, appear to be closed to significant Hf mobility on the scale of the laser analyses. The data

  13. Archean inheritance in zircon from late Paleozoic granites from the Avalon zone of southeastern New England: an African connection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zartman, R.E.; Don, Hermes O.

    1987-01-01

    In southeastern New England the Narragansett Pier Granite locally intrudes Carboniferous metasedimentary rocks of the Narragansett basin, and yields a monazite UPb Permian emplacement age of 273 ?? 2 Ma. Zircon from the Narragansett Pier Granite contains a minor but detectable amount of an older, inherited component, and shows modern loss of lead. Zircon from the late-stage, aplitic Westerly Granite exhibits a more pronounced lead inheritance -permitting the inherited component to be identified as Late Archean. Such old relict zircon has not been previously recognized in Proterozoic to Paleozoic igneous rocks in New England, and may be restricted to late Paleozoic rocks of the Avalon zone. We suggest that the Archean crustal component reflects an African connection, in which old Archean crust was underplated to the Avalon zone microplate in the late Paleozoic during collision of Gondwanaland with Avalonia. ?? 1987.

  14. Fluidized bed calciner apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Owen, Thomas J.; Klem, Jr., Michael J.; Cash, Robert J.

    1988-01-01

    An apparatus for remotely calcining a slurry or solution feed stream of toxic or hazardous material, such as ammonium diurante slurry or uranyl nitrate solution, is disclosed. The calcining apparatus includes a vertical substantially cylindrical inner shell disposed in a vertical substantially cylindrical outer shell, in which inner shell is disposed a fluidized bed comprising the feed stream material to be calcined and spherical beads to aid in heat transfer. Extending through the outer and inner shells is a feed nozzle for delivering feed material or a cleaning chemical to the beads. Disposed in and extending across the lower portion of the inner shell and upstream of the fluidized bed is a support member for supporting the fluidized bed, the support member having uniform slots for directing uniform gas flow to the fluidized bed from a fluidizing gas orifice disposed upstream of the support member. Disposed in the lower portion of the inner shell are a plurality of internal electric resistance heaters for heating the fluidized bed. Disposed circumferentially about the outside length of the inner shell are a plurality of external heaters for heating the inner shell thereby heating the fluidized bed. Further, connected to the internal and external heaters is a means for maintaining the fluidized bed temperature to within plus or minus approximately 25.degree. C. of a predetermined bed temperature. Disposed about the external heaters is the outer shell for providing radiative heat reflection back to the inner shell.

  15. Fluidized-bed boilers

    SciTech Connect

    Makansi, J.; Schwieger, B.

    1982-08-01

    This report reviews the current state of atmospheric fluidized-bed combustion. The fundamentals of fluidized-bed combustion and design considerations are first discussed. Tables provide details of manufacturers, worldwide, and of the boilers now installed. Eight plants in various countries and burning a variety of fuels, are described more fully.

  16. Bed Bugs FAQs

    MedlinePlus

    ... allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and stay there for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place as people travel. The bed bugs travel in the seams and ...

  17. Nanodiamonds and Carbon Spherules from Tunguska, the K/T Boundary, and the Younger Dryas Boundary Layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittke, J. H.; Bunch, T. E.; West, A.; Kennett, J.; Kennett, D. J.; Howard, G. A.

    2009-12-01

    More than a dozen markers, including nanodiamonds (NDs) and carbon spherules (CS), occur in a sedimentary layer marking the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) cooling episode at ~12.9 ka. This boundary layer, called the YDB, has been found at nearly forty locations across North America, Europe, and Asia, although not all markers are present at any given site. Firestone et al. (2007) and Kennett et al. (2008, 2009) proposed that these markers resulted from a cosmic impact/airburst and impact-related biomass burning. Here we report features common to the YDB event, the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) impact, and the Tunguska airburst of 1908. In sediments attributed to each event, we and other researchers have recovered NDs either inside or closely associated with CS, which appear to be the high-temperature by-products of biomass burning. CS range in diameter from about 500 nanometers to 4 millimeters with a mean of ~100 microns, and they typically contain NDs, including lonsdaleite (hexagonal diamonds), in the interior matrix and in the crust. To date, CS and NDs have been found in the K/T layer in the United States, Spain, and New Zealand. Similarly, CS and NDs have been found in the YDB layer in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Thus far, every site examined contains NDs and/or CS in the K/T and YDB layers; conversely, we have yet to detect CS associated with NDs in any non-YDB sediments tested. Five allotropes of NDs have been identified in association with CS: cubic diamonds, lonsdaleite, n-diamonds, p-diamonds, and i-carbon, which are differentiated by slight variations in their crystalline structure. All allotropes have been identified using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution electron microscopy (HREM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with confirmation by selected area diffraction (SAED). Lonsdaleite is found on Earth only in three instances: (1) in the laboratory, where it is produced

  18. Hydrogeologic and water-quality characteristics of the crystalline-rock aquifers of Archean and Proterozoic age, Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, H.W.

    1986-01-01

    Five aquifers in crystalline rocks of Archean and Proterozoic age in Minnesota include in descending order the North Shore Volcanic, Sioux Quartzite, Proterozoic metasedimentary, Biwabik Iron formation and undifferentiated Precambrian aquifers. The North Shore Volcanic aquifer generally yields < 15 gal/min to wells from interflow sediments and fractures in the basaltic lava flows along the northern shore of Lake Superior and along the upper St. Croix River. Dissolved solids concentrations range from 91 to 74,300 mg/L, and the water is of several chemical types. The Sioux Quartzite aquifer yields from 1 to 450 gal/min to wells open to joints and fractures and loose sand zones in the predominantly pink orthoquartzite in southwestern Minnesota. Dissolved solids concentrations range from 237 mg/L in water from wells in outcrop areas to 2,300 mg/L from wells where the Sioux Quartzite aquifer underlies Cretaceous rocks or thick Des Moines drift. The water generally is a calcium sulfate type. The Proterozoic metasedimentary aquifer generally yields < 20 gal/min to wells in weathered regolith and fractures in thin-bedded gray to black argillite in north-central Minnesota. Dissolved solids concentrations generally range from 126 to 340 mg/L, and the water is a calcium magnesium bicarbonate type. The Biwabik Iron formation aquifer yields 1,000 gal/min to wells in leached zones in the ferruginous chert and interbedded hematite and magnitite iron ore in north-central Minnesota. Dissolved solids range from 157 to 388 mg/L in water that is a calcium magnesium bicarbonate type. The undifferentiated Precambrian aquifer generally yields < 25 gal/min to wells from fractures and the weathered regolith developed on a variety of crystalline-rock types. Wells have been developed in parts of the aquifer throughout the State except in the southeast where it is too deeply buried. Dissolved solids concentrations average < 400 mg/L in central and northeastern Minnesota, but average about 700

  19. Nickel isotope abundances of type I deep-sea spheres and of iron-nickel spherules from sediments in Alberta, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, S.; Herzog, G. F.; Hall, G. S.; Bi, D.; Brownlee, D. E.

    1995-12-01

    Nickel isotope abundances were measured by ICP-MS in twenty-one whole, type I deep-sea spheres, in Ni-rich cores and oxide shells separated from three others, and in Fe-Ni alloy spherules from Alberta, Canada. The nickel isotopes in the whole deep-sea spheres are mass fractionated from 0.4 to 2.4%/ AMU. These: values correspond to open system vaporization losses of Ni as high as 94% (relative). The degree of mass fractionation correlates well with bulk nickel content in most cases. Taken together with published iron isotope data, the nickel isotope results indicate a pre-loss Fe/Ni ratio of about 12 for many spheres. Similar ratios are observed in the following types of meteoritic material: EL-chondrite metal; IA, IIE, IIIA, and IVA iron meteorites; and metal from pallasites and mesosiderites. Metal cores separated from three deep-sea spheres contain between 40 and 52% Ni, with mass fractionations ranging from undetectable to a high of 0.8%/AMU. Within experimental error, the degree of Ni mass fractionation in each oxide shell was the same as that in the corresponding core. No mass-dependent isotopic fractionation of nickel was observed in Ni-rich spherules recovered from Alberta sands of Pleistocene age. In general, Ni-rich samples have low degrees of isotopic fractionation which suggests that the most rapid vaporization of Ni occurs when both Fe and Ni have been oxidized.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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).

  2. Particle size variations between bed load and bed material in natural gravel bed channels

    Treesearch

    Thomas E. Lisle

    1995-01-01

    Abstract - Particle sizes of bed load and bed material that represent materials transported and stored over a period of years are used to investigate selective transport in 13 previously sampled, natural gravel bed channels. The ratio (D*) of median particle size of bed material to the transport- and frequency-weighted mean of median bed load size decreases to unity...

  3. How to Find Bed Bugs

    MedlinePlus

    ... or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed. Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug ... to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding. Common bed bugs are ...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  6. Evidence for reactive reduced phosphorus species in the early Archean ocean.

    PubMed

    Pasek, Matthew A; Harnmeijer, Jelte P; Buick, Roger; Gull, Maheen; Atlas, Zachary

    2013-06-18

    It has been hypothesized that before the emergence of modern DNA-RNA-protein life, biology evolved from an "RNA world." However, synthesizing RNA and other organophosphates under plausible early Earth conditions has proved difficult, with the incorporation of phosphorus (P) causing a particular problem because phosphate, where most environmental P resides, is relatively insoluble and unreactive. Recently, it has been proposed that during the Hadean-Archean heavy bombardment by extraterrestrial impactors, meteorites would have provided reactive P in the form of the iron-nickel phosphide mineral schreibersite. This reacts in water, releasing soluble and reactive reduced P species, such as phosphite, that could then be readily incorporated into prebiotic molecules. Here, we report the occurrence of phosphite in early Archean marine carbonates at levels indicating that this was an abundant dissolved species in the ocean before 3.5 Ga. Additionally, we show that schreibersite readily reacts with an aqueous solution of glycerol to generate phosphite and the membrane biomolecule glycerol-phosphate under mild thermal conditions, with this synthesis using a mineral source of P. Phosphite derived from schreibersite was, hence, a plausible reagent in the prebiotic synthesis of phosphorylated biomolecules and was also present on the early Earth in quantities large enough to have affected the redox state of P in the ocean. Phosphorylated biomolecules like RNA may, thus, have first formed from the reaction of reduced P species with the prebiotic organic milieu on the early Earth.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  8. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindsay, John F.; McKay, David S.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-23

    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.

  10. Evidence for reactive reduced phosphorus species in the early Archean ocean

    PubMed Central

    Pasek, Matthew A.; Harnmeijer, Jelte P.; Buick, Roger; Gull, Maheen; Atlas, Zachary

    2013-01-01

    It has been hypothesized that before the emergence of modern DNA–RNA–protein life, biology evolved from an “RNA world.” However, synthesizing RNA and other organophosphates under plausible early Earth conditions has proved difficult, with the incorporation of phosphorus (P) causing a particular problem because phosphate, where most environmental P resides, is relatively insoluble and unreactive. Recently, it has been proposed that during the Hadean–Archean heavy bombardment by extraterrestrial impactors, meteorites would have provided reactive P in the form of the iron–nickel phosphide mineral schreibersite. This reacts in water, releasing soluble and reactive reduced P species, such as phosphite, that could then be readily incorporated into prebiotic molecules. Here, we report the occurrence of phosphite in early Archean marine carbonates at levels indicating that this was an abundant dissolved species in the ocean before 3.5 Ga. Additionally, we show that schreibersite readily reacts with an aqueous solution of glycerol to generate phosphite and the membrane biomolecule glycerol–phosphate under mild thermal conditions, with this synthesis using a mineral source of P. Phosphite derived from schreibersite was, hence, a plausible reagent in the prebiotic synthesis of phosphorylated biomolecules and was also present on the early Earth in quantities large enough to have affected the redox state of P in the ocean. Phosphorylated biomolecules like RNA may, thus, have first formed from the reaction of reduced P species with the prebiotic organic milieu on the early Earth. PMID:23733935

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-05-02

    Paleotemperatures inferred from the isotopic compositions (δ(18)O and δ(30)Si) 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.

  12. The origin and degassing history of the Earth's atmosphere revealed by Archean xenon

    PubMed Central

    Avice, Guillaume; Marty, Bernard; Burgess, Ray

    2017-01-01

    Xenon (Xe) is an exceptional tracer for investigating the origin and fate of volatile elements on Earth. The initial isotopic composition of atmospheric Xe remains unknown, as do the mechanisms involved in its depletion and isotopic fractionation compared with other reservoirs in the solar system. Here we present high precision analyses of noble gases trapped in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz (Barberton, South Africa) that reveal the isotopic composition of the paleo-atmosphere at ≈3.3 Ga. The Archean atmospheric Xe is mass-dependently fractionated by 12.9±2.4 ‰ u−1 (± 2σ, s.d.) relative to the modern atmosphere. The lower than today 129Xe excess requires a degassing rate of radiogenic Xe from the mantle higher than at present. The primordial Xe component delivered to the Earth's atmosphere is distinct from Solar or Chondritic Xe but similar to a theoretical component called U-Xe. Comets may have brought this component to the Earth's atmosphere during the last stages of terrestrial accretion. PMID:28516958

  13. Geochemical consequences of the metasomatic conversion of an Early Archean komatiite sequence into chert

    SciTech Connect

    Hanor, J.S.; Duchac, K.C.

    1985-01-01

    Duchac and Hanor (1985) have demonstrated from field and petrographic evidence that the stratiform, muscovite-bearing cherts of Skokhola Ridge, Barberton Mountain Land, South Africa, represent a pervasively silicified sequence of komatiites and komatiitic basalts of Early Archean age. Most alteration took place early, prior to any significant tectonic deformation. The isovolumetric nature of the alteration, as confirmed by excellent preservation of igneous textures, and the immobility of Al make it possible to quantify elemental gains and losses during metasomatism. The sequence was strongly depleted in Na, Mg, Ca, Sr, Fe, and Mn, and enriched in K, Rb, and Ba, Al, Y, Zr, Ti, and P were immobile. It is most likely that the sequence was altered by large volumes of ascending hydrothermal solutions, with the decrease in T upward favoring precipitation of silica and muscovite. The net effect was to convert an ultramafic igneous rock into a rock having a composition approaching that of the average sandstone. Such alteration, if regionally extensive, undoubtedly affected the geochemical evolution of both the Early Archean crust and hydrosphere in the Barberton greenstone belt.

  14. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindsay, John F.; McKay, David S.; Allen, Carlton C.

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets.

  15. The origin and degassing history of the Earth's atmosphere revealed by Archean xenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avice, Guillaume; Marty, Bernard; Burgess, Ray

    2017-05-01

    Xenon (Xe) is an exceptional tracer for investigating the origin and fate of volatile elements on Earth. The initial isotopic composition of atmospheric Xe remains unknown, as do the mechanisms involved in its depletion and isotopic fractionation compared with other reservoirs in the solar system. Here we present high precision analyses of noble gases trapped in fluid inclusions of Archean quartz (Barberton, South Africa) that reveal the isotopic composition of the paleo-atmosphere at ~3.3 Ga. The Archean atmospheric Xe is mass-dependently fractionated by 12.9+/-2.4 ‰ u-1 (+/- 2σ, s.d.) relative to the modern atmosphere. The lower than today 129Xe excess requires a degassing rate of radiogenic Xe from the mantle higher than at present. The primordial Xe component delivered to the Earth's atmosphere is distinct from Solar or Chondritic Xe but similar to a theoretical component called U-Xe. Comets may have brought this component to the Earth's atmosphere during the last stages of terrestrial accretion.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:22006301

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  18. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Study of a Photosynthetic Microbial Mat and Comparison with Archean Cherts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Earth's earliest biosphere-a proposal to develop a collection of curated archean geologic reference materials.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, John F; McKay, David S; Allen, Carlton C

    2003-01-01

    The discovery of evidence indicative of life in a Martian meteorite has led to an increase in interest in astrobiology. As a result of this discovery, and the ensuing controversy, it has become apparent that our knowledge of the early development of life on Earth is limited. Archean stratigraphic successions containing evidence of Earth's early biosphere are well preserved in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. The craton includes part of a protocontinent consisting of granitoid complexes that were emplaced into, and overlain by, a 3.51-2.94 Ga volcanigenic carapace - the Pilbara Supergroup. The craton is overlain by younger supracrustal basins that form a time series recording Earth history from approximately 2.8 Ga to approximately 1.9 Ga. It is proposed that a well-documented suite of these ancient rocks be collected as reference material for Archean and astrobiological research. All samples would be collected in a well-defined geological context in order to build a framework to test models for the early evolution of life on Earth and to develop protocols for the search for life on other planets.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  2. Moho offsets beneath the Western Ghat and the contact of Archean crusts of Dharwar Craton, India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikia, Utpal; Rai, S. S.; Meena, Rishikesh; Prasad, B. N. V.; Borah, Kajaljyoti

    2016-03-01

    We present the Moho depth variation along a 600 km long profile from the west to the east coast of South India covering the passive continental margin, and the Western Ghat escarpment created during India-Madagascar separation at ~ 85 Ma; Archean western and eastern Dharwar Craton, and Proterozoic basin. The image is generated through three different approaches: H - vP/vS stacking, common conversion point (CCP) migration and inversion of teleseismic receiver functions at 38 locations. The Moho depth along the profile varies smoothly between 34 and 41 km, except beneath the Western Ghat and at the contact of east and west Dharwar Craton, where it is offset by up to ~ 8 km. The study suggests (i) the possible differential uplift of the Western Ghat, as a consequence of India-Madagascar separation and the prominent role of deep crustal structure in the location of the escarpment, compared to the surface process and (ii) presence of long-lived steeply dipping fault separating the two distinct Archean crustal blocks indicative of mechanically strong continental lithosphere beneath the Dharwar Craton.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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 (187)Os/(188)Os of 0.34 ± 0.19 were obtained for rhenium- and molybdenum-rich black shales. The initial (187)Os/(188)Os 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 (187)Os/(188)Os 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.

  4. Spherules and IBV

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Helena J; Hawes, Philippa C; Keep, Sarah M; Britton, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is an economically important virus infecting chickens, causing large losses to the poultry industry globally. While vaccines are available, there is a requirement for novel vaccine strategies due to high strain variation and poor cross-protection. This requires a more detailed understanding of virus-host cell interactions to identify candidates for targeted virus attenuation. One key area of research in the positive sense RNA virus field, due to its central role in virus replication, is the induction of cellular membrane rearrangements by this class of viruses for the assembly of virus replication complexes. In our recent work, we identified the structures induced by IBV during infection of cultured cells, as well as primary cells and ex vivo organ culture. We identified structures novel to the coronavirus family, which strongly resemble replication sites of other positive sense RNA viruses. We have begun to extend this work using recombinant IBVs, which are chimera of different virus strains to study the role of viral proteins in the induction of membrane rearrangements. PMID:25482229

  5. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

  6. Archean to Paleoproterozoic polymetamorphic history of the Salma eclogite in Kola Peninsula, Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imayama, Takeshi; Oh, Chang-Whan; Park, Chan-Soo; Yi, Keewook; Jung, Haemyeong

    2015-04-01

    One of the most important questions in the Earth Science is when and how plate tectonics operate in the Precambrian time. The tectonic and thermal evolution of the Precambrian eclogite is significant key for understanding the Precambrian geodynamic mechanisms. Eclogites in Kola Peninsula, Russia are some of the oldest eclogites of the world, but there has been much debate about the timing of eclogite-facies metamorphism: Archean (e.g. Volodichev et al. 2004; Mints et al., 2010) or Paleoproterozoic (e.g. Skublob et al., 2011, 2012). The controversy is mainly because of the lack of zircon dating coupled with the formation of garnet and omphacite. In this study, we present geochronological, petrographic, and geochemical data from the Salma eclogites in the Kola Peninsula, Russia to characterize subduction and collision processes in the Precambrian. Microstructural observations, P-T analyses, zircon inclusion analyses, and U-Pb zircon dating revealed multiple metamorphic stages that the Salma eclogite underwent. The amphibolite facies metamorphic event firstly occurred at 2.73-2.72 Ga during Archean. In the Paleoproterozoic period, the Salma eclogites underwent prograde stage of epidote-amphibolite facies metamorphism. The eclogite facies metamorphic event took place under the P-T condition of 16-18 kbar and 740-770 °C at 1.89-1.88 Ga, with a subsequent granulite facies metamorphism during decompression stage from 18 kbar to 9-12 kbar. Finally, later amphibolite facies metamorphism occurred at 8-10 kbar and 590-610 °C on cooling. The Archean metamorphic zircons that contain inclusions of Grt + Am + Bt + Pl + Qtz + Rt are unzoned grains with dark CL, and they are relatively enriched in HREE. In contrast, the 1.89-1.88 Ga sector or concentric zoned zircons with pale-grey CL include inclusions of Grt + Omp + Ca-Cpx + Am + Bt + Qtz + Rt, and they have the flat pattern of HREE due to the amounts of abundant garnet during the eclogite-facies metamorphism. Whole rock

  7. Weathering in the late Archean and perturbations by oxygenic photosynthesis (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sverjensky, D. A.; Lee, N.; Hazen, R. M.

    2009-12-01

    Low values for logfO2 in the near-surface late Archean environment have long been suggested based on upper limits deduced from the preservation of detrital siderite, pyrite and uraninite, paleosols, atmospheric models, and models of sulfur isotope data. Reducing conditions could presumably be maintained by an adequate supply of reductants such as H2 and CO supplied from volcanic sources, although these must have reacted with exposed rocks via aqueous solutions during weathering processes. In addition, once oxygenic photosynthesis arose, there would probably be a period of time during which weathering and atmospheric reductants would compete with the O2 released by photosynthesis. What has not been sufficiently explored quantitatively are the implications of such processes for the evolution of the aqueous solution chemistry and weathering products. In the present study, irreversible chemical mass transfer models were used to investigate the chemical reaction of rainwater from an Archean atmosphere with volcanic gases and continental crust to gain insight into the types of minerals that may result, and the evolution of the water chemistry and oxidation state of the near-surface environment. The minerals enstatite, ferrosilite, diopside, anorthite and albite were permitted to react irreversibly with a model rainwater with a starting composition similar to that of the present-day, but with logfO2 = -70 and logfCO2 = -1.5. Simultaneously, the rainwater was reacted with a model mixture of volcanic gases including H2, H2S, SO2, CO2 and CO. The reactions produced a Na-Mg-Ca-HCO3 water and minerals such as pyrite, kaolinite, chalcedony, siderite and calcite. Dissolved ferrous iron reached a maximum of about 3 ppm indicating that ferrous iron could be transported in Archean riverine systems to the oceans. The oxidation state of the system stayed roughly constant (about ±2 units of logfO2) in or near the pyrite and siderite stability fields consistent with the preservation

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 <200μm in length. Their size, shape and distribution have been directly compared to those found in recent oceanic crust. Thus it has been argued that they are the mineralized remains of tunnels formed by microbes that etched volcanic glass in the Archean sub-seafloor (Furnes et al 2004; Banerjee et al. 2006). Elemental mapping by NanoSIMS was undertaken to investigate reports of enrichments in carbon (possibly also nitrogen) along the margins of the microtextures previously interpreted as decayed cellular remains. We mapped for 12C-, 26CN-, 32S- along with 16O-, 28Si-, 24Mg+,27Al+, 40Ca+, 48Ti+ and 56Fe+ in chlorite and quartz hosted examples. The 12C- or 26CN- linings were not found along the margins of the microtextures in neither the original, nor the drill core samples, despite NanoSIMS being a more sensitive and higher-spatial-resolution technique than earlier microprobe X-ray maps. The absence of organic linings in these samples excludes a key line of evidence previously used to support the biogenicity of the microtextures. Sulfur isotopes 32S and 34S were measured by NanoSIMS on two types of sulfide: i) small sulfides (1-15μm) intimately associated with the microtextures and; ii) larger sulfides (10-60μm) that cross-cut the microtextures and are disseminated near a quartz-carbonate vein. The sulfide inclusions in the microtextures have strongly

  9. Bed Bug Tips

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    How to deal with bed bugs in one printable page. Ten tips include ensuring correct insect identification, reducing clutter, understand integrated pest management, using mattress and box spring encasements, and heat treatment.

  10. Bed rest during pregnancy

    MedlinePlus

    ... pregnancy problems, including: High blood pressure Premature or preterm changes in the cervix Problems with the placenta ... shown that being on bed rest can prevent preterm birth or other pregnancy problems. And some complications ...

  11. Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Its purpose is to help states, communities, and consumers in efforts to prevent and control bed bug infestations. Currently includes only reviewed material from federal/state/local government agencies, extension services, and universities.

  12. Particle fuel bed tests

    SciTech Connect

    Horn, F.L.; Powell, J.R.; Savino, J.M.

    1985-01-01

    Gas-cooled reactors, using packed beds of small diameter coated fuel particles have been proposed for compact, high-power systems. The particulate fuel used in the tests was 800 microns in diameter, consisting of a thoria kernel coated with 200 microns of pyrocarbon. Typically, the bed of fuel particles was contained in a ceramic cylinder with porous metallic frits at each end. A dc voltage was applied to the metallic frits and the resulting electric current heated the bed. Heat was removed by passing coolant (helium or hydrogen) through the bed. Candidate frit materials, rhenium, nickel, zirconium carbide, and zirconium oxide were unaffected, while tungsten and tungsten-rhenium lost weight and strength. Zirconium-carbide particles were tested at 2000 K in H/sub 2/ for 12 hours with no visible reaction or weight loss.

  13. Tapered bed bioreactor

    DOEpatents

    Scott, Charles D.; Hancher, Charles W.

    1977-01-01

    A vertically oriented conically shaped column is used as a fluidized bed bioreactor wherein biologically catalyzed reactions are conducted in a continuous manner. The column utilizes a packing material a support having attached thereto a biologically active catalytic material.

  14. Moving-bed sorbents

    SciTech Connect

    Ayala, R.E.; Gupta, R.P.; Chuck, T.

    1995-12-01

    The objective of this program is to develop mixed-metal oxide sorbent formulations that are suitable for moving-bed, high-temperature, desulfurization of coal gas. Work continues on zinc titanates formulations and Z-sorb III sorbent.

  15. Bed Bugs - Multiple Languages

    MedlinePlus

    ... Supplements Videos & Tools You Are Here: Home → Multiple Languages → All Health Topics → Bed Bugs URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/languages/bedbugs.html Other topics A-Z Expand Section ...

  16. Practice Hospital Bed Safety

    MedlinePlus

    ... 1, 1985 and January 1, 2013, FDA received reports of 901 incidents of patients caught, trapped, entangled, or strangled in ... Use Todd says there have been very few reports of safety incidents with hospital beds used in private residences. "This ...

  17. Test Bed For Telerobots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matijevic, Jacob R.; Zimmerman, Wayne F.; Dolinsky, Shlomo

    1990-01-01

    Assembly of electromechanical and electronic equipment (including computers) constitutes test bed for development of advanced robotic systems for remote manipulation. Combines features not found in commercial systems. Its architecture allows easy growth in complexity and level of automation. System national resource for validation of new telerobotic technology. Intended primarily for robots used in outer space, test bed adapted to development of advanced terrestrial telerobotic systems for handling radioactive materials, dangerous chemicals, and explosives.

  18. Bed exit alarms.

    PubMed

    2004-09-01

    Bed-exit alarms alert caregivers that a patient who should not get out of bed unassisted is doing so. These alarms can help reduce the likelihood of falls and can promote speedy assistance to patients who have already fallen. But as we described in our May 2004 Guidance Article on bed-exit alarms, they don't themselves prevent falls. They are only effective if used as part of an overall fall-prevention program and with a clear understanding of their limitations. This Evaluation examines the effectiveness of 16 bed-exit alarms from seven suppliers. Our ratings focus primarily on each product's reliability in detecting bed-exit events and alerting caregivers, its ability to minimize nuisance alarms (alarms that sound even though the patient isn't leaving the bed or that sound while a caregiver is helping the patient to leave the bed), and its resistance to deliberate or inadvertent tampering. Twelve of the products use pressure-sensor-activated alarms (mainly sensor pads placed on or under the mattress); three use a cord that can attach to the patient's garment, alarming if the cord is pulled loose from the control unit; and one is a position-sensitive alarm attached to a leg cuff. All the products reliably detect attempted or successful bed exits. But they vary greatly in how effectively they alert staff, minimize nuisance alarms, and resist tampering. Ease of use and battery performance also vary for many units. Of the pressure-sensor units, three are rated Preferred. Those units meet most of our criteria and have no significant disadvantages. Five of the other pressure-sensor products are Acceptable, and the remaining four are Not Recommended. All three cord-activated alarms are rated Acceptable, as is the patient-worn alarm.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  1. Bed rest and immunity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sonnenfeld, Gerald; Aviles, Hernan; Butel, Janet S.; Shearer, William T.; Niesel, David; Pandya, Utpal; Allen, Christopher; Ochs, Hans D.; Blancher, Antoine; Abbal, Michel

    2007-02-01

    Space flight has been shown to result in altered immune responses. The current study was designed to investigate this possibility by using the bed rest model of some space flight conditions. A large number of women are included as subjects in the study. The hypothesis being tested is: 60 days head-down tilt bed rest of humans will affect the immune system and resistance to infection. Blood, urine and saliva samples will be obtained from bed rest subjects prior to, at intervals during, and after completion of 60 days of head-down tilt bed rest. Leukocyte blastogenesis, cytokine production and virus reactivation will be assessed. The ability of the subjects to respond appropriately to immunization with the neoantigen bacteriophage φX-174 will also be determined. Bed rest is being carried out at MEDES, Toulouse France, and the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. The studies to be carried out in France will also allow assessment of the effects of muscle/bone exercise and nutritional countermeasures on the immune system in addition to the effects of bed rest.

  2. Geological and geochemical record of 3400-million-year-old terrestrial meteorite impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowe, Donald R.; Byerly, Gary R.; Asaro, Frank; Kyte, Frank T.

    1989-01-01

    Beds of sand-sized spherules in the 3400-million-year-old Fig Tree Group, Barberton Greenstone belt, South Africa, formed by the fall of quenched liquid silicate droplets into a range of shallow- to deep-water depositional environments. The regional extent of the layers, their compositional complexity, and lack of included volcanic debris suggest that they are not products of volcanic activity. The layers are greatly enriched in iridium and other platinum group elements in roughly chondritic proportions. Geochemical modeling based on immobile element abundances suggests that the original average spherule composition can be approximated by a mixture of fractionated tholeiitic basalt, komatiite, and CI carbonaceous chondrite. The spherules are thought to be the products of large meteorite impacts on the Archean earth.

  3. Lithospheric thinning in the Eastern Indian Craton: Evidence for lithospheric delamination below the Archean Singhbhum Craton?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandal, Prantik

    2017-02-01

    We herein present shear velocity structure extending down to 300 km depth below the Archean Singhbhum-Odisha Craton (SOC) and Proterozoic Chotanagpur granitic-gneissic terrain (CGGT), which has been obtained through the inversion modeling of P-receiver functions. We use three-component broadband recordings of 200 teleseismic earthquakes (30° ≤ ∆ ≤ 90°) from a 15 station seismic network that has been operational in the Eastern Indian shield since February 2013. We obtain the thinnest crust of 35 km overlying a thin lithosphere of 78 km, below the region near south Singhbhum shear zone, which could be attributed to the 1.6 Ga plume activity associated with Dalma volcanic. However, the thickest crust of 47 km overlying a thin lithosphere of 81 km is noticed below the region near the Singhbhum granite of 3.6 Ga. This thinning of lithosphere could be attributed to the delamination of lithospheric root due to the Himalayan orogeny with a shortening rate of 2 cm/year. This delamination model in SOC gets further support from the densification of the lower crust, which could result from repeated episodes of basaltic underplating associated with episodes related to Dalma ( 1.6 Ga) and Rajmahal ( 117 Ma) volcanisms. This led to relatively more mafic, heterogeneous and deformed crustal structure in SOC as well as EGMB (with an average crustal Vs of 4.0 km/s) in comparison to that in CGGT (with an average crustal Vs of 3.9 km/s), as seen through our modeling results. The thickest lithosphere of 100 km is observed in the southwestern SOC as well as northeastern CGGT. We also notice that a sharp and flat Moho in CGGT, which could be attributed to thermal reactivation and large volume melting of the mafic cratonic crust during the late Archean subduction process and associated volcanism episodes. This model gets further support from the estimated 169 km thick lower Vs zone in the upper mantle below CGGT. Our modeling results also support a northward subduction of Archean

  4. Nitrogen Partial Pressure in the Archean Atmosphere From Analysis of Hydrothermal Quartz

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marty, B.; Zimmermann, L.; Burgess, R.; Pujol, M.; Philippot, P.

    2012-12-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen constitutes the main pool of one of the major biogenic elements, it may provide a record of the terrestrial magnetic field, and it might have been instrumental to maintain clement temperatures despite a lower energy provided by the ancient Sun. We have investigated the partial pressure of di-nitrogen in the Archean atmosphere by analyzing the ratio between N2 and argon-36 (a primordial, chemically inert noble gas for which there is no reason to suspect abundance variation in the atmosphere through time) in fluid inclusions (FI) trapped in two hydrothermal quartz from the 3.5 Ga-old Dresser formation, North Pole, Pilbara (NE Australia). These samples have different histories of fluid trapping and deposition, and their ages are constrained within 3.0-3.5 Ga from U-Xe, and Ar-Ar dating. FI nitrogen is a mixture between hydrothermal and air-saturated water (ASW) end-members, that can be identi