The rare earth element signal in Archaean microbial carbonate: information on ocean redox and biogenicity

Kamber, Balz S., Webb, Gregory E. and Gallagher, Meabh (2014) The rare earth element signal in Archaean microbial carbonate: information on ocean redox and biogenicity. Journal of the Geological Society, 171 6: 745-763. doi:10.1144/jgs2013-110


Author Kamber, Balz S.
Webb, Gregory E.
Gallagher, Meabh
Title The rare earth element signal in Archaean microbial carbonate: information on ocean redox and biogenicity
Journal name Journal of the Geological Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0016-7649
2041-479X
Publication date 2014-11-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1144/jgs2013-110
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 171
Issue 6
Start page 745
End page 763
Total pages 19
Place of publication Bath, Avon, United Kingdom
Publisher Geological Society Publishing House
Language eng
Abstract Microbial carbonates contain valuable chemical, isotopic and molecular information regarding the Precambrian Earth. They record shallow-water information complementary to deep ocean proxies, such as banded iron formation and black shale. Six groups of well-preserved stromatolites illustrate how the rare earth elements (REE) are used for chemical investigation. The first task is to test whether the REE inventory of carbonate is compromised by clastic, volcanic, or diagenetic contaminants. Once the cleanliness has been verified, the shale-normalized REE pattern can be used to distinguish between marine and lacustrine settings. For marine carbonates, it is possible to distinguish between restricted basin and open marine settings and for thick platform limestones the relative water depth can be inferred from REE systematics. The studied shallow-water stromatolites range in age from 2.52 to 3.45 Ga. They contain no evidence from the behaviour of the redox-sensitive element cerium that free oxygen levels in the shallow sea approached concentrations beyond a trace gas by 2.52 Ga. Compared with abiotic early diagenetic marine carbonate cements, microbial carbonate is strongly enriched in REE. This may itself not yet serve as a biomarker, but it is regarded as a necessary prerequisite for a sample to qualify for biomarker studies.
Keyword Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
Geology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Papers
Official 2015 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 21 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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