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Proceedings Paper

Fossil microorganisms and formation of Early Precambrian weathering crusts
Author(s): M. M. Astafieva; A. Yu. Rozanov; A. B. Vrevsky; N. A. Alfimova; V. A. Matrenichev; R. B. Hoover
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Paper Abstract

Weathering crusts are the only reliable evidences of continental conditions existence, and often are the only source of information about exogenous processes and subsequently about conditions under which the development of biosphere occurred. Complex of diverse fossil microorganisms was discovered in result of electronic-microscope investigations. Chemical composition of discovered fossils is identical to that of the host rocks and is represented by Si, Al, Fe, Ca and Mg. Probably, microorganisms fixed in rocks played role of catalyst. Decomposition of minerals, comprising rocks, and their transformation into clayey (argillaceous) minerals, occurred most likely under influence of microorganisms. And may be unique weathering crusts of Early Precambrian were formed due to interaction between specific composition of microorganism assemblage and conditions of hypergene transformations. So it is possible to speak about colonization of land by microbes already at that time and about existence of single raw from weathering crusts (Primitive soils) to real soils.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 2009
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 7441, Instruments and Methods for Astrobiology and Planetary Missions XII, 744107 (10 September 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.824535
Show Author Affiliations
M. M. Astafieva, Paleontological Institute (Russian Federation)
A. Yu. Rozanov, Paleontological Institute (Russian Federation)
A. B. Vrevsky, Institute of Precambrian Geology and Geochronology (Russian Federation)
N. A. Alfimova, Institute of Precambrian Geology and Geochronology (Russian Federation)
V. A. Matrenichev, Institute of Precambrian Geology and Geochronology (Russian Federation)
R. B. Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7441:
Instruments and Methods for Astrobiology and Planetary Missions XII
Kurt D. Retherford; Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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