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Fossilized iron bacteria reveal pathway to biological origin of banded iron formation.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
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2013 (English)In: Nature Communications, ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 4, no 2050, 1-7 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Debates on the formation of banded iron formations in ancient ferruginous oceans are dominated by a dichotomy between abiotic and biotic iron cycling. This is fuelled by difficulties in unravelling the exact processes involved in their formation. Here we provide fossil environmental evidence for anoxygenic photoferrotrophic deposition of analogue banded iron rocks in shallow marine waters associated with an Early Quaternary hydrothermal vent field on Milos Island, Greece. Trace metal, major and rare earth elemental compositions suggest that the deposited rocks closely resemble banded iron formations of Precambrian origin. Well-preserved microbial fossils in combination with chemical data imply that band formation was linked to periodic massive encrustation of anoxygenic phototrophic biofilms by iron oxyhydroxide alternating with abiotic silica precipitation. The data implicate cyclic anoxygenic photoferrotrophy and their fossilization mechanisms in the construction of microskeletal fabrics that result in the formation of characteristic banded iron formation bands of varying silica and iron oxide ratios.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 4, no 2050, 1-7 p.
Keyword [en]
Iron, Oxygen, Quaternary, Archaean, Proterozoic, Banded Iron Formation
National Category
Microbiology Geochemistry
Research subject
The changing Earth
URN: urn:nbn:se:nrm:diva-596DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3050OAI: diva2:742393
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, PIEF.GA-2010-276475Swedish Research Council, 2010-3929Danish National Research Foundation, DNRF53
Available from: 2014-09-01 Created: 2014-08-28 Last updated: 2014-09-01

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Ivarsson, MagnusBengtson, StefanBelivanova, Veneta
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