Chemical sedimentary protoliths in the >3.75Ga Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (Québec, Canada)

A. M. Mloszewska, S. Mojzsis, E. Pecoits, D. Papineau, N. Dauphas, K. O. Konhauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Analyses of chemical sedimentary precipitates such as banded iron formation (BIF) provide a direct means to explore the nature and composition of the early hydrosphere. The recently discovered > 3750. Myr old Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (NSB) in the Northeast Superior Province (Québec, Canada) hosts a suite of iron oxide-rich (± pyroxene and amphibole) units that are interpreted to be the metamorphosed equivalents of Fe oxide-facies BIF, and a collection of BIF-like Ca-Fe-Mg silicate rocks. The NSB rocks provide a rare glimpse of trace metal availability in Eoarchean (ca. 3800. Ma) seawater. As they may be contemporaneous with the relatively well-studied Isua Supracrustal Belt of southern West Greenland, their comparison provides an opportunity to enhance our basic understanding of the Eoarchean oceans at a global scale. Work since the initial discovery of the NSB in 2001 has established the basic lithological, geochemical and petrographic characteristics of these BIF and BIF-like rocks. Here we review the current state of knowledge of NSB rocks of probable chemical sedimentary origin, including aspects of their geology, likely origin and age. We conclude by examining the implications of results thus far for our understanding of early seawater compositions, and for the emergence of life in the context of early metallo-enzyme evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-594
Number of pages21
JournalGondwana Research
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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banded iron formation
protolith
rock
seawater
hydrosphere
pyroxene
iron oxide
amphibole
trace metal
silicate
geology
chemical
oxide
enzyme
ocean

Keywords

  • Archean
  • Banded iron formation
  • Geochemistry
  • Metallo-enzymes
  • Nuvvuagittuq
  • Seawater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

Chemical sedimentary protoliths in the >3.75Ga Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (Québec, Canada). / Mloszewska, A. M.; Mojzsis, S.; Pecoits, E.; Papineau, D.; Dauphas, N.; Konhauser, K. O.

In: Gondwana Research, Vol. 23, No. 2, 03.2013, p. 574-594.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mloszewska, A. M. ; Mojzsis, S. ; Pecoits, E. ; Papineau, D. ; Dauphas, N. ; Konhauser, K. O. / Chemical sedimentary protoliths in the >3.75Ga Nuvvuagittuq Supracrustal Belt (Québec, Canada). In: Gondwana Research. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 2. pp. 574-594.
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