Recognition of ≥3850 Ma water-lain sediments in West Greenland and their significance for the early Archaean Earth

Allen P. Nutman, S. Mojzsis, Clark R L Friend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

157 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A layered body of amphibolite, banded iron formation (BIF), and ultramafic rocks from the island of Akilia, southern West Greenland, is cut by a quartz-dioritic sheet from which SHRIMP zircon 206Pb/207Pb weighted mean ages of 3865 ± 11 Ma and 3840 ± 8 Ma (2σ) can he calculated by different approaches. Three other methods of assessing the zircon data yield ages of >3830 Ma. The BIFs are interpreted as water-lain sediments, which with a minimum age of ∼ 3850 Ma, are the oldest sediments yet documented. These rocks provide proof that by ∼ 3850 Ma (I) there was a hydrosphere, supporting the chemical sedimentation of BIF, and that not all water was stored in hydrous minerals, and (2) that conditions satisfying the stability of liquid water imply surface temperatures were similar to present. Carbon isotope data of graphitic microdomains in apatite from the Akilia island BIF are consistent with a bio-organic origin (Mojzsis et al. 1996), extending the record of life on Earth to >3850 Ma. Life and surface water by ∼ 3850 Ma provide constraints on either the energetics or termination of the late meteoritic bombardment event (suggested from the lunar cratering record) on Earth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2475-2484
Number of pages10
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume61
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997

Fingerprint

banded iron formation
Archean
Sediments
Iron
Earth (planet)
Water
zircon
Hydrosphere
Rocks
Carbon Isotopes
sediment
hydrous mineral
Apatites
hydrosphere
Quartz
cratering
ultramafic rock
amphibolite
Surface waters
Sedimentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Recognition of ≥3850 Ma water-lain sediments in West Greenland and their significance for the early Archaean Earth. / Nutman, Allen P.; Mojzsis, S.; Friend, Clark R L.

In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 61, No. 12, 06.1997, p. 2475-2484.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{01fcfe12597447788ad94a0631e86a04,
title = "Recognition of ≥3850 Ma water-lain sediments in West Greenland and their significance for the early Archaean Earth",
abstract = "A layered body of amphibolite, banded iron formation (BIF), and ultramafic rocks from the island of Akilia, southern West Greenland, is cut by a quartz-dioritic sheet from which SHRIMP zircon 206Pb/207Pb weighted mean ages of 3865 ± 11 Ma and 3840 ± 8 Ma (2σ) can he calculated by different approaches. Three other methods of assessing the zircon data yield ages of >3830 Ma. The BIFs are interpreted as water-lain sediments, which with a minimum age of ∼ 3850 Ma, are the oldest sediments yet documented. These rocks provide proof that by ∼ 3850 Ma (I) there was a hydrosphere, supporting the chemical sedimentation of BIF, and that not all water was stored in hydrous minerals, and (2) that conditions satisfying the stability of liquid water imply surface temperatures were similar to present. Carbon isotope data of graphitic microdomains in apatite from the Akilia island BIF are consistent with a bio-organic origin (Mojzsis et al. 1996), extending the record of life on Earth to >3850 Ma. Life and surface water by ∼ 3850 Ma provide constraints on either the energetics or termination of the late meteoritic bombardment event (suggested from the lunar cratering record) on Earth.",
author = "Nutman, {Allen P.} and S. Mojzsis and Friend, {Clark R L}",
year = "1997",
month = "6",
language = "English",
volume = "61",
pages = "2475--2484",
journal = "Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta",
issn = "0016-7037",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "12",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Recognition of ≥3850 Ma water-lain sediments in West Greenland and their significance for the early Archaean Earth

AU - Nutman, Allen P.

AU - Mojzsis, S.

AU - Friend, Clark R L

PY - 1997/6

Y1 - 1997/6

N2 - A layered body of amphibolite, banded iron formation (BIF), and ultramafic rocks from the island of Akilia, southern West Greenland, is cut by a quartz-dioritic sheet from which SHRIMP zircon 206Pb/207Pb weighted mean ages of 3865 ± 11 Ma and 3840 ± 8 Ma (2σ) can he calculated by different approaches. Three other methods of assessing the zircon data yield ages of >3830 Ma. The BIFs are interpreted as water-lain sediments, which with a minimum age of ∼ 3850 Ma, are the oldest sediments yet documented. These rocks provide proof that by ∼ 3850 Ma (I) there was a hydrosphere, supporting the chemical sedimentation of BIF, and that not all water was stored in hydrous minerals, and (2) that conditions satisfying the stability of liquid water imply surface temperatures were similar to present. Carbon isotope data of graphitic microdomains in apatite from the Akilia island BIF are consistent with a bio-organic origin (Mojzsis et al. 1996), extending the record of life on Earth to >3850 Ma. Life and surface water by ∼ 3850 Ma provide constraints on either the energetics or termination of the late meteoritic bombardment event (suggested from the lunar cratering record) on Earth.

AB - A layered body of amphibolite, banded iron formation (BIF), and ultramafic rocks from the island of Akilia, southern West Greenland, is cut by a quartz-dioritic sheet from which SHRIMP zircon 206Pb/207Pb weighted mean ages of 3865 ± 11 Ma and 3840 ± 8 Ma (2σ) can he calculated by different approaches. Three other methods of assessing the zircon data yield ages of >3830 Ma. The BIFs are interpreted as water-lain sediments, which with a minimum age of ∼ 3850 Ma, are the oldest sediments yet documented. These rocks provide proof that by ∼ 3850 Ma (I) there was a hydrosphere, supporting the chemical sedimentation of BIF, and that not all water was stored in hydrous minerals, and (2) that conditions satisfying the stability of liquid water imply surface temperatures were similar to present. Carbon isotope data of graphitic microdomains in apatite from the Akilia island BIF are consistent with a bio-organic origin (Mojzsis et al. 1996), extending the record of life on Earth to >3850 Ma. Life and surface water by ∼ 3850 Ma provide constraints on either the energetics or termination of the late meteoritic bombardment event (suggested from the lunar cratering record) on Earth.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0030608628&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0030608628&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 11541751

AN - SCOPUS:0030608628

VL - 61

SP - 2475

EP - 2484

JO - Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta

JF - Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta

SN - 0016-7037

IS - 12

ER -