Stable isotopes in the Archaean Belingwe belt, Zimbabwe: evidence for a diverse microbial mat ecology
N. V. Grassineau, E. G. Nisbet, C. M. R. Fowler, M. J. Bickle, D. Lowry, H. J. Chapman, D. P. Mattey, P. Abell, J. Yong, A. Martin, 2002. "Stable isotopes in the Archaean Belingwe belt, Zimbabwe: evidence for a diverse microbial mat ecology", The Early Earth: Physical, Chemical and Biological Development, C. M. R. Fowler, C. J. Ebinger, C. J. Hawkesworth
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Sulphide-rich sediments, stromatolitic limestones and tidal-flat deposits in the late Archaean (2.7 Ga) Manjeri and Cheshire Formations, Belingwe greenstone belt, Zimbabwe show evidence for complex and extensive prokaryotic mat communities, including (1) shallow-water coastal sulphur mats; (2) mats, probably in somewhat deeper water; (3) nearby stromatolites that lived by oxygenic photosynthesis in shallow coastal settings. Petrological and geochemical (rare earth element; REE) evidence, coupled with high-resolution stable isotope results, identifies several complex interdependent metabolic consortia of bacteria and archaea. These microbial consortia would have exchanged nutrients and products both locally within prokaryotic mats and more widely via the waters of the Belingwe basin. This isotopic, sedimentological and REE evidence for a complex ecology of bacteria and archaea is consistent with metabolic inferences from rRNA phylogeny and is direct evidence that a diverse prokaryotic community, managing carbon on a global scale, had evolved by the late Archaean.
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This volume contains a series of papers that cover a wide range of aspects, including geophysics, structure and tectonics, atmosphere, origin of life, biosphere, deep mantle geochemistry, early oceans, microbial ecology, on the development of the Earth in the first 2000 Ma of its history.The aim of this publication is to facilitate future discussions and understanding of this area of research.
This book is divided into three parts:
Geophysical and petrological constraints on Archaean lithosphere
Models of cratonic evolution and modification
Constraints on the Archaean environment
Subjects covered include the chemical and biological controls on the atmosphere and oceans, early controls on the carbon cycle and photosynthesis, petrologic, isotopic, tectonic and seismic evidence for the composition and structure of Archaean lithosphere.
This volume should be of interest to geologists and geophysicists who work on the Archaean, and students at all levels.