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Abstract

During the past decade several investigators including Ault and Kulp (1) Jensen and Dessau, (9) and Jensen, (6) have determined the isotopic composition of sulfur from sulfur-bearing minerals occurring in the so-called Mississippi Valley type deposits. The results show an appreciable variation in δS34 values. Very few suggestions have been made based upon these isotopic results as they are not at all characteristic of magmatic hydrothermal deposits, nor sedimentary sulfides, whether they be epigenetic or syngenetic. nor are they particularly indicative of sulfur of anaerobic bacterial origin.

Nevertheless, as further information has been gained about the sulfur isotopics composition of bacterially derived H2S, the suggestion has arisen that the sulfur within these deposits might very well have been derived from H2S produced by sulfate-reducing bacteria deriving their sulfur from the sulfate-rich, presumably connate water, solutions in the vicinity of such deposits. In addition, the continually increasing recognition that many of these deposits are associated with bioherms or reef structures containing residual organic material has enhanced this suggestion, as such structures could provide the energy source of organic material for the bacteria.

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