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Book Chapter

Advanced analytical techniques for studying the morphology and chemistry of Proterozoic microfossils

By
David Wacey
David Wacey
1
Centre for Microscopy Characterisation and Analysis, and Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Core to Crust Fluid Systems, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Perth, WA 6009, Australia
2
School of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Life Sciences Building, 24 Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK
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Leila Battison
Leila Battison
3
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
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Russell J. Garwood
Russell J. Garwood
4
School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
5
Department of Earth Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
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Keyron Hickman-Lewis
Keyron Hickman-Lewis
3
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
6
St Edmund Hall, Queens Lane, Oxford OX1 4AR, UK
7
Present address: CNRS Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire, Rue Charles Sadron, 45071 Orléans, France
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Martin D. Brasier
Martin D. Brasier
3
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3AN, UK
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Published:
January 01, 2017

Abstract

This paper outlines the suite of advanced multi-scalar techniques currently available in the toolkit of the modern Proterozoic palaeobiologist. These include non-intrusive and non-destructive optical, laser and X-ray techniques, plus more destructive ion beam and electron beam methods. Together, these provide morphological, mineralogical and biochemical data at flexible spatial scales from that of an individual atom to the largest Proterozoic microfossils. An overview is given of each technique and a case study from the exceptionally well-preserved Torridonian biota of NW Scotland is presented. This microfossil assemblage was first recognized over a century ago, but its great diversity and evolutionary importance has only recently come to light, due in no small part to the research efforts of Martin Brasier.

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Contents

Geological Society

Earth System Evolution and Early Life: A Celebration of the Work of Martin Brasier

A. T. Brasier
A. T. Brasier
University of Aberdeen, UK
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D. McIlroy
D. McIlroy
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
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N. McLoughlin
N. McLoughlin
Rhodes University, South Africa
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Geological Society of London
Volume
448
ISBN electronic:
9781786202932
Publication date:
January 01, 2017

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