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Sulfur isotope signatures for rapid colonization of an impact crater by thermophilic microbes

Parnell, John; Boyce, Adrian; Thackrey, Scott; Muirhead, David; Lindgren, Paula LU ; Mason, Charles; Taylor, Colin; Still, John; Bowden, Stephen and Osinski, Gordon R., et al. (2010) In Geology 38(3). p.271-274
Abstract

In the 23-km-diameter Haughton impact structure, Canadian High Arctic, in sulfate-rich bedrock, widespread hydrothermal sulfide mineralization occurred in breccias formed during the impact. The sulfides exhibit extreme sulfur isotopic fractionation relative to the original sulfate, requiring microbial sulfate reduction by thermophiles throughout the crater. This evidence of widespread microbial activity demonstrates that colonization could occur within the lifetime of a moderately sized, impact-induced hydrothermal system. The pyrite was subsequently oxidized to jarosite, which may also have been microbially mediated. The successful detection of evidence for microbial life suggests that it would be a valuable technique to deploy in... (More)

In the 23-km-diameter Haughton impact structure, Canadian High Arctic, in sulfate-rich bedrock, widespread hydrothermal sulfide mineralization occurred in breccias formed during the impact. The sulfides exhibit extreme sulfur isotopic fractionation relative to the original sulfate, requiring microbial sulfate reduction by thermophiles throughout the crater. This evidence of widespread microbial activity demonstrates that colonization could occur within the lifetime of a moderately sized, impact-induced hydrothermal system. The pyrite was subsequently oxidized to jarosite, which may also have been microbially mediated. The successful detection of evidence for microbial life suggests that it would be a valuable technique to deploy in sulfate-rich impact terrain on Mars.

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publication status
published
subject
in
Geology
volume
38
issue
3
pages
4 pages
publisher
Geological Society of America
external identifiers
  • scopus:77951972860
ISSN
0091-7613
DOI
10.1130/G30615.1
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
539d5fbf-c597-445f-99db-38cbd38ab182
date added to LUP
2017-06-26 09:53:11
date last changed
2018-05-29 10:47:50
@article{539d5fbf-c597-445f-99db-38cbd38ab182,
  abstract     = {<p>In the 23-km-diameter Haughton impact structure, Canadian High Arctic, in sulfate-rich bedrock, widespread hydrothermal sulfide mineralization occurred in breccias formed during the impact. The sulfides exhibit extreme sulfur isotopic fractionation relative to the original sulfate, requiring microbial sulfate reduction by thermophiles throughout the crater. This evidence of widespread microbial activity demonstrates that colonization could occur within the lifetime of a moderately sized, impact-induced hydrothermal system. The pyrite was subsequently oxidized to jarosite, which may also have been microbially mediated. The successful detection of evidence for microbial life suggests that it would be a valuable technique to deploy in sulfate-rich impact terrain on Mars.</p>},
  author       = {Parnell, John and Boyce, Adrian and Thackrey, Scott and Muirhead, David and Lindgren, Paula and Mason, Charles and Taylor, Colin and Still, John and Bowden, Stephen and Osinski, Gordon R. and Lee, Pascal},
  issn         = {0091-7613},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {271--274},
  publisher    = {Geological Society of America},
  series       = {Geology},
  title        = {Sulfur isotope signatures for rapid colonization of an impact crater by thermophilic microbes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G30615.1},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2010},
}