3.4-billion-year-old biogenic pyrites from Barberton, South Africa: Sulfur isotope evidence

Hiroshi Ohmoto, Takeshi Kakegawa, Donald R. Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Laser ablation mass spectroscopy analyses of sulfur isotopic compositions of microscopic-sized grains of pyrite that formed about 3.4 billion years ago in the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa, show that the pyrite formed by bacterial reduction of seawater sulfate. These data imply that by about 3.4 billion years ago sulfate-reducing bacteria had become active, the oceans were rich in sulfate, and the atmosphere contained appreciable amounts (≫10 -13 of the present atmospheric level) of free oxygen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-557
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume262
Issue number5133
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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