2001 Annual Science Report
Pennsylvania State University Reporting | JUL 2000 – JUN 2001
Biogeochemical and Environmental Influences on the Composition of Late Archaean Kerogens and Extracts
Biogeochemical and Environmental Influences on the Composition of Late Archean Kerogens and Extracts (dm)
Our research focuses on unraveling the biogeochemical record of carbon and oxygen cycling in the late Archean by determining relationships between physical environments and biological sources of preserved organic matter. We are testing the hypothesis that depositional environments are linked to microbial ecosystems through the creation and stabilization of oxygen microenvironments or stratified water columns by integrating stratigraphic and organic geochemical studies.
Sample collection of 2.8-2.5 Ga rocks from the Hamersley Basin, Western Australia is complete. Sample preparation for kerogen carbon isotope analysis and elemental (CHNS) abundance analyses is in progress.
Molecular biomarker analyses and a test for contamination are integral parts of our study and involve detailed investigation of both extractable organic matter and non-extractable kerogen. Molecular analysis of trace components in the extracts of core samples were completed in October & November. Kerogen hydropyrolysis and analysis of products is also in progress.
PROJECT MEMBERS:Katherine Freeman
RELATED OBJECTIVES:Objective 5.0
Describe the sequences of causes and effects associated with the development of Earth's early biosphere and the global environment.
Define how ecophysiological processes structure microbial communities, influence their adaptation and evolution, and affect their detection on other planets.