Earliest Life on Earth: Habitats, Environments and Methods of Detection / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook

Overview

This volume integrates the latest findings on earliest life forms, identified and characterised in some of the oldest rocks on Earth. New material from prominent researchers in the field is presented and evaluated in the context of previous work. Emphasis is placed on the integration of analytical methods with observational techniques and experimental simulations. The opening section focuses on submarine hot springs that the majority of researchers postulates served as the cradle of life on Earth. In subsequent sections, evidence for life in strongly metamorphosed rocks such as those in Greenland is evaluated and early ecosystems identified in the well preserved Barberton and Pilbara successions in Southern Africa and Western Australia. The final section includes a number of contributions from authors with alternate perspectives on the evidence and record of early life on Earth.

Audience
This volume will be valuable to researchers and graduate students in biogeosciences, geochemistry, paleontology and geology interested in the origin of life on earth.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789048187935
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 9/23/2010
  • Edition description: 2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Contributors

Dedication to John F. Lindsay

Introduction; Miryam Glikson andSuzanne D. Golding

Part I:Submarine hot springsand venting environments - cradle of life

Earliest seafloor hydrothermal systems on Earth: Comparison with modern analogues; Suzanne D. Golding et al

Archean hydrothermal systems in the Barberton Greenstone Belt and their significance as a habitat for early life; Axel Hofmann

Birth of biomolecules from the warm wet sheets of clays near spreading centres; Lynda.B. Williams et al

Part II: Evidence and record of earliest life on Earth

Towards a null hypothesis for stromatolites; Martin D. Brasier

Trace element geochemistry as a tool for interpreting microbialites; Gregory E. Webb andBalz S. Kamber

A modern perspective on ancient life: microbial mats in sandy marine settings from the Archean Era to today; Nora Noffke

Early life record from nitrogen isotopes; Daniele L. Pinti and Ko Hashizume

Part III: Distinguishing biological from abiotically synthesized organic matter in the early archean

Integration of observational and analytical methodologies to characterize organic matter in early Archean rocks: distinguishing biological from abiotically synthesized carbonaceous matter structures; Miryam Glikson et al

Bugs or gunk? Nanoscale methods for assessing the biogenicity of ancient microfossils and organic matter; Bradley T. De Gregorio et al

What can carbon isotopes tell us about sources of reduced carbon in rocks from the early Earth; Thomas M. McCollom

Index

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