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Published June 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

A dynamic Archean sulfur cycle


Many aspects of the Earth's early sulfur cycle, from the origin of mass anomalous fractionations to the scale and degree of biological involvement, remain poorly understood. We have been studying the nature of multiple sulfur isotope (^(32)S, ^(33)S, and ^(34)S) signals using a novel combination of scanning high-resolution low-temperature superconductivity SQUID microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) techniques in a suite of samples from distal slope and basinal environments adjacent to a major Late Archean-age (~2.6-2.52 Ga) carbonate platform. Coupled with petrography, these techniques allow us to interrogate, at the same microscopic scale, the complex history of mineralization in samples containing diverse sulfide-bearing mineral components. Because of a general lack of Archean sulfate minerals, we focused our analyses on early diagenetic pyrite nodules, precipitated in surface sediments. This allows us to assay fractionations by controlling for isotope mass balance.

Additional Information

© 2011 by the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Open Access Article. Published online 1 August 2011.

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