Ambient Pyrite in Precambrian Chert: New Evidence and a Theory
Barghoorn, Elso S.
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CitationKnoll, Andrew H., and Elso S. Barghoorn. 1974. Ambient pyrite in Precambrian chert: New evidence and a theory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 71, no. 6: 2329-2331.
AbstractAmbient pyrites of two distinct types were described from middle Precambrian rocks of the Lake Superior area. A new class of this phenomenon is here described from middle Precambrian chert from western Australia. The newly found ambient pyrites are quite minute and characteristically occur in groups forming a "starburst" pattern. All three types of ambient pyrite may be explained in terms of pressure solution initiated by gas evolution from organic material attached to the pyrite. Thermal degradation of the kerogen produces the gases which, due to the impermeability of the encompassing chert, build up the pressures necessary to initiate solution. Pyrite appendages bear a striking resemblance to micro-organisms and, thus, constitute the smallest pseudofossils known.
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