Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

SQUID-SIMS is a useful approach to uncover primary signals in the Archean sulfur cycle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Woodward W Fischer, David A Fike, Jena E Johnson, Timothy D Raub, Yunbin Guan, Joseph L Kirschvink, John M Eiler

Abstract

Many aspects of Earth's early sulfur cycle, from the origin of mass-anomalous fractionations to the degree of biological participation, remain poorly understood-in part due to complications from postdepositional diagenetic and metamorphic processes. Using a combination of scanning high-resolution magnetic superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) microscopy and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) of sulfur isotopes ((32)S, (33)S, and (34)S), we examined drill core samples from slope and basinal environments adjacent to a major Late Archean (∼2.6-2.5 Ga) marine carbonate platform from South Africa. Coupled with petrography, these techniques can untangle the complex history of mineralization in samples containing diverse sulfur-bearing phases. We focused on pyrite nodules, precipitated in shallow sediments. These textures record systematic spatial differences in both mass-dependent and mass-anomalous sulfur-isotopic composition over length scales of even a few hundred microns. Petrography and magnetic imaging demonstrate that mass-anomalous fractionations were acquired before burial and compaction, but also show evidence of postdepositional alteration 500 million y after deposition. Using magnetic imaging to screen for primary phases, we observed large spatial gradients in Δ(33)S (>4‰) in nodules, pointing to substantial environmental heterogeneity and dynamic mixing of sulfur pools on geologically rapid timescales. In other nodules, large systematic radial δ(34)S gradients (>20‰) were observed, from low values near their centers increasing to high values near their rims. These fractionations support hypotheses that microbial sulfate reduction was an important metabolism in organic-rich Archean environments-even in an Archean ocean basin dominated by iron chemistry.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5468-73
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume111
Issue number15
Early online date1 Apr 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2014

    Research areas

  • Mass independent fractionation, MIF, Metamorphism, Metasomatism

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Geology and geochronology of the Tana Basin, Ethiopia: LIP volcanism, super eruptions and Eocene-Oligocene environmental change

    Prave, T., Bates, C. R., Donaldson, C. H., Toland, H., Condon, D. J., Mark, D. & Raub, T. D., 1 Jun 2016, In : Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 443

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: inferring the environmental context of human evolution from eastern African rift lake deposits

    Cohen, A., Campisano, C., Arrowsmith, R., Asrat, A., Behrensmeyer, A. K., Deino, A., Feibel, C., Hill, A., Johnson, R., Kingston, J., Lamb, H., Lowenstein, T., Noren, A., Olago, D., Owen, R. B., Potts, R., Reed, K., Renaut, R., Schäbitz, F., Tiercelin, J-J. & 41 othersTrauth, M. H., Wynn, J., Ivory, S., Brady, K., O'Grady, R., Rodysill, J., Githiri, J., Russell, J., Foerster, V., Dommain, R., Rucina, S., Deocampo, D., Russell, J., Billingsley, A., Beck, C., Dorenbeck, G., Dullo, L., Feary, D., Garello, D., Gromig, R., Johnson, T., Junginger, A., Karanja, M., Kimburi, E., Mbuthia, A., McCartney, T., McNulty, E., Muiruri, V., Nambiro, E., Negash, E. W., Njagi, D., Wilson, J. N., Rabideaux, N., Raub, T. D., Sier, M. J., Smith, P., Urban, J., Warren, M., Yadeta, M., Yost, C. & Zinaye, B., 19 Feb 2016, In : Scientific Drilling. 21, p. 1-16 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Was the Cambrian explosion both an effect and an artifact of true polar wander?

    Mitchell, R. N., Raub, T. D., Silva, S. C. & Kirschvink, J. L., 1 Dec 2015, In : American Journal of Science. 315, 10, p. 945-957 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Challenging the sensitivity limits of paleomagnetism: magnetostratigraphy of weakly magnetized Guadalupian-Lopingian (Permian) limestone from Kyushu, Japan

    Kirschvink, J. L., Isozaki, Y., Shibuya, H., Otofuji, Y-I., Raub, T. D., Hilburn, I. A., Kasuya, T., Yokoyama, M. & Bonifacie, M., 15 Jan 2015, In : Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 418, p. 75-89 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Neoproterozoic cap-dolostone deposition in stratified glacial meltwater plume

    Liu, C., Wang, Z., Raub, T. D., Macdonald, F. A. & Evans, D. A. D., 15 Oct 2014, In : Earth and Planetary Science Letters. 404, p. 22-32 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Limited oxygen production in the Mesoarchean ocean

    Ossa Ossa, F., Hofmann, A., Spangenberg, J. E., Poulton, S. W., Stüeken, E. E., Schoenberg, R., Eickmann, B., Wille, M., Butler, M. & Bekker, A., 2 Apr 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 14, p. 6647-6652 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Titanium isotopes as a tracer for the plume or island arc affinity of felsic rocks

    Deng, Z., Chaussidon, M., Savage, P., Robert, F., Pik, R. & Moynier, F., 3 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Advance Article

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Ancient polymorphisms and divergence hitchhiking contribute to genomic islands of divergence within a poplar species complex

    Ma, T., Wang, K., Hu, Q., Xi, Z., Wan, D., Wang, Q., Feng, J., Jiang, D., Ahani, H., Abbott, R. J., Lascoux, M., Nevo, E. & Liu, J., 9 Jan 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 2, p. E236-E243 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Divergent biodiversity change within ecosystems

    Magurran, A. E., Deacon, A. E., Moyes, F. H., Shimadzu, H., Azeredo de Dornelas, M. A., Phillip, D. & Ramnarine, I., 20 Feb 2018, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 115, 8, p. 1843-1847 5 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Michael Martin Nevels (Guest editor)
    Jul 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Gareth Brian Miles (Reviewer)
    2006 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

ID: 118746427