Space Science Reviews

, Volume 135, Issue 1, pp 203-220

Multiple-Sulphur Isotope Biosignatures

  • Shuhei OnoAffiliated withDepartment of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Email author 

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Variations in sulphur isotope ratios have been used as biosignatures in early rock records and Martian meteorites because some microbial sulphur metabolisms are known to produce large magnitude mass-dependent sulphur isotope fractionation. In order to establish the sulphur isotope biosignature, however, it becomes critically important to evaluate abiogenic processes that fractionate sulphur isotope ratios. A brief review is given here for the fundamental systematics and characteristics of multiple-sulfur isotope effects associated with (1) biological, (2) hydrothermal, and (3) photochemical processes. High-precision analysis of all four isotope abundance of sulphur may provide a unique constraint to establish biosignatures in space exploration.


S-33 S-36 Multiple-sulphur isotope Sulfur isotope Sulphur isotope Mass-independent fractionation Archean Biosignature Meteorite Sulfate reduction Hydrothermal Photochemical