The Fate of Biological Materials in Acidic Environments of the Río Tinto, Southwestern Spain

  • David C. Fernández-Remolar
  • César Menor Salván
  • Marta Ruiz Bermejo
  • Andrew H. Knoll
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 11)

Earth is a planet that records its own history, including aspects of its biological history (Knoll, 2003). The long-term evolution of life is recorded by fossils, molecular biomarkers, biogeochemically informative isotopic abundances, especially of carbon and sulfur, and sedimentary textures that reflect biological activity. One might reasonably expect that other planets have recorded their histories as well, encrypting evidence of past tectonics, climate, atmospheric composition, and, if present, life in the physical and chemical properties of sedimentary rocks. For most of Earth history, the biota was microbial, and it is likely that microbial signatures will be the astrobiological targets of any planetary sediment we will be privileged to examine close at hand.


Lower Cambrian Organic Preservation Dimethyl Disulfide Abietic Acid Pelargonic Acid 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. Fernández-Remolar
    • 1
  • César Menor Salván
    • 1
  • Marta Ruiz Bermejo
    • 1
  • Andrew H. Knoll
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro de AstrobiologíaINTA-CSICSpain
  2. 2.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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