Role of Microorganisms in Banded Iron Formations
Banded iron formations (BIF) represent the largest source of iron in the world. They formed throughout the Precambrian, and today are globally distributed on the remnants of the ancient cratons. The first BIF dates back to at least 3.9–3.8 billion years. Little is known about this early period in earth’s history, in particular about the presence of molecular oxygen, O2, and therefore also about the deposition mechanisms of BIF at that time.
KeywordsFerrous Iron Sulfur Isotope Band Iron Formation Ferric Hydroxide Ancient Craton
This work was supported by research grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG) made to AK (KA 1736/2-1, 2-2, 4-1, and 12-1), funding from the DFG and the University of Tuebingen to IK, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to KK. We would also like to thank Nicole Posth and Merle Eickhoff for helpful comments.
- Beukes NJ, Klein C (1992) Models for iron-formation deposition. In: Schopf JW, Klein C (eds) The proterozoic biosphere: a multidisciplinary study. University of Cambridge Press, Cambridge, UK, pp 147–151Google Scholar
- Garrels RM (1987) A Model for the deposition of the microbanded Precambrian iron formations. American Journal of Science 287:81–106Google Scholar
- Gross GA (1965) Geology of iron deposits in Canada, Volume 1. General geology and evaluation of iron deposits, Geological Survey of Canada Economic Report, 22Google Scholar
- Han T-M (1978) Microstructures of magnetite as guides to its origin in some Precambrian iron-formations. Fortschr Mineral 56:105–142Google Scholar
- Hayes JM (1983) Geochemical evidence bearing on the origin of aerobiosis, a speculative hypothesis. In: Schopf JW, Klein C (eds) Earth’s earliest biosphere, its origins and evolution. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, pp 291–301Google Scholar
- Hoffman PF, Schrag DP (2000) Snowball Earth. Sci Am 282(January):68–75Google Scholar
- James HL (1966) Chemistry of the iron-rich sedimentary rocks. In: Fleischer M (ed) Data of geochemistry, 6th edn. Paper 440-W. US Govt. Printing Office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
- Jaun B, Thauer RK (2007) Nickel and its surprising impact in nature. In: Sigel A, Sigel H, Sigel RKO (eds) Metal ions in life sciences, vol 2. Wiley, Chichester, UK, pp 323–356Google Scholar
- McConchie D (1987) The geology and geochemistry of the Joffre and Whaleback Shale members of the Brockman iron formation, Western Australia. In: Appel PWU, LaBerge GL (eds) Precambrian iron-formations. Theophrastus, AthensGoogle Scholar
- Posth NR, Konhauser KO, Kappler A (2010a) Microbiological processes in BIF deposition. In: Glenn C, Jarvis I (eds) Authigenic minerals: sedimentology, geochemistry, origins, distribution and applications. Journal of Sedimentology IAS Special Publication Series (in press)Google Scholar
- Posth NR, Konhauser KO, Kappler A (2010b) Banded iron formations. In: Thiel V, Reitner J (eds) Encyclopedia of geobiology. Springer, Hiedelberg (in press)Google Scholar
- Walter XA, Picazo A, Miracle RM, Vicente E, Camacho A, Aragno M, Zopfi J (2009) Anaerobic microbial iron oxidation in an iron-meromictic lake. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 73(13):A1405Google Scholar