Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Minik T. Rosing
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_41-3


Akilia is the name of a small island (~2.3 km by 1.4 km) south of the town of Nuuk on the SW coast of Greenland (63.933°N, 51.667°W). The Akilia sequence of rocks has its name from this island, but they occur throughout the Eoarchean of West Greenland. The Akilia sequence consists mainly of granitic gneiss and includes some of the oldest rocks on Earth. The largest member of this group of rocks is the ca. 3.8 Ga-old Isua supracrustal belt composed of metamorphosed pillow basalts, clastic, and chemical sediments that constitute the oldest known supracrustal sequence. Fractionated C, N, and S isotopic compositions of materials of probable sedimentary origin are thought to be biogenic and to provide the oldest record of life on Earth.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nordic Center for Earth’s Evolution, Natural History Museum of DenmarkUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark