Dixon Island Formation, Western Australia
The Dixon Island Formation is a 3.2-Ga-old sequence of lightly metamorphosed but highly silicified cherts, organic-rich black shales and tuffs belonging to the Cleaverville Group and located in the Pilbara Craton, Western Australia. The unit is thought to have formed through shallow marine hydrothermal alteration of Archean oceanic crust. Possible microbial mats and bacteria-like structures have been observed and are considered by some to be traces of early life. The sequence was the target of the Dixon Island-Cleaverville Drilling Project (DXCL-DP). The most important objective of the DXCL-DP was to understand the nature of the Middle Archean marine environment, influenced by hydrothermal activity, through detailed and systematic study of fresh drill core samples.