Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

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

Apex Basalt, Australia

  • Nicholas Arndt
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_87-3


The Apex Basalt is a ca. 3.46-Ga-old formation comprising tholeiitic pillow basalts, komatiitic basalts, and komatiites intercalated with thin chert layers. It is located near Marble Bar in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. Microfossils, morphological biomarkers, and filamentous carbon structures in the lower chert beds have been interpreted as fossil prokaryotes (mainly cyanobacteria but also thermophiles) and are claimed to represent the oldest fossil record of life on Earth. For this reason, outcrops of this formation are considered one of the most important astrobiological sites on Earth.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Fossil Record Carbon Structure Pillow Basalt Filamentous Carbon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maison des GéosciencesLGCA, Université J. FourierSt-Martin d’HèresFrance