Evidence for microbial activity in British and Irish Ordovician pillow lavas

Parnell, J., Hole, M. and Boyce, A. J. (2014) Evidence for microbial activity in British and Irish Ordovician pillow lavas. Geological Journal, 50(4), pp. 497-508. (doi: 10.1002/gj.2562)

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Pyrite is consistently found in modern seafloor vesicular basalts and has a sulphur isotopic composition consistent with microbial activity. We present S isotope data from pyrite in Ordovician pillow lavas at localities across the British Isles, which yield a range of δ34S compositions consistent with two components of sulphur: groundmass pyrite (~0 ± 4‰) and 32S-enriched pyrite in the vesicles (−8‰ to −27‰). The latter are recorded from vesicular lavas in four different terranes, representing different settings at the margins of the Iapetus Ocean. Whereas a component of magmatic sulphate is recognized in the groundmass values, the isotopically light data in the vesicles are consistent with microbial reduction of seawater sulphate in sub-seafloor lavas. This is consistent with modern examples and indicates considerable longevity for this sub-seafloor microbial habitat.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The work was funded by NERC support of the Isotope Community SupportFacility at SUERC through facility grant IP-1235-0511 to Adrian Boyce, Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian
Authors: Parnell, J., Hole, M., and Boyce, A. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Geological Journal
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN (Online):1099-1034

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