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Early Archean serpentine mud volcanoes at Isua, Greenland, as a niche for early life

  1. Francis Albarèdea,2
  1. aEcole Normale Supérieure, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 69007 Lyon, France;
  2. bResearch Reactor Institute, Kyoto University, Osaka 590–0494, Japan;
  3. cNatural History Museum of Denmark, and Nordic Center for Earth Evolution, 1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark;
  4. dDepartment of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, St. Louis, MO 63130
  1. Edited* by Mark H. Thiemens, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, and approved September 15, 2011 (received for review May 20, 2011)

  1. Fig. 1.

    Zinc isotope compositions of Isua supracrustal rocks and serpentinites from the Mariana forearc, Gakkel Ridge, and Alpine ophiolites, compared with δ66Zn data in marine shales (this study and data from ref.?48), deep-sea carbonates (data from refs.?47 and 48), and FeMn nodules (data from ref.?31). The gray field represents the worldwide igneous average (20).

  2. Fig. 2.

    Theoretical isotope fractionation factors (β) between isotopomers as a function of temperature for different Zn species. Values are inferred from ab initio calculations for Zn in sulfate-rich (dashed lines, data from ref.?12), sulfide-rich (solid lines, data from ref.?13), and carbonate-rich fluids (dotted lines, data from ref.?13).

  3. Fig. 3.

    SEM images of a section of Isua peridotite 8c. atg: antigorite; ol: olivine; Co-ptl: cobaltian pentlandite; ox: oxide (Fe-Ni-Cr). (A) Only one sulfide (black circle) is present. (B) The sulfide is cobaltian-pentlandite (Fe19Ni29Co4S48). (C) Other white spots in A are not sulfides but oxides as analyzed by EDS.

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