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A demonstration of an affinity between pyrite and organic matter in a hydrothermal setting

By P. Lindgren, J. Parnell, N.G. Holm and C. Broman

Abstract

One of the key-principles of the iron-sulphur world theory is to bring organic molecules close enough to interact with each other, using the surface of pyrite as a substrate in a hydrothermal setting. The present paper explores the relationship of pyrite and organic matter in a hydrothermal setting from the geological record; in hydrothermal calcite veins from Carboniferous limestones in central Ireland. Here, the organic matter is accumulated as coatings around, and through, pyrite grains. Most of the pyrite grains are euhedral-subhedral crystals, ranging in size from ca 0.1-0.5 mm in diameter, and they are scattered throughout the matrix of the vein calcite. The organic matter was deposited from a hydrothermal fluid at a temperature of at least 200°C, and gives a Raman signature of disordered carbon. This study points to an example from a hydrothermal setting in the geological record, demonstrating that pyrite can have a high potential for the concentration and accumulation of organic materials

Topics: QE, GE
Publisher: BioMed Central
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.gla.ac.uk:51868
Provided by: Enlighten

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Citations

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  2. (1986). Clay minerals and the origin of life Cambridge: doi

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