Demonstrating deep biosphere activity in the geological record of lake sediments, on Earth and Mars

John Parnell, Sean McMahon, Adrian Boyce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The investigation of Gale Crater has highlighted the occurrence of lake sediments in the geological record of Mars. Lacustrine basins include a diversity of potential habitats for life. An analogue terrestrial lacustrine basin of Devonian age in Scotland contains sulphide minerals in several settings where subsurface microbial colonization can be envisaged. Sulphur isotope compositions for the sulphides imply that they were precipitated by microbial sulphate reduction. The data suggest that the search for life in martian lacustrine basins should include investigation of potential subsurface habitats, and that any sulphides in martian lacustrine basins could be useful indicators in the search for life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-385
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Astrobiology
Volume17
Issue number4
Early online date2 Oct 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Fingerprint

biosphere
geological record
lakes
mars
lacustrine deposit
Mars
sediments
basins
sulfides
habitats
sulfide
basin
sulfide minerals
microbial colonization
sulfur isotopes
Scotland
sulfur isotope
habitat
craters
crater

Keywords

  • deep biosphere
  • gale crater
  • lake sediments
  • Mars
  • Orcadian Basin
  • Scotland
  • sulphur isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Demonstrating deep biosphere activity in the geological record of lake sediments, on Earth and Mars. / Parnell, John; McMahon, Sean; Boyce, Adrian.

In: International Journal of Astrobiology, Vol. 17, No. 4, 10.2018, p. 380-385.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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