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

John Parnell*, Sean McMahon, Adrian Boyce

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
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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

Keywords

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

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