Mineral Radioactivity in Sands as a mechanism for fixation of organic carbon on the Earthly Earth

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Abstract

Irradiation of organic molecules by mineral radioactivity is a feasible alternative to cosmic irradiation to precipitate solid organic carbon-rich matter on the early Earth. Radioactive (uranium- and thorium-rich) minerals have been concentrated at the Earth's surface, and accumulated accretionary coatings of carbon due to irradiation, since early Archean times. The organic accretion process could have occurred at the surface or in the sub-surface, and is independent of a terrestrial or extraterrestrial source for the carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-547
Number of pages14
JournalOrigins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • early Earth
  • habitable zones
  • irradiation
  • monazite
  • polymerization
  • rocky planets
  • NATURAL FISSION REACTORS
  • ISUA SUPRACRUSTAL BELT
  • PRIMORDIAL OIL-SLICK
  • WESTERN-AUSTRALIA
  • DETRITAL ZIRCONS
  • WITWATERSRAND BASIN
  • CONTINENTAL-CRUST
  • THERMAL EVOLUTION
  • PRIMITIVE EARTH
  • SOUTH-AFRICA

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