2002 Denver Annual Meeting (October 27-30, 2002)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 2:05 PM


MOJZSIS, Stephen J., Department of Geological Sciences, Univ of Colorado, UCB 399, 2200 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, CO 80309-0399, COATH, Christopher D., Department of Earth Sciences, Univ of Bristol, Wills Memorial Building, Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, United Kingdom, GREENWOOD, James P., Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale Univ, Kline Geological Laboratory, New Haven, CT 05611, MCKEEGAN, Kevin D., Department of Earth and Space Sciences, Univ of California, Box 1567, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567 and HARRISON, T. Mark, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National Univ, Canberra A.C.T, 0200, Australia, mojzsis@colorado.edu

Sulfur isotope (34S/32S)/(33S/32S) anomalies consistent with mass-independent fractionations (D 33S=d33S x 0.515 d34S, MIF when D33S) reported from bulk analyses of sulfates and sulfides in a diverse suite of sedimentary rocks potentially place constraints on the nature of ancient atmospheric chemistries. A secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS; ion microprobe) multicollector technique previously developed to measure microdomain D33S values in martian meteorites obtains precise (34S /32S) and (33S/32S) ratios. Our data reveal large non-mass-dependent D33S anomalies, some of which form separate linear d33S/d34S arrays in sulfides from Archean sediments. The D33S data reported here corroborate prior bulk measurements of Precambrian sulfides and most likely reflect atmospheric MIF sulfur transferred to the oceans in the Archean, implanted into marine sediments, and subsequently preserved within sedimentary sulfides. Our ion microprobe data provide additional support for a postulated low pO2 and photochemically active atmosphere on the Earth before ca. 2.2 Ga, as well as extends the record of atmosphere-hydrosphere interactions revealed by sulfur isotopes to ca. 3.83 Ga. This technique offers new opportunities for exploring ancient sulfur metabolisms preserved in the rock record. The presence of MIF sulfur in sulfides from a ~3.8 Ga metaquartzite/banded iron formation from Akilia island, West Greenland, supports models for a marine sedimentary origin for this rock.