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13C-Depleted Carbon Microparticles in >3700-Ma Sea-Floor Sedimentary Rocks from West Greenland

Science  29 Jan 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5402, pp. 674-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5402.674

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Abstract

Turbiditic and pelagic sedimentary rocks from the Isua supracrustal belt in west Greenland [more than 3700 million years ago (Ma)] contain reduced carbon that is likely biogenic. The carbon is present as 2- to 5-micrometer graphite globules and has an isotopic composition of δ13C that is about –19 per mil (Pee Dee belemnite standard). These data and the mode of occurrence indicate that the reduced carbon represents biogenic detritus, which was perhaps derived from planktonic organisms.

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