Artificial Microfossils: Experimental Studies of Permineralization of Blue-Green Algae in Silica

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Science  17 Dec 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4015, pp. 1229-1231
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4015.1229


A technique has been developed to artificially fossilize microscopic algae in crystalline silica under conditions of moderately elevated temperature and pressure. The technique is designed to simulate geochemical processes thought to have resulted in the preservation of organic microfossils in Precambrian bedded cherts. In degree of preservation and mineralogic setting, the artificially permineralized microorganisms are comparable to naturally occurring fossil algae.