Infrared spectroscopic characterization of organic matter associated with microbial bioalteration textures in basaltic glass

L. J. Preston, Matthew Richar Izawa, N. R. Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microorganisms have been found to etch volcanic glass within volcaniclastic deposits from the Ontong Java Plateau, creating micron-sized tunnels and pits. The fossil record of such bioalteration textures is interpreted to extend back ∼3.5 billion years to include meta-volcanic glass from ophiolites and Precambrian greenstone belts. Bioalteration features within glass clasts from Leg 192 of the Ocean Drilling Program were investigated through optical microscopy and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy of petrographic thin sections. Extended depth of focus optical microscopic imaging was used to identify bioalteration tubules within the samples and later combined with FTIR spectroscopy to study the organic molecules present within tubule clusters. The tubule-rich areas are characterized by absorption bands indicative of aliphatic hydrocarbons, amides, esters, and carboxylic groups. FTIR analysis of the tubule-free areas in the cores of glass clasts indicated that they were free of organics. This study further constrains the nature of the carbon compounds preserved within the tubules and supports previous studies that suggest the tubules formed through microbial activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-599
Number of pages15
JournalAstrobiology
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

volcanic glass
FTIR spectroscopy
clast
Glass
glass
textures
texture
organic matter
volcaniclastic deposit
aliphatic hydrocarbon
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy
greenstone belt
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
Ocean Drilling Program
thin section
fossil record
Fourier transform
ester
microbial activity
microscopy

Keywords

  • Basalt glass
  • Bioalteration
  • Infrared
  • Organics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Infrared spectroscopic characterization of organic matter associated with microbial bioalteration textures in basaltic glass. / Preston, L. J.; Richar Izawa, Matthew; Banerjee, N. R.

In: Astrobiology, Vol. 11, No. 7, 01.09.2011, p. 585-599.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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