A late Paleoproterozoic (1.74 Ga) deep‐sea, low‐temperature, iron‐oxidizing microbial hydrothermal vent community from Arizona, USA

Type Article
Date 2021-05
Language English
Author(s) Little Crispin T. S.1, Johannessen Karen C2, Bengtson Stefan3, Chan Clara S4, Ivarsson Magnus3, 5, Slack John F6, Broman Curt7, Thorseth Ingunn H.2, Grenne Tor8, Rouxel OlivierORCID9, Bekker Andrey10, 11
Affiliation(s) 1 : School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
2 : Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
3 : Department of Palaeobiology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden
4 : Department of Earth Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, USA
5 : Department of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense M, Denmark
6 : U.S. Geological Survey (Emeritus), National Center, Reston, USA
7 : Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
8 : Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim, Norway
9 : Marine Geosciences Research Unit, IFREMER, Plouzané, France
10 : Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Riverside, USA
11 : Department of Geology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Source Geobiology (1472-4677) (Wiley / Blackwell), 2021-05 , Vol. 19 , N. 3 , P. 228-249
DOI 10.1111/gbi.12434
WOS© Times Cited 9
Keyword(s) Arizona, Fe&#8208, oxidizing bacteria, hydrothermal vents, jasper, late Paleoproterozoic, Verde mining district

Modern marine hydrothermal vents occur in a wide variety of tectonic settings and are characterized by seafloor emission of fluids rich in dissolved chemicals and rapid mineral precipitation. Some hydrothermal systems vent only low‐temperature Fe‐rich fluids, which precipitate deposits dominated by iron oxyhydroxides, in places together with Mn‐oxyhydroxides and amorphous silica. While a proportion of this mineralization is abiogenic, most is the result of the metabolic activities of benthic, Fe‐oxidizing bacteria (FeOB), principally belonging to the Zetaproteobacteria. These micro‐organisms secrete micrometer‐scale stalks, sheaths, and tubes with a variety of morphologies, composed largely of ferrihydrite that act as sacrificial structures, preventing encrustation of the cells that produce them. Cultivated marine FeOB generally require neutral pH and microaerobic conditions to grow. Here, we describe the morphology and mineralogy of filamentous microstructures from a late Paleoproterozoic (1.74 Ga) jasper (Fe‐oxide‐silica) deposit from the Jerome area of the Verde mining district in central Arizona, USA, that resemble the branching tubes formed by some modern marine FeOB. On the basis of this comparison, we interpret the Jerome area filaments as having formed by FeOB on the deep seafloor, at the interface of weakly oxygenated seawater and low‐temperature Fe‐rich hydrothermal fluids. We compare the Jerome area filaments with other purported examples of Precambrian FeOB and discuss the implications of their presence for existing redox models of Paleoproterozoic oceans during the “Boring Billion.”

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Little Crispin T. S., Johannessen Karen C, Bengtson Stefan, Chan Clara S, Ivarsson Magnus, Slack John F, Broman Curt, Thorseth Ingunn H., Grenne Tor, Rouxel Olivier, Bekker Andrey (2021). A late Paleoproterozoic (1.74 Ga) deep‐sea, low‐temperature, iron‐oxidizing microbial hydrothermal vent community from Arizona, USA. Geobiology, 19(3), 228-249. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1111/gbi.12434 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00680/79162/