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Microbial trace-fossil formation, biogenous, and abiotic weathering in the Antarctic cold desert.

Microbial trace-fossil formation, biogenous, and abiotic weathering in the Antarctic cold desert. In the Antarctic cold desert (Ross Desert), the survival of the cryptoendolithic microorganisms that colonize the near-surface layer of porous sandstone rocks depends on a precarious equilibrium of biological and geological factors. An unfavorable shift of this equilibrium results in death, and this may be followed by formation of trace fossils that preserve the characteristic iron-leaching pattern caused by microbial activity. Similar microbial trace fossil may exist in the geological record. If life ever arose on early Mars, similar processes may have occurred there and left recognizable traces. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Science (New York, N.Y.) Pubmed

Microbial trace-fossil formation, biogenous, and abiotic weathering in the Antarctic cold desert.

Science (New York, N.Y.) , Volume 236 (4802): -697 – Sep 9, 1999

Microbial trace-fossil formation, biogenous, and abiotic weathering in the Antarctic cold desert.


Abstract

In the Antarctic cold desert (Ross Desert), the survival of the cryptoendolithic microorganisms that colonize the near-surface layer of porous sandstone rocks depends on a precarious equilibrium of biological and geological factors. An unfavorable shift of this equilibrium results in death, and this may be followed by formation of trace fossils that preserve the characteristic iron-leaching pattern caused by microbial activity. Similar microbial trace fossil may exist in the geological record. If life ever arose on early Mars, similar processes may have occurred there and left recognizable traces.

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ISSN
0036-8075
DOI
10.1126/science.11536571
pmid
11536571

Abstract

In the Antarctic cold desert (Ross Desert), the survival of the cryptoendolithic microorganisms that colonize the near-surface layer of porous sandstone rocks depends on a precarious equilibrium of biological and geological factors. An unfavorable shift of this equilibrium results in death, and this may be followed by formation of trace fossils that preserve the characteristic iron-leaching pattern caused by microbial activity. Similar microbial trace fossil may exist in the geological record. If life ever arose on early Mars, similar processes may have occurred there and left recognizable traces.

Journal

Science (New York, N.Y.)Pubmed

Published: Sep 9, 1999

There are no references for this article.