2002 Annual Science Report

University of Colorado, Boulder Reporting  |  JUL 2001 – JUN 2002

Biogeochemistry of the Early Earth

4 Institutions
3 Teams
0 Publications
0 Field Sites
Field Sites

Project Progress

Our group has been involved in several projects this past year: (1) Geochronological studies of Archean rocks of southern West Greenland (with Harrison and Manning) and southern India (with Newton and Devaraju); (2) Nitrogen isotope and spectroscopic studies of Archean metasedimentary minerals (with Papineau and Marty); (3) Mass-independent sulfur isotope anomalies in Archean and Proterozoic sediments (with Coath, Greenwood, McKeegan and Harrison); (4) geochemistry of the oldest known zircons and the nature of the Hadean (pre-4 Ga) crust; and (5) A mission to Early Earth drilling project. We have manuscripts in press or submitted for the above projects. Laboratory development is also ongoing as we create an Astrobiology Materials Research Center at the University of Colorado.

    Stephen Mojzsis
    Project Investigator

    Dominic Papineau
    Doctoral Student

    Objective 1.0
    Determine whether the atmosphere of the early Earth, hydrothermal systems or exogenous matter were significant sources of organic matter.

    Objective 5.0
    Describe the sequences of causes and effects associated with the development of Earth's early biosphere and the global environment.

    Objective 7.0
    Identify the environmental limits for life by examining biological adaptations to extremes in environmental conditions.

    Objective 12.0
    Define climatological and geological effects upon the limits of habitable zones around the Sun and other stars to help define the frequency of habitable planets in the universe.