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  • 1.
    Lima-Zaloumis, Jon
    et al.
    Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, PO Box 871404, Tempe, 85287-1404, AZ, USA.
    Neubeck, Anna
    Uppsala University, Department of Palaeobiology Geocentrum, Villavägen 16, 752 36, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Ivarsson, Magnus
    Swedish Museum of Natural History, Department of Paleobiology.
    Bose, Maitrayee
    Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, PO Box 871404, Tempe, 85287-1404, AZ, USA.
    Greenberger, Rebecca
    Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 1200 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, 91125, CA, USA.
    Templeton, Alexis S.
    University of Colorado, Department of Geological Sciences, UCB 399, Boulder, 80309, CO, USA.
    Czaja, Andrew D.
    University of Cincinnati, Department of Geology, 500 Geology-Physics, Cincinnati, 45221-0013, OH, USA.
    Kelemen, Peter B.
    Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 211 Comer, 61 Route 9W – PO Box 1000, Palisades, 10964, NY, USA.
    Edvinsson, Tomas
    Uppsala University, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Box 35, 751 03, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Microbial biosignature preservation in carbonated serpentine from the Samail Ophiolite, Oman2022In: Communications Earth & Environment, E-ISSN 2662-4435, Vol. 3, no 1, article id 231Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Serpentinization is a geological process involving the interaction of water and ultramafic rock, the chemical byproducts of which can serve as an energy source for microbial communities. Although serpentinite systems are known to host active microbial life, it is unclear to what extent fossil evidence of these communities may be preserved over time. Here we report the detection of biosignatures preserved in a mineralized fracture within drill cores from the Samail Ophiolite in Oman. Two varieties of filamentous structures were identified in association with iron oxide precipitates. The first type are interpreted as likely microbial remains, while the second type are recognized as potentially microbiological dubiofossils. Additionally, laminated structures composed of carbon and nitrogen rich material were identified and interpreted as having a microbially-associated origin. Our observations affirm the potential to detect subsurface microbial communities within serpentinizing environments and highlight a unique taphonomic window to preserve evidence of rock-hosted life.

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