Most Archean organic matter has been subjected to a high degree of alteration by thermal processes, often involving very high temperatures. The original morphology of possible organisms and their biochemical make up have been altered to such an extent that in many cases they are unidentifiable. There is, therefore, great difficulty and often uncertainty when trying to identify or compare Archean microorganisms with modern day analogues. On the other hand microbial populations have changed little over the geological time scale and may be the only organic remains to be positively identified. Their small size may enable them to be spared destruction when squeezed into microcavities in the organic and mineral matrix. Microorganisms such as bacteria may also be preserved due to incorporated or substituted metals, as documented in earlier studies (Degens and Ittekkot, 1982).
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- Nature of organic matter in the early Proterozoic, earliest life forms and metal associations
- Springer Netherlands
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