This book comprehensively explores the early evolution of life and the Archean environment. Topics include the differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, variations in metabolisms, concepts of ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles (nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorous), Archean geology and environments, and the widely accepted early evolutionary history of life. The text addresses controversies regarding early life and its environment, particularly the unusual microfossil assemblages from the 3.4 Ga Strelley Pool Formation and the 3.0 Ga Farrel Quartzite of Western Australia. Readers will get a fuller picture of the Archean world, and an appreciation of many still unresolved questions.
- Illustrated with figures visualizing ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles etc which are indispensable for understanding the Archean Earth.
- Includes tables arranging key words, definitions, and interpretations.
- Documents the Archean environment with photographic evidence and detailed descriptions the rocks, minerals and microfossils.
- Summarizes the latest field research.
- Details exciting unresolved questions for future study.
Table of Contents
1) Space, solar system and the Earth
2) Solid Earth
3) Life on the Earth 1
4) Life on the Earth 2
5) Topics of the Archean (and Hadean) Earth 1
6) Topics of the Precambrian Earth 2
7) Biosignatures in ancient rocks and related issues
8) Early (Paleo- to Meso-) Archean cellularly-preserved biosignatures
9) Overview of the Pilbara Microstructures 1: the Farrel Quartzite assemblage
10) Overview of the Pilbara Microstructures 2: the Strelley Pool Formation assemblage
11) Biogenicity of the Pilbara Microstructures
12) Lifecycle and mode of life of the Pilbara microfossils
13) Facts and problems of the Pilbara Microfossils and related issues
Kenichiro Sugitani is Professor in the Graduate School of Environmental Studies at Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya. He has published over 70 scientific papers and received the 1995 Geochemical Society of Japan encouragement award for contributions to understanding of geochemistry and origin of ancient siliceous sediments including Archean cherts. He has undertaken fieldwork in the Pilbara Craton and mapped the Goldsworthy greenstone belt, and discovered microfossils from the 3.0 Ga Farrel Quartzite. He is an associate member of Australian Centre for Astrobiology at the University of New South Wales, and serves as regional editor of Astrobiology and a member of editorial advisory board of Geobiology.