Archean Banded Iron Formation

In its youth, our planet was molten, red-hot, and battered by abundant meteorites. Earth was so hostile to life that scientists named this period the Hadean Eon (4.6–4 billion years ago), for Hades, the Greek god of the place called Hell.

The earliest known life appears in the geologic record about 3.8 billion years ago in the form of stromatolites, decidedly unsexy blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria. Dating from the Archean Eon (4–2.5 billion years ago) is Banded Iron Formation (BIF)—iron ore containing irregular reddish stripes of stromatolite fossils.

Scientists disagree on how to define stromatolites. Though cellular and photosynthetic, cyanobacteria were neither plant nor animal. They were, perhaps, masses of goo. But the goo hardened, and stromatolites became remarkably resilient fossils.

On Lake Michigan’s Left Coast, excellent examples of Archean BIF can sometimes be found.

Banded Iron Formation, or BIF, from the Precambrian Eon (4600–541 million years ago), by Left Coast Creative (© 2017 Elizabeth G Fagan) for the blog Lake Michigan’s Left Coast


Banded Iron Formation, BIF, Elizabeth Fagan, Left Coast Creative, Lake Michigans Left Coast
Banded Iron Formation, BIF, Elizabeth Fagan, Left Coast Creative, Lake Michigan’s Left Coast
Banded Iron Formation, BIF, Elizabeth Fagan, Left Coast Creative, Lake Michigans Left Coast
Banded Iron Formation, BIF, Elizabeth Fagan, Left Coast Creative, Lake Michigan’s Left Coast
Banded Iron Formation, BIF, Elizabeth Fagan, Left Coast Creative, Lake Michigans Left Coast
Banded Iron Formation, BIF, Elizabeth Fagan, Left Coast Creative, Lake Michigan’s Left Coast

More about Left Coast Creative services & the blog Lake Michigan’s Left Coast

Advertisements

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: