Articles | Volume 16, issue 12
Biogeosciences, 16, 2443–2465, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2443-2019
Biogeosciences, 16, 2443–2465, 2019
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-16-2443-2019

Research article 19 Jun 2019

Research article | 19 Jun 2019

Organic signatures in Pleistocene cherts from Lake Magadi (Kenya) – implications for early Earth hydrothermal deposits

Manuel Reinhardt et al.

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ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (review by editor) (21 Mar 2019) by Marcel van der Meer
AR by Manuel Reinhardt on behalf of the Authors (18 Apr 2019)  Author's response    Manuscript
ED: Publish subject to technical corrections (03 May 2019) by Marcel van der Meer
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Short summary
Organic matter in Archean hydrothermal cherts may contain molecular traces of early life. Alteration processes during and after deposition, however, may have obliterated potential biosignatures. Our results from modern analog samples (Pleistocene cherts from Lake Magadi, Kenya) show that biomolecules can survive early hydrothermal destruction in the macromolecular fraction of the organic matter. A conservation of molecular biosignatures in Archean hydrothermal cherts therefore seems possible.
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