21-EPN-FT1-021: Diffuse chemotrophic microbialites as analogues for martian life
Visit by Laura Clodoré, Centre de Biophysique Moléculaire-CNRS, Orléans (France) to TA2 Facility 3 – NHM Petrology, Mineralogy and Chemistry Facility (UK).
Dates of visit: 27 June – 05 July 2022
Understanding the characteristics and microbial-scale habitats of the oldest traces of life on Earth requires the use of multiple complementary methods that will be relevant both for in situ analysis of Martian rocks, as well as for identifying signatures of biological processes (biosignatures) in returned samples.
In this respect, fossilised chemolithotrophic microorganisms found in ancient volcanoclastic sediments from the East Pilbara craton, Western Australia, an environment having similar conditions to early Mars, can be used as analogues for the kinds of primitive microorganisms that could be found on Mars. We performed combined analyses using FTIR spectroscopy, SEM observations, EDX mapping and LA-ICP-MS in order to investigate the distribution and the molecular and elemental composition of the carbonaceous matter. These results will complete a detailed morphological, mineralogical and geochemical dataset and that will enable the assessment of the astrobiological potential of these Mars analogue sediments.
Back to TA main page.
Back to Europlanet 2024 RI homepage.