Archean Carbonates

(Current funding is from the Agouron Institute. NASA Astrobiology and Exobiology has also funded much of this research.)

Archean* carbonates record ocean chemistry prior to the rise in atmospheric oxygen, preserve evidence for complex microbial communities, and provide constraints on the subsidence of Archean cratons. Check out our Agouron South Africa drilling project web page: Agouron Griqualand Drilling Project. The Agouron Institute is also funding a drilling project in Australia, let by Roger Buick at University of Washington.

The outcrop photo on the right show Archean stromatolites from Boetsap, South Africa. They are composed of calcite that precipitated on and in microbial mats in a shallow subtidal environment. The hand lens on top of the outcrop is 2 cm across.

Archean Carbonate Papers:

Ono, Shuhei, Alan J. Kaufman, James Farquhar, Dawn Y. Sumner, and Nicolas J. Beukes
Lithofacies control on multiple-sulfur isotope records and the Neoarchean sulfur cycles. Precambrian Research. (Accepted)

Schroeder, S., N. J. Beukes, and D. Y. Sumner
Microbialite-sediment interactions on the slope of the Campbellrand carbonate platform (Neoarchean, South Africa). Precambrian Research. (Accepted)

Simonson, Bruce M., Dawn Y. Sumner, Nicolas J. Beukes, and Jens Gutzmer
Correlating multiple Neoarchean-Paleoproterozoic impact spherule layers between South Africa and Western Australia. Precambrian Research. (Accepted)

Waldbauer, Jacob R., Laura S. Sherman, Dawn Y. Sumner, and Roger E. Summons
Late Archean molecular fossils from the Transvaal Supergroup record the antiquity of microbial diversity and aerobiosis. Precambrian Research. (Accepted)

Murphy*, Megan, and Dawn Y. Sumner, 2008. Abstract
Variations in Neoarchean microbialite morphologies: Clues to controls on microbialite morphologies through time. Sedimentology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2007.00942.x

Murphy*, Megan, and Dawn Y. Sumner, 2007. Abstract
Tube structures of probable microbial origin in the Neoarchean Carawine Dolomite, Hamersley Basin, Western Australia. Geobiology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4669.2007.00114.x

Bishop*, James W., and Dawn Y. Sumner, 2006. Abstract
Molar tooth structures of the Neoarchean Monteville Formation, Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa: I. Description and constraints on microspar precipitation. Sedimentology, 20pp. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2006.00801.x

Bishop*, James W., Dawn Y. Sumner, and Nicolas J. Huerta*, 2006. Abstract
Molar tooth structures of the Neoarchean Monteville Formation, Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa: II. A Fluid Flow Model. Sedimentology, 14pp. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2006.00802.x

Sumner, Dawn Y., and Nicolas J. Beukes, 2006. Full Text (eScholarship Repository)
Sequence stratigraphic development of the Neoarchean Transvaal carbonate platform, South Africa. South African Journal of Geology, v. 109, p. 11-22.

Hassler, S.W., B.M. Simonson, D. Sumner, and M. Murphy*, 2005. Abstract
Neoarchean spherule layers in the Fortescue and Hamersley Groups, Western Australia: stratigraphic and depositional implications of recorrelation, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 52, p. 759-771.

Sumner, Dawn Y. and John P. Grotzinger, 2004. Abstract or Full Text (eScholarship Repository)
Calcite and Aragonite Precipitation in the Neoarchean Campbellrand-Malmani Carbonate Platform, South Africa, Sedimentology, v. 51, p. 1-27, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2004.00670.x.

Sumner, Dawn Y., 2001. Abstract
Decimeter-thick encrustations of calcite and aragonite on the sea floor and implications for Neoarchean and Neoproterozoic ocean chemistry, in Precambrian Sedimentary Environments: A Modern Approach to Ancient Depositional Systems (W. Altermann and P.L. Corcoran, eds.) Special Publication #33 of the International Association of Sedimentologists, Blackwell, p. 107-120.

Sumner, Dawn Y. and John P. Grotzinger, 2000. Abstract
Late Archean aragonite precipitation: Petrography, facies associations, and environmental significance, in Carbonate Sedimentation and Diagenesis in the Evolving Precambrian World (J. P. Grotzinger and N. P. James, eds). SEPM Special Publication #67, p. 123-144.

Sumner, Dawn Y., 1997. Abstract (at the AJS site)
Carbonate precipitation and oxygen stratification in late Archean seawater as deduced from facies and stratigraphy of the Gamohaan and Frisco formations, Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa. American Journal of Science, v. 297, p. 455-487.

Sumner, Dawn Y. and John P. Grotzinger, 1996. Abstract (At the GSA/Geology site, connect to p. 119)
Were kinetics of Archean calcium carbonate precipitation related to oxygen concentration? Geology, v. 24, p. 119-122.

Sumner, Dawn Y. and John P. Grotzinger, 1996. Abstract
Herringbone calcite: Petrography and environmental significance. Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 66, p. 419-429.

* One of my students.

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Dawn Y. Sumner
Department of Geology
University of California
Davis, CA 95616