The fossil record of igneous rock

Ivarsson, M.; Drake, H.; Neubeck, A.; Sallstedt, T.; Bengtson, S.; Roberts, N.M.W.; Rasmussen, B.. 2020 The fossil record of igneous rock. Earth-Science Reviews, 210. 103342.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
Text (Open Access Paper)
1-s2.0-S0012825220303883-main.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (13MB) | Preview


A growing awareness of life in deep igneous crust expands our appreciation for life's distribution in the upper geosphere through time and space, and extends the known inhabitable realm of Earth and possibly beyond. For most of life's history, until plants colonized land in the Ordovician, the deep biosphere was the largest reservoir of living biomass. This suggests that deep crustal habitats played an important role in the evolution and development of the biosphere. Paradoxically, the paleo-perspective of deep life has been largely neglected in the exploration of the deep biosphere as well as in paleontology as a whole. Here, we review the collective understanding of the fossil record in igneous crust with the aim to highlight a rising research field with great potential for substantial findings and progress in the near future. We include new results that emphasize the importance of direct or indirect dating of fossils and introduction of new techniques into the field. Currently, an incoherent record of morphological fossils- and chemofossils stretching from present to ~2.4 Ga implies the presence of an abundant and rich, yet largely unexplored, fossil record. Further investigations of deep paleo-environments will most certainly result in substantial insights into the distribution and development of biospheres throughout life's history, the early evolution of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and Earth's early biogeochemical cycles. We emphasize the fossil record of igneous rock to give it the same status as the fossil record in sedimentary rocks, and to implement fossil investigations as standard procedures in future international drilling campaigns.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 00128252
Date made live: 11 Jan 2021 14:54 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...