Opendata, web and dolomites


Micro-pyrites associated with organic material in ancient stromatolites: a new proxy attesting for their biogenicity

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 STROMATA project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the STROMATA project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "STROMATA" about.

structures    composition    earth    proxies    reaching    iron    life    point    actual    mats    traces    stromata    pyrites    situ    identifying    combining    xanes    nanosims    origin    morphology    stromatolites    influence    isotope    ga    earliest    samples    archean    sulfides    sims    small    metabolisms    stromatolite    miss    pyrite    shown    ancient    outstanding    laminated    interpreted    experimentally    microbial    quest    record    tem    abiotic    morphological    biological    modern    original    initiation    techniques    isotopic    nano    submicrometer    assessing    experimental    experiment    metabolic    precipitation    contain    bigger    first    accretionary    form    sedimentary    history    sulfate    feg    biogenicity    time    emblematic    attached    fossils    criteria    structure    fossil    stable    question    found    microbially    respiration    scientific    compare    biosphere    proposes    reflecting    determined    variations    prevail    geological    recorded    away   

Project "STROMATA" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RUE TREFILERIE 10
postcode: 42023

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Total cost 1˙060˙250 €
 EC max contribution 1˙060˙250 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-02-01   to  2023-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Identifying Archean fossil remains from the Earth’s early biosphere is ambitious and determining the biological origin and the associated metabolic pathways present in these fossils is one outstanding question in the bigger quest of how life evolved on Earth. Stromatolites and Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures (MISS) are considered as one of the earliest evidence of Life in Earth’s history, and can be found from the Archean to the present time. Stromatolites are “attached laminated, sedimentary growth structure accretionary away from a point of initiation”, and their morphological comparison with actual structure prevail for assessing the microbial origin of ancient stromatolite in the geological record. However, experimental studies have shown that abiotic precipitation can also form structures with a similar morphology. Therefore stable isotope proxies have been used to identify past microbial metabolisms even if abiotic processes can also produce similar isotope composition. Therefore new biogenicity criteria are needed to be determined by studying modern and ancient stromatolites and by comparing them to abiotic experiment. Stromatolites and MISS contain submicrometer sulfides (pyrite) that can have recorded large isotopic variations, interpreted as reflecting the influence of various microbial metabolisms like microbial sulfate reduction and iron respiration. STROMATA proposes to define new criteria based on actual stromatolite and to test the earliest traces of life by studying in situ these nano-pyrites in various emblematic and well-characterized samples from the Archean. STROMATA will be the first far-reaching scientific in situ study of nano-pyrite in ancient (3.4 to 1.9 Ga) and modern microbial mats and stromatolites and will compare the results with experimentally produced abiotic pyrite. Due to the small scale of the pyrite, STROMATA will develop an original in situ approach by combining state of art techniques, SIMS, NanoSIMS, FEG-TEM, XANES.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Johanna Marin‐Carbonne, Vincent Busigny, Jennyfer Miot, Claire Rollion‐Bard, Elodie Muller, Nadja Drabon, Damien Jacob, Sylvain Pont, Martin Robyr, Tomaso R. R. Bontognali, Camille François, Stephanie Reynaud, Mark Van Zuilen, Pascal Philippot
In Situ Fe and S isotope analyses in pyrite from the 3.2 Ga Mendon Formation (Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa): Evidence for early microbial iron reduction
published pages: , ISSN: 1472-4677, DOI: 10.1111/gbi.12385
Geobiology 2020-03-11

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