Astrobiology of Basaltic glass in the oceanic basins: a source for early life nutrients?


Wednesday, March 10 2010 - 12:00 pm, PST
Brad Bailey
NASA Lunar Science Institute

Brad Bailey will explain how basaltic glass could be a source of energy and/or nutrients for early life. This has enormous Astrobiological implications as recent work has shown that Earth’s late heavy bombardment period would not have been energetic enough to completely sterilize the Earth’s surface and life may have been preserved through this period by residing within the deep crust. Fresh basaltic glass contains a significant amount of reducing potential and could therefore be a primary mechanism for providing energy to biological systems in addition to being a source for limiting nutrients such as phosphates. Ultimately, understanding the interplay between biological and geological systems will help us understand water-rock interactions and the global geochemical seawater budget. 

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