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Science. 1989 Apr 7;244(4900):53-6.

Cretaceous cold-seep communities and methane-derived carbonates in the canadian arctic.


Lower Cretaceous cold-seep fossil assemblages have been found in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Serpulid worm tubes and bivalves are most abundant in these communities; in contrast, fossils are scarce in the surrounding strata. The fossils are contained in an isotopically light (delta(13)C = -25 to -50 per mil) carbonate rock groundmass that is interpreted to have formed from bacterial oxidation of methane. The rocks were deposited at intermediate depth (</=400 meters) in a cold marine environment; nearby normal faults may have provided a conduit for seeping methane and hydrogen sulfide needed to fuel chemosynthetic bacteria, and in turn, the higher life forms.

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