Electron microscopy reveals unique microfossil preservation in 1 billion-year-old lakes
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Electron microscopy was applied to the study of 1 billion-year-old microfossils from northwest Scotland in order to investigate their 3D morphology and mode of fossilization. 3DFIB- SEM revealed high quality preservation of organic cell walls with only minor amounts of post-mortem decomposition, followed by variable degrees of morphological alteration (folding and compression of cell walls) during sediment compaction. EFTEM mapping plus SAED revealed a diverse fossilizing mineral assemblage including K-rich clay, Fe-Mg-rich clay and calcium phosphate, with each mineral occupying specific microenvironments in proximity to carbonaceous microfossil cell walls.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/522/1/012024
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