The University of Arizona

Archaeabacterial lipids in drill core samples from the Bosumtwi impact structure, Ghana

M. ESCALA, A. ROSELL-MEL, S. FIETZ, C. KOEBERL

Abstract


Meteorite impacts are associated with locally profound effects for microorganisms living at the terrestrial surface and the subsurface of the impact zone. The Bosumtwi crater in Ghana (West Africa) is a relatively young (1.07 Myr) structure with a rim-to-rim diameter of about 10.5 km. In a preliminary study targeting the subsurface microbial life in the impact structure, seven samples of the impact breccia from the central uplift of the Bosumtwi crater were analyzed for the presence of typical archaeal membrane-lipids (GDGTs). These have been detected in four of the samples, at a maximum depth of 382 m below the lake surface, which is equivalent to 309 m below the surface sediment. The concentration of the GDGTs does not show a trend with depth, and their distribution is dominated by GDGT-0. Possible origins of these lipids could be related to the soils or rocks predating the impact event, the hydrothermal system generated after the impact, or due to more recent underground water transport.

Keywords


Ghana Impact crater;Organic matter;Impact breccia;Bosumtwi

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