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Graphitic Carbon in a 3.35 Ga Chert

-- detection limit of Raman method

Among carbon-bearing phases, reduced carbon is of special interest because it might be the only remaining evidence of ancient life on Mars. The harsh present environment on Mars (i.e., dry, low temperature, large temperature cycles, high level of UV light, and frequent dust storms) may destroy these carbonaceous materials at most locations. Thus, we need to know how well reduced carbon can be characterized by Raman spectroscopy, and the detection limit of carbon-bearing species by Raman spectroscopic methods.

chert_1.tif (762810 bytes) chert_2.tif (762810 bytes)
chert_3.tif (762810 bytes) chert_4.tif (762810 bytes)
chert_5.tif (762810 bytes) chert_6.tif (762810 bytes)
chert_7.tif (762810 bytes) chert_8.tif (762810 bytes)
chert_9.tif (762810 bytes) chert_10.tif (762810 bytes)
chert_11.tif (762810 bytes) chert_12.tif (762810 bytes)

Reference: Wang A., Haskin L. A., Kuebler, K.E., Jolliff B. L., Walsh M. M. Raman spectroscopic detection of graphitic carbon of biogenic parentage in an ancient South African chert, 32th LPSC, 2001.

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