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High Subcritical Water for the syn-Formation of Ferric Minerals and Molecules of Life
  • Marie Paule Bassez
Marie Paule Bassez
University of Strasbourg, Fr, University of Strasbourg, Fr

Corresponding Author:marie-paule.bassez@unistra.fr

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Considering the theme for AbSciCon 2019: “Understanding and Enabling the Search for Life on Worlds Near and Far”, it is worth to set the emphasis on ferric minerals and show that their formation in the absence of oxygen does not require the necessary presence of microorganisms but can occur during the alkaline interaction of ferrous silicates rocks with water in conditions of temperature and pressure near the critical point. The results show that molecules of life can form in a path which is concomitant to this specific water-rock interaction and that organic matter of biological interest can form inside inclusions in the produced minerals. The knowledge about the formation of ferric iron in anoxic alkaline conditions may be important for the understanding of the Earth oxygenation and of extraterrestrial objects such as Enceladus. It is concluded that the search for the molecules of life may be connected to the search of amorphous silica, quartz, ferric oxides, amorphous and crystalline ferric silicates, in association with siderite. The observation of ferric minerals on early Earth and extraterrestrial objects does not mean that life had already emerged at the time of formation of the minerals.