Re: God...Sort Of -- Polymerization
Sat, 07 Aug 1999 22:53:31 +0000

At 10:09 PM 08/07/1999 -0700, Brian D Harper wrote:
>3) I guess this question is aimed mainly at geologists. What are
>the oldest salt beds? In particular, are there any that were
>laid down 3.5 - 4.0 billion years ago? If so, does the salt
>contain any (a) proteinoid microspheres, (b) amino acids,
>(c) any abiotic carbon at all?

I do not believe that there are any halite deposits from 3.5-4.0 billion
years ago. There are some precambrian salt deposits but in general there
are more from the Phanerozoic, infact 2.9 x 10^6 cubic kilometers of salt
are found in the worlds sedimentary beds. (~ M.A. Zharkov, History of
Paleozoic Salt Accumulation, (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1981), p. 189)
With my books in storage I can't do a thorough search but I can document a
Cambrian salt (R. C. Mehdiratta, Geology of India, Pakistan and Burma, (New
Delhi: Atma Ram & Sons, 1967), p. 68.)

And I did run across this in my notes:

"There is a scarcity of salt older than 700 m.y. All known examples from
the PreCambrian of Australia, Arabia, Bolivia, China, India, Iran and
Pakistan were laid down after the Infra-Cambrian "Glacial period" when the
continental areas suffered severe erosion which presumably destroyed and
dissolved any earlier evaporite accumulations. " ~ W. S. Olson and R. J.
Leyden, "North Atlantic Rifting in Relation to Permian-Triassic Salt
Deposition", The Permian and Triassic Systems and Their Mutual Boundary,
Edited by A. Logan and L. V. Hills, Canadian Society of Petroleum
Geologists Memoir 2, (Calgary: Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists,
1973), p. 726

This means that all precambrian salts are late precambrian.

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