Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

Banded iron

El NAT Les seus Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona Banded iron

Scientific name
Banded ironstone
Número de registre
MGB 17886
Hamersley Iron Formation, West Australia, Austràlia
18 x 12,5 x 4 cm / pes: 1.304,5 g
Exemplar amb una superfície polida i l’altra en brut. Les formacions d’hematites bandejada (BIF) es troben en diverses localitats de terrenys molt antics. Aquestes formacions tenen la particularitat que s’han format més o menys al mateix temps arreu del món, durant el Precambrià, fa uns 270 a 250 milions d’anys.

For more information

This rock, which testifies to the first signs of life on Earth, is found at the beginning of ‘Biography of the Earth’, in the Archaean period (from 3,800 to 2,500 million years ago). It is is a fragment of a sedimentary formation of the type of banded iron (Banded Iron Formation (BIF))

If you look closely at the polished surface of this sample, you will see some red and other black bands that correspond to the hematite and magnetite minerals, respectively. These minerals are iron oxides that are formed in the presence of oxygen and their origin was probably linked to the activity of cyanobacteria. These micro-organisms played a fundamental role in the origin of life on Earth, as their activity on the seabed generated a very high increase in oxygen and created an oxidising atmosphere.