Analysis of Anthraxolite and Precambrian Carbonates of Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Amber Michelle Rutter, California State University Chico, Chico, CA, United States
Anthraxolite is a solid mass of black organic material, often composed of bitumen, that is used as a biomarker formed by oxidation processes. Anthraxolite occurs in veins and fractures that contain cross cutting properties in the carbonate bedding located at Kakabeka Falls, Ontario, Canada. While the hydrocarbons are primarly distributed in the stromatolite bearing units of the Gunflint Formation in the Animikie Group, little information is currently available concerning the highly altered Precambrian metamorphosed oil. This research summarizes the hydrocarbon and microfossiliferous cherty stromatolite horizon in the Gunflint Formation that has been dated at 1.9 Ga. By utilizing a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to retrieve a chemical analysis of the organic molecule samples found at outcrops and in cores, the preserved anthraxolite and carbonate facies were discovered to contain similar compositions. These new results will help provide i) a further understanding Precambrian paleontology by identifying microfossils; ii) the ecology of the region, and iii) the origin of the hydrocarbons.