The Life and Times of Serpentinization

Friday November 9 at 3.15 p.m.
Ahlmannsalen, Geovetenskapens hus
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by Christopher Oze
University of Canterbury,
Christchurch, New Zealand

 link to Prof. Christopher Oze's page 


The Life and Times of Serpentinization

Serpentinization (i.e., olivine hydrolysis) is a fundamental metamorphic reaction potentially related to the origins of life on our planet and others such as Mars. Hydrogen (H2) produced during serpentinization is capable of reducing carbon (such as CO2) which may lead to the abiotic synthesis of methane (CH4) and increasingly complex organic compounds such as sugars and proteins. This collection of organic compounds (i.e., primordial soup) is hypothesized to provide favorable conditions for the emergence, growth, and sustenance of life. Given the complexity of organic synthesis in serpentinization environments, multiple reaction pathways with respect to time will be examined in this talk to address the fundamental dynamics of H2 and CH4 production.  By incorporating theoretical, experimental and field approaches, some of the basic processes governing serpentinization interactions and its potential association to life will be temporally unravelled.


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