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Volume 24, Issue 3-4, Pages 207-212

Laser Raman micro-spectroscopy of Proterozoic and Palaeozoic organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs and prasinophytes) from the Ghadamis Basin, Libya and Volta Basin, Ghana

Marie-Claire Dhamelincourt,1 Marco Vecoli,2,5 Alberto Mezzetti,1,3 Christian Cesari,2 Gerard Versteegh,4 and Armelle Riboulleau2

1Université Lille 1, LASIR UMR 8516, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
2Université Lille 1, GEOSYSTEMES FRE 3298 CNRS, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
3Service de Bioénergétique, Biologie Structurale et Mécanismes, IBiTec-S, CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
4MARUM, Universität Bremen Postfach, Bremen, Germany
5Université Lille 1, GEOSYSTEMES FRE 3298 CNRS, Bâ SN5, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq, France

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Laser Raman microspectroscopy was used as a microchemical analysis technique to characterize the wall chemistry of organic-walled microfossils (acritarchs and prasinophytes) extracted from Proterozoic (Tonian: ca. 900 Myr) and early Palaeozoic (Silurian: ca. 420 Myr) marine sediments in the Volta Basin of Ghana, and the Ghadamis Basin of Libya, respectively. Raman spectra of Proterozoic acritarchs show spectral features characteristic of kerogenous compounds at ~1350 and ~1600 cm−1, consistently with previously published reports. In addition, spectra from prasinophyte algae from the Silurian sample also show an interesting spectral feature at ~1707 cm−1 indicative of carbonyl moieties.

Broadly speaking, shape and position of Raman bands appear to depend on the nature of the specimen considered, suggesting that laser micro-Raman analysis can potentially be used to establish phylogenetic relationships (high-rank taxonomy) among the main groups of pre-Cambrian to Palaeozoic palynomorphs.