Dresser Formation

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Wrinkle mats at the Dresser Formation
Wrinkle mats at the Dresser Formation

An ancient hydrothermal system

The Dresser Formation is part of the mostly volcanic Warrawoona Group in the North Pole Dome area of the East Pilbara. At 3.49 billion years old it is stratigrapically lower than the Strelley Pool Chert of the Trendall Locality and other areas - meaning it is a little older. There are large numbers of dykes that criss-cross the area and consist largely of fine-grained chert and the hydrothermal (hot spring) mineral barite.

A number of stromatolite structures are found - low domical types, wrinkle mats, columner and conical.

Such a system is of interest in the search for life on Mars, perhaps providing a clue of the ideal place to look for past or present life on the red planet.

Web resources:

Geological Survey of Western Australia

Australian Centre for Astrobiology





Early Life



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