Banded iron formation

Banded iron formation

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This image is part of the feature Rock Art

Credit: DIRK WIERSMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Banded iron formation, polished surface. Banded iron formation (BIF) or banded ironstone is a rock formed from alternating layers of the minerals jasper, haematite and tiger eye. At greater than 3 billion years of age these are among the oldest rocks on Earth. They were laid down in shallow seas where primitive bacteria caused iron to be oxidised and precipitated. Subsequent deep burial of the rocks, and tectonic movements, have caused the rock to alter and deform. This sample shows a small section of rock has slipped down between two parallel faults and has thus become disjointed with the neighbouring sections of rock. Magnification: x2.5 at 4x5" size.

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Keywords: banded iron formation, bif, deformation, deformed, folded, geological, geology, haematite, ironstone, jasper, metamorphic, mineral, ore, rock, rocks, tiger eye

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