Genesis Stone Scientific Info
Genesis Stone is from a group of stones scientifically known as Banded iron formations (also known as banded ironstone formations or BIFs) are distinctive units of sedimentary rock that are almost always of Precambrian age. A typical BIF consists of repeated, thin layers of iron oxides, either magnetite (Fe3O4) or hematite (Fe2O3), alternating with bands of iron-poor shale and chert. Most Wyoming BIF are aged as old as 2.5 billion and some are as “young” as 1.8 billion.
Due to the extreme age of these formations, almost all BIF formations have undergone some faulting, fracturing, folding, compaction, veining, intrusions and metamorphism. Although all BIF formations are probably metamorphosed to some degree, their general character is still sedimentary.
The conventional concept is that the banded iron layers were formed in sea water as the result of oxygen released by photosynthetic cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae), combining with dissolved iron in Earth’s oceans to form insoluble iron oxides, which precipitated out, forming a thin layer on the substrate, which may have been anoxic mud (forming shale and chert). Each band is similar to a varve, to the extent that the banding is assumed to result from cyclic variations in available oxygen.
For reasons largely unknown, this was a periodic process resulting in the alternating bands of iron oxide and shale. The periodic process might have been due to seasonal fluctuations or storm surges or other hypothesis. It is assumed that initially the Earth started out with vast amounts of iron dissolved in the world’s acidic seas.
Eventually, as photosynthetic organisms generated oxygen, the available iron in the Earth’s oceans was precipitated out as iron oxides. At the tipping point where the oceans became permanently oxygenated, small variations in oxygen production produced pulses of free oxygen in the surface waters, alternating with pulses of iron oxide deposition.
Since the origin of the iron layer is derived from a living organism, the photosynthetic bacteria, BIF actually qualifies as a trace fossil. Some of the oldest fossils known to man just predate banded iron formations. Bacteria are believed to be the earliest life forms on Earth and eventually the oxygen producing varieties formed the BIF and helped transform the Earth.
The conditions to form Genesis Stone and Jasper, dissolved iron and episodic oxygenation, existed early in Earth’s history and then once the Earth’s oxygen levels stabilized the conditions for banded iron formation all but ceased to exist.