Oxygen dynamics in the aftermath of the Great Oxidation of Earth's atmosphere

Type Article
Date 2013-10
Language English
Author(s) Canfield Donald E.1, 2, Ngombi-Pemba Lauriss3, Hammarlund Emma U.1, 2, Bengtson Stefan4, Chaussidon Marc5, Gauthier-Lafaye Franois6, Meunier Alain3, Riboulleau Armelle7, Rollion-Bard Claire5, Rouxel OlivierORCID8, Asael Dan8, Pierson-Wickmann Anne-Catherine9, El Albani Abderrazak3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ So Denmark, Nord Ctr Earth Evolut NordCEE, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.
2 : Univ So Denmark, Inst Biol, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark.
3 : Univ Poitiers, Inst Chim Milieux & Mat Poitiers, Inst Natl Sci Univers, Inst Natl Chim,CNRS,Unite Mixte Rech 7285, F-86000 Poitiers, France.
4 : Swedish Museum Nat Hist, Dept Palaeozool, SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden.
5 : CNRS, Unite Propre Rech 2300, Ctr Rech Petrog & Geochim, F-54501 Vandoeuvre Les Nancy, France.
6 : CNRS, Unite Mixte Rech 7517, Lab Hydrol & Geochim Strasbourg, F-67084 Strasbourg, France.
7 : Univ Lille 1, Lab Geosyst, CNRS, Unite Mixte Rech 8217, F-59655 Villeneuve Dascq, France.
8 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
9 : Univ Rennes, Dept Geosci, Unite Mixte Rech 6118, F-35042 Rennes, France.
Source Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America (0027-8424) (Natl Acad Sciences), 2013-10 , Vol. 110 , N. 42 , P. 16736-16741
DOI 10.1073/pnas.1315570110
WOS© Times Cited 98
Keyword(s) GOE, Paleoproterozoic, marine chemistry, Mo isotope, trace metal
Abstract The oxygen content of Earth's atmosphere has varied greatly through time, progressing from exceptionally low levels before about 2.3 billion years ago, to much higher levels afterward. In the absence of better information, we usually view the progress in Earth's oxygenation as a series of steps followed by periods of relative stasis. In contrast to this view, and as reported here, a dynamic evolution of Earth's oxygenation is recorded in ancient sediments from the Republic of Gabon from between about 2,150 and 2,080 million years ago. The oldest sediments in this sequence were deposited in well-oxygenated deep waters whereas the youngest were deposited in euxinic waters, which were globally extensive. These fluctuations in oxygenation were likely driven by the comings and goings of the Lomagundi carbon isotope excursion, the longest-lived positive delta C-13 excursion in Earth history, generating a huge oxygen source to the atmosphere. As the Lomagundi event waned, the oxygen source became a net oxygen sink as Lomagundi organic matter became oxidized, driving oxygen to low levels; this state may have persisted for 200 million years.
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Canfield Donald E., Ngombi-Pemba Lauriss, Hammarlund Emma U., Bengtson Stefan, Chaussidon Marc, Gauthier-Lafaye Franois, Meunier Alain, Riboulleau Armelle, Rollion-Bard Claire, Rouxel Olivier, Asael Dan, Pierson-Wickmann Anne-Catherine, El Albani Abderrazak (2013). Oxygen dynamics in the aftermath of the Great Oxidation of Earth's atmosphere. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 110(42), 16736-16741. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1315570110 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00162/27278/