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A short-lived oxidation event during the early Ediacaran and delayed oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean

Chen, B; Hu, C; Mills, BJW; He, T; Andersen, MB; Chen, X; Liu, P; ... Zhu, M; + view all (2022) A short-lived oxidation event during the early Ediacaran and delayed oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters , 577 , Article 117274. 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117274. (In press).

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Abstract

The Ediacaran Period was characterised by major carbon isotope perturbations. The most extreme of these, the ∼570 Ma Shuram/DOUNCE (Doushantuo Negative Carbon isotope Excursion) anomaly, coincided with early radiations of benthic macrofauna linked to a temporary expansion in the extent of oxygenated seawater. Here we document an earlier negative excursion (the ∼610 Ma WANCE (Weng'An Negative Carbon isotope Excursion)) anomaly in the Yangtze Gorges area, South China, that reached equally extreme carbon isotope values and was associated with a similar degree of environmental perturbation. Specifically, new uranium isotope data evidence a significant, but transient, shift towards more oxygenated conditions in tandem with decreasing carbon isotope values, while strontium and sulfur isotope data support an increase in continental weathering through the excursion. We utilize a biogeochemical modelling approach to demonstrate that the influx of such a weathering pulse into an organically-laden, largely anoxic ocean, fully reproduces each of these distinct isotopic trends. Our study directly supports the hypothesis that a large dissolved marine organic pool effectively buffered against widespread oxygenation of the marine environment through the Proterozoic Eon, and in doing so, substantially delayed the radiation of complex aerobic life on Earth.

Type: Article
Title: A short-lived oxidation event during the early Ediacaran and delayed oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117274
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2021.117274
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: DOM (Dissolved Organic Matter), carbon isotope perturbations,strontium isotopes, sulfur isotopes, uranium isotopes, metazoans
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10138374
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