Early Earth: Oxygen for heavy-metal fans

  title={Early Earth: Oxygen for heavy-metal fans},
  author={T. Lyons and C. Reinhard},
Chromium isotopes provide an eyebrow-raising history of oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. Not least, it seems that oxygen might have all but disappeared half a billion years after its initial rise. 
Changes in Arsenic Levels in the Precambrian Oceans in Relation to the Upcome of Free Oxygen
Life on Earth could have existed already 3.8 Ga ago, and yet, more complex, multicellular life did not evolve until over three billion years later, about 700 Ma ago. Many have searched for the reasExpand
Oxygen fluctuations stalled life on Earth
Swings in oxygen levels may be behind a mysterious billion-year hiatus in evolution.
Oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere–ocean system: A review of physical and chemical sedimentologic responses
Abstract The Great Oxidation Event (GOE) is one of the most significant changes in seawater and atmospheric chemistry in Earth history. This rise in oxygen occurred between ca. 2.4 and 2.3 Ga and setExpand
Exploring the Texture of Ocean-Atmosphere Redox Evolution on the Early Earth
The evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis has dramatically reshaped the chemistry of the surface Earth, and the presence of significant quantities of O2 in the atmosphere and ocean now drives theExpand
Rethinking the Paleoproterozoic Great Oxidation Event: A Biological Perspective
  • J. Grula
  • History, Environmental Science
  • 2010
Competing geophysical/geochemical hypotheses for how Earth's surface became oxygenated - organic carbon burial, hydrogen escape to space, and changes in the redox state of volcanic gases - areExpand
Geobiology of the Proterozoic Eon
The Proterozoic Eon, spanning from 2.5 to 0.54 billion years ago, is Earth’s great middle age – bridging the beginnings of life with the biotic world we see today. Amidst all this change, a longExpand
Neoproterozoic iron formation: An evaluation of its temporal, environmental and tectonic significance
Abstract Neoproterozoic iron formation (NIF) provides evidence for the widespread return of anoxic and ferruginous basins during a time period associated with major changes in climate, tectonics andExpand
Insight into the evolution of the iron oxidation pathways.
The iron paleochemistry, the phylogeny, the physiology of the iron oxidizers, and the nature of the cofactors of the redox proteins involved in these pathways suggest a possible scenario for the timescale in which each type of Fe(II) oxidation pathways evolved. Expand
The evolutionary consequences of oxygenic photosynthesis: a body size perspective
It remains difficult to confirm that the largest representatives of fossil or living taxa are limited by oxygen transport rather than other factors, and numerous tractable avenues of research could greatly improve quantitative constraints on the role of oxygen in the macroevolutionary history of organismal size. Expand
Early Paleoproterozoic Metallogenic Explosion in North China Craton
This chapter compiles the geology and geochronology of numerous ores, including graphite, phosphorite, the Lake Superior type BIFs, marble, boron, magnesite, and lead-zinc deposits, hosted in 2.5–1.8Expand


The rise of atmospheric oxygen
  • L. Kump
  • Chemistry, Medicine
  • Nature
  • 2008
Clues from ancient rocks are helping to produce a coherent picture of how Earth's atmosphere changed from one that was almost devoid of oxygen to one that is one-fifth oxygen.
A Whiff of Oxygen Before the Great Oxidation Event?
High-resolution chemostratigraphy reveals an episode of enrichment of the redox-sensitive transition metals molybdenum and rhenium in the late Archean Mount McRae Shale in Western Australia, pointing to the presence of small amounts of O2 in the environment more than 50 million years before the start of the Great Oxidation Event. Expand
The Paleoproterozoic snowball Earth: a climate disaster triggered by the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis.
It is argued that oxygenic cyanobacteria evolved and radiated shortly before the Makganyene snowball, and could have destroyed a methane greenhouse and triggered a snowball event on time-scales as short as 1 million years. Expand
Fluctuations in Precambrian atmospheric oxygenation recorded by chromium isotopes
The findings suggest that the Great Oxidation Event did not lead to a unidirectional stepwise increase in atmospheric oxygen, and strong positive fractionations in Cr isotopes in the late Neoproterozoic era provide independent support for increased surface oxygenation at that time, which may have stimulated rapid evolution of macroscopic multicellular life. Expand
Proterozoic Ocean Chemistry and Evolution: A Bioinorganic Bridge?
Recent data imply that for much of the Proterozoic Eon, Earth's oceans were moderately oxic at the surface and sulfidic at depth, and biologically important trace metals would have been scarce in most marine environments. Expand
▪ Abstract This paper reviews the Precambrian history of atmospheric oxygen, beginning with a brief discussion of the possible nature and magnitude of life before the evolution of oxygenicExpand
Multiple sulfur isotopes and the evolution of the atmosphere
Interest in multiple sulfur isotope analyses has been fueled by recent reports of mass-independent sulfur isotope signatures in the geologic record. A non-zero multiple isotopic signature of sulfurExpand
A new model for Proterozoic ocean chemistry
There was a significant oxidation of the Earth's surface around 2 billion years ago (2 Gyr). Direct evidence for this oxidation comes, mostly, from geological records of the redox-sensitive elementsExpand
Sulphur isotope evidence for an oxic Archaean atmosphere
The presence of mass-independently fractionated sulphur isotopes (MIF-S) in many sedimentary rocks older than ∼2.4 billion years has been considered the best evidence for a dramatic change from an anoxic to oxic atmosphere around 2.4 Gyr ago, and the level of atmospheric oxygen fluctuated greatly during the Archaean era. Expand
Dating the rise of atmospheric oxygen
It is found that syngenetic pyrite is present in organic-rich shales of the 2.32-Gyr-old Rooihoogte and Timeball Hill formations, South Africa, indicating that atmospheric oxygen was present at significant levels during the deposition of these units. Expand