Isotopic Evidence for Massive Oxidation of Organic Matter Following the Great Oxidation Event

  title={Isotopic Evidence for Massive Oxidation of Organic Matter Following the Great Oxidation Event},
  author={Lee R. Kump and Christopher K. Junium and Michael A. Arthur and Alexander T. Brasier and Anthony E. Fallick and Victor A. Melezhik and Aivo Lepland and Alenka E. C{\vC}rne and Genming Luo},
  pages={1694 - 1696}
Analysis of two-billion-year-old rocks reveals an extreme carbon-cycle disruption after atmospheric oxygen increased. The stable isotope record of marine carbon indicates that the Proterozoic Eon began and ended with extreme fluctuations in the carbon cycle. In both the Paleoproterozoic [2500 to 1600 million years ago (Ma)] and Neoproterozoic (1000 to 542 Ma), extended intervals of anomalously high carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) indicate high rates of organic matter burial and release of oxygen… Expand
Nitrogen isotope evidence for stepwise oxygenation of the ocean during the Great Oxidation Event
Abstract The Earth’s oxygenation represents one of the most important environmental drivers of life’s evolution, with the first rise, known as ‘the Great Oxidation Event’ (GOE), corresponding toExpand
Atmospheric oxygen regulation at low Proterozoic levels by incomplete oxidative weathering of sedimentary organic carbon
It is unclear why atmospheric oxygen remained trapped at low levels for more than 1.5 billion years following the Paleoproterozoic Great Oxidation Event. Here, we use models for erosion, weatheringExpand
Sulfur record of rising and falling marine oxygen and sulfate levels during the Lomagundi event
Coupled stable isotope data for carbonate carbon and carbonate-associated sulfate shows trends in C and S isotope values that track the isotopic evolution of seawater sulfate and reflect an increase in pyrite burial and a crash in the marine sulfate reservoir during ocean deoxygenation in the waning stages of the positive carbon isotope excursion. Expand
Onset of the aerobic nitrogen cycle during the Great Oxidation Event
The interpretation of the nitrogen isotope data in the context of iron speciation and carbon isotopeData suggests biogeochemical cycling across a dynamic redox boundary, with primary productivity fuelled by chemoautotrophic production and a nitrogen cycle dominated by nitrogen loss processes using newly available marine oxidants. Expand
Pyrite multiple-sulfur isotope evidence for rapid expansion and contraction of the early Paleoproterozoic seawater sulfate reservoir
Abstract Earthʼs oxygenation is often described in terms of two unidirectional steps at the beginning and end of the Proterozoic Eon, separated by a long-lived intermediate redox state. Recent workExpand
Selenium isotopes record extensive marine suboxia during the Great Oxidation Event
Significance Oxygen is essential for eukaryotic life. The geologic record of early Earth contains abundant evidence of low oxygen levels, and accordingly, a lack of eukaryote fossils. The rise ofExpand
The pyrite multiple sulfur isotope record of the 1.98 Ga Zaonega Formation: Evidence for biogeochemical sulfur cycling in a semi-restricted basin
Abstract The pyrite sulfur isotope record of the 1.98 Ga Zaonega Formation in the Onega Basin, NW Russia, has played a central role in understanding ocean-atmosphere composition and inferringExpand
Nitrogen isotope evidence for alkaline lakes on late Archean continents
Abstract Nitrogen isotope ratios in ancient sedimentary rocks are generally interpreted as a proxy for metabolic nitrogen pathways and the redox state of the water column. Fractionation processesExpand
Large-scale fluctuations in Precambrian atmospheric and oceanic oxygen levels from the record of U in shales
The atmosphere–ocean system experienced a progressive change from anoxic to more oxidizing conditions through time. This oxidation is traditionally envisaged to have occurred as two stepwiseExpand
Ocean redox structure across the Late Neoproterozoic Oxygenation Event: A nitrogen isotope perspective
Abstract The end of the Neoproterozoic Era (1000 to 541 Ma) is widely believed to have seen the transition from a dominantly anoxic to an oxygenated deep ocean. This purported redox transitionExpand


Dynamics of the Neoproterozoic carbon cycle
  • D. Rothman, J. Hayes, R. Summons
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2003
It is suggested that the most significant of the Neoproterozoic negative carbon-isotopic excursions resulted from increased remineralization of this reservoir, a process that was likely initiated by evolutionary innovations that increased export of organic matter to the deep sea. Expand
Aerobic bacterial pyrite oxidation and acid rock drainage during the Great Oxidation Event
An independent and complementary record of marine Cr supply is provided, in the form of Cr concentrations and authigenic enrichment in iron-rich sedimentary rocks, to add to amassing evidence that the Archaean-Palaeoproterozoic boundary was marked by a substantial shift in terrestrial geochemistry and biology. Expand
The cycling and redox state of nitrogen in the Archaean ocean
Organisms that produce oxygen through photosynthesis existed during the late Archaean eon, about 2,500 million years ago, but controversial evidence suggests that they may have evolved severalExpand
Isotopic Evidence for an Aerobic Nitrogen Cycle in the Latest Archean
Complementary molybdenum abundance and sulfur isotopic values suggest that nitrification occurred in response to a small increase in surface-ocean oxygenation, implying that nitrifying and denitrifying microbes had already evolved by the late Archean and were present before oxygen first began to accumulate in the atmosphere. Expand
A Late Archean Sulfidic Sea Stimulated by Early Oxidative Weathering of the Continents
Findings indicate that euxinic conditions may have been common on a variety of spatial and temporal scales both before and immediately after the Paleoproterozoic rise in atmospheric oxygen, hinting at previously unexplored texture and variability in deep ocean chemistry during Earth’s early history. Expand
The late Precambrian greening of the Earth
All published oxygen and carbon isotope data for Neoproterozoic marine carbonates are considered in terms of processes known to alter the isotopic composition during transformation of the initial precipitate into limestone/dolostone, and it is shown that the combined oxygen andcarbon isotope systematics are identical to well-understood Phanerozoic examples. Expand
Mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes in Archean sediments: strong evidence for an anoxic Archean atmosphere.
It is concluded that the atmospheric O2 concentration must have been < 10(-5) PAL prior to 2.3 Ga, which would have meant that all sulfur-bearing species would have passed through the oceanic sulfate reservoir before being incorporated into sediments, so any signature of MIF would have been lost. Expand
Carbon isotopes and the rise of atmospheric oxygen
New data for the isotopic composition of carbon in carbonate sediments deposited between 2.6 and 1.6 Ga indicate that the value of δ13C in these sediments underwent a very large positive excursionExpand
Preservation of organic matter and alteration of its carbon and nitrogen isotope composition during simulated and in situ early sedimentary diagenesis
Abstract The carbon and nitrogen isotope composition of organic matter has been widely used to trace biogeochemical processes in marine and lacustrine environments. In order to reconstruct pastExpand
Redox stratification and anoxia of the early Precambrian oceans: Implications for carbon isotope excursions and oxidation events
Abstract An updated compendium of δ13C data offer compelling evidence that δ13C positive excursions of unsurpassed magnitude in the recorded Earth history (>8‰, and up to 18‰ PDB) occurred in theExpand