Oceanic nickel depletion and a methanogen famine before the Great Oxidation Event

  title={Oceanic nickel depletion and a methanogen famine before the Great Oxidation Event},
  author={Kurt O. Konhauser and Ernesto Pecoits and Stefan V. Lalonde and Dominic Papineau and Euan G. Nisbet and Mark E. Barley and Nicholas T. Arndt and K. J. Zahnle and Balz S. Kamber},
It has been suggested that a decrease in atmospheric methane levels triggered the progressive rise of atmospheric oxygen, the so-called Great Oxidation Event, about 2.4 Gyr ago. Oxidative weathering of terrestrial sulphides, increased oceanic sulphate, and the ecological success of sulphate-reducing microorganisms over methanogens has been proposed as a possible cause for the methane collapse, but this explanation is difficult to reconcile with the rock record. Banded iron formations preserve a… Expand

Paper Mentions

Biogeochemistry: Less nickel for more oxygen
Nickel is a key cofactor in several enzymes found in methanogens, so its decline may have stifled the activity of methane producing organisms in the ancient oceans and disrupted the supply of biogenic methane. Expand
Methanogenesis sustained by sulfide weathering during the Great Oxidation Event
The Great Oxidation Event following the end of the Archaean eon (~2.4 Ga) was a profound turning point in the history of Earth and life, but the relative importance of various contributing factorsExpand
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
Chromium enrichment in iron formations record Earth ’ s first acid rock drainage during the Great Oxidation Event
Iron formations (IF) are iron rich (~20-40% Fe) and siliceous (~40-50% SiO2) sedimentary deposits that precipitated throughout much of the Precambrian. Their trace element composition have been usedExpand
Methanogenic burst in the end-Permian carbon cycle
It is proposed that the disruption of the carbon cycle resulted from the emergence of a new microbial metabolic pathway that enabled efficient conversion of marine organic carbon to methane, and methanogenic expansion was catalyzed by nickel associated with the volcanic event. Expand
Did mantle plume magmatism help trigger the Great Oxidation Event
The Great Oxidation Event (GOE) represents the first sustained appearance of free oxygen in Earth's atmosphere. This fundamental event in Earth's history has been dated to approximately 2450 millionExpand
An inorganic geochemical argument for coupled anaerobic oxidation of methane and iron reduction in marine sediments.
Sediments collected in the Argentine Basin are presented, a non-steady state depositional marine system characterized by abundant oxidized iron within methane-rich layers due to sediment reworking followed by rapid deposition, showing that iron reduction in these sulfate and sulfide-depleted sediments is best explained by a microbially mediated process-implicating anaerobic oxidation of methane coupled to iron reduction (Fe-AOM). Expand
The Archean Nickel Famine Revisited.
Using an updated compilation, the consequences of methanogen Ni starvation in the context of evolving views of the Archean ocean-climate system and how the Ni famine may have ultimately facilitated the rise in atmospheric oxygen are reevaluate. Expand
The Great Oxygenation Event
Old sedimentary rocks record the history of oxygen in the form of redox-sensitive chemical species such as iron, uranium or cerium ions, and mass-independent fractionation of sulphur isotopes. TheseExpand
Earth science: Sea change for the rise of oxygen
It is proposed that as continents emerged and volcanoes became increasingly subaerial rather than submarine, magmatic volatiles were degassed at lower pressures, leading to a progressive oxidation of the gases released, which fed marine sulphate reduction and the eventual oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. Expand


Anaerobic methanotrophy and the rise of atmospheric oxygen
  • D. Catling, M. Claire, K. Zahnle
  • Environmental Science, Medicine
  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
  • 2007
A biogeochemical model is used to simulate the response of early atmospheric O2 and CH4 to changes in marine AOM as sulphate levels increased and shows that methane levels collapse prior to any significant rise in O2, but counter-intuitively, methane re-rises after O2 rises to higher levels when AOM is included. Expand
The loss of mass‐independent fractionation in sulfur due to a Palaeoproterozoic collapse of atmospheric methane
We use a 1-D numerical model to study the atmospheric photochemistry of oxygen, methane, and sulfur after the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis. We assume that mass-independent fractionation (MIF) ofExpand
Ocean productivity before about 1.9 Gyr ago limited by phosphorus adsorption onto iron oxides
It is suggested that low phosphorus availability should have significantly reduced rates of photosynthesis and carbon burial, thereby reducing the long-term oxygen production on the early Earth and contributing to the low concentrations of atmospheric oxygen during the late Archaean and early Proterozoic eras. Expand
Tracing the stepwise oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean
A new perspective on ocean oxygenation is presented based on the authigenic accumulation of the redox-sensitive transition element molybdenum in sulphidic black shales, which reflects a greatly expanded oceanic reservoir due to oxygenation of the deep ocean and corresponding decrease in sulphide conditions in the sediments and water column. Expand
The bioinorganic chemistry of the ancient ocean: the co-evolution of cyanobacterial metal requirements and biogeochemical cycles at the Archean–Proterozoic boundary?
Abstract Recent evidence from the sulfur isotopic record indicates a transition ∼2.5 billion years ago from an ocean chemistry first dominated by iron and then by sulfide. It has been hypothesizedExpand
The geochemistry of late Archaean microbial carbonate: Implications for ocean chemistry and continental erosion history
Trace element concentrations and combined Sr- and Nd-isotope compositions were determined on stromatolitic carbonates (microbialites) from the 2.52 Ga Campbellrand carbonate platform (South Africa).Expand
Increased subaerial volcanism and the rise of atmospheric oxygen 2.5 billion years ago
Observations are consistent with the corollary that subaerial volcanism only became widespread after a major tectonic episode of continental stabilization at the beginning of the Proterozoic, and propose that the rise of atmospheric oxygen occurred because the predominant sink for oxygen in the Archaean era—enhanced submarine volcanism—was abruptly and permanently diminished. Expand
Multiple sulfur isotopes from Paleoproterozoic Huronian interglacial sediments and the rise of atmospheric oxygen
Mass-dependently fractionated (MDF) sulfur isotopes in sedimentary sulfides and sulfates can provide information on the past activity of microbial metabolisms and serve as a proxy for theExpand
Oxidation state of iron in komatiitic melt inclusions indicates hot Archaean mantle
Komatiites are volcanic rocks mainly of Archaean age that formed by unusually high degrees of melting of mantle peridotite. Their origin is controversial and has been attributed to either anhydrousExpand
The Late Archaean bonanza: metallogenic and environmental consequences of the interaction between mantle plumes, lithospheric tectonics and global cyclicity
Abstract The Late Archaean records periods of intense magmatism and the development of prodigious metallogenic provinces of Ni, Fe, Cu Zn and Au deposits. In particular, the period 2.74-2.66 GaExpand