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Evidence for elevated and variable atmospheric oxygen in the Precambrian

Steadman, JA ORCID: 0000-0003-4679-3643, Large, RR, Blamey, NJ, Mukherjee, I ORCID: 0000-0002-2808-1821, Corkrey, R ORCID: 0000-0002-2242-2891, Danyushevsky, LV ORCID: 0000-0003-4050-6850, Maslennikov, V, Hollings, P, Garven, G, Brand, U and Lecuyer, C 2020 , 'Evidence for elevated and variable atmospheric oxygen in the Precambrian' , Precambrian Research, vol. 343 , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.1016/j.precamres.2020.105722.

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Abstract

Oxygen concentration in the Precambrian atmosphere-ocean system is currently estimated from a series of geochemical proxies that depend on the concentration of redox-sensitive trace elements or their isotopic ratios measured in organic-bearing marine shales. This research has indicated that atmospheric oxygen content throughout the Precambrian was very low,Atmospheric O2% = 30 × P/(1+P) where P = 10[0.85 × log(Se/Co) + 0.07,r2]; r2 = 0.85The oxygen curve revealed by this relationship suggests a broad first-order trend of increasing oxygen of ∼0.25 to 27% from 3500 to 1850 Ma, followed by a general decrease to around ∼1.0% at ∼1000 Ma, with a spike around 1400 Ma. Oxygen then rose gradually through the Ediacaran to reach a maximum of 20 to 29% in the early Cambrian. Detailed analysis of sedimentary pyrite in sixteen separate black shale formations, spaced throughout the Precambrian, demonstrates consistent results using the marine pyrite proxy, with standard deviations of the predicted oxygen for each formation of between 0.4 and 7%. In seven formations, we show that each formation demonstrates an increase in oxygen passing up stratigraphy from the base of the black shale facies toward the top.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Steadman, JA and Large, RR and Blamey, NJ and Mukherjee, I and Corkrey, R and Danyushevsky, LV and Maslennikov, V and Hollings, P and Garven, G and Brand, U and Lecuyer, C
Journal or Publication Title: Precambrian Research
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 0301-9268
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.precamres.2020.105722
Copyright Information:

Crown Copyright © 2020 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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