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Mechanistic Links Between the Sedimentary Redox Cycle and Marine Acid-Base Chemistry

Reinhard, Christopher T. and Fischer, Woodward W. (2019) Mechanistic Links Between the Sedimentary Redox Cycle and Marine Acid-Base Chemistry. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20 (12). pp. 5968-5978. ISSN 1525-2027.

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The redox state of Earth's surface is controlled on geological timescales by the flow of electrons through the sedimentary rock cycle, mediated largely by the weathering and burial of C‐S‐Fe phases. These processes buffer atmospheric pO₂. At the same time, CO₂ influxes and carbonate burial control seawater acid‐base chemistry and climate over long timescales via the carbonate‐silicate cycle. However, these two systems are mechanistically linked and impact each other via charge balance in the hydrosphere. Here, we use a low‐order Earth system model to interrogate a subset of these connections, with a focus on changes that occur during perturbations to electron flow through the sedimentary rock cycle. We show that the net oxidation or reduction of the Earth's surface can play an important role in controlling acid‐base processes in the oceans and thus climate, and suggest that these links should be more fully integrated into interpretive frameworks aimed at understanding Earth system evolution throughout Precambrian and Phanerozoic time.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Reinhard, Christopher T.0000-0002-2632-1027
Fischer, Woodward W.0000-0002-8836-3054
Additional Information:© 2019 American Geophysical Union. Received 27 AUG 2019; Accepted 18 NOV 2019; Accepted article online 26 NOV 2019; Published online 10 DEC 2019. C. T. R. acknowledges funding support from the National Science Foundation, NASA Astrobiology Institute, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. W. W. F. acknowledges funding support from the Agouron Institute and David & Lucille Packard Foundation. C. T. R. acknowledges support from the O.K. Earl Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. Data Availability All model code and scripts for postprocessing and plotting are hosted on GitHub. The specific version of the code used in this paper is tagged as release v1.0 and can be obtained by cloning (‐lab/carb.chem.git) or downloading (‐lab/carb.chem/releases/) and is assigned a DOI:10.5281/zenodo.3560099.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Alfred P. Sloan FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Caltech O. K. Earl FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:biogeochemistry; redox; oxygen; geobiology; carbon cycle; sulfur cycle
Issue or Number:12
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200102-144524414
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Official Citation:Reinhard, C. T., & Fischer, W. W. (2019). Mechanistic Links Between the Sedimentary Redox Cycle and Marine Acid‐Base Chemistry. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 20, 5968–5978.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:100468
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Jan 2020 02:49
Last Modified:02 Jun 2020 16:28

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