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A Stratified Redox Model for the Ediacaran Ocean

Li, Chao and Love, Gordon D. and Lyons, Timothy W. and Fike, David A. and Sessions, Alex L. and Chu, Xuelei (2010) A Stratified Redox Model for the Ediacaran Ocean. Science, 328 (5974). pp. 80-83. ISSN 0036-8075.

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The Ediacaran Period (635 to 542 million years ago) was a time of fundamental environmental and evolutionary change, culminating in the first appearance of macroscopic animals. Here, we present a detailed spatial and temporal record of Ediacaran ocean chemistry for the Doushantuo Formation in the Nanhua Basin, South China. We find evidence for a metastable zone of euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) waters impinging on the continental shelf and sandwiched within ferruginous [Fe(II)-enriched] deep waters. A stratified ocean with coeval oxic, sulfidic, and ferruginous zones, favored by overall low oceanic sulfate concentrations, was maintained dynamically throughout the Ediacaran Period. Our model reconciles seemingly conflicting geochemical redox conditions proposed previously for Ediacaran deep oceans and helps to explain the patchy temporal record of early metazoan fossils.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle Information
Love, Gordon D.0000-0002-6516-014X
Fike, David A.0000-0003-2848-0328
Sessions, Alex L.0000-0001-6120-2763
Additional Information:© 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 23 September 2009; accepted 27 January 2010. Published online 11 February 2010. We are extremely grateful to R. Raiswell, S. Bates, W. Gilhooly, B. Gill, J. Owens, A. Khong, P. Marenco, N. Planavsky, C. Reinhard, M. Rohrssen, C. Scott, S. Severmann, J. Huang, L. Feng, H. Chang, and Q. Zhang for laboratory and field assistance and helpful discussions. The NSF Earth Sciences program (grant EAR-0720362 to G.D.L. and T.W.L. and grant EAR-0719493 to A.L.S.), National Science Foundation of China Fund (grant 40532012 to X.C.), the Chinese Academy of Sciences Fund (grant KZCX3-SW-141 to X.C.), the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and the Agouron Institute provided funding.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
National Natural Science Foundation of China40532012
Chinese Academy of Sciences KZCX3-SW-141
Agouron InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:5974
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100412-095415054
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:17933
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Apr 2010 19:00
Last Modified:13 Dec 2019 02:18

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