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Proterozoic ocean redox and biogeochemical stasis

Reinhard, Christopher T. and Planavsky, Noah J. and Robbins, Leslie J. and Partin, Camille A. and Gill, Benjamin C. and Lalonde, Stefan V. and Bekker, Andrey and Konhauser, Kurt O. and Lyons, Timothy W. (2013) Proterozoic ocean redox and biogeochemical stasis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110 (14). pp. 5357-5362. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC3619314. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130531-103059470

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Abstract

The partial pressure of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere has increased dramatically through time, and this increase is thought to have occurred in two rapid steps at both ends of the Proterozoic Eon (∼2.5–0.543 Ga). However, the trajectory and mechanisms of Earth’s oxygenation are still poorly constrained, and little is known regarding attendant changes in ocean ventilation and seafloor redox. We have a particularly poor understanding of ocean chemistry during the mid-Proterozoic (∼1.8–0.8 Ga). Given the coupling between redox-sensitive trace element cycles and planktonic productivity, various models for mid-Proterozoic ocean chemistry imply different effects on the biogeochemical cycling of major and trace nutrients, with potential ecological constraints on emerging eukaryotic life. Here, we exploit the differing redox behavior of molybdenum and chromium to provide constraints on seafloor redox evolution by coupling a large database of sedimentary metal enrichments to a mass balance model that includes spatially variant metal burial rates. We find that the metal enrichment record implies a Proterozoic deep ocean characterized by pervasive anoxia relative to the Phanerozoic (at least ∼30–40% of modern seafloor area) but a relatively small extent of euxinic (anoxic and sulfidic) seafloor (less than ∼1–10% of modern seafloor area). Our model suggests that the oceanic Mo reservoir is extremely sensitive to perturbations in the extent of sulfidic seafloor and that the record of Mo and chromium enrichments through time is consistent with the possibility of a Mo–N colimited marine biosphere during many periods of Earth’s history.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1208622110 DOIArticle
http://www.pnas.org/content/110/14/5357PublisherArticle
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3619314/PubMed CentralPMC3619314
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2013PNAS..110.5357RADSUNSPECIFIED
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Reinhard, Christopher T.0000-0002-2632-1027
Additional Information:© 2013 National Academy of Sciences. Edited by Mark H. Thiemens, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA, and approved February 15, 2013 (received for review May 22, 2012). Published online before print March 20, 2013. This research was supported by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exobiology grant (to T.W.L.), a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship (to N.J.P.), and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada) Discovery Grant (to A.B.). Author contributions: C.T.R. and N.J.P. designed research; C.T.R., N.J.P., L.J.R., C.A.P., B.C.G., S.V.L., A.B., K.O.K., and T.W.L. performed research; C.T.R., N.J.P., L.J.R., C.A.P., B.C.G., and S.V.L. analyzed data; and C.T.R., N.J.P., L.J.R., C.A.P., B.C.G., S.V.L., A.B., K.O.K., and T.W.L. wrote the paper.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASAUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:paleoceanography; geobiology
Issue or Number:14
PubMed Central ID:PMC3619314
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130531-103059470
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20130531-103059470
Official Citation:Reinhard, C. T., Planavsky, N. J., Robbins, L. J., Partin, C. A., Gill, B. C., Lalonde, S. V., . . . Lyons, T. W. (2013). Proterozoic ocean redox and biogeochemical stasis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(14), 5357-5362. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1208622110
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:38729
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:31 May 2013 17:56
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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