Emergence of the aerobic biosphere during the Archean-Proterozoic transition: Challenges of future research

Victor A. Melezhik, Anthony E. Fallick, Eero J. Hanski, Lee R. Kump, Aivo Lepland, Anthony R. Prave, Harald Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations

Abstract

The earth system experienced a series of fundamental upheavals throughout the Archean-Paleoproterozoic transition (ca. 2500-2000 Ma). Most important were the establishment of an oxygen-rich atmosphere and the emergence of an aerobic biosphere. Fennoscandia provides a fairly complete record of the hallmark events of that transition: widespread igneous activity, its association with a possible upper-mantle oxidizing event, the global Huronian glaciation, a rise in atmospheric oxygen, the protracted and large-magnitude Lomagundi-Jatuli carbon isotope excursion, a substantial increase in the seawater sulfate reservoir, changes in the sulfur and phosphorus cycles, a radical modification in recycling of organic matter, and the Shunga Event - the accumulation of unprecedented organic-matter-rich sediments and the oldest known inferred generation of significant petroleum. Current research efforts are focused on providing an accurate temporal framework for these events and linking them into a coherent story of earth system evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-11
Number of pages8
JournalGSA Today
Volume15
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

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