Isotopic evidence for massive oxidation of organic matter following the great oxidation event

Lee R. Kump, Christopher Junium, Michael A. Arthur, Alex Brasier, Anthony Fallick, Victor Melezhik, Aivo Lepland, Alenka E. Črne, Genming Luo

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126 Scopus citations

Abstract

The stable isotope record of marine carbon indicates that the Proterozoic Eon began and ended with extreme fluctuations in the carbon cycle. In both the Paleoproterozoic [2500 to 1600 million years ago (Ma)] and Neoproterozoic (1000 to 542 Ma), extended intervals of anomalously high carbon isotope ratios (δ13C) indicate high rates of organic matter burial and release of oxygen to the atmosphere; in the Neoproterozoic, the high δ13C interval was punctuated by abrupt swings to low δ13C, indicating massive oxidation of organic matter. We report a Paleoproterozoic negative δ13C excursion that is similar in magnitude and apparent duration to the Neoproterozoic anomaly. This Shunga-Francevillian anomaly may reflect intense oxidative weathering of rocks as the result of the initial establishment of an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1694-1696
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume334
Issue number6063
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 23 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Kump, L. R., Junium, C., Arthur, M. A., Brasier, A., Fallick, A., Melezhik, V., Lepland, A., Črne, A. E., & Luo, G. (2011). Isotopic evidence for massive oxidation of organic matter following the great oxidation event. Science, 334(6063), 1694-1696. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1213999