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Melting glaciers, enough sand to bury London, and ancient ecosystem engineering
Date:3/19/2012

oterozoic increase in oxygen concentration, could equally lead to a revolution in the structure and evolution of marine paleocommunities. In the course of studying Ediacaran-age rocks in a remote region of arctic Siberia, Vladimir Rogov and fellow researchers from Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics in Novosibirsk (Russia) unexpectedly came across the oldest evidence of bioturbation (disruption of fine-laminated sediments by purposeful burrowing of animals in search for food) that significantly precedes the Cambrian radiations. Of special interest is that the advent of bioturbation in the fossil record coincides with the earliest ecological differentiation of macroscopic Ediacaran communities, which is interpreted to be a direct consequence of ecosystem engineering by animals. Bioturbation in modern seafloor habitats substantially affects key ecosystem process, including biogeochemical interactions, nutrient cycling, and primary productivity; the first appearance and expansion of bioturbation in the Ediacaran, therefore, must have had a profound effect on ecosystem structure and functioning.


Sa'al volcano-sedimentary complex (Sinai, Egypt): A latest Mesoproterozoic volcanic arc in the northern Arabian Nubian Shield
Yaron Be'eri-Shlevin et al., Laboratory for Isotope Geology, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm SE-10405, Sweden; and Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel. Posted online 19 Mar. 2012; doi: 10.1130/G32788.1.

Yaron Be'eri-Shlevin of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and colleagues present findings of an approximately one billion year old (Ga) island arc at the northern part the Arabian-Nubian Shield (ANS). Volcanic-platonic rocks from the Sa'al metamorphic complex (SMC) in Sinai, Egypt, have island arc geochemical affinity and yield zircon U-Pb ages of ~1.02-1.03 Ga. They contain zircon xenocrysts of dominantly 1.11 Ga and a few of Paleoprotero
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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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