Navigation Links
Researchers detect hint of oxygen 50 to 100 million years earlier than first believed
Date:9/27/2007

RIVERSIDE, Calif. Two teams of scientists, including three researchers from UC Riverside, report that traces of oxygen appeared in Earths atmosphere roughly 100 million years before the Great Oxidation Event 2.4 billion years ago. The Great Oxidation Event is when most geoscientists think atmospheric oxygen rose sharply from very low levels and set the stage for animal life that followed almost two billion years later.

Analyzing layers of sedimentary rock in a kilometer-long core sample they retrieved in 2004 from the Hamersley Basin in Western Australia, the researchers found evidence for the presence of a small but significant amount of oxygen 2.5 billion years ago in the oceans and likely also in Earths atmosphere.

Because the core was recovered from deep underground, it contains materials untouched by the atmosphere for billions of years. After retrieval, the scientists sliced the core longitudinally for analysis.

Study results appear in a pair of papers in tomorrows issue of Science.

The UCR contribution:

Geochemists Timothy Lyons, Steven Bates, and Clinton Scott of the UCR Department of Earth Sciences working with teams from Arizona State University and the universities of Maryland, Washington, and Alberta generated elemental and isotopic data that provide indirect, or proxy, evidence for the evolving atmosphere and its relationship to the early evolution of life.

This is the earliest convincing record for an ephemeral accumulation of oxygen in the biosphere before its irreversible rise beginning 2.4 billion years ago, said Lyons, a professor of biogeochemistry.

Scott, a graduate student working with Lyons, used metals in the ancient oceannow trapped in sedimentary rocksas proxies for the amount of oxygen in the early ocean and atmosphere. His doctoral research provided a baseline for the Australian samples, showing that the 2.5 billion-year old rocks look more like those from younger times when oxygen was higher in the atmosphere.

These results revealed to the UCR geochemists and their colleagues at Arizona State University that oxygen increased significantly but briefly 100 million years before its permanent place in Earths atmosphere.

Working principally with colleagues at the University of Maryland, Bates, a research associate, and Lyons analyzed sulfur present in the Australian rocks as another fingerprint of oxygen concentrations at Earths surface. Their analysis of the sulfur also confirmed that the world changed briefly but importantly 2.5 billion years ago, presaging the life-affirming oxygenation of the atmosphere 100 million years later.

We were surprised to see evidence of increasing oxygen in rocks so old, Lyons said. And the fact that two independent lines of evidence point in the same direction suggests that Earths most dramatic shift in atmospheric composition and its relationship to the evolution of life began earlier and was more complex than most imagined.


'/>"/>

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
iqbal@ucr.edu
951-827-6050
University of California - Riverside
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers discover way to make cells in the eye sensitive to light
2. Researchers find how protein allows insects to detect and respond to pheromones
3. Researchers Uncover Key Step In Manufacture of Memory Protein
4. NYU researchers simulate molecular biological clock
5. Researchers reveal the infectious impact of salmon farms on wild salmon
6. Researchers identify target for cancer drugs
7. Vital step in cellular migration described by UCSD medical researchers
8. ASU researchers finds novel chemistry at work to provide parrots vibrant red colors
9. UCSD researchers maintain stem cells without contaminated animal feeder layers
10. Researchers discover molecule that causes secondary stroke
11. Researchers find missing genes of ancient organism
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/31/2017)... 31, 2017  Spero Therapeutics, LLC, a biopharmaceutical ... treatment of bacterial infections, today announced it has ... from Pro Bono Bio Ltd (PBB) to bolster ... resistant forms of Gram-negative bacteria.   The assets acquired ... a PBB group company. "The acquisition ...
(Date:1/25/2017)... Jan. 25, 2017 The Elements of Enterprise ... lifecycle is comprised of a comprehensive set of ... of maintaining digital identities and providing a secured ... There are significant number of programs opted by ... time by optimizing processes and changing policies. However, ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... offering. ... global voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of ... the present scenario and the growth prospects of the global voice ... report considers the revenue generated from the sales of voice recognition ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/27/2017)... FRANCISCO , Feb. 27, 2017 Fluxion ... Spain has been appointed as a ... System. The IsoFlux system will be used in Genetracer ... relevant to lung and colon cancer, with plans to ... The laboratory is utilizing Fluxion,s IsoFlux System to isolate, ...
(Date:2/26/2017)... ... ... Rob Lowe is a well recognized television personality, so it seems natural he ... are important to the American public and important to society at large. An upcoming ... around the world for a few years. , The climate and how we relate ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Delpor, Inc. (Delpor), a biotechnology company focused on drug delivery, ... Health (NIMH) for the further advancement of the company’s 3-month olanzapine product ( DLP-119 ... to deliver therapeutic levels of olanzapine for a period of 3 months., “We are ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... 24, 2017  Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... its Chairman and CEO, Jim Joyce . ... Conference last Saturday, Bill Gates warned world ... people than nuclear weapons. Mr. Gates expressed his concern, ... agencies, that scientific terrorists have access to the necessary ...
Breaking Biology Technology: