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:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... April 3, 2017  Data captured by ... platform, detected a statistically significant association between ... to treatment and objective response of cancer ... to predict whether cancer patients will respond ... as well as to improve both pre-infusion potency ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... Dutch philosopher Koert van Mensvoort - founder of the Next Nature ... Eindhoven - has written a ,Letter to Humanity, in support of ... becoming a slave and victim to its own technology, but to employ technology ... ... Mensvoort – founder of the Next Nature Network and Fellow of ‘Next Nature’ ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 For ... focuses on novel drug development and clinical research aimed at ... Biostage Inc. (NASDAQ: BSTG), Keryx Biopharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: KERX), Kite ... ZIOP ). You can access our complimentary research reports ... ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... ... April 18, 2017 , ... A number of new instruments ... which is part of the Protein and Cell Analysis Education Webinar Series , ... this technology fits in current and future applications. , Many flow cytometers have ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 18, 2017 , ... ... Halo Labs . The move comes after the company changed focus to ... market, our new brand and our new technology,” says CEO Robert Hart. Founders ...
Breaking Biology Technology: