A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event?

Ariel Anbar, Yun Duan, Timothy W. Lyons, Gail L. Arnold, Brian Kendall, Robert A. Creaser, Alan J. Kaufman, Gwyneth Gordon, Clinton Scott, Jessica Garvin, Roger Buick

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Abstract

High-resolution chemostratigraphy reveals an episode of enrichment of the redox-sensitive transition metals molybdenum and rhenium in the late Archean Mount McRae Shale in Western Australia. Correlations with organic carbon indicate that these metals were derived from contemporaneous seawater. Rhenium/osmium geochronology demonstrates that the enrichment is a primary sedimentary feature dating to 2501 ± 8 million years ago (Ma). Molybdenum and rhenium were probably supplied to Archean oceans by oxidative weathering of crustal sulfide minerals. These findings point to the presence of small amounts of O2 in the environment more than 50 million years before the start of the Great Oxidation Event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1903-1906
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume317
Issue number5846
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 28 2007

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Cite this

Anbar, A., Duan, Y., Lyons, T. W., Arnold, G. L., Kendall, B., Creaser, R. A., Kaufman, A. J., Gordon, G., Scott, C., Garvin, J., & Buick, R. (2007). A whiff of oxygen before the great oxidation event? Science, 317(5846), 1903-1906. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1140325