26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The geologic record provides clues to the history of seawater over the past 4Gy. This article highlights key insights from the rapid progress of the past decade, focusing on periods of important geochemical changes and how these changes influenced and were influenced by the evolution of life on Earth. In the Hadean, Archean, and Paleoproterozoic, the origin of the oceans, the emergence of the biosphere, and the rise of oxygen take center stage, especially as revealed by the marine geochemistry of carbon, sulfur, and redox-sensitive metals. In the Meso- and Neoproterozoic, the focus shifts to the interplay between the evolution of the ocean carbon and oxygen cycles and the biology that mediates these cycles. In the Phanerozoic, the discussion centers on cycles in the Mg2+/Ca2+ ratio of seawater, δ34S, and Sr2+/Ca2+, and how they coincide with the mineralogies of limestones and evaporites. How the timing of these cycles may connect to the breakup and assembly of tectonic plates, midocean ridge crust production and hydrothermal activity, global chemical weathering, seawater chemistry, and biomineralization are reviewed. Influences on the mineralogy of shell-building organisms, particularly during the time mineralized skeletons first evolved, are also considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTreatise on Geochemistry
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Pages569-622
Number of pages54
Volume8
ISBN (Print)9780080983004
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

Keywords

  • Ancient seawater chemistry
  • Geologic history of oceans
  • Great Oxidation Event
  • Iron
  • Mg/Ca
  • Molybdenum
  • Ocean oxygenation
  • Redox-sensitive metals
  • Snowball Earth
  • Strontium
  • Sulfur isotopes
  • δC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Chemistry(all)

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    Lowenstein, T. K., Kendall, B., & Anbar, A. (2013). The Geologic History of Seawater. In Treatise on Geochemistry: Second Edition (Vol. 8, pp. 569-622). Elsevier Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-08-095975-7.00621-5