O2 formed in earth`s oceans 100m-yr before GOE
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Last Updated: Thursday, November 05, 2009, 09:22
  
Washington: Oxygen production began in earth's oceans at least 100 million years before the life saving gas accumulated in its atmosphere, a new research claimed.

A team led by geoscientists at the University of California, Riverside, said, "Oxygen production began in earth's oceans at least 100 million years before the 'Great Oxidation Event'(GOE) and demonstrated that even very low concentrations of oxygen can have profound effects on ocean chemistry".

GOE was the event when earth transformed from an oxygen-poor atmosphere to an oxygen-rich one paving the way for complex life to develop on the planet. Scientists widely accept that it happened around 2.4 billion years ago.

To arrive at their results, the researchers analysed 2.5 billion-year-old black shales from Western Australia. Essentially representing fossilized pieces of the ancient seafloor, the fine layers within the rocks allowed the them to page through ocean chemistry's evolving history, the University of California, reported.

Specifically, the shales revealed that episodes of hydrogen sulfide accumulation in the oxygen-free deep ocean occurred nearly 100 million years before the GOE and up to 700 million years earlier than such conditions were predicted by past models for the early ocean.

Bureau Report


First Published: Thursday, November 05, 2009, 09:22


Tag: OxygenEarthLife
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