Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen

Nigel J. F. Blamey, Uwe Brand, John Parnell, Natalie Spear, Christophe Lécuyer, Kathleen Benison, Fanwei Meng, Pei Ni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We present a new and innovative way of determining the oxygen level of Earth's past atmosphere by directly measuring inclusion gases trapped in halite. After intensive screening using multiple depositional, textural/fabric and geochemical parameters, tectonically undisturbed cumulate, chevron, and cornet halite inclusions may retain atmospheric gas during crystallization from shallow saline, lagoonal and/or saltpan brine. These are the first measurements of inclusion gas for the Neoproterozoic obtained from 815±15 m.y. old Browne Formation chevron halite of the Officer Basin, southwest Australia. The thirty-one gas measurements afford us a direct glimpse of the composition of the mid-late Neoproterozoic atmosphere and register an oxygen content of 10.9±1.4 %. The measured pO2 puts oxygenation of Earth's paleoatmosphere about 100 to 200 million years ahead of current models and proxy studies. It also puts oxygenation of the Neoproterozoic atmosphere in agreement with time of diversification of eukaryotes and in advance of the emergence of marine animal life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-654
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume44
Issue number8
Early online date31 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016

Fingerprint

paradigm shift
halite
oxygenation
oxygen
atmosphere
paleoatmosphere
gas
atmospheric gas
eukaryote
cumulate
brine
crystallization
basin

Cite this

Blamey, N. J. F., Brand, U., Parnell, J., Spear, N., Lécuyer, C., Benison, K., ... Ni, P. (2016). Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen. Geology, 44(8), 651-654. https://doi.org/10.1130/G37937.1

Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen. / Blamey, Nigel J. F.; Brand, Uwe; Parnell, John; Spear, Natalie; Lécuyer, Christophe; Benison, Kathleen; Meng, Fanwei; Ni, Pei.

In: Geology, Vol. 44, No. 8, 31.08.2016, p. 651-654.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blamey, NJF, Brand, U, Parnell, J, Spear, N, Lécuyer, C, Benison, K, Meng, F & Ni, P 2016, 'Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen', Geology, vol. 44, no. 8, pp. 651-654. https://doi.org/10.1130/G37937.1
Blamey NJF, Brand U, Parnell J, Spear N, Lécuyer C, Benison K et al. Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen. Geology. 2016 Aug 31;44(8):651-654. https://doi.org/10.1130/G37937.1
Blamey, Nigel J. F. ; Brand, Uwe ; Parnell, John ; Spear, Natalie ; Lécuyer, Christophe ; Benison, Kathleen ; Meng, Fanwei ; Ni, Pei. / Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen. In: Geology. 2016 ; Vol. 44, No. 8. pp. 651-654.
@article{f332913f43ea4814892d109f8551441b,
title = "Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen",
abstract = "We present a new and innovative way of determining the oxygen level of Earth's past atmosphere by directly measuring inclusion gases trapped in halite. After intensive screening using multiple depositional, textural/fabric and geochemical parameters, tectonically undisturbed cumulate, chevron, and cornet halite inclusions may retain atmospheric gas during crystallization from shallow saline, lagoonal and/or saltpan brine. These are the first measurements of inclusion gas for the Neoproterozoic obtained from 815±15 m.y. old Browne Formation chevron halite of the Officer Basin, southwest Australia. The thirty-one gas measurements afford us a direct glimpse of the composition of the mid-late Neoproterozoic atmosphere and register an oxygen content of 10.9±1.4 {\%}. The measured pO2 puts oxygenation of Earth's paleoatmosphere about 100 to 200 million years ahead of current models and proxy studies. It also puts oxygenation of the Neoproterozoic atmosphere in agreement with time of diversification of eukaryotes and in advance of the emergence of marine animal life.",
author = "Blamey, {Nigel J. F.} and Uwe Brand and John Parnell and Natalie Spear and Christophe L{\'e}cuyer and Kathleen Benison and Fanwei Meng and Pei Ni",
note = "ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank the Geological Survey of Australia for permission to sample the Empress 1A and Lancer 1 cores, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for financial support (grant #7961–15) of U. Brand, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China for support of F. Meng and P. Ni (grants 41473039 and 4151101015). We thank M. Lozon (Brock University) for drafting and constructing the figures. We thank the editor, Brendan Murphy, as well as three reviewers (Steve Kesler, Erik Sperling, and an anonymous reviewer), for improving the manuscript into its final form.",
year = "2016",
month = "8",
day = "31",
doi = "10.1130/G37937.1",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "651--654",
journal = "Geology",
issn = "0091-7613",
publisher = "GEOLOGICAL SOC AMER, INC",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Paradigm shift in determining Neoproterozoic atmospheric oxygen

AU - Blamey, Nigel J. F.

AU - Brand, Uwe

AU - Parnell, John

AU - Spear, Natalie

AU - Lécuyer, Christophe

AU - Benison, Kathleen

AU - Meng, Fanwei

AU - Ni, Pei

N1 - ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank the Geological Survey of Australia for permission to sample the Empress 1A and Lancer 1 cores, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for financial support (grant #7961–15) of U. Brand, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China for support of F. Meng and P. Ni (grants 41473039 and 4151101015). We thank M. Lozon (Brock University) for drafting and constructing the figures. We thank the editor, Brendan Murphy, as well as three reviewers (Steve Kesler, Erik Sperling, and an anonymous reviewer), for improving the manuscript into its final form.

PY - 2016/8/31

Y1 - 2016/8/31

N2 - We present a new and innovative way of determining the oxygen level of Earth's past atmosphere by directly measuring inclusion gases trapped in halite. After intensive screening using multiple depositional, textural/fabric and geochemical parameters, tectonically undisturbed cumulate, chevron, and cornet halite inclusions may retain atmospheric gas during crystallization from shallow saline, lagoonal and/or saltpan brine. These are the first measurements of inclusion gas for the Neoproterozoic obtained from 815±15 m.y. old Browne Formation chevron halite of the Officer Basin, southwest Australia. The thirty-one gas measurements afford us a direct glimpse of the composition of the mid-late Neoproterozoic atmosphere and register an oxygen content of 10.9±1.4 %. The measured pO2 puts oxygenation of Earth's paleoatmosphere about 100 to 200 million years ahead of current models and proxy studies. It also puts oxygenation of the Neoproterozoic atmosphere in agreement with time of diversification of eukaryotes and in advance of the emergence of marine animal life.

AB - We present a new and innovative way of determining the oxygen level of Earth's past atmosphere by directly measuring inclusion gases trapped in halite. After intensive screening using multiple depositional, textural/fabric and geochemical parameters, tectonically undisturbed cumulate, chevron, and cornet halite inclusions may retain atmospheric gas during crystallization from shallow saline, lagoonal and/or saltpan brine. These are the first measurements of inclusion gas for the Neoproterozoic obtained from 815±15 m.y. old Browne Formation chevron halite of the Officer Basin, southwest Australia. The thirty-one gas measurements afford us a direct glimpse of the composition of the mid-late Neoproterozoic atmosphere and register an oxygen content of 10.9±1.4 %. The measured pO2 puts oxygenation of Earth's paleoatmosphere about 100 to 200 million years ahead of current models and proxy studies. It also puts oxygenation of the Neoproterozoic atmosphere in agreement with time of diversification of eukaryotes and in advance of the emergence of marine animal life.

U2 - 10.1130/G37937.1

DO - 10.1130/G37937.1

M3 - Article

VL - 44

SP - 651

EP - 654

JO - Geology

JF - Geology

SN - 0091-7613

IS - 8

ER -